Sunday, January 16, 2011
Running and Ibuprofen
As you may know, I had a nice long training run last weekend with 17,000 other people. :) And, being the social person that I am, I chatted with quite a few of them. There was a common theme that emerged - the use of ibuprofen to prevent post-race soreness. Now, I love, love, love me some ibuprofen but I never take it before a run. Here's why:
About a year ago, a friend of mine wound up in the hospital in renal (kidney) failure. Now, this guy is young and healthy and there's absolutely no reason he should have had any kidney problems at all. It turned out, though, that he had taken 800 milligrams of ibuprofen immediately before a two-hour racquetball session. Two hours of intense exercise + ibuprofen led to kidney failure in a 28-year old with no predisposing factors.
Now, I am a nurse, but this shocked me. Honestly, I knew that ibuprofen could be tough on the kidneys but I had no idea it could precipitate an acute renal failure in an otherwise healthy person. And just two hours of exercise?? I don't know about you, but two hours is certainly not unheard of for me - that's 11-12 miles if I'm on my game. I'm willing to bet that most of you have run or biked or exercised in some way for two hours straight in the past, and probably will do so again.
So, I did a little research and found that, while not exactly common, it certainly isn't that unusual for endurance athletes to have problems with ibuprofen. Now, I'm not saying that I think you shouldn't take ibuprofen, but I did want to make all of you aware of the issue so that you could do your own research and make up your own minds.
To that end, here are a few links. Do some reading and make up your own mind:
Personally, I don't think it's worth the risk. But that's me - you decide. Ibuprofen: good or bad for recreational endurance athletes?