I’m working on a “Letter to my 20 year old self” about avoiding booze and sweet foods and other forms of cheap dopamine, because back then I had NO IDEA that a thing called “THE GAME” is to chase the highest possible Baseline Dopamine levels as measured by milligram per deciliter in blood.

I’m competitive. My friends liked to drink/party, so my goal was to beat them in that endeavor. The problem is that was the INCORRECT game.

Here’s what does NOT work with me as it is related to avoiding booze…. Prohibition. Being “good” for the sake of avoiding being bad and having a bad outcome. If the game is to move through the gauntlet of booze-risks like it’s an obstacle course with judicial entanglements as the traps, pitfalls, and swinging axes, then only a pussy doesn’t take that challenge. The harder the gauntlet the bigger the challenge…. 

So telling 20-year-old-me to avoid “The Gauntlet” is a waste. I wouldn’t have listened. I thought about this for many hours, and FINALLY figured out what makes a beer buzz SO fun… it’s the DAYDREAMING. I pretty much think that throwing back 3 Busch Lights in a half hour really LIGHTS-UP the part of the brain responsible for Daydreaming. I haven’t found any research to support this hypothesis, but I suspect it regardless. Fast-moving daydreams, especially with friends also hitting this altered state, especially in a college dorm, floods so much Dopamine into the bloodstream that the hypothalamus that dumped it all at once get wrung out.

 The problem now is MIND-NUMBING boredom for several WEEKS. There’s ZERO daydreams for a month after the Hypothalamus is wrung dry… (unless you do it again using 6 bears instead of three).
The problem with beers/sugary drinks/and caffeine after 10 AM is that the REST OF THE TIME spent is BORING AF. 

The Dopamine spike one gets from the items above, like the early stages of drinking, create a Dopamine spike. This HIJACKS the Homeostasis of the neurotransmitter pathway in the central nervous system. To even things back out, the endocrine system will COLLAPSE dopamine production. Dopamine is the SEEKING hormone. Without it, you WILL be super bored, so drinking is a loan on your endocrine system’s FUTURE dopamine system, paid back with 200% interest.

The surest way to lose THE GAME is booze.
The cool thing about not drinking for long enough is that NOTHING IS EVER BORING. Nothing. Not even staring at a wall, because one’s IMAGINATION will simply kick in. Given a few moments of boredom, the natural mind will create a fun TV to watch. But just one beer every few days, or any sweets after 10 AM, then the mind can’t make its own TV shows for at least 2 weeks… at least not for me personally. 

That’s information that I wish my 20-year old self would have had.
Ok, so how was 20-year-old me to get through college without beer?
Bigger muscles. Duh.

One millimeter diameter increase per month is all the growth required to BLAST dopamine/endorphins/adrenaline.
True, one millimeter per month is hard to come by for an Advanced lifter who is natural. Gains that small are only visible with photos over a long time… but they do add up.  A millimeter per month, at least for ME, is only achievable with strict consistency to diet/training, but that feature is a benefit, not a hindrance. If it was easy, then everyone would do it, and then there’d be no dopamine boost from it.
Live Sore. Hard choices make for an easy life. Easy choices make for a hard life. Avoid comfort, comfort will make you old, and listen to me 20-year-old self, your superpower is your ability to stay young a really long time if you learn “THE GAME”.
Bryan Lutter