Sunday, August 19, 2012

Alcohol & The Athlete: Blood Pressure Considerations

Back to school means back to campus.  While most fall athletes have already been working out getting ready for the fall season, Nancy Clark reports in a recent article in Active "College athletes are more likely to drink than non-athletes."  Among the obvious issues with alcohol consumption: impaired performance, hangovers/electrolyte imbalance, decrease in academic performance, some athletes are pre-hypertensive due to weight, lifestyle, or genetic factors.

The Mayo Clinic reports that 2-3 drinks will temporarily rise blood pressure but binge drinking commonly associated with the collegiate population can lead to long-term increases.  

Moderate drinking is generally considered to be:

  • Two drinks a day for men younger than age 65
  • One drink a day for men age 65 and older
  • One drink a day for women of any age
A drink is 12 ounces (355 milliliters) of beer, 5 ounces (148 milliliters) of wine or 1.5 ounces (44 milliliters) of 80-proof distilled spirits.
Alcohol: Does it Affect Blood Pressure?
Alcohol, Athletes, and Pressure to Drink by Nancy Clark MS, RD, CSSD for