I was listening to one of Jillian Michaels's podcasts yesterday and she was slamming ibuprofen and other NSAIDS because they hinder the body's ability to recover and can even break down muscle tissue. This freaked me out a little, because I probably take 6 - 10 tablets of Vitamin I a week.
But before I throw out all the bottles of my treasured little brown pills, I did some internet searching of my own. This article says:
Many people believe that taking an NSAID precludes muscle growth. That is not what the research says. The research says it attenuates the post-exercise increase in protein synthesis; however, protein synthesis is still significantly increased over baseline levels. Therefore, despite taking an NSAID you can still grow big muscles. This makes sense. An NSAID works on prostaglandins which are just one of many mediators of inflammation . These other mediators are still functioning correctly and proceed with tissue repair .
Here's the abstract of a study on pain relievers and muscle proteins. Its summary:
These results suggest that over-the-counter doses of both ibuprofen and acetaminophen suppress the protein synthesis response in skeletal muscle after eccentric resistance exercise. Thus these two analgesics may work through a common mechanism to influence protein metabolism in skeletal muscle.
Yeah, that clears it all up, doesn't it? I'm not an elite athlete or body builder, so it's not a huge deal to me. But I am nearing my 40th birthday and need every fiber of muscle I can hold on to.
I suppose just like anything, moderation is key. So I'm going to start mixing up my pain reliever usage. This morning when I was feeling some pain, I reached for a bottle of Tylenol instead of ibuprofen. But I'll still be popping a couple of brown pills the morning of my half marathon.
Got in a great run yesterday, outside in the sunshine and upper 50s. In shorts, no less (my poor legs are so white, I hope I didn't blind anyone driving by me). Since I had Garmin with me, I've got real digits to share:
3.5 miles in 36:59: avg. pace 10:33
Lap 1: 10:21
Lap 2: 10:46
Lap 3: 10:46
Lap 4: 10:06