The effects of acute alcohol consumption on recovery from a simulated rugby match

J Sports Sci. 2012;30(3):295-304. doi: 10.1080/02640414.2011.637949. Epub 2011 Dec 15.


In this study, we investigated the effects of acute post-exercise alcohol consumption on measures of physical performance, creatine kinase, and immunoendocrine function in the 48 h following a rugby game simulation. Ten male senior rugby union players completed a rugby game simulation after which they consumed either 1 g of alcohol per kilogram of body mass or a non-alcoholic control beverage. Agility, 15 m sprint, countermovement jump, and srummaging performance were assessed pre-simulation and 24 and 48 h post-simulation. White blood cell count, testosterone, cortisol, and creatine kinase were measured before the simulation and 30 min, 12, 24, 36, and 48 h after the simulation. One week after the first trial, participants completed the second simulation after which the other beverage was consumed. The acute consumption of alcohol after a rugby game simulation negatively affected countermovement jump performance in the days following the simulation (P = 0.028). No differences between treatments were observed for the other criterion measures made in this study. In conclusion, after 80 min of a simulated rugby game, the consumption of 1 g of alcohol per kg body mass negatively impacts lower body vertical power output. However, performance of tasks requiring repeated maximal muscular effort is not affected.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects*
  • Athletic Performance / physiology
  • Creatine Kinase / blood
  • Football / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone / blood
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Male
  • Muscle Strength / drug effects
  • Muscle Strength / physiology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / drug effects
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology
  • Physical Fitness / physiology
  • Recovery of Function / physiology*
  • Running / physiology
  • Testosterone / blood
  • Young Adult


  • Testosterone
  • Creatine Kinase
  • Hydrocortisone