Popping Painkillers Post-Workout? Try This Instead. Here’s Why!

Popping painkillers post-workout? Your pain-relieving habit may be causing more harm than help.


Recent research shows that popping painkillers may prevent or slow muscle growth and cause significant liver damage and headaches. Moreover, another study with mice actually showed that those with injured muscle tissue who were given a painkiller didn’t actually regrow as much muscle tissue. Not only that, but the mice didn’t heal as quickly as they would have without the painkiller. Even more, both ibuprofen and acetaminophen (i.e. Tylenol) have been shown in studies to “suppress protein formation that occurs in muscles after high-intensity exercise,” and ibuprofen has been shown to prevent bone healing and may damage cellular tissue. I don’t know about you, but when I take protein powder after I work out, I want it to be put to good use!

So how are we supposed to relieve soreness after a hard workout? Try taking a hot bath or practicing yoga. Yoga has been around for over FIVE THOUSAND YEARS and is made up of just a bunch of different stretches that can help loosen sore muscles. Not only this, but yoga has been scientifically proven to:

  • reduce stress
  • reduce fatigue
  • improve athletic performance
  • increase your flexibility
  • maintain a balanced metabolism
  • increase muscle strength & tone
  • prevent cartilage and joint breakdown
  • increase bloodflow
  • boost your immune system
  • lower blood pressure
  • & a ton of other amazing benefits!

Looking for an easy way to get started? Check out Yoga With Adriene or even Blogilates for some introductory Pilates (similar to yoga, but with more movement) on YouTube! Looking for more of a subscription? Check out Thriving Plant-Based, an online yoga practice and community, to get access to new yoga instructional videos every month for just $13.99 a month– it’s basically Netflix for yoga. {Please note: I don’t personally subscribe to it, as I do alright with YouTube, but I’ve heard great things!}

Questions for you:

What do you do to recover quickly from a workout?

What are some of your favorite protein powders? I love the chocolate Vega right now (see My Favorite Products page for more info) in smoothies and banana “nice cream” (frozen & food-processed bananas until a soft-serve consistency– so good!), but I’ve heard good things about brown rice protein powders, too!

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