Date of Completion


Degree Type

Honors Thesis


Health & Human Sciences (HHSC)

First Advisor

Todd Shoepe


College is a critical time in peak muscle mass development and evidence suggests heavy episodic drinking (HED), defined as four or more alcoholic drinks for females and five or more drinks for males in one sitting, may inhibit acute and chronic muscle remodeling. Muscle quality (MQ), or the strength per lean body mass, acts as an indicator of muscle performance and reflects the physiological, functional and structural composition of muscle tissue. The purpose of this study was to examine the acute and longitudinal effects of HED on MQ and other body compositional variables in college students. Methods: A total of 90 females (18.7±0.6 yrs; BMI 23.0±3.3 kg/m2) and 89 males (18.7±0.7 yrs; BMI 22.9±2.6 kg/m2) volunteered for this study. Regional body composition was assessed with dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry and MQ was determined by summing the maximal right and left handgrip strength divided by non-mineral lean mass of both arms. Acute effects were assessed for participants who self-reported HED in the 4-days prior to strength testing. Results: At baseline, males demonstrated a significantly (p