It is natural for one's muscles to get sore after a heavy workout and popping a painkiller comes to mind in order to soothe the pain. However, certain painkillers have been discovered to mess with muscle gains.
Working out (especially lifting dumbbells and leg workouts) build the quad muscles, however, following a new Swedish study, certain pain relievers which you ingest in order to soothe the pain post-workout can mess with the development of these quad muscles.
A new research was carried out at the Karolinska Instituet in Stockholm where 31 healthy men and women (aged 18-35) were randomly separated into two groups.
The first group ingested a Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug (NSAIDs) while the other group ingested Aspirin for the same period of time. A 1200mg dose of Ibuprofen was given to the first group whereas a 75mg dose was given to the second group.
During the period of ingesting the painkillers, both groups carried out leg workouts like knee extensions at least 2-3 times in a week after which the researchers biopsied their muscles and recorded their strength, growth as well as their anti-inflammatory markers.
With the use of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), the researchers discovered that the second group who took the lower dose of aspirin experienced twice the growth in their quad muscles as the first group who ingested a high dosage of Ibuprofen.
Following a close analysis of the muscle biopsies, it was discovered that the high doses of ibuprofen had reduced some markers for inflammation which in a general term was a good thing because lower levels of inflammation are ideal for one's overall health since high levels are known to cause heart disease, cancer and more.
However, one of the researchers at Department of Laboratory Medicine, Karolinska Instituet, Tommy Lundberg believed that the inflammatory process, when combined with strength training, was pivotal for muscle growth.
Following the research, young and middle age guys are better off using proper recovery to deal with muscle soreness instead of pills. Getting a long rest or de-loading your body to give it a break is advised as it is not only good for your muscles but bones as well.