Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Sci Med Sport. 2014 Mar;17(2):244-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jsams.2013.04.011. Epub 2013 May 16.

The effects of binge drinking behaviour on recovery and performance after a rugby match.

Author information

School of Sport & Exercise, Massey University, New Zealand.
School of Sport & Exercise, Massey University, New Zealand. Electronic address:



This study compared the effects of "normal" post-game behaviour with recommended behaviour on physical performance in the days after a rugby union game. Additionally, the habitual drinking habits of rugby players were identified.


Prospective cohort study.


After a rugby game, 26 players were split by team into a customary behaviour group (CB), who carried out their usual post-game behaviour, or recommended behaviour group (RB), whose diet and activity was controlled in the hours after the game. Counter movement jump, lower-body strength, repeated sprint ability, CK and hydration status were measured prior to and in the days after the game. Twenty-four hour behaviour recall questionnaires where completed throughout the trial period. The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) was also administered to participants.


Compared to baseline values, large volumes of alcohol (p<0.01) and a loss in sleep (p<0.001) was reported by the CB group in the hours after the game. Measures of performance and hydration status were unchanged over time and no difference was evident between groups (all p<0.05). Total AUDIT scores for all participants were 17.7 ± 5. CK was elevated in the days following the game (p<0.001).


Physical performance was not affected by participation in a game of senior club rugby, irrespective of post-game behaviour and possible muscle damage. AUDIT scores indicate that club rugby players may be at risk of serious alcohol related harm, with post-game binge drinking likely to be a major contributor.


Alcohol abuse; Dehydration; Muscle damage; Muscle strength; Sleep; Team sports

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center