Become a ‘Soberhero’ and improve your sporting performance with Go Sober for October

Thousands of ‘Soberheroes’ are going sober this month, as part of the Go Sober for October – aka Stoptober – campaign, in which participants go without alcohol for 31 days to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support.

More than 66,500 people are joining in Go Sober for October 2018 and have already collectively raised more than £1,500,000 to help support people facing cancer.

With Stoptober in full swing, we explore the affects consuming alcohol has on fitness levels and sporting performance and how cutting back could help give your exercise and sporting efforts a boost.

Figures from Sport England show that more people are now participating in sport than they did before. However, mixing sport and exercise with alcohol consumption can counter the healthy benefits of exercise in several ways.

Dehydration and alcohol

Alcohol is a diuretic, which leads to dehydration by making the kidneys produce greater amounts of urine. Exercising after alcohol can have a negative affect on the body as it makes the dehydration caused by sweating worse. Staying well hydrated is important when participating in any exercise or sport as a hydrated body circulates greater oxygen and nutrients to the muscles.

As Professor Greg Whyte, a sports performance specialist told Drink Aware:

“Dehydration leads to reduced performance. Hydration also helps control your body temperature so you’re more likely to overheat if you’ve been drinking alcohol.”

Energy levels an alcohol

When the liver is breaking down alcohol, it is unable to produce as much glucose, resulting in lower blood sugar levels and thereby less energy. With less energy, sporting performance is adversely affected.

Alcohol’s effect on the heart rate

Research shows that unusual heart rhythms can be produced for up to two days following a heavy alcohol-drinking session. The heart beating erratically can put additional strain on the body when exercising, thereby negatively affecting performance.

Long-term effects of alcohol on the body

As well as having immediate adverse effects on the body when exercising, regular and heavy alcohol consumption puts long-term potential risks on the body, including:

  • Liver disease
  • Cancer
  • Heart disease

Counting alcohol units

The concept on counting the number of units we consume to help us cut down was first introduced in 1987. Both men and women are advised not to drink more than 14 units of alcohol a week on a regular basis.

If you want to cut back on the amount of alcohol you consume, whether to improve your sporting performance or to give your health a boost, it’s not too late to take part in Go Sober for October.

Like the Go Sober for October campaign, sports clubs and leisure centres do a fabulous job in promoting healthier living by encouraging people of all ages and abilities to get involved in exercise and sport.

No matter where a sports club is located and what sports it offers, it is vital such facilities have the right insurance in place in case accidents occur at the venue.

To find out about our Sports and Leisure insurance products, get in touch with Nelson Policies at Lloyd’s friendly team of Sport & Leisure insurance experts.

Nelson Sport & Leisure

Tel: 0203 058 2495



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