THE American College of Sports Medicine states clearly that there is no benefit from alcohol use for sports performance, and that the use of alcohol may be detrimental to the athlete.
Anyone who has had a big night out before a training session understands that sports performance will be impaired through your reaction time, fine motor control, levels of arousal and judgement.
Drinking on the day or night before athletic activities hinders the physical conditioning process.
Exercising with a hangover has been shown to significantly decrease performance capacity by as much as 11%.
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends you avoid alcohol up to 48 hours before competition.
If you want to drink after completing your race, rehydrate first and consume water or a sports drink before having alcohol.
Alcohol immediately following a workout depletes your source of energy for recovery, causes greater dehydration and slows the body's ability to heal.
It also constricts metabolism and inhibits the absorption of nutrients.
The key is to wait until after your recovery period to have a drink of alcohol.
Professor John B. Lowe is the Head of the School of Health and Sport Sciences at the University of the Sunshine Coast.