Tip: Avoid NSAIDS and Icing Sore Muscles

When you ice or use pain killers after a tough workout, you're actually putting the brakes on muscle growth. Here's why.

The Truth About Inflammation

Without inflammation, wounds wouldn't heal... ever. Any illness might last for years. Even the muscle you strive to strengthen and build might never get bigger or stronger if inflammation didn't exist. The whole battle that takes place after an injury or a tough workout is a tightly choreographed offensive designed to heal the body. The swelling that comes with inflammation allows the superhero-like proteins, white blood cells, and antibodies to come charging into the area.

However, if you treat an injury with ice or NSAIDS (aspirin, Aleve, etc.), you thwart all that. You actually stop healing. So while icing or pain relievers might be okay for long-term chronic pain, think twice about using them to combat short-term pain.


  1. Don't ice after a workout. Icing doesn't heal anything; it's purely analgesic (pain reducing).
  2. Don't use NSAIDS after a workout or minor injury, unless absolutely necessary.
  3. To combat daily, non-exercise related inflammation and maximize chances of being healthy in general, avoid inflammatory practices (not getting enough sleep, boozing it up, using drugs, crappy diet), and take anti-inflammatory nutraceuticals like curcumin and/or concentrated fish oil.
  4. To combat chronic inflammation or severe pain, use NSAIDS as recommended on the label or use up to two capsules curcumin twice a day, and/or 4-8 capsules of fish oil per day.
  5. If you bust it up in the gym and drive inflammation up to deleterious levels, doing some light exercise the day after, e.g. walking, can reduce inflammation to non-damaging, muscle-building levels.
  6. If busting it up in the gym day after day is your status quo, use peri-workout nutrition supplements such as Surge® Workout Fuel or Plazma™ to keep inflammation in the sweet zone. Inflammatory processes won't run amok, you won't be as sore, and you'll be able to tear it up in the gym day after day and make progress.