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J Sci Med Sport. 2015 May;18(3):268-71. doi: 10.1016/j.jsams.2014.04.009. Epub 2014 Apr 26.

Effects of heavy episodic drinking on physical performance in club level rugby union players.

Author information

1
School of Sport & Exercise, Massey University, New Zealand.
2
School of Sport & Exercise, Massey University, New Zealand. Electronic address: m.barnes@massey.ac.nz.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

This study investigated the effects of acute alcohol consumption, in a natural setting, on exercise performance in the 2 days after the drinking episode. Additionally, alcohol related behaviours of this group of rugby players were identified.

DESIGN:

Prospective cohort study.

METHODS:

Nineteen male club rugby players volunteered for this study. Measures of counter movement jump, maximal lower body strength, repeated sprint ability and hydration were made 2 days before and in the 2 days following heavy episodic alcohol consumption. Participants completed a questionnaire at each time point so that alcohol consumption and sleep hours from the previous 24 h period could be quantified. Additionally, participants completed the Alcohol Use Disorders Test (AUDIT) prior to completing baseline measures of performance.

RESULTS:

Reported alcohol consumption ranged from 6 to >20 standard drinks (mean category scale score=11-19 standard drinks). A significant decrease in sleep hours (p=0.01) was reported after the drinking episode with participants reporting 1-3 h for the night. A significant reduction (-1.8±1.5 cm) in counter movement jump (p<0.01) the morning after the drinking episode was observed; no other measures were altered at any time point compared to baseline (p>0.05). AUDIT scores for this group (18.2±4.3) indicate regular alcohol consumption at a hazardous level.

CONCLUSIONS:

Heavy episodic alcohol use, and associated reduced sleep hours, results in a reduction in lower body power output but not other measures of anaerobic performance the morning after a drinking session. Full recovery from this behaviour is achieved by 2 days post drinking episode.

KEYWORDS:

Alcohol abuse; Anaerobic performance; Hydration; Rugby; Sleep; Team sport

PMID:
24820258
DOI:
10.1016/j.jsams.2014.04.009
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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