Effects of Ibuprofen On Muscle Hypertrophy and Inflammation: A Review of Literature

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Kinesiology and Nutrition


Purpose of Review: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are commonly used for post-exercise recovery and reduction of muscle soreness and pain. While many studies have contradictory results on whether NSAIDs hinder the post-exercise recovery process, this study sought to identify more clearly the effects of NSAIDs on the exercise-induced inflammatory response, muscle protein synthesis, and overall post-exercise muscle recovery.

Recent Findings: NSAID ingestion is common for the reduction of delayed onset muscle soreness after exercise or to decrease pain and inflammation during the rehabilitation of a muscle injury. However, there is evidence that while NSAIDs reduce the activity of cyclooxygenase (Cox-2) which generates prostaglandins that mediate inflammation and pain, they may also play a role in the reduction of protein synthesis and slow the restoration of functional recovery by disrupting the natural anti-inflammatory response during muscle recovery.

Summary: While most of the ten articles selected for this review had low-participant numbers, they provided evidence that large doses of NSAIDs used after high-intensity interval training can reduce muscle protein synthesis and hypertrophy while lower doses have little to no effect on these factors. Thus, taking large doses of NSAIDs can be detrimental to muscle recovery and hypertrophy after exercise training. Further research is required to determine the varying effects of different NSAIDs and dosages.

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Current Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Reports

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