New Study Suggests Binge-Drinking Doesn’t Have Much Impact on Athletic Performance, So Drink Up


Any athlete knows drinking heavily the night before a sporting event isn’t the greatest idea. It seems there is no amount of coffee that can make a 90 mph fastball appear any slower or a 2-3 zone more beatable. But a new study says the effects aren’t as bad as we’ve always thought.

Nineteen club rugby players smartly volunteered for the study, which required them to drink alcohol and play rugby. By human lab rat standards, that’s a pretty sweet gig.

We refuse to pay for access to the entire report, but the Cliffs Notes version tell us everything we need to know.

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.

While rugby is an decent sport to study because it combines both speed and strength, it would be interesting to know how guzzling 12 beers the night before a basketball game differs. Also — and this is sure to piss off some rugby players — but the sport doesn’t exact require the highest hand-eye coordination.

But hey, science says getting bombed is good for you (isn’t bad for you). Let’s not put these findings under a microscope.

[H/T: Journal of Science and Medicine and Sport]

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