Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen as training aids?

Stumbled across this blog post today at Training Thoughts which points at some interesting research reported at physorg.com.

From the article summary:

Ibuprofen or acetaminophen in long-term resistance training increases muslce mass/strength.

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.
As the blog post at Training Thoughts points out, neither ibuprofen or acetaminophen should be used casually.

I have (apparently) been doing my own research on this myself over the last few months. The broken (now almost healed) collarbone has led to a large amount of muscle pain all the way from my right elbow through the shoulder into my neck (a pre-existing calcification of the shoulder). Not actually too bad during the day (and I never have any pain when I'm actually on the bike, at least for under two to three hours...) But it can be very bad at night. So I'm typically medicating with a dose of Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen so I can get some sleep.

And the training results since January have been reasonably good. With a CTL ramp that has (so far) exceeded last years. On the other hand, while my endurance is good, I don't feel my overall power (FTP) is up yet.

I don't think I would do this just for training though.

BTW I started doing the combination of ibuprofen and acetaminophen after doing some research in Jan/Feb to see if there was anything current about either causing problems with fractures healing. I couldn't find any current research that said anything other than previous studies (showing a possible problem with ibuprofen) where probably incorrect and not statistically relevant. And stumbled across some suggestions that the combination of ibuprofen and acetaminophen was typically almost as effective as T3 (acetaminophen plus codeine.)