Taking Ibuprofen before a big race could lead to nasty stomach problems

Taking Ibuprofen and other anti-inflammatory NSAID's has become a popular pre-race ritual for many runners looking to reduce muscle soreness. Now, research has looked at the risk of gastrointestinal problems from taking Ibuprofen and the results aren't good.

Ibuprofen may cause gastrointestinal problems in runners and other athletes - rhedeg.co.uk - The very best runs in Wales

The study specifically looked at what effects taking Ibuprofen could have on otherwise healthy athletes after exercise. The results were recently published in the Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise journal.

"...The men were assessed for small intestinal injury and the results were clear. All the men showed signs of Leaky gut..."

It builds on a 2011 study where participants had to do an hours hard cycling. The results showed that after intense exercise the intestines are starved of blood and showed indications of gut barrier dysfunction.

The researchers wanted to see what difference taking Ibuprofen might have on the gut in the first ever study of its kind. Nine healthy men were recruited to take part in several sessions of rigorous cycling. The night before one session and the morning of another the men took 400mg of ibuprofen. They then completed a session having not taken any Ibuprofen.

Its common for researchers to use cycling in scientific studies as it's so easy to monitor the level of effort and control the results.

The men were assessed for small intestinal injury and the results were clear. All the men showed signs of Leaky gut. This condition could cause toxins and bacteria to get through the gut into the bloodstream. This could lead to possible blood loss and anaemia.

However, the researchers did point out that the vast majority of people who take Ibuprofen before exercise or otherwise have nothing to fear. For most people, their body will adapt effectively. But if you do want to play it safe then pop a probiotic tablet or drink. Probiotics have been suggested as an effective solution to Leaky Gut.

Do you take Ibuprofen before a long run or race? Would you be concerned as a result of this study? let us know in the comments below?

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