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Know! The Athlete/Alcohol Link

Talk Early And Often About Alcohol, Tobacco And Other Drugs. Even When It Gets Tough! Talking regularly with kids reduces their risk of using alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. Know! urges you to encourage other parents to join Know! by taking the Parent and Caregiver Pledge. For more information log on to

Active youth who participate in team sports are less likely to smoke tobacco or marijuana or use other illicit drugs, but they are more likely to frequently consume alcohol.

While research provides only theories as to cause and effect of this athlete/alcohol link, experts say one way to discourage these youth from drinking is to educate them on the detrimental impact alcohol has on their minds and bodies, as well as their athletic performance.

Sobering statistics to share with your young, aspiring athletes (source - The American Athletic Institute):

  • Approximately 14 days of training effect is lost after one night of drinking = Two weeks worth of training, wasted.
  • Alcohol suppresses your training hormones for up to four days = You may show up to practice, but no improvement comes, because the  hormones you need to gain training results and conditioning are not there.
  • Athletes need to be fast on their feet and quick to react, but alcohol impairs reaction time for up to 12 hours after consumption = Head to practice the next day (following a night of drinking) and it will show in your performance.
  • Before a high school athlete even steps foot onto the field, court, ice, etc., overall performance potential is lowered by about 11.4% after recent heavy drinking = Your potential of achieving personal “best” just decreased.

A quote to consider, by John Underwood, Director of The American Athletic Institute, “Remember when you are partying, that somewhere, someone is training…and when you meet them, they will beat you.”

Know! that optimal performance and competitive edge, both on and off the playing field, begins with a healthy, substance-free mind and body.

Resource Link:

Sources: The American Athletic Institute, National Institute on Drug Abuse, Addiction: Substance Use and Exercise Participation Among Young Adults: Parallel Trajectories in a National Cohort-Sequential Study, 2011.

This site provided with the assistance of the Davis Community Network.