By Nicole Conlan
June 13, 2014


Good news for all you lushes: a new study in the Journal of Science and Medicine in sport tested the effects of binge-drinking on rugby players and found that the effects of alcohol on performance were minimal.

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The study followed 19 volunteers from New Zealand rugby clubs. Scientists recorded baseline data on these athletes' physical skills and traits including counter movement jump, maximal lower body strength, repeated sprint ability and hydration. They then tested the athletes on the same features after a night of heavy drinking (which, for professional rugby players, is a whopping 19 drinks, according to the study).

The study found that the only metric significantly altered was the counter-movement jump, while everything else stayed basically the same. Or, in science terms:

Heavy episodic alcohol use, and associated reduced sleep hours, results in a reduction in lower body power output but not other measures of anaerobic performance the morning after a drinking session. Full recovery from this behaviour is achieved by 2 days post drinking episode.

So take heed if you're in a singles co-ed kickball league: you can still be your team's MVP if you just give yourself 2 sober days before each game.

[Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport]

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