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Acute alcohol ingestion decreases the work done above the end-test power during a 3-min all-out cycling exercise.

INTRODUCTION: Alcohol ingestion influences metabolism during a subsequent exercise session, as evidenced by increased blood lactate concentration during fixed-intensity exercise. Therefore, augmented blood concentrations of alcohol may interfere with the anaerobic metabolism during high-intensity, short-duration exercise bout, thereby leading to impaired athletic performance.

OBJECTIVE: This study investigated whether the acute ingestion of alcohol as ethanol modulates performance parameters derived from the power-duration relationship in a 3-min all-out cycling test that allows for identifying the power output related to heavy and severe exercise intensities.

METHODS: Twenty-four recreationally active cyclists (16 men and 8 women) ingested a beverage containing either 0.4 g body mass (EtOH) or a placebo (PLA) solution. Thirty minutes following ingestion, they completed a 3-min all-out test to measure power output and determine the end-test power (EP) and the work done above EP (WEP).

RESULTS: Alcohol ingestion decreased WEP by 16% (EtOH: 5.6 ± 2.5 kJ vs. PLA: 6.7 ± 2.4 kJ; P = .003) but did not change EP (EtOH: 211 ± 44 W vs. PLA: 212 ± 44 W; P = .671). The alcohol-mediated effect in WEP was not influenced when controlling for participants' sex or accuracy in identifying the beverage ingested.

CONCLUSION: Our data indicate that alcohol ingestion impaired the anaerobic work capacity, as evidenced by the reduction in WEP during the 3-min all-out test. Moreover, the ability to exercise at an intensity above the heavy domain may be decreased after ingestion of a moderate alcohol dose.

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