by Anders JP Eskilsson
I’m squeezing myself through people to reach the crowded bar. Meanwhile really loud house music is blasting in the background and multi-colored spotlights are flashing all over the place. Finally I have reached my goal. The bartender greets me with, “Hi! What can I help you with?” “One Long Island Iced Tea, please,” I reply. “Sure! No problem, coming up!” I think better of my order, “No, no, wait. Make it a shot of Jägermeister, also. No, no make it three!” After some drinks, shots, late hours at the club without any food at all – just alcohol – you finally get a cab and manage to get home to your dark apartment. Stumbling on heavy feet, you finally lie down on the bed and fall asleep almost immediately.
The alarm clock screams: Bzzz! Bzzz! Bzzz! In response you perform the pillow over the head pose while you realize you’re enjoying a hangover… again! It feels like a train is rushing through your head every 10th second. “Oh, I have to…” You find yourself running to the bathroom, puking up booze mixed with whey protein. Looking down at the toilet bowl and suddenly getting flashbacks from yesterday’s spotlight colors –the difference is that it now comes from your stomach and not the club
Well, back in bed again trying to sleep but you’re half-awake with nausea and dizziness. It’s ten hours until you manage to move your ass out of bed. On wobbly feet, you make it to the kitchen and finally get your 30 grams of protein from a whey shake, vitamins and minerals plus fish oil to reach some kind of balance again. Some have been here before in either heavier or lighter versions – and, unfortunately, some will be here again. Maybe for the 114th time you ask yourself – was it worth it?
Over the years, I have read questions concerning alcohol and training numerous times. How does alcohol affect my training? How much can I drink without my training suffering? Are hangovers bad for my training results? Well, we have many different answers to these questions.
This article will examine the psychological and disciplinary questions and some of the physical effects of consuming alcohol. It is mainly written for those aiming to compete in bodybuilding, started training a short while ago, and/or for those seeking muscle perfection.
Some say, “Well, 2 to 3 beers are not a problem when you are working out every week,” and I’ll bet they’re right, but not everyone can drink just a few beers and then go home. Bodybuilders are eccentric personalities; “All or Nothing” people. This is why drinking alcohol can be a problem, especially in the long run.
There are reasons why the NFL, NBA and NHL write alcohol and tobacco prohibit contracts with many players. They want their team members to reach their potential and be the best they can be. Of course, there’s big money involved, and no one can deny that it’s working. The players are making better results partly due to these contracts.
In others sports like MMA, you can wonder where fighters like UFC welterweight world champion Georges St. Pierre or heavyweight champ Cain Velasquez would be if they drank and partied hard during preparation for upcoming fights.
In my opinion, there is no difference when it comes to a competitive bodybuilder when he or she wants to compete or decides to chase a physical goal.
Everyone needs to let loose sometimes
Don’t get me wrong here, I do agree that partying is part of life, but when it comes to achieving goals it can destroy the mindset of bodybuilding. I know that you can use this discipline in other parts or phases or sections of life, like in work or study.
Choosing the mindset before alcohol will build both self esteem and discipline that can follow you the rest of your life. Bodybuilding is a lifestyle and a lifestyle that is adaptable to other areas of life. Some people use the discipline learnt from all the years in the gym and later on convert this mindset into successful entrepreneurship.
Backyards of Bodybuilding
Many knowledgeable people of bodybuilding have said Chris Cormier is an example of how partying can hurt someone’s career and that’s the reason he didn’t reach further into the top ranking of the IFBB. Chris Cormier was very gifted genetically but he didn’t have what 6-time Mr. Olympia Dorian Yates had, the warrior mentality, preparing for war each time he prepared to compete on a pro stage.
Another well-known name in the industry is the former top bodybuilder Craig Titus. If he would have played his cards right while he was competing he could possibly have been a top contender for the title of Mr. Olympia. He really had that potential and a quasi-looking physique of a Jay Cutler.
Instead, Titus chose the ultimate crazy lifestyle including heavy abuse of recreational drugs. I would not be surprised if he would have been diagnosed clinically as a psychopath. Diagnosed or not, Titus let his potential get lost to the backstreets of bodybuilding. In the end of his eccentric lifestyle Titus and his wife Kelly Ryan were charged with the murder of their assistant, Melissa James, in 2005. Titus is currently serving 21 to 55 years in prison while Kelly was sentenced to two consecutive terms of 6-17 years in prison.
The last thing you need when you’re on the juice is extra strain to your kidneys and liver. This is also a good reason to stay away from all alcohol. And there’s the money issue! A good cycle can be really expensive and needs your full focus and determination. One other thing to be concerned with is all the unnecessary calories that come from both beers and liquor.
Another important issue to consider is the following study that has scientifically proved that consuming alcohol and suffering from hangovers has shown to decrease natural levels of testosterone! According to: Ylikahri, M. Huttunen, M. Härkönen, U. Seuderling, S. Onikki, S.-L. Karonen, H. Adlercreutz “Low plasma testosterone values in men during hangover” Journal of Steroid Biochemistry, Volume 5, Issue 7, (November 1974), Pages 655-658
Final Words I can assure you that you will never achieve your peak potential if you party harder than you train. Instead of becoming one of the Jersey Shore retards stay true to your goals. You simply can’t have your cake and eat it as well.
Consider your alcohol consumption while planning to achieve your goals – and how all the money spent on food and supplements partially is washed away just to feel slammed for a couple of hours with a hangover as a result.