Delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) occurs after intense eccentric contractions or after performing unaccustomed exercise. Chamomile and ibuprofen may prevent or attenuate DOMS symptoms. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of simultaneous intake of chamomile and ibuprofen on markers of muscle damage, pain, and inflammation after exhaustive eccentric exercise in young men. In a double blind randomized clinical trial, 40 young men participated voluntarily in the study and were randomly and equally assigned to groups including chamomile (Cham; 1600 mg/day), ibuprofen (IBP; 1600 mg/day), chamomile + ibuprofen (Cham-IBP; 800 mg/day ibuprofen and 800 mg/day chamomile), and placebo. Participants performed a bout of exhaustive eccentric exercise following a week of supplementation. Blood samples were collected before the start of supplementation, before the eccentric exercise, 24, 48, and 72 h after the eccentric exercise and aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), and creatine kinase (CK) were measured in the plasma. In addition, muscle soreness, Sargent jump test (SJ), and knee range of motion (ROM) as functional capacity were measured. The results showed that ROM significantly improved 48 h post exercise in all three treatment groups (p ≤ 0.05). Also, chamomile supplementation significantly improved MS, SJ, AST, and ALT more than ibuprofen, and chamomile + ibuprofen compared to the placebo group (p ≤ 0.05). In conclusion, chamomile is more effective than ibuprofen or combination of chamomile and ibuprofen in attenuating muscle soreness after intense muscle-damaging exercise.
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Conflict of interest
E. Naghavi-Azad, S. Rahmati-Ahmadabad, H. Amini, K. Azizbeigi, M. Helalizadeh, R. Iraji, S.M. Cornish, Z. Khojasteh and M.A. Azarbayjani declare that they have no competing interests.
For this article no studies with human participants or animals were performed by any of the authors. All studies performed were in accordance with the ethical standards indicated in each case.
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Naghavi-Azad, E., Rahmati-Ahmadabad, S., Amini, H. et al. Effects of simultaneous intake of chamomile and ibuprofen on delayed-onset muscle soreness markers and some liver enzymes following eccentric exercise. Ger J Exerc Sport Res (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12662-020-00662-x
- Alanine aminotransferase
- Aspartate aminotransferase
- Sargent jump test