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The effects of ibuprofen on muscle hypertrophy, strength, and soreness during resistance training.

Krentz JR, Quest B, Farthing JP, Quest DW, Chilibeck PD.

College of Kinesiology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada.

Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2008 Jun;33(3):470-5.


High doses of ibuprofen have been shown to inhibit muscle protein synthesis after a bout of resistance exercise. We determined the effect of a moderate dose of ibuprofen (400 mg x d(-1)) consumed on a daily basis after resistance training on muscle hypertrophy and strength. Twelve males and 6 females (approximately 24 years of age) trained their right and left biceps on alternate days (6 sets of 4-10 repetitions), 5 d x week(-1), for 6 weeks. In a counter-balanced, double-blind design, they were randomized to receive 400 mg x d(-1) ibuprofen immediately after training their left or right arm, and a placebo after training the opposite arm the following day. Before- and after-training muscle thickness of both biceps was measured using ultrasound and 1 repetition maximum (1 RM) arm curl strength was determined on both arms. Subjects rated their muscle soreness daily. There were time main effects for muscle thickness and strength (p < 0.01). Ibuprofen consumption had no effect on muscle hypertrophy (muscle thickness of biceps for arm receiving ibuprofen: pre 3.63 +/- 0.14, post 3.92 +/- 0.15 cm; and placebo: pre 3.62 +/- 0.15, post 3.90 +/- 0.15 cm) and strength (1 RM of arm receiving ibuprofen: pre 18.6 +/- 2.8, post 23.4 +/- 3.5 kg; and placebo: pre 18.8 +/- 2.8, post 22.8 +/- 3.4 kg). Muscle soreness was elevated during the first week of training only, but was not different between the ibuprofen and placebo arm. We conclude that a moderate dose of ibuprofen ingested after repeated resistance training sessions does not impair muscle hypertrophy or strength and does not affect ratings of muscle soreness.

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