Skip Navigation LinksHome > August 1996 - Volume 28 - Issue 8 > Reported alcohol use and behavior in long-distance runners
Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise:
Applied Sciences: Psychobiology and Social Sciences

Reported alcohol use and behavior in long-distance runners


Collapse Box


Because alcohol may impair sports performance, we hypothesized there would be less drinking in serious recreational runners. We used mailed questionnaires to examine drinking patterns (2-wk quantity/frequency), scores on modified versions of the Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test (brief MAST[BMAST], short MAST [SMAST], and parental history of problem drinking in 397 men and 144 women runners participating in a 20-mile race, compared with a nonexercising control population of 138 men and 119 women. A subset of 188 pairs (104 men, 84 women) were matched for gender, age, educational level, and marital status. We used chi-square analysis, paired t-test, and ANOVA. Male gender, running, and a family history for problem drinking predicted increased total alcohol consumption. We found that male runners (vs male controls) drank more (14.2 ± 19.6 vs 5.4 ± 7.6 drinks·wk-2, P = 0.004) and felt guilty about their drinking (26.6% vs 13.8%, P < 0.01). Men and women runners reported more occasions of drinking than matched controls (2.8 ± 2.7 vs 2.0 ± 2.3·wk-2, P = 0.004). Runners with scores on the BMAST (≥6) or SMAST (≥3) suggestive of a history of problem drinking drank less than controls with a similar score. Contrary to our hypothesis, running is associated with increased alcohol consumption, except in those who report a history of problem alcohol behavior.

©1996The American College of Sports Medicine


Article Tools


Article Level Metrics

Search for Similar Articles
You may search for similar articles that contain these same keywords or you may modify the keyword list to augment your search.

Connect With Us