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This study was designed to investigate the effects of alcohol consumption on recovery of muscle force when consumed immediately postexercise in young females. Eight young women completed 300 maximal eccentric actions of the quadriceps femoris muscle on an isokinetic dynamometer on two occasions in a randomized, cross-over design after which an alcoholic beverage (0.88g ethanol/kg body weight) or an iso-caloric placebo was consumed. Maximal isokinetic (concentric and eccentric) torque and isometric tension produced across the knee were measured in both the exercised and control leg predamage, 36 hr post, and 60 hr post damage. Venous blood creatine kinase (CK) activity and muscle soreness ratings were taken before damage and once per day to 60 hr post damage. Significant differences were observed between the exercised and control leg for maximal concentric, and eccentric torque and isometric tension (p < .05). A near significant Treatment × Time interaction was observed for isometric tension (p = .077), but not for concentric or eccentric torque. No main effects of treatment (alcohol) or interactions with Time × Leg or Leg × Treatment were observed. Perceived muscle soreness during box stepping and squatting showed significant time effects (p < .05), and CK activity did not significantly change. Our results indicate that the consumption of 0.88g ethanol/kg body weight following eccentric exercise-induced muscle damage does not affect recovery in the days following damage in females.
McLeay, Stannard, Mundel, and Barnes are with the School of Sport and Exercise, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand. Foskett is with the School of Sport and Exercise, Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand.