How Painkillers Hamper Athletic Performance

athletic performance

Is it acute injury or normal aches and pains related to exercise?

This is the question all athletes should ask themselves before they reach for the painkillers. Non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs, NSAIDs for short, such as advil and ibuprofen, are ubiquitous in the athletic world because they offer pain relief for many of the aches and pains that are part and parcel of working out. They provide this pain relief by blocking the body’s production of prostaglandins, which are partly responsible for the body’s perception of pain. However, there are also good prostaglandins, like the ones that protect your stomach lining. Painkillers interfere with athletic performance by:

  • Limiting hypertrophy and preventing the efficient recovery of muscles and connective tissue
  • Contributing to overuse syndrome by tricking your body into ignoring pain
  • Interfering with protein synthesis
  • Inhibits nutrient absorption

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