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Is it safe to take painkillers before running or a workout? (Fitness query)

Read the many side effects of popping a painkiller before running or gymming.

If you exercise regularly, you are bound to suffer from aches and pains. But are you someone who takes an OTC pill before a workout to keep the aches at bay? Even though it can be tempting to pop a pill before a workout, it may not be a good idea to do that. Dr Ninad Mahajan tells you why.

  • Painkillers not only work on the parts that hurt but they affect your entire body. So they can prevent you from properly executing or even recovering from the exercise.
  • At the same time popping non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen may give temporary relief to joint pain and muscle soreness but it may cause you to overdo your workout leading to injuries. Read this before popping a painkiller for that backache.
  • Even taking a pill for a headache like Paracetamol before an intense workout may not be a good idea. The drug can interfere with temperature regulation and cause you to become dehydrated. As you exercise, your body starts to expend more energy and raise your body temperature. Popping a pill may interfere with your body s ability to regulate temperature properly.
  • Taking a pill a few hours before a workout could help reduce menstrual cramps. However, be sure to take the painkiller a few hours before the gym and not right before you go to the gym. The pain killer will anyway take a few hours to start working, so it will anyway not be helpful if you take the pill right before a workout. Here are reasons why you should stop taking too many painkillers.

Just remember that sometimes the pain associated with soreness may be purposeful and not meant to be dampened. But if you have too much pain and you cannot imagine hitting the gym without popping a pill, it is best that you rest for a day and give your body some time to recover.

Image source: Getty Images

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