Pain Relievers

mjstaplesmjstaples Atlanta, GA, USMember
edited November 2013 in Beginner Questions
My last few long swims I have incorporated a couple advil at about 3 hrs in and then again 4 hrs later. Can't really say I could tell a significant difference. What are your thoughts on using pain relievers during swims. Do they really make a difference? Does anyone use liquid products (such as children's liquid advil) and if so what dosages do you take?


  • IronMikeIronMike Bishkek, KyrgyzstanCharter Member
    @mjstaples, during Swim the Suck 2012, I took a bottle of Crystal Light with a serving (?) of Children's advil in it at the 2 hour mark. It helped with the shoulders. I've not used pain relievers other than that time.
  • ssthomasssthomas Charter Member
    I use liquid infants Advil. I wait until it hurts and then start using it regularly, about 1 dropper/1.25 ML /50 Mg every 1.5 hours. Depending how hard I'm swimming, I can usually go 6-8 hours before I need it. It makes a huge difference to me. I never use it for training purposes.
  • david_barradavid_barra Charter Member
    The observer on an EC attempt that I crewed for took extensive notes on everything that was consumed by our swimmer. Ibuprofin was part of the feed plan, and great care was taken to insure that the dosage would not exceed the 24 hour maximum allowance for that product.

    I tried liquid ibu once... results: not good.

    I’ll stick to Hammer Nutrition Tissue Rejuvenator as my go to product before (daily) and during long swims.

    I’ll often take ibuprofin after.

    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

  • IronMikeIronMike Bishkek, KyrgyzstanCharter Member
    @david_barra, thanks for the Hammer Nutrition Tissue Rejuvenator recommendation. I'd never heard of it. Although Glucosamine and Chondroitin never seem to work for me (tried them years ago for my knees), I'm willing to try something naturopathic.

    So how many do you take before a long swim? Their website says "1 capsule every 2-3 hours has been successfully used during ultra marathon races as an alternative to NSAIDS." Is that what you take?
  • david_barradavid_barra Charter Member
    IronMike said:

    So how many do you take before a long swim? Their website says "1 capsule every 2-3 hours has been successfully used during ultra marathon races as an alternative to NSAIDS." Is that what you take?

    i take 2 every morning. during long swims... 1 every 2 hours. post long swims... 4in the morning for a few days.

    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

  • david_barradavid_barra Charter Member
    Keep in mind... ibuprofin and Hammer’s Tissue Rejuvenator are anti-inflammatories and will only relieve pain when inflamation is the cause.
    I am not a doctor... nor do I play one on TV.

    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

  • Lots of people say that advil and other nsaids shouldn't be used in endurance events because they present an acute risk to your kidneys; they slow down your kidney function.

    Tylenol is said to be a better choice because while tylenol in high doses can be an issue for your liver with long term use, it apparently wouldn't be an issue with taking it on a given single day.

    Also not a Dr., do not play one on TV, and I'm not as handsome as Mark Harmon either.
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    @Kevin_in_MD - are there references for this, other than word of mouth?
  • I would avoid Tylenol during endurance events. Ibuprofen during or Aleve preceding would be by suggestion. Pretty indifferent on low levels of aspirin before or during. Shouldn't be too much of an issue as long as blood pressure while swimming isn't affected.
  • ssthomasssthomas Charter Member
    In preparing for Tahoe, I spoke with a doctor about use of pain relievers. He recommended ibuprofen over Tylenol. He said as long as I don't have pre-known issues with my kidneys and stay below the daily recommended allowance, I should be fine. I asked a lot of questions about the consequences of being dehydrated and taking lots of ibuprofen, whether or not it’s possible to build your tolerance to allow yourself to take more than the daily amount, and a few other things that I don’t remember any more. But, what I got from our conversation is that if you stay below the daily recommended amount of ibuprofen, your kidneys shouldn’t have issues.
  • malinakamalinaka Seattle, WACharter Member
    My take on this has been that if something hurts, fix it. My left shoulder pain is a regular reminder of everything my physical therapist told me to work on, and a constant reminder to check my stroke technique, and a constant reminder that if I don't fix the cause, my left shoulder might not last through the end of this century. If something is inflaming, especially unilaterally, get it looked at. Save your box of tricks for when you really need them, somewhere past the fifth hour I'd imagine.

    @kevin_in_md, some would say endurance events themselves cause kidney damage (cited: NIH via PubMed and a friend who's a doctor). Analgesics are referenced, but so are other contributing factors.

    I don't wear a wetsuit; it gives the ocean a sporting chance.


    All of those point to studies on nsaids in endurance exercise and the risk for one's kidneys.

    The tylenol was suggested to me personally by a nephrologist triathlete acquaintance of mine. I don't think there are any studies showing differences between the medicines, in fact last one I looked at specifically mentioned they excluded people who took tylenol (paracetamol).
  • I agree with Malinaka, save your box of tricks for the end of the swim, when you really start to hurt. Also, after doing extensive research (I am not a dr nor do I play one on TV) I am a huge fan of Pycnogenol as an anti-inflammatory. It does not have the side affects of NSAID's….
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