Alcohol and Sport

Alcohol and Sport

Australia has long relationship with alcohol and sports. It is very common for a sports fan to have a beer while watching a game of cricket, football, car racing and the like. A lot of sport sponsorship is from the alcohol industry, which raises the question: Is alcohol and sport a good mix?

To be “the best of the best” an athlete must not only be committed to their chosen discipline, but must also be committed to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, which includes nutrition, physical, emotional and mental health and have minimal value conflicts.

These values conflicts, we believe, lies within an athlete when it comes to alcohol and sport. Most athletes begin to pursue their chosen discipline at a very young age and and as such begins the athletes commitment to becoming the “best”. When an athlete reaches the legal age for drinking a very common response is to engage in the same behaviours as their peers, and in Australia this is binge drinking. For an athlete to wanting to engage in binge drinking behaviours with their peers, is a direct values conflict with wanting and striving to be the “best” at their chosen sport.

Alcohol is a depressant and thus depresses the central nervous system. In terms of how binge or excessive drinking can affect an athlete are; up to 25% decrease in performance, prolong injury recovery time, produce more soft tissue injuries, impact on nutrition, disturbed sleep patterns and emotional issues such as depression.

Thus the values conflict of wanting to be “the best” and wanting to consume alcohol begins for an athlete.

For our athletes to be the best, sporting bodies need to have appropriate training and education in place for their athletes, that not only educates them but helps them to overcome any value conflicts they may have.

Alcohol and Sport – Not the best Mix