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  • #51095

    Hi All,

    I have heard various opinions on advil and tylenol (just covering the two generics) related to running. It seems like the general opinion is that they definitely pose a risk in endurance events when your body could be running low on fluids. Personally, I somewhat doubt that there is any major risk of damage to kidney function in most training cases (I only train 8hr a week on avg), but could see the risk for race days. Also, it seems like MDs recommend avoiding the anti-imflammatories post-workout to avoid muddling with the recovery cycle.

    I was wondering if anyone can provide some real world experiences about this. I personally don’t take advil/tylenol very often, but will occasionally take on days following training if muscle soreness or joint pain is especially high. Additionally, I will take advil the night before or morning of days I know that I will be gaining a lot of vert at alt to avoid onset of AMS, which may be misguided in itself.



Posted In: Injury & Rehab

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    jakedev on #51098

    Hi there,

    So from what I have learned through conversations is that there is some small amount of studies that may indicate that chronic use of ibuprofen (ingredient of Advil) may interfere with protein synthesis and subsequently can interfere with long term performance gains. I am unsure how much ibuprofen the participants were taking and I am unsure if the same holds for acetaminophen (generic name for Tylenol).

    Everyone needs to figure out what works for them but I for one avoid taking any anti inflammatories. I already am not good at listening to my body and blunting the soreness or pain is a surefire way for me to overtrain and get hurt. I have supplemented soreness with ice cold showers, mobility, and foam rolling.

    Idiotic as it sounds I never drank protein shakes at all until this year and that makes a big difference when done within an hour of finishing a major ME or MAX session. I know that’s common knowledge but I’m slow to the party I guess.

    Thomas Summer, MD on #51105

    Hi Brett,

    thank you for this question! I think it’s an important one because the use of these drugs is quite common.

    Anti-inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen are good in treating muscle and joint pain (but they don’t cure it), but they also have lots of side effects:
    – they damage the kidneys (I know several athletes with acute kidney failure after a race, when taking ibuprofen),
    – they cause bleeding in your stomach (this can lead to many chronic problems, including low iron)
    – they can hinder the training adaptation
    – they can make an injury worse if you train through it when the pain is reduced
    and many more.

    Acetaminophen acts a bit differently, with the main side effect of liver damage.

    So the recommendation is to only take it when you need it. Take it to relieve the pain of an injury (but then stop training and don’t push through it with the drugs). I would not recommend taking it post workout, because you could hinder the adaptation. And you probably want to know how your body reacts to the training, so you can tell what was too much!? Don’t take it before competitions, because that can bring some serious risks. If you take this medication before a big goal or objective you should be aware of the risks and decide if it’s actually needed and/or appropriate.

    I hope that helps!?
    enjoy the pain after a good training session in the mountains!;-)

    turboRunning on #51225

    Hi Thomas and Jake,

    Thanks for the responses, all seems like fairly intuitive sound advice.

    Jake, that’s an interesting claim about protein synthesis… I may do some extra research into that. Also, wow welcome to the party! As someone who doesn’t consume a ton of meat, I would simply not get by without protein shakes to supplement. I also either add a lot of carb heavy fruit and veggies like bananas, dates, spinach etc or I use a few scoops of specifically carb heavy supplements. I find that most protein powders you find off-the-shelf don’t have nearly enough carbs for recovery.

    Thomas, great points about the downsides to use of pain-relievers/anti-inflammatories. I don’t normally take them much except with exceptional pain or objective based usage described, but most of my sports-medicine coaches were not at all shy of them at all… All the points in this thread have me completely reconsidering why an athlete might use advil/tylenol for daily soreness/pain at all.

    Typically, I would have likely pre-medicated with Advil for any objective over 3500m, but I think I will give more thought to the necessity of it in the future.



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