T Nation

Ibuprofen & Acetaminophen?

“Taking daily recommended dosages of ibuprofen and acetaminophen caused a substantially greater increase over placebo in the amount of quadriceps muscle mass and muscle strength gained during three months of regular weight lifting, in a study by physiologists at the Human Performance Laboratory, Ball State University.”

I ran into this article and wondered if there have been similar results from some other study? The sample is a bit small, but then again, I’m not an expert on bio research.

Effect of ibuprofen and acetaminophen on postexercise muscle protein synthesis

T. A. Trappe1, F. White1, C. P. Lambert1, D. Cesar2, M. Hellerstein2, and W. J. Evans1

1 Nutrition, Metabolism, and Exercise Laboratory, Donald W. Reynolds Center on Aging, Departments of Geriatrics and Physiology and Biophysics, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, and the Central Arkansas Veterans HealthCare System, Little Rock, Arkansas 72205; and 2 Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720-3104

We examined the effect of two commonly consumed over-the-counter analgesics, ibuprofen and acetaminophen, on muscle protein synthesis and soreness after high-intensity eccentric resistance exercise. Twenty-four males (25 ± 3 yr, 180 ± 6 cm, 81 ± 6 kg, and 17 ± 8% body fat) were assigned to one of three groups that received either the maximal over-the-counter dose of ibuprofen (IBU; 1,200 mg/day), acetaminophen (ACET; 4,000 mg/day), or a placebo (PLA) after 10-14 sets of 10 eccentric repetitions at 120% of concentric one-repetition maximum with the knee extensors. Postexercise (24 h) skeletal muscle fractional synthesis rate (FSR) was increased 76 ± 19% (P < 0.05) in PLA (0.058 ± 0.012%/h) and was unchanged (P > 0.05) in IBU (35 ± 21%; 0.021 ± 0.014%/h) and ACET (22 ± 23%; 0.010 ± 0.019%/h). Neither drug had any influence on whole body protein breakdown, as measured by rate of phenylalanine appearance, on serum creatine kinase, or on rating of perceived muscle soreness compared with PLA. 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.

Interesting stuff, I was always under the impression that ibuprofen hindered muscle gains, though it seems that it does in the short term, from the other study they were referring to.

Why are all the participants over 60 though? Wonder if the effects are the same in younger individuals?

End of study. As has been well known for many years, long-term use of NSAIDs has some very nasty side-effects. In short: don’t do it.