Both protease and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) supplementation have been shown to attenuate the effects of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) resulting from intense exercise.
To evaluate the effects of protease and NSAID supplementation on perceived muscle soreness (MS) and pressure pain threshold (PPT) following downhill running (DHR).
Results were examined on data collected from 17 male participants who ran at a −10% grade for 30 min at 80% predicted maximum heart rate. Subjects consumed either 2 protease tablets (PRO) (325 mg pancreatic enzymes, 75 mg trypsin, 50 mg papain, 50 mg bromelain, 10 mg amylase, 10 mg lipase, 10 mg lysozyme) or 1000 mg of acetaminophen (NSAID) four times a day for four days (from 24 H pre-DHR to 72 H post-DHR). Supplementation was administered in randomized, double-blind fashion. Each subject's PPT was evaluated by dolorimetry of the thigh (the anterior medial quadrant (AMQ), anterior lateral quadrant (ALQ), posterior medial quadrant (PMQ), and posterior lateral quadrant (PLQ)) and the shank (tibialis anterior (TA) and lateral (LG) and medial gastrocnemius (MG)). Additionally, a questionnaire was administered to evaluate MS of the front and back of the dominant thigh and shank.
There were no differences seen for MS between the NSAID and PRO groups. PPT for the PMQ and AMQ was higher 48 H and 72 H, respectively, after DHR for the PRO group. PPT was also superior in the ALQ and PLQ for PRO as compared to NSAID 48 H and 72 H after DHR. Additionally, LG and MG also showed less sensitivity to PPT in the PRO 48 H after DHR.
The results of this investigation indicate that individuals taking PRO can tolerate higher relative PPT subsequent to DHR. This finding is consistent with previous research that demonstrated a facilitated recovery of contractile capabilities with PRO following DHR. This finding may be attributable to the potential anti-inflammatory and healing properties of PRO.