Given the fact that the holidays are now upon us, it seems only right that I should rehash the benefits of alcohol consumption on the strength athlete, since everyone's going to be fucked-in-half drunk for the bulk of the next month. As I posited previously, it's going to happen whether or not you believe it will have a positive impact on your gains, as extreme risk takers are prone to bouts of binge drinking. Beyond that though, there are plenty of reasons why drinking's not the enemy to gainz in the way Jeff Foxworthy is an enemy to comedy you might still think it is.
Good strength athletes are, by and large, risk-taking attention seekers who live in a world where maintenance of the status quo is as unthinkable as running a 24 hour brothel and meth lab out of their parents' basement . Compounding this is the all-American work-yourself-around-the-fucking-clock ethic, to which people who are extremely competitive are even more susceptible to driving themselves to the brink (or in my case, far enough past it I might start bottling my own urine soon) of insanity. Psychologists have an explanation for why, then, people of our ilk like to get fucked-in-half drunk or high as shit on a semi-regular basis:
"[The elite] are expected to work hard year round. Even play is work – camp is for honing athletic skills, losing weight, learning to write or make movies – that is, almost anything but just plain fun. So no wonder that by the time they get to college, adolescents are anxious, depressed and stressed out. How do they deal with these feelings? They work hard at what they see as relaxation – like binge drinking. Ask any of these youngsters, and they will tell you they are trying to get drunk because it’s the best way they know to have fun. They are working at playing the way they have learned to work at living" (Barth).Given that analysis, it stands to reason that people who kills the fucking weights 6 days a week, sometimes multiple times a day, might need the occasional evening of watching tentacle rape hentai with their underwear on their head while fucked up on vicodin and vodka. It's not as though people who are constantly killing themselves at self-improvement would ratchet down the intensity whatsoever when they're trying to relax- it's not possible. Being brutal is wired into the self-conscious just as not masturbating and white knighting chicks on internet message boards is wired into the psyche of every dude under the age of 27 who's at a bodyweight of 150 lbs or less.
Quad growth might suffer.
Ah, but you might have caught on that the greatest benefits of drinking come when you're a "moderate" drinker. A cursory search of psychological journals puts "moderate" drinking at 2.5 to 5 drinks per day, depending on the source, which means you get between 17 and 35 drinks a week to remain moderate. That's a hell of a lot of shots, in my book, and is the perfect segue to the crux of this post- getting fucked up post workout brings the gainz. Scientists recently discovered, and I am not making this up, that consuming a drink containing grain alcohol (like Tucker Max's "Tucker Death Mix") raised both free and total testosterone for five hours post workout, whereas those who did not consume the frat boy rapist punch had their test levels fall below baseline. Happily, the alcohol had no effect on cortisol or estradiol levels, so the dudes in the study were just floating in a sea of dying brain cells and testosterone-fueled awesomeness (Vingren).
How much is enough to get the nearly 100% boost in testosterone postworkout science has recorded? It depends on your bodyweight. For matters of convenience and exigency, I decided to make a little chart for you guys to give you the proper dosage to spike your test levels properly using the study's 1.09mg/kg bodyweight ratio organized by weight class, as this is after all an article aimed at serious lifters. For the Oly guys and IPF/USAPL (/sadfaceissad) among you, these are the weight classes that existed before the IOC decided that you guys couldn't hang with the old school lifters.
How the fucking guys in the study made it home is a mystery- they sure as hell didn't drive, and if they did, they didn't live, because they slammed that shit in 10 minutes. I can drink with the best of them, but I've never faced half a liter of vodka in ten minutes- that's some Decline of Western Civilization style drinking, and I'm not sure I can hang with the likes of 1980s hair metal bands.
Bring tha gainz.
In other words, here is your plan for the holidays- whenever you're planning to party, smash the fuck out of some weights, slam a shake, and then drink yourself into a coma. According to science, you'll awaken with a steel hardon (and who doesn't get horny as fuck when hungover?), muscle gain, fat loss, and an appreciation for what Peter The Great's life must have been like before he died of a gangrenous bladder.
Dude literally made people take a shot every 15 minutes at his parties and would punch them in the face if they remained sober.
Alcohol equivalence. Wikipedia. Web. 29 Nov 2013. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcohol_equivalence
Barth, FD. Can’t Relax? Science Explains—and Helps Solve the Problem. Psychology Today. 13 Jul 2013. Web. 26 Nov 2013. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-couch/201307/can-t-relax-science-explains-and-helps-solve-the-problem
Brodsky, Archie. S. Peele & M. Grant (Eds.). Alcohol’s Role in a Broader Conception of Health and Well-being. Alcohol and pleasure: A health perspective, Philadelphia: Brunner/Mazel, pp. 187-207.
Darkes, J., & Goldman, M.S. (1993). Expectancy challenge and drinking reduction: Experimental evidence for a mediational process. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 61, 344-53.
Drinking booze after workouts boosts testosterone. Muscular Development. Dec 2013. 198.
Goldman, M.S., Brown, S.A., & Christiansen, B.A. (1987). Expectancy theory: Thinking about drinking. In H.T. Blane & K.E. Leonard (Eds.), Psychological theories of drinking and alcoholism (pp. 181-226). New York: Guilford.
Ultimate Post-Workout Testosterone Booze: Hard Liquor Increases Late PWO Testosterone Levels by Almost 100%. SuppVersity. 11 Mar 2013. Web. 29 Nov 2013. http://suppversity.blogspot.com/2013/03/ultimate-post-workout-testosterone.html
Vingren JL, Hill DW, Buddhadev H, Duplanty A. Post-Resistance Exercise Ethanol Ingestion and Acute Testosterone Bioavailability. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2013 Mar 6.