Why High School Athletes Get ‘Wiped Out’ by Alcohol

“Whatcha Nippin’ on Nemo?” A-ha! You thought you could hide your ‘algae’ hol drinking, but your dad put a GPS tracker on your tail. Now we can find you anywhere. Just fess up fish! You’re gill-ty! You’re a high school athlete, you’re way too young, and alcohol could wash out your health. Just look at what happened to Dory! She’s developed short term memory loss, and now she can barely remember to show up to a swim meet!  The negative effects that it has on your mind and body could totally tank your high school athletic career. We’ll just dive in and give you a tidal wave of facts:

  1. Alcohol Affects Sleep: Alcohol can disrupt the sleep cycle, giving your body less energy. It could also become difficult to make new memories and retain information.
  2. Alcohol hurts your brain and your memory:  During the teen years alcohol can significantly affect the hippocampus in the brain, which compromises the ability to remember plays and lessons.   
  3. Alcohol can damage your heart:  Drinking alcohol before exercising can cause additional stress on the heart and can result in unusual heart rhythms.
  4. Alcohol harms muscle growth: Chronic alcohol use can damage long-term performance by causing muscle damage, muscle loss and muscle weakness.
  5. Exercising with a hangover decreases performance:  Consuming alcohol makes it difficult to remove lactic acid while exercising, which can cause fatigue.
  6. Alcohol increases fat: Calories from alcohol are stored as fat. By drinking alcohol your body focuses on ridding itself of alcohol instead of absorbing nutrients and burning fat.  
  7. Alcohol hurts your long-term performance: Alcohol weakens the hearts ability to pump. It lowers stamina, which can decrease strength and jump height.
  8. Alcohol causes dehydration: Alcohol is a diuretic. The body can become dehydrated leading to low energy, low endurance, cramps, muscle pulls and muscle strains.

Okay, Nemo, don’t let alcohol sink its shark teeth into you. Not only will your athletic performance improve, your heart, muscles and brain will escape the chances of taking a dip.
 #AchieveMore