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  1. #1
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    ibuprofen during races?

    Hi Guys,
    I'm thinking that pain in my shoulders will be my undoing in my upcoming 24 hour solo attempt, not my legs. It's a dull ache that comes on after about 3 or 4 hours on the bike...my cockpit is set up fine and I've been working my shoulders and back all winter so I'm going to have to just deal with it. So I'm wondering if you guys dose up on the ibuprofen during races? If so how many and how often?
    thanks,
    Zach

  2. #2
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    Seems like a really, really bad idea. Despite your best efforts in a race like that your hydration is going to be weird. Seems like popping the Masters Candy throughout would be asking a lot of your kidneys given all the other physiological stresses.
    "Bikes aren't fast--people are fast. Bikes are overpriced. It's an important distinction."---BikeSnob NYC

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    I've been known to pop 2-4 of the OTC sized offerings roughly every 4 hours as a pean to the rock gods when I ride Enduros. Grant B's physiologically valid point aside, if you're committed to performing with minimal pain NSAIDs are an option, and you wouldn't be the first, nor last to use, nor likely to die from judicious use.

  4. #4
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    When I did the Shenandoah Mountain 100 last year, I took a BC headache powder every checkpoint. I honestly think it worked to keep any pain to include pain in my legs to a minimum. I didnt suffer any ill effects from it.

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    The first 24 Solo I ever did someone suggested that NSAID's were a requirement to be competitive. I listened to that racer and it was a mistake. 24hrs after the race finished I ended up in the Emerg with internal bleeding due to the corrosive nature of NSAID's, (Google NSAID and gastrointestinal ulceration).

    Eighteen 24hr Solo races later and I've learned a thing or two, in my opinion you should skip the Ibuprofen.

  6. #6
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    I'll take a couple of buffered aspirin about 4 hours into a long race. I've never had any issues.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrea138 View Post
    I'll take a couple of buffered aspirin about 4 hours into a long race. I've never had any issues.
    Same for me, at about the 5 or 6 hour point. Don't know exactly why, but I've always favored the buffered aspirin option.
    Whining is not a strategy.

  8. #8
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    Ibuprofen + dehydration = kidney failure.
    Google ibuprofen and endurance racing or marathon training.

  9. #9
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    another no vote

    Quote Originally Posted by Zach75 View Post
    Hi Guys,
    I'm thinking that pain in my shoulders will be my undoing in my upcoming 24 hour solo attempt, not my legs. It's a dull ache that comes on after about 3 or 4 hours on the bike...my cockpit is set up fine and I've been working my shoulders and back all winter so I'm going to have to just deal with it. So I'm wondering if you guys dose up on the ibuprofen during races? If so how many and how often?
    thanks,
    Zach
    I do not take anything to dull pain when I'm racing, and I don't start hitting that bottle until I have peed twice during my recovery.

    Honestly, I have gotten to where I rarely take NSAIDs unless I need them, racing or otherwise. A real benefit of that is that when I really need it, the effectiveness is enhanced by the fact that my body isn't accustomed to them.

    I know lots of endurance racers who take what I consider to be a ton of ibuprofren while they are riding. I have known of a couple really bad outcomes. One friend used it on a huge effort and not only felt like he needed to go to the ER because of dizziness and nausea, but also hurt his back during that effort and spent 4-6 months getting over it. Might he have not hurt his back if he had felt the pain that was an effect of the damage he was inflicting? Maybe so.

    Nobody likes pain, but I'd just as soon feel what's going on so I don't do serious damage to my body. I find that it's a part of the experience. I will say to myself, "this is uncomfortable"; acknowledge it, and then just be with it. If I ever get pain that I can't tolerate, that will be my sign that I either need to stop and rest, try to resolve what's hurting, or just walk away from the effort. Intolerable pain is a sign that you are damaging yourself in a way that could be long term.

    My $.02

    EDIT: You say your cockpit is set up fine, how do you know? Lots of racer types are convinced that their bars have to be really low to be fast. From my own experience, that dogma is among the richest and most aromatic BS in all of cycling. Comfortable is fast. I can sit my bike almost indefinitely. That's faster than being forced to stop even when your legs have more to give because your back or shoulders hurt.
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    NSAIDs also negate the training effect of exercise. Inflammation coming from exercise induced tissue damage is the basis of the training effect (increased vascularization and strengthened muscle fibers) and attenuating that response with NSAIDS just negated your efforts. Like TomP said -- judicious use of NSAIDs is the way to go, and that means NOT while you're racing or training (if at all possible) for both performance and safety reasons.

