Alcohol




mixed alcohol cocktail, mug of beer, opened beer bottle, closed beer bottle, and margarita drink sitting on a bar

image by Debora Cartagena


Ergolytic Agents: Substances and Other Agents that Impair Performance

Ergolytic is the opposite of ergogenic. It is derived from the Greek word ergon, meaning "work" and -lytic, which is the adjective form of the Greek word lysos, meaning "loosing, dissolving, or dissolution." The term ergolytic is used to refer to an agent, device, or factor that impairs athletic performance rather than enhances it. This impairment can be the result of physiological or psychological factors. Some common ergolytic agents are alcohol, tobacco (including smokeless), and marijuana.

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The Effects of Alcohol on Athletic Performance and Recovery

Alcohol consumption within elite sport has been continually reported both anecdotally within the media and quantitatively in the literature. The detrimental effects of alcohol on human physiology have been well documented, adversely influencing neural function, metabolism, cardiovascular physiology, thermoregulation and skeletal muscle myopathy. Remarkably, the downstream effects of alcohol consumption on exercise performance and recovery, has received less attention and as such is not well understood. The focus of this review is to identify the acute effects of alcohol on exercise performance and give a brief insight into explanatory factors.

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