Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen Inhibit Muscle Protein Synthesis

Intense weight training often leaves athletes with sore joints and muscles. Many take drugs like ibuprofen and acetaminophen to cut the pain. This is a mistake. A study led by Todd Trapp and Eileen Weinheimer from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana found that both drugs inhibited protein synthesis after weight training. These drugs block the production of cyclooxygenase (COX), which stimulates the production of inflammatory chemicals called prostaglandins. Inflammation is painful, but it is the body’s way of coping with cell injury and irritation. Some inflammation appears critical for promoting protein synthesis following weight training. Bodybuilders should minimize the use of ibuprofen and acetaminophen. (American Journal of Physiology Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, 292: R2241- R2248, 2007)

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