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    Hey Guys,
    Thanks for all the well thought out and detailed replies. Being super inflexible I've long since gotten rid of the racy bar/seat height set ups, and now run nearly level on both my road and MTB's...much comfier!

    And, I have now totally re-thought my use of pain relief during the race!
    thanks,
    Zach

  12. #12
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    higher is comfier

    Quote Originally Posted by Zach75 View Post
    Hey Guys,
    Thanks for all the well thought out and detailed replies. Being super inflexible I've long since gotten rid of the racy bar/seat height set ups, and now run nearly level on both my road and MTB's...much comfier! ...
    I go about 1-2" higher handlebar grips than saddle. MUCH comfier.

    My current endurance rig:

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    A while back my Sports Medicine Doc told me to never take any NSAID during an event, becasue "you may not know you are doing harm, and the NSAID may mask the pain that is telling you something is wrong..."


    I save mine till after the event.


    .
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    .

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    I have had good results with taking a couple of Tylonel (acetaminophen)

    at the half way point in a few races that were back beaters. As far as I know, it doesn't affect the kidneys.
    B

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    Again, everything in moderation. Too much liquid uptake during a race could kill you also, soooooo!

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    Won't comment on the risks but I took one Ibuprofen half way through a six hour race last year when my back was aching pretty badly and it helped massively.

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    Does that make it a performance enhancing drug? I think weed would safer option.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtboz View Post
    Does that make it a performance enhancing drug? I think weed would safer option.
    I can only imagine that toking up 16 hours into a 24 hour race would result in a person sitting down "just for a minute", eating half a pizza, and passing out in said lawn chair for the remainder of the race. Even if they did manage to get back on the bike I reckon their cognitive level wouldn't be at its highest due to both the fatigue and the haze.

    btw, I'm not anti-bud in any way, but there are some situations where it just doesn't seem appropriate.

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    Just to keep the knees and back and everything happy, I've popped one aleve before a 6-8 hour race and then one after. No issues here. Don't go crazy on it, and 1 aleve won't "stop pain", it will just help ease any inflammation.

    -Tom

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    I take 3 anvil pills 2hrs into any endurance race....that's about it. I may take another 2 six hrs later if I have pain, but usually not

  21. #21
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    Let me just echo something that's already been said. DO NOT take NSAIDS (Ibuprofen, aspirin, ketoprofen, etc...) in an event where prolonged dehydration is likely. Lots of pharmacology involved here, but suffice it to say that the combination leads to significantly decreased blood flow to the nephrons of the kidney right at a time when they are at peak demand. To those who say they've done it in the past and have done just fine, the trick is the damage is incremental and builds over time. The kidney is one of those organs that will take a joke for a little while before it calls it quits. So you probably won't know the amount of damage your doing until you either have problems or you get a random blood test, by which time its too late, the process is irreversible. I'm a physician and over the past 15 years I've taken care of 3 former endurance athletes (all trigeeks-knuckleheads) who were undergoing either a procedure preparing them for hemodialysis or getting a kidney transplant. Common factor to all of them was, you guessed it, avid NSAID use during competition.

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    Quote Originally Posted by roscar View Post
    Let me just echo something that's already been said. DO NOT take NSAIDS (Ibuprofen, aspirin, ketoprofen, etc...) in an event where prolonged dehydration is likely. Lots of pharmacology involved here, but suffice it to say that the combination leads to significantly decreased blood flow to the nephrons of the kidney right at a time when they are at peak demand. To those who say they've done it in the past and have done just fine, the trick is the damage is incremental and builds over time. The kidney is one of those organs that will take a joke for a little while before it calls it quits. So you probably won't know the amount of damage your doing until you either have problems or you get a random blood test, by which time its too late, the process is irreversible. I'm a physician and over the past 15 years I've taken care of 3 former endurance athletes (all trigeeks-knuckleheads) who were undergoing either a procedure preparing them for hemodialysis or getting a kidney transplant. Common factor to all of them was, you guessed it, avid NSAID use during competition.
    Your comment falls in line with my research on this subject over the last few years. It also aligns with the conversations I've had with several physicians who work with higher level/endurance athletes.

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    I start every endurance race with a pair of ibuprofen and a caffeine pill. I have a nagging pain that develops in my right trapezius after about 5-6 hours into a race. Yes, I have my bike set up properly but have a AC separation on that side which I suspect is the cause. This pain is my #1 limiter in my race performance. I do strength training specifically target this area, which helps but does not completely eliminate. I have found that a pair of Advil every few hours and some occasional sports rub in the area helps keep the pain under control.

    Long story short, I don't think a pair of Advil every few hours is excessive. I have had no ill effects with this approach. YMMV of course, so always try something in training before trying it in competition.

