Ibuprofen and running, why they are potent combination…..


2012 I ran my first marathon.  Training was long and tough and like many runners I suffered from shin splints in the run up to the big day.

I did everything I could to get myself on track and ready for my first marathon but unfortunately I was still in considerable pain when the time came.

All that training…. All that effort… All that time….

I was still GOING TO DO THE MARATHON!!! But how was I going to manage the full 26.2mile?

I asked myself the question- should I take ibuprofen prior to the race? 

This is a question I frequently get asked by clients who are super keen to get back to pounding the trails or pavements or even to complete an event like myself.

While ibuprofen might help with a headache or with post-race inflammation, it can be too risky to take before a running event.

The risks of taking NSAIDs before or during a run are…

  1. kidney damage, because they inhibit hormones that help normalize blood flow to the kidneys.
  2. hyponatremia, an electrolyte imbalance that can cause the brain to swell.
  3. increased blood pressure. When you add this to exercise, your blood pressure could reach life-threatening levels.
  4. risk of heart attack because they block an enzyme called cyclooxygenase (COX) that normally protects the heart.

  5. nausea, diarrhea, intestinal bleeding,
    and cramps due to the blocking of the enzyme COX that also protects the stomach lining from digestive acids.

Did you know NSAIDs may cause more inflammation than running without? Some studies have shown that runners who took ibuprofen during a run had more inflammation than those who didn’t.

It is important to listen to your body.

If you have any pain or inflammation that occurs while running, pay attention. It is often a sign that something is not right and needs checking out.

Get out there, enjoy the sunshine and don’t forget to say hi if you see me puffing away on the streets of Cirencester!


PS the pic is of me out in Cirencester Park with Nala



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