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Short and Long Effects of Alcohol and Smoking

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1) Explain the short term and long term effects of smoking and alcohol. Short term effects of Smoking * Increased heart rate and blood pressure is one of the short term effects of smoking. The constriction of blood vessels, makes the heart pump harder just to keep the body at a normal state, this makes a decreased flow of blood, allowing less oxygen to travel through the body. This constriction isn't caused by the smoking itself but by a side effect of smoking: the build-up of fat and cholesterol deposits within the walls of blood vessels. * Other short term effects of smoking on the circulatory system are dizziness, hand tremors and coldness in the fingers and toes. * Smoking increases the effect of irritants on any standing allergies, as well as irritating the eyes and nose. This happens when smoking paralyses the cilia, the part of the respiratory system which blocks out irritants. Another result is the increase in incidences of coughs and colds in a smoker. * Smoking can increase the acid in the stomach, which can be painful. * Reductions in appetite, which can help lose weight in the short term. ...read more.


* Memory loss and/or "Blackouts"- alcohol acts as a depressant slowing the brain's control mechanisms, causing certain situations and events not to be remembered. * Alcohol can cause nausea, vomiting, this can be a result of the body trying to protect itself against the alcohol or a result of alcohol affecting a person's sense of balance and orientation which can lead to a feeling of nausea. * Headaches, hangovers can be felt a few hours after consuming alcohol. This happens due to the body becoming dehydrated due to alcohol consumption. * Alcohol can also make a person act seriously disoriented and confused (Stupor) * The most dangerous short term effect that alcohol can have on someone is coma, a life-threatening condition. * Just like the capillaries in your skin, the blood vessels in your eyes will dilate, leading to bloodshot eyes. * Alcohol can cause users to become aggressive. Long-term effects of alcohol * Alcohol contains a lot of calories which can cause a weight increase or/and bad eating habits. * Alcohol can cause loads of physical problems cirrhosis or cancer of the liver; breast cancer; damage to the heart muscle; high blood pressure; obesity; infertility; strokes; heart disease; diabetes; impotence or other sexual problems; ulcers; alcohol poisoning. ...read more.


3) Explain how alcohol will affect your sporting performance. Alcohol can increase the risk of muscle cramps, this happens if you drink in the 24 hour period before the event. This obviously is something not wanted by any performer as it increases the lactic acid in the muscles causing muscle fatigue, which will stop the performer from training. Alcohol increases the bleeding and swelling around injured soft tissue requiring a longer recovery period, this means that you can't train for longer time as you need to recover from the injury. Because the liver is used to breakdown alcohol, it cannot release glucose into the bloodstream efficiently therefore you have less energy and less endurance capacity, which obviously isn't good if you are doing a long distance event. Alcohol is a sedative, so it reduces reactions like hand-eye coordination. These slower reactions wouldn't be helpful at the start of a 100m race or when hitting a ball in tennis as you would react to them slower. Alcohol reduces the production of the anti-diuretic hormone, causing you to urinate more and therefore becoming dehydrated, this causes training to be very hard as you feel tired and dizzy. Alcohol reduces the aerobic performance of a long distance athlete by lowering the carbohydrate levels, by increasing the buildup of lactic acid and by causing dehydration. ?? ?? ?? ?? Carlos Santos ...read more.

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