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    I have done some long multiday bike packing trips lately and have been taking hammer joint and tissue rejuvinator capsules along with fish oil and coconut cream pie laura bars for inflamation control. The laura bar has extra virgin coconut oil which is good fuel and keeps your joints lubed. I'm no doctor I just try different things during long rides to see what works for me. Taking those supplements when your not riding helps also.

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    You can donate a kidney. You only need 1. Donating a kidney to someone in need is perhaps noble but to give both away to chronic sub clinical nephron loss is stupid.

    But if you're taking NSAIDs and racing endurance events, you really need to rethink the conclusion that there are no ill effects from taking NSAIDs while dehydrated because I feel fine today.

    The inernet is like a bathroom wall and everyone has a marker... for serious issues do a little research on medical sites.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by moabjason View Post
    I have done some long multiday bike packing trips lately and have been taking hammer joint and tissue rejuvinator capsules along with fish oil and coconut cream pie laura bars for inflamation control. The laura bar has extra virgin coconut oil which is good fuel and keeps your joints lubed. I'm no doctor I just try different things during long rides to see what works for me. Taking those supplements when your not riding helps also.
    Lubing your joints?


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    Exactly like that. Being hooked on ibuprofen or any of that other stuff is not sustainable. I tried it when I was a kid trying to get thru special forces training. Downing motrin 800's is bad.

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    So if Ibuprofen is out, is Asprin ok?

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    OP I think we where talking about shoulder pain in another post awhile back,I am one of them that has taken the ibuprofen,I did not know it could have hurt me,and with the shoulder pain that I have been having for the last year I have ben taking that crap befor workouts and doing alot of peeing.

    First off here is what my Dr. said, you can take it but drink lots of water but that doesn't make it good for you so he said I should not take it at all.

    As for the shoulder have you gone to see a Dr. mine sent me to an OT and I too have been taking fish oil two tabs two times a day and I have been doing the work-outs that the OT had given me to do and I am getting better. Also what Tom has been saying about bike fit matters, it hurts me to ride my road bike on long rides but not the Mamasita with riser bars so that has been my go to bike.
    Dino

  30. #30
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    Tissue Rejuvie is a great analgesic

    Quote Originally Posted by moabjason View Post
    I have done some long multiday bike packing trips lately and have been taking hammer joint and tissue rejuvinator capsules along with fish oil and coconut cream pie laura bars for inflamation control. The laura bar has extra virgin coconut oil which is good fuel and keeps your joints lubed. I'm no doctor I just try different things during long rides to see what works for me. Taking those supplements when your not riding helps also.
    +1 for Hammer Tissue Rejuvinator. And Fish Oil.

    During my biggest season, 2007, I was engaging in an experiment of abuse (in a good way). July-August-September-October I was doing big endurance efforts every two weeks or so. 24 Solos, Leadville 100, Crested Butte Classic 100, Vapor Trail 125, 24 Hours of Moab on a 4-man. And a few crazy-big ITT efforts. Boom, boom, boom.

    I was treating recovery like a competition of its own. I did lots of fish oil, what I called tissue rejuvie, glucosamine, Hammer Recoverite, and lots of red meat and saturated fat in my diet. (That dietary supplement was what my old boss called "Vitamin Meat".)

    After every one of those big efforts, I put myself into a race to recover; get my muscle soreness gone, catch up on sleep and get myself back to a normal energy level even as I stayed on the bike for 15-25 hours/week. I did not take any NSAIDs during that time. (Or aspirin, or acetaminophen, or morphine--none of it.) My job was bike shop rat, so during my work hours I was standing or walking all day.
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  31. #31
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    If you are in that much pain that you need to take drugs, something is very wrong.

    Need to take a step back, are you going to win a million dollars or even 500 dollars for the win? If not, what is the whole point in doing drugs? Seriously I do not get it. I have raced for over 20 years and never once took anything, if I ever thought about having to take drugs to race I would quit cold turkey. Just not worth it at all.

    This is just IMO. IF you want to trash your body, that's up to you and will back you on your freedom to do so.

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    NOooooo!

    First let me say that I used to do this - I would take an advil almost everytime I would reach for my endurolytes throughout 100s,12s and 24s. God knows how many I would put down? I have since been enlightened quite a bit on food and health.

    Honest folks in the medical community will admit that taking any type of pill (pain or otherwise) does micro kidney damage. And taking them excessively or while exercizing/dehydrated only exacerbates that effect.

    As this damage is cumulative and takes time to manifest itself to an individual - via pain, bleeding or reduced kidney function - it will not necessarily be noticed after a single race or season or number of years.

