Headache? Advil. Back pain? Advil. Sore muscles? Advil. Ibuprofen, the active ingredient in Advil, acts as an anti-inflammatory in the body and helps relieve pain.
Some people say that you shouldn’t take ibuprofen for pain if you’re trying to maximize your workout. Instead, they prefer to tough out the pain. Joint and lower back pain are common reasons for taking ibuprofen after exercise, but if ibuprofen negates your workout, should you simply tough out the pain?
First thing’s first, make sure ibuprofen works with your body. Ask your doctor before taking medications for pain. Even though Advil is relatively benign, it could cause complications. For dosage, you can either ask your doctor or follow the instructions on the bottle.
With that being said, what do scientists say about taking ibuprofen after exercise? A 2008 article published in Applied Physiology Nutrition and Metabolism confirms that high doses of ibuprofen taken after workouts can prevent you from building muscle.
The researchers wanted to see if low to moderate doses had the same effect. They had subjects take 400mg (roughly a standard dose) after workouts. The researchers found that ibuprofen didn’t block the muscle-building effects of the workout.
Interestingly, they found that it didn’t help reduce soreness either. That means you’re probably safe to take ibuprofen after a workout in small doses from an exercise perspective. However, don’t take it if your muscles are sore! Chances are, it won’t help much.