Mixing medicine and exercise can be a tricky business. Ever noticed how drowsy you feel after taking your allergy medicine? Popping certain pills before heading out to the gym can make you feel out of your element and affect your physical performance.
Doctors and pharmacologists warn against the harmful affects of using medication around the time of peak physical activity. Here are the meds which could potentially cause a problem for you when exercising if not taken at appropriate times.
Pain medications can come in two different varieties: the first one, called acetaminophen includes Tylenol and provides pain relief whereas the second, ibuprofen, reduces inflammation and swelling along with reducing pain. Painkillers aren’t always the solution to your medical problems.
Most often, pain is experienced due to tissue damage and it is an indication that something is not right in your body. Overusing pain meds will only temporarily numb the pain but won’t fix the real issue causing it.
If you are experiencing discomfort in any part of the body and feel the need to take a painkiller, it’s probably best to take a break from your exercise program and give yourself time to heal. If the pain is only mild and you have been using ibuprofen to contend with it, it is not advisable to continue self-medicating beyond one week.
Antidepressants belong to the class of drugs known for triggering sleepiness as a common side effect. Naturally, it shouldn’t be your drug of choice before hitting the Pilates or a HIIT class since it can drain your energy and make you tired quickly.
Since Antidepressants work by altering the chemical structure in your brain and promoting the release of feel-good hormones to combat stress, it can also affect the part of the brain that controls sleep. Many people who have taken antidepressants for a considerable amount of time complain that the drug can cause weight gain as a side effect. In order to combat the risk of weight gain, it is recommended to get physical exercise which can also improve mood drastically.
If you’ve just started taking antidepressants and are feeling extremely drowsy, talk to your physician about changing the class of the medicine or reduce the dosage in the beginning until your body gets used to the drug. Another option is to take your meds before bedtime so the drowsiness can help you fall asleep instead of getting in the way of life and your workout.
Antihistamines are a class of medications that control histamine and are known for causing drowsiness as a side effect – especially the older names like Chlor-Tripolon and Benadryl. Antihistamines are great to combat any allergic reactions causes by pollen or animal hair, but the fact that the drug has such a profound impact on your alertness makes it undesirable right before heading out to the gym or going for a run.
The newer antihistamines on the market don’t affect your level of alertness the same way as the older generation, and most of them, including Alegra and Claritin don’t cause any drowsiness at all. If you do decide to stick to the older brands, its advisable to wait for at least four hours of taking the meds before you do any physical exercise.
If you suffer from migraines, glaucoma or any heart conditions, then you must be familiar with this group of medications which is commonly used to normalize high blood pressure and treat hypertension. It is not advisable to take this drug before any intense physical activity since one of its biggest side effects is that it slows down the heartbeat, which decreases the effectiveness of any exercise causes a quick onset of fatigue.
If you do take this drug regularly and feel that it interferes in your exercise routine or daily life, its time to have a chat with your physician about how you can continue your medication without affecting your energy level in the gym.
You may be surprised to find out that in some cases, a beta blocker isn’t necessary at all to control blood pressure. There are several alternatives to the drug which don’t adversely affect your lifestyle and your physician can help you choose one that works the best with your health.