High School Sports

Jul 10, 2012 12:07 PM by Mike Maharrey

Local Organization Hopes To Engage Coaches In Anti-Alcohol Initiative

The Lexington Youth Coalition on Alcohol Education (YCAE), along with the Fayette Mayor's Alliance on Substance abuse, hopes to raise awareness of the detrimental effects of alcohol on middle school and high school athletes by engaging area coaches.

YCAE will host a breakfast for high school and middle school coaches in Fayette County on Aug. 8. The Breakfast of Champions will feature presentations from a youth perspectives, along with research on the effects of alcohol on athletes.

Research indicates alcohol vastly undercuts athletic performance.

"Alcohol continues to be the most frequently consumed drug among athletes and habitual exercisers, and alcohol-related problems appear to be more common in these individuals. Alcohol use is directly linked to the rate of injury sustained in sport events and appears to evoke detrimental effects on exercise performance capacity," researchers wrote in a 2005 study on interactions between alcohol and exercise.

Researchers say drinking to the point of intoxication can negate up to 14 days of training, and studies show training hormone levels drop for up to 96 hours after alcohol consumption. Drinking after competition slows recovery time, diminishing muscle protein synthesis - the process that repairs muscles.

Studies also indicate alcohol consumption affects on-field performance, slowing reaction time for up to 12 hours after consumption. Researchers also say players that drink are twice as likely to suffer injuries.

"The associated residual effect of the alcoholic hangover have been shown to reduce athletic performance by 11.4 percent."

The Breakfast of Champions will be held at 8 a.m. at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in Lexington.

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