Gym, Sleep, BCAA's, and Budweiser: The Four Best Friends I've Ever Had

January 15, 2015

Gym, Sleep, BCAA's, and Budweiser: The Four Best Friends I've Ever Had

Photo Credit: BCAA's

My life is pretty simple. It revolves around hanging out with my three best friends whom I see on a regular basis. I consider myself the “leader” of the group, acting as the glue that keeps this dysfunctional posse together and on track with our daily routine.

Gym (pronounced Jim), is the friend I’ve known the longest. Gym has stuck by my side through thick and thin - quite literally actually.

Then we have ZzZz (pronounced Aziz - he’s foreign), who tends to be on the quiet side. He’s a complete introvert and doesn’t like going out at night, but for some reason we always feel ZzZz deprived when he’s not around.

Hangover Finally, we have our insane, life of the party friend, Bud Weiser. Whenever we go out with him we always have phenomenal stories, but he’s only tolerable in small doses. After that point, Gym and ZzZz’s relationship with Bud begins to turn sour.

I know what you’re thinking: “What a motley crew of studs.” Yes, while that may be true, I was in a real tough spot here. The more I brought Bud around, the more we all suffered. After a late night out with Bud, I would always wake up irritable, which in turn, really pissed off Gym and ZzZz because it’s less quality time spent with them.

Balancing any friendship trio is a feat I challenge any of you to undertake, as there is always one odd man out. Before almost giving up all hope, I had an epiphany: I needed to get things on an even playing field. I realized I had to find a fourth to even out my friendship trifecta if I wanted to continue to foster any one of these relationships without changing my beloved lifestyle.

I sent out ads on Craigslist. I spent countless hours on Facebook. I consulted people that work with Gym. Sh*t, I even tried Tinder. Nothing was working. Finally, like a sign sent from the heavens, I was introduced to Beatriz Camilla-Anna Alvarez (BCAA for short) through a friend that studied abroad with her in college. She was exactly what we needed. The addition of a kind-hearted female like BCAA was enough to heal the mounting tension between Gym, ZzZz, and Bud Weiser.


You know, it’s funny... My same exact friendship conundrum has an astoundingly familiar ring to it. It’s almost like my story is subtly (or not so subtly) hinting at the relationship between working out, sleeping to recover your muscles from said workout, and the way in which drinking alcohol interferes with your progress. Wait, how does Beatriz Camilla-Anna Alvarez play into this weird-ass story? Well, BCAA’s are the way I am able to continue my (bad) habit of drinking in excess without sacrificing my workouts and most importantly, rest and recovery. Genius.

The damage done to your muscles when participating in high intensity physical activity requires ample amount of rest in order to recover your muscles - which is the only way they grow. Drinking alcohol interferes with your quality and quantity of sleep, which deteriorate levels of HGH and testosterone up to 70%. As if that figure isn’t enough of a deterrent, alcohol also dehydrates your muscles to the point they can no longer perform protein synthesis, which is the process converting protein into fuel for your muscles. That same dehydration is also responsible for that terrible, vomit-inducing headache you have the morning after drinking...

The issue is, I enjoy drinking (Bud Weiser) way too much to not do it as much as I do. There is no way I am going to compromise on that. Enter my new BFF, BCAA’s (Branch Chain Amino Acids). By consuming between a total of 5-10g of BCAA’s before and after working out or a night of drinking, your muscles avoid reaching a catabolic state and begin the process of protein synthesis. That same dose of BCAA’s also enables your body to flush out (the majority of) toxins it was flooded with the night prior - meaning, you got it, minimal to no hangover.

Moral of the story:

Don’t get it twisted. Alcohol is perhaps the worst substance to consume while working to build muscle and lose fat (Click here for the study). Realistically speaking, having a few drinks is something even the most extreme gym rats indulge in. When they do, they ensure none of their hard work is wasted by maximizing their recovery process through the supplementation of BCAA’s after a workout, before drinking, and the morning after drinking. Not only will your muscles thank you, but so will your head, stomach and energy levels when you’re not waking up on your hangover death bed!

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