Drug Free Sport Staff Writers

Drug Free Sport Staff Writers

Friday, June 24, 2011

Summertime!!! Alcohol in moderation

Its summertime and finally a break from school! This of course excludes the thousands of you on campus attending summer school and summer workouts to get a leg up on the competition.  You work hard all year, going to classes, studying, and being involved at the school you attend. You are a student-athlete, which is a tough job, and you have put lots of time into training, practice, and competitions. For some, summer time is vacation time, but for many of you it is simply a chance to focus on getting better. Of course, I’m sure you will make a “little” more time for partying and fun, but fall session is right around the corner and that first game even closer.  Yes, it is the off-season, but getting back in shape is a lot tougher than staying in shape.  So if you ask yourself the question, “what will it hurt to drink a little more than usual,” remember these tips:

#1 Weight gain: Alcoholic drinks, including beer and wine, are empty calories. If you go out and binge drink, you can easily consume 600-1,000 calories+ and that doesn’t include late night snacking! Many summer drinks contain 500 calories in ONE drink.

#2 Skipped workouts: Ever have a work out planned, or a work out your coach wants you to do, that you decided to skip because you couldn’t get out of bed from the night before? Excessive drinking causes headaches, nausea and tiredness, all of which can convince you to skip a work out.

#3 Alcohol affects performance, and that includes training: Even out of competition, alcohol can affect your ability to get better through training and practice. Want to learn more? Watch a recorded webinar on the topic here.

#4 Dangerous behavior: Chances are you know someone or have heard a story from an athlete who participated in dangerous activities or made bad decisions while under the influence and it changed their lives. Student-athletes have experienced career-ending injuries, and even fatal injuries, because of activities and decisions while under the influence. In college, I had a friend who fell out of a window while intoxicated at a party; he was paralyzed from the waist down and couldn’t continue his college basketball career.  Think it can’t happen to you? So did he.

#5 Social, legal and personal problems: Poor decisions and risky behavior can affect many aspects of your life. In the long run, the stress or consequences can have an impact on your performance and your athletic career.

What does all this mean to you? Even in the off-season, alcohol can affect performance and health. Be responsible and mindful when it comes to your own alcohol consumption and social activities.

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