Exercise & Aspirin

Aspirin has long been considered a medication that may help your health and protect you from heart attack and stroke, though when you take it before or during exercise it does not help or hinder your performance, according to Dr. Gabe Mirkin. The way aspirin may negatively affect you during exercise is if you sustain an injury, because it may cause bleeding and block important pain signals.

About Aspirin

Aspirin works by decreasing chemicals in the body that cause pain, fever and swelling. Avoid giving aspirin to children because of the risk of a potentially fatal brain disease called Reye's syndrome. While you may take aspirin to reduce pain and swelling, it can interfere with the clotting mechanism in your blood, causing bleeding. This is why it is important to take aspirin under the supervision of a doctor if you are at risk of sustaining an injury, such as if you are regularly engaged in very strenuous exercise or a contact sport.

Health Benefits

Exercise has many health benefits. Like aspirin, it is known to protect your from heart attacks and stroke. Taking a low dose of aspirin daily — from 81 mg to 325 mg — is therapeutic because it reduces the ability of your blood to clot and may be useful if you have had a heart attack or a stroke in the past or are at high risk, according to MayoClinic.com. Tell your doctor if you engage in regular exercise or a contact sport, because he needs to determine whether it's wise to continue with this course of therapy.

Aspirin and Athletic Performance

Taking aspirin before engaging in rigorous exercise or an athletic competition does not cause fatigue and hinder performance as originally thought, according to the latest studies, indicates Mirkin. However, aspirin use does nothing to enhance performance or take away the burning feeling that you may have in your muscles when you run out of oxygen during a strenuous session or competition. Taking aspirin before exercise will only mask general aches and pains.


If you take aspirin during exercise, it can inhibit normal clotting, causing you to bleed uncontrollably if you are hit during exercise or a contact sport. If you are unable to stop bleeding, contact your doctor immediately. In addition, aspirin can block the pain that you feel if you have an injury, possibly leading you to worsen a minor injury. Mirkin advises postponing exercise if your muscles are sore. Taking an aspirin so that you can exercise when you are sore might mask an injury.

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