Muscle Sport Magazine

What Effects Non-Steroidal Drugs Have on Weight Lifters

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Anabolic steroids are bad. You’ve been competing long enough to know the dangers. But did you know that non-steroidal drugs can be dangerous too? Maybe not quite on the same level, but they aren’t as benign as most of us think.

As a competitive weightlifter, you’re 3.6 times more likely to use NSAIDs than the average Joe. Why? Because you’re working your body harder. It’s only natural that you’re going to have some pain.

If you’re like most of us, you think you’re doing the safe thing by popping some naproxen instead of something harder. And while it’s true that the naproxen may be the lesser of two evils, it’s still an evil.

It’s important to remember that NSAIDs are drugs. As such, they have effects and side effects. On the plus side, you’re dulling pain and enabling yourself to push further.

On the negative side, well, there are a few things you should know before you continue popping NSAIDs for pain relief. The following are a few of the most concerning effects of non-steroidal drugs have on weightlifters.

Heart disease

People who take NSAID pain relievers regularly are as much as 20 percent more likely to experience heart failure than those who don’t. The more you take NSAIDs the more likely you are to have a heart attack. This is according to a 2016 BMJ study that looked at prescription NSAID use. If you take over-the-counter NSAIDs, don’t count yourself safe just yet. OTC drugs can be just as dangerous as prescriptions, especially when you don’t take them according to package directions.

And you probably won’t be surprised to learn that a lot of people don’t take these OTC meds as they should. In fact, a March 2018 study found that 11 percent of people taking ibuprofen and 4 percent of people taking other NSAIDs exceeded the recommended daily dosage limit.

Retaining water

If you avoid anabolic steroids and most prescription drugs, you probably are well aware that drugs may have side effects beyond what we’re told. In order for a side effect to be associated with a drug, people must be able to identify the drug as the root of the problem, and they must report it as such.

This is how new side effects emerge for drugs that have been on the market for some time. When it comes to NSAIDs, fluid retention may be one such side effect that will make its way to the product label before too long, thanks to a University of Kansas study.

Researchers evaluated the role of naproxen on health and hydration and found that participants who took naproxen drank more water yet had less frequent bathroom visits. This suggests that the drug causes fluid retention, which can be dangerous and especially undesirable for bodybuilders.

Stomach Ulcers and internal bleeding

Stomach ulcers and internal bleeding are a well-known side effect of taking NSAIDs, but don’t ignore this one. Gut health is so important to your mental and physical wellbeing, and you don’t want to put it at risk for a little bit of pain relief.

Stomach ulcers and internal bleeding are potential side effects of every type of NSAID. It’s not just aspirin. The problem is so widespread that, according to the American Gastroenterological Association, NSAIDs are responsible for more than half of all bleeding ulcers.

The bottom line is that NSAIDs aren’t exactly safe. And they get more dangerous with every pill you take. If you must take this OTC drug, do so in moderation and never exceed the recommended dosage.

NSAIDs may seem to give you an advantage in bodybuilding because they’ll dull the pain, so you can workout harder. But this comes at a dangerous long-term cost. Get drug help from a professional to find a healthier non-addictive alternative to NSAIDs and anabolic steroids.  Or you can experiment with natural treatments on your own.

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