New Risks of Preemptive Ibuprofen

Do you regularly pop Advil before class? It may be time to cut back.

Experts say rigorous exercise causes slight intestinal trauma simply by sending blood to working muscles that would ordinarily flow to the small intestine. That sort of damage tends to be temporary, however, correcting itself once a body returns to rest. The risk is in combining ibuprofen (whose most common side-effect is gastrointestinal damage) and exercise, a preventative treatment widely practiced among athletes.

According to a new study, taking ibuprofen before exercising causes intestinal leakage significantly more severe than when ibuprofen is taken before resting. If you were to use ibuprofen before every exercise session, these findings suggest bacteria and digestive enzymes could begin leaking regularly into your bloodstream. Icky.

Bottom line: The preemptive approach could be doing more harm than good. When it comes to taking anti-inflammatory meds, stick to post-workout relief.

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