For men, a common sore muscle antidote could have more far-reaching impacts. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that taking 600 milligrams of ibuprofen twice a day for six weeks negatively impacted cells that are crucial to sperm development, leaving guys with a condition called compensated hypogonadism, which is associated with decreased fertility.
“Prior data that shows ibuprofen can impact the testosterone production pathway in the testicles,” says James M. Hotaling, M.D., a reproductive urologist at Reproductive Medicine Associates of New Jersey in Basking Ridge, New Jersey. This could also change how the body responds to stress and makes hormones such as testosterone, he adds.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Using ibuprofen sporadically post-workout is safe, but don’t take it consistently for two weeks or more, says Hotaling. Try other methods (such as foam rolling) to ease soreness and if you’re dealing with an injury, get advice from your doctor.