Well, take what I'm saying with a grain of salt as well, one of the interesting thing about physical fitness/bodybuilding/weightlifting is how differently each body responds. I never saw any development in my chest, despite strength gains, until I began incorporating flys as well as bench.
One of my brothers thinks I'm insane for using active recovery, the other swears by yoga.
It's hard to fully gauge what you are doing simply over a chat forum, so when I say "I agree with your buddy, work through the soreness" I don't understand how sore you actually are, and rest may be the best bet. I would say drinking is not the best nutritional choice, but you aren't drinking for your health... maybe to your health? As for amino acids, I'd have to ask a gorilla, but my gut says adequate protein (and other macro's) should be enough.