First Advisor

Milan Svoboda

Term of Graduation

Fall 1977

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Teaching (M.S.) in Health and Physical Education


Physical Education




Alcohol -- Physiological effect, Heart beat, Athletic ability



Physical Description

1 online resource (3, 41 pages)


This study dealt with the effect on various athletic parameters, of small alcoholic dosages (.2cc of 95% alcohol per lb. of body weight, consumed nightly over a period of ten days. Adult, male athletes (ten runners and one swimmer with a mean age of 31 (SD±3.9)) who trained regularly were used as subjects. The subjects performed a battery of five tests: pull-ups, jump reach, reaction time, hand grip strength, and six minute bicycle ergometer test (1206 kpm). Heart rate response during the first and second minutes and during the fifth and sixth minutes were used as indicators of physiological response to submaximal exercise.

Each subject served as his own control. Six of the subjects were tested under the control and then the experimental condition; the other five were tested in the reverse order. Pre and post-tests were administered before and after-each ten day period (experimental and control) to examine the magnitude of change. In the experimental condition each subject consumed .2cc of 95% alcohol/lb. of body weight in a 20% solution each night. Otherwise, the subjects did not alter their daily routine. During the control condition, each subject continued his daily routine for ten days without including alcohol in his diet. The post-test following the experimental condition was administered 15-24 hours after the last alcohol dosage. This delay period was chosen because it was long enough to ensure that the effects of the last drink were eliminated, but soon enough to allow any possible accumulative effect to still be present. To determine whether physical training resulted in a change in performance the magnitude of change during the control was evaluated and found to be non-significant for ail parameters except, hand grip. To determine Whether repeated testing resulted in a change in performance due to learning or other factors, the difference between pre-test scores (tests one and three) was evaluated and again found to be non-significant for all parameters except hand grip.

To evaluate the possible accumulative effect on performance of ten days of alcohol consumption, the magnitude of difference between change scores (post-test minus pretest) in the experimental and control periods was analyzed. No significant differences were found in any of the performances.

It was concluded that within the limits maintained in this study, the daily consumption of small doses of alcohol has no accumulative effect on physical performance as measured by reaction time, pull-ups, jump reach, hand grip strength, and heart rate response to submaximal exercise.


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A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment or the requirements for the degree or Master of Science in Teaching in Physical Education.

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