Abstract The present study examined the influence of ingesting a moderate dose of alcohol on platelet count and platelet aggregation during recovery following exercise. Nineteen subjects (11 male and 8 female) were studied immediately after a standardised cycle ergometer test and during the 24-h period of recovery. In random order, alcohol (0.7 g/kg body mass) was given 1 h after exercise on one test occasion, while an equal volume of alcohol-free solution was administered on the other. Venous blood samples were obtained at baseline, post-exercise, and at 1, 5, and 22 h post-alcohol ingestion. Blood alcohol level increased significantly 1 h after the ingestion of alcohol, but decreased and returned to the resting baseline level at 5 h during recovery. Males and females subjects exhibited similar mean values of platelet count, platelet aggregation, and beta-thromboglobulin concentration at rest and following exercise and recovery. A significant increase in platelet count and a decrease in platelet aggregation using adenosine diphosphate (ADP) was found following exercise. Although plasma beta-thromboglobulin level (pooled data for males and females) showed an increase by 26.0% (from a mean pre-exercise value of 22.3–28.1 IU/ml), this rise was not significant ( P>.05). The post-exercise increase in platelet count was mainly due to exercise-induced plasma volume loss. During recovery, while the increase in platelet count post-exercise returned to the baseline level in control and alcohol trials, the optical density of platelet aggregation remained significantly depressed at 5-h during recovery in the alcohol trial but not in the normal control condition. It is concluded that exercise induces significant reduction in platelet aggregation and the consumption of alcohol after physical exercise delays the normal return of platelet aggregation to the resting baseline levels during recovery.