The Relationship Between the Risk of Alcohol Abuse and Anaerobic Power
by Erica Post
Faculty advisor: Abigail Tibbetts
Studies have shown that college athletes consume more alcohol than their counterparts. Previous research has examined the effects of alcohol on aerobic exercises. This study will evaluate the relationship between the participants’ risk of alcohol abuse and anaerobic power. O’Brien and Lyons (2000) found alcohol consumption had a detrimental effect on aerobic performance, but anaerobic performance did not change. Type II muscle fibers are used in anaerobic exercises; the study done by Shireffs and Maughan (2006) showed that Type II fibers were not affected by alcohol levels in the body. Another study done by Pecha, Sweere, Conlon, Peterson, and Heldstab (2007) concluded alcohol consumption did not affect performance in the 40 yard dash and vertical jump in collegiate females. Each participant took an online survey created by Curtis (2009) titled Alcohol Abuse Risk. Alcohol abuse was assessed through ten questions receiving a low, medium, high, or dependence risk level, scored 1-4, respectively. Next, participants completed several anaerobic exercises: vertical jump, standing broad jump, 30 yard dash, and shuttle run. A correlation coefficient was calculated for each exercise and alcohol risk score. The correlation for the standing broad jump was r = 0.13; vertical jump r = 0.07; 30 yard dash r = 0.08; shuttle run r = 0.09. These results show that there is no relationship between an athlete’s performance in anaerobic power exercises and their risk for alcohol abuse. The results agree with a number of previous studies that concluded anaerobic performance is not affected by alcohol consumption.