    Everything we ingest outside of natural, whole fresh foods is causing damage to our innards. Think of your organs as the matches you burn in a race, there is a finite amount of damage these guys can take before they fail.

    Why waste the time you have by medicating for performance purposes in amateur bike races?? Rather than healing and trying holistic alternatives (yoga anyone?) we always want shortcuts and the Drs/Pharmies are quick to offer a million different options to mask pain, get a hard on, lose weight, not be depressed. All of which are killing us.

    Don't let me get started on the modern US diet that is also killing us - meats, HFCS, ingredients you cannot pronounce (err chemicals), preservatives, food coloring. Very, very disturbing stuff.
    Last edited by 8Shakes; 11-29-2012 at 02:30 PM.

  33. #33
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    I take 2 Aleve every morning. I have taken up to 6 throughout the day on race days.(OKed by my Joint DR)
    No stomach and/or kidney issues.
    I also stay fully hydrated.
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    Quote Originally Posted by owtdorz View Post
    I take 2 Aleve every morning. I have taken up to 6 throughout the day on race days.(OKed by my Joint DR)
    No stomach and/or kidney issues.

    no kidney issues(yet). fixed it for you.


    to all my serious competitors, please feel free to take as much ibuprofen, nsaid, asprin, pain killers as you want during racing or training.

    to everybody else, this will only hurt you eventually enough to stop you from riding.



    a little pain is part of the game. a lot of pain, you have an issue that needs fixing on the bike or your body.

  35. #35
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    No more Vitamin I? (ibuprofen)
    I used to take a 2 before races and maybe 2 more halfway through 50 milers,
    and sometimes 2 after a race. As long as not more than 6 in 24 hrs bottle says.
    Maybe those tri athletes were downing 6 at once or something.
    What about acetaminophen?
    Is vitamin M ok still on long rides? (music)
    Keep trying to do the awesomest thing you've ever done.

  36. #36
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    I took 1 ibu after every lap (4 man team...ride every ~4 hours) in an 18 hour race I did in the Fall...helped out with aches/pains.
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    If I'm gonna be "racing" for 5+ hours I usually pop a couple of Excederin at about the 3.5-4hr mark. Seems to make a HUGE difference. Especially if it's a really rough trail (I ride rigid). I also feel like I get a little kick from the caffiene in them.

  38. #38
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    I recently heard/read this statement: "The plural of anecdote is not data". Boy, but that comes into play in this thread. The chiming in of "I took X and Y and I'm fine" is so much BS. The one physician that chimed in said "Don't do it" in no uncertain terms. Talk to your physician and get the facts. Or research it -- lots of info out there. I understand the desire to get some quick feedback from people in a similar situation, but your health is not to be trusted to a bunch of wannabes on a random forum...
    "The plural of anecdote is not data." -- Attributed to various people in a variety of forms, but always worth remembering...

  39. #39
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    Outside of NSAIDs and other supplements, I've had good luck with throwing some yoga into training, about twice a week. I stretched out prior to my last 24 solo for about 15 minutes and rode without the back and shoulder pain I had before incorporating the yoga.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeT View Post
    I recently heard/read this statement: "The plural of anecdote is not data".
    That is a profound statement.

    Quote Originally Posted by PeT View Post
    ...The chiming in of "I took X and Y and I'm fine" is so much BS. The one physician that chimed in said "Don't do it" in no uncertain terms...
    Just because you might not have had a problem doesn't mean it isn't doing subtle damage. That's what lots of the research says, that dealing with high volumes of NSAIDs over time damages kidney tissue at a micro level. Just because you haven't had full-on kidney failure doesn't mean there is no long-term effect.

    But do whatever you want. It's your body and you can use your own judgement about whether the risks are worth the outcome, or whether there are risks. Maybe there aren't, go ahead and roll the dice.

    I will say, if we wanted to go on anecdote science, I have at least one example of where it arguably did have a long term ill effect on somebody.

    And one other thing that I suggested earlier in this thread, if you are consuming a bottle of vitamin I every month just to be able to race and train with less pain, then when you have a serious injury and need it to help heal, it will be less effective because your body has gotten so accustomed to it.
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  41. #41
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    I have popped 2 (200mg) Ibuprofen in a race in the past, a few times. I did it at the start of the 3rd lap in the Breckenridge 100 after a crash after the long fireroad downhill. I don't think that there are any major problems taking ibuprofen during a race unless you have dehydration or have some kinds of health problems. No one should take Ibuprofen greater than 5 days in a row in any circumstance. Also you should not take it on an empty stomach. People who have had issues with bad outcomes after taking ibuprofen one time in a race are not being forthcoming or honest in the particulars of their scenario, Either they have health problems, kidney issues , or problems with ullcers gastritis or they are dehydrated which one should know if they are an endurance racer.
    The OTC dosing for Ibuprofen is very much geared on the extreme safe side for the average adult. Consult YOUR physcian for advice ; not the internet physcians or web sites, for they do not know your health history.

