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Does Aspirin Help You Recover From Exercise?

Training for competitive sports is done by taking a hard workout, having your muscles feel sore on the next day and then taking easy workouts until the soreness disappears. Most athletic training programs involve hard training sessions every thee or four days. Making muscles heal faster allows the athlete to do more work so they can improve their performance.

A study from Emory University School of Medicine shows that nonsteroidal arthritis medicines help to prevent muscle damage caused by hard exercise (Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, July 2000, 1191-1196). This study and others show that aspirin-like drugs help muscles heal faster after a single training bout, but no studies show whether it is safe for athletes to take these drugs day after day. Aspirin comes from willow bark, and most plants are loaded with antioxidants that help prevent tissue damage. We still don't know if taking nonsteroidal drugs will help you recover from exercise faster, but we do know that eating lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and other seeds will. Plant or animal sources of protein eaten after hard exercise help you recover faster as well.

Checked 10/1/18

May 12th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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