DO PAINKILLERS AFFECT GAINS?

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Eight weeks of using a high daily dose (1,200mg) of ibuprofen does seem to inhibit both hypertrophy and strength development. However, previous research has shown that lower doses (400mg) may not and that the dosage in the present study could even enhance muscular adaptation in older adults.

Mechanism

The mechanism by which ibuprofen suppresses inflammation and muscle damage also suppresses muscle damage-induced satellite cell activation. However, this mechanism can also suppress mechanical tension-induced satellite cell activation.  Thus, this study is not definitive evidence of a causative role of muscle damage for hypertrophy (although a causative role of damage is still plausible).

NSAID use

Short-term use of NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug) is highly unlikely to negatively impact skeletal muscle adaptation. Indeed, training periods where hypertrophy is not a major focus and joint pain is high might warrant short-term use of NSAIDs. As a plausible example, in the final few weeks prior to a powerlifting meet, where the cumulative strain of heavy loading can result in joint pain and subsequent strength inhibition, NSAID use might actually be helpful in the short term.

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Source:
High‐doses of anti‐inflammatory drugs compromise muscle strength and hypertrophic adaptations to resistance training in young adults. DOI: 10.1111/apha.12948

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