OK–so this is something I have wondered for a while. Do NSAIDs like ibuprofen block muscle growth after a workout? These drugs dampen down pain by blocking the COX pathway, but that pathway is also part of the signal that produces muscles growth. In short, the inflammatory process that produces sore muscles after a workout is what tells the muscles they have to grow more. So if you take ibuprofen to ease the soreness, will that also inhibit muscle growth. Various articles I have read do not give a definitive answer.
This study from 2008 does, and it is kind of an ironic result. Through a double-blind, placebo control trial they determined that moderate doses of ibuprofen (400mg a day) does not inhibit muscle growth after workout. But here is the kicker: the same trial showed that this dosage also didn’t diminish muscle soreness. So you can take it with no detrimental effects on muscle growth. But it’s not going to make you feel any better.
The effects of ibuprofen on muscle hypertrophy, strength, and soreness during resistance training. – PubMed – NCBI.
Which Type of Exercise Is Best for the Brain? – The New York Times.
Distance running wins over interval training or weights–but my only criticism of this study is that being pushed to do intervals (and not understanding why) is inherently more stressful for the rats in a way it might not be for humans who consciously decided to do intervals, thus negating the positive effects of the interval training.
Words of wisdom.
Play is without purpose. It is how we engage with our bodies, minds, each other, the world — for the fun in it, the joy of it. Even if we were playing with money, truly playing, it is not so much for the money as it is for the freedom from money, for a connection to community. Even when we are playing to win, the real victory is in being part of, or just bearing witness to, a moment of shared transcendence.
I like the fact that he mentions that play can even be things that we think of as being the antithesis of play–like money–as long as we come to it with the right attitude.
Playfulness Is a Spiritual Practice | Psychology Today.
Little changes in the way we think can enable big behavioral changes. Researchers tested this with women and initiating dating contacts.
What’s so surprising about the results is that the manipulation of personal control was ever so slight. For a woman, simply recalling a time you had personal control seems to be enough to counteract your otherwise socially acceptable passivity. As MacGregor and Cavallo conclude p. 862, “women who generally feel a lack of control over their romantic outcomes may be particularly sensitive to fluctuations in personal control in ways that men are not.”
via Why Women Dont Make the First Move | Psychology Today.
A former engineer looks at how he went about changing his mind on global warming, and how people evaluate the truth. In general it is not rational at all–it has to do with evaluating how much you trust the source of the information, not the information itself. Which is why people who don’t want to accept the truth of the dangers of tobacco or global warming attack the motives of the people talking about these things rather than the scientific data itself.
Though they differ on the details, the one thing all of these experts agree on is that just telling folks the facts — temperatures are going up, seas are acidifying, and the most likely reason is people burning fossil fuels — doesn’t move the needle on climate opinion. Instead, ears seem to open only when people they trust ask them to take a second look at something they thought disagreeable.
via How I Came To Jesus On Global Warming – BuzzFeed News.
A fascinating article recaps research indicating that fatigue is primarily in the head. Obviously there are mechanical limitations to performance at some point, but at least one scientist says that in practical terms “we never reach them.”
What Is Fatigue? – The New Yorker.
A Navy SEAL Explains 8 Secrets To Grit And Resilience.
This is a really great collection of tips on resilience.
This is why people hate diet studies. Researchers say, “hey, we really didn’t have good evidence for the low fat diet, but doing something was better than doing nothing, even if in some ways we made things worse than we made them better.”
This is the first time that I have seen the connection between coronary artery disease and cholesterol made only through smoking, but that makes sense. But it seems like another case of making a population-wide dietary recommendation to address risk in one sub-population (smokers) on the theory that the population “as a whole” will benefit.
Prof Tom Sanders, emeritus professor of nutrition and dietetics at King’s College London, said the low-fat guidance was a pragmatic move.“In the 1970-80s, the UK and other western countries were facing an epidemic of coronary heart disease and there was overwhelming evidence that this was caused by cigarette smoking, especially in the presence of high blood cholesterol.“It was effectively a policy choice between sitting on the fence and doing nothing or opting to follow what the evidence suggested – that cutting total fat intake would help prevent obesity and reducing saturated fat would lower blood cholesterol,” he said.
via Fat is not the root of all evil but a ‘whole diet’ approach is best | Society | The Guardian.
Run to Stay Young – NYTimes.com.
In fact, when the researchers compared their older runners’ walking efficiency to that of young people, which had been measured in earlier experiments at the same lab, they found that 70-year-old runners had about the same walking efficiency as your typical sedentary college student. Old runners, it appeared, could walk with the pep of young people.