    Walt

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    I used to be a competitive sailor. I used to follow the US Olympic Sailing training schedule as much as I could from here in Australia.

    One thing that came from the literature that was sent to me was that US Olympic sailors loaded up on Ibuprofen before racing.

    They just didn't take it, they loaded up on it. I was envious of them because I can't take Ibuprofen and had to endure every ache and pain possible from hiking out for hour upon hour. Unless things have changed in the last 3 years, go for it.

    Warren.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wild Wassa View Post
    I used to be a competitive sailor. I used to follow the US Olympic Sailing training schedule as much as I could from here in Australia.

    One thing that came from the literature that was sent to me was that US Olympic sailors loaded up on Ibuprofen before racing.

    They just didn't take it, they loaded up on it. I was envious of them because I can't take Ibuprofen and had to endure every ache and pain possible from hiking out for hour upon hour. Unless things have changed in the last 3 years, go for it.

    Warren.
    Pro racers will do anything to win. Do not use them as an example of moderation or wisdom.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DavyRay View Post
    Pro racers will do anything to win. Do not use them as an example of moderation or wisdom.
    The movie 24 Solo shows a good example of that. I don't have any idea if OTC pain relievers had anything to do with that, but it's an example of excess and consequences.

    If that's what you're into, go for it. I don't have that kind of competitive compulsion, so I have no way to truly understand it. But I guess I can understand that for some people winning is the only thing that matters.

    By the way, I felt like Craig Gordon should not have been given the win for the race documented in that movie. Craig needed help to complete his final lap. I think Eatough was robbed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomP View Post

    By the way, I felt like Craig Gordon should not have been given the win for the race documented in that movie. Craig needed help to complete his final lap. I think Eatough was robbed.
    I'm sure they didn't count that final lap and he'd still completed more laps than Eatough.

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    Quote Originally Posted by iwanttolookatpics View Post
    I'm sure they didn't count that final lap and he'd still completed more laps than Eatough.
    That is correct, last lap did not count.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeT View Post
    I recently heard/read this statement: "The plural of anecdote is not data". Boy, but that comes into play in this thread. The chiming in of "I took X and Y and I'm fine" is so much BS. The one physician that chimed in said "Don't do it" in no uncertain terms. Talk to your physician and get the facts. Or research it -- lots of info out there. I understand the desire to get some quick feedback from people in a similar situation, but your health is not to be trusted to a bunch of wannabes on a random forum...
    +1 agree with you 100% but sadly; if you take all the BS and wannabes talking out of their butt, there would be no forum

    On the subject in hand I think (because I won't read all the crap) no dosage was discussed or maximum dose. Many of the guys that supposedly had issues with NSAI pop MANY of them without even knowing what is the maximum recommended dose.
    For example: ibuprofen: maximum dose 2400mg/day = 800 mg every 8 hours
    If you are doing a race that last less than 8 hours (i.e. endurance race), why are you taking anything in the middle of the race if the effect last 8 hours?
    If you are doing a 12h+ endurance race, stick with the recommended dosage and keep yourself as well hydrated as possible. Use common sense
    BBW. MS, RD

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    Quote Originally Posted by BBW View Post
    If you are doing a race that last less than 8 hours (i.e. endurance race), why are you taking anything in the middle of the race if the effect last 8 hours?
    whoops,well.......... because I haven't read this thread back then.

    although.....looking at this bottle it says "take one or two every 4 to 6 hours
    if symptoms persist" "do not exceed 6 in 24 hours"
    Keep trying to do the awesomest thing you've ever done.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by bamwa1 View Post
    whoops,well.......... because I haven't read this thread back then.

    although.....looking at this bottle it says "take one or two every 4 to 6 hours
    if symptoms persist" "do not exceed 6 in 24 hours"
    Bamwa where do you live? I'm asking because in USA each ibuprofen capsule is 200mg and outside USA they are 400 mg
    6 x 400= 2400
    BBW. MS, RD

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    Quote Originally Posted by DavyRay View Post
    Do not use them as an example of moderation or wisdom.
    I don't use them as examples of moderation or wisdom. I was only being encouraging ... drug taking is US sport. Why suggest changing a good old US tradition.

    What did the original poster want to do again? ... suck on a few Chupa Chups? I don't think so.

    Warren.

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