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16. 3. 2012.

Alcohol effects

Alcohol(ethanol - CH3CH2OH) is natural ingredient of drinks that are widespreadly consumed all over the world(beer, wine and hard liquors). Alcohol concentration in various drinks is different, so in beer there is 4-5%, in wine 12-14%, in hard liquors 40-45%. Amount of alcohole of 13g equals one bottle of beer, one glass of wine or one cup of hard liquor.
Oxidation of one alcohol gram releases energy of 7kcal, which is equal double more than it is done with oxidation of the same amount of carbohydrates or proteins. However, nutrition value of previously counted liquors is almost nothing. Beer and wine consist some vitamins(B1,B2), minerals(calcium, potassium, iron) and proteins in traces.
Alcohol is very fast resorbed from gastrointestinale tract, through diffusion process. Total amount intaken is resorbed in period of one hour. The highest concentrations are for about 40 minutes, after consumption. Depending of amount taken, etanole completely disappears in period after 8-10 hours.
Liver is the organ where degradation of 95-98% takes place, while other 2-5% goes through urine, breathed air or sweat. Oxydation of alcohol in liver cannot be accelerated, it is proportional to athletes weight.
The most significant ethanol effects are on CNS. Effects that are consequences of brain function depression are: sight sharpness decrease already with low concentrations of ethanole in blood(3-11mmol), reaction time continuance, skeleton muscles coordination disorder, euphoria, inhibition remove in behaviour, peripheral vasodilatation and other. Alcohol, also, creates effects like: increased gastric acid secretion, liver damages, increased diuresis. Athlete sensitivity to ethanol is different.
Alcohol oxidation releases relatively big amount of energy. Researches confirm that usage alcohol as a source is not significant. There are more reasons, and first is that energy is mostly gives from carbohydrates and fats, which is the biggest amount in cell. Energy given from alcohol is noneconomic source. Amount of oxygen used with etanol oxidation is bigger than for carbohydrates and fats.
Alcohol changes subjective psychophysical abilities feeling. Athlete thinks that he is capable of high sports results, which is opposed to reality. Often person believes that it has abilities for high sports results. Physical activities that need fine neuromuscular control are hit first. Alcohol also, if taken in small or moderate amounts, will not influent power or local muscular endurance. During prolonged activities taking alcohole should be avoided, due to increased dehydration and nausea.

"Athletes' nutrition", Marina Djordjevic Nikic

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