Dr. Bob Seebohar, a Sports Dietician for the US Olympic