Micro-dosing Ibuprofen


Do you see any harm in micro-dosing Ibuprofen, specifically no more than 400mg three times per week? After trying all the other usual suspects (Cissus, Boswellia, etc.) I haven’t found anything that comes close to a small amount of Ibuprofen for minimizing aches and pains, and it actually seems to have a positive effect on my training. I also take one baby aspirin at night. What are your thoughts?


I’ve found meds and supplements for pain to be a very individual matter. Let me give you an example.

The vast majority of people taking Cissus, Boswellia etc. find at least some relief, but in a small subset of people (as seen here), they don’t get any.

The OTC drugs for pain and inflammation also have a high degree of success in most, but which one is highly individual.

I know some folks who do great on just one aspirin. Others do better with acetaminophen or ibuprofen. If I really need one of those, I do best on naproxyn sodium.

I think the first question you should be asking is, why do things hurt?

Because if it’s arthritis, that’s going to be one answer. If it’s tendonitis, that’s another.

Most little aches and pains are a simple matter of over-use. In that instance, just cutting back on volume and frequency (or some extended time off) can take care of pain issues – no meds needed.

To answer your question though, before I go further: Assuming you have no other underlying conditions, I don’t see any harm in 400mg of ibuprofen 3x/week, assuming you also do well on that baby aspirin you’re taking at night.

You will find research showing ibuprofen and acetaminophen lowers protein synthesis in younger folks (mean age about 25), but you’ll also find research showing ibuprofen in lower doses doesn’t (same general age group, mean age 24).

Why The Discrepancy?

It appears to be dose related. 400mg/day of ibuprofen didn’t impair protein synthesis, but 1,200mg/day did.

And note the study showing 400mg/day wasn’t problematic used 400mg 5 days/week for 6 weeks, whereas the study showing 1,200mg/day found issues in just 16 days.

As for safety, ibuprofen is generally well tolerated and certainly at the dose you’re proposing, I’d think issues would be on the low side.

From what I can see, people that do have issues have ventured into taking a gram or more of the stuff per day for weeks or months on end.

Bottom Line

Get a diagnosis as to what’s likely causing the pain. If it’s not over-use then I’d next try looking for movements that don’t’ exacerbate the pain. Switching movements frequently (once every 2 weeks) was a favorite of Larry Scott, who said it was literally a new lease on life for him.

Otherwise, I wouldn’t sweat your proposed Ibuprofen use. Just make sure to pass it by a Dr. and get blood work run perhaps twice a year to make sure everything’s good.

Hope that helps!

Posted in

Coach Rob Regish

Rob Regish is an internationally recognized name in the field of health and fitness. He's been a weekly contributor to Superhumanradio.net for almost a decade, answering listener questions from around the world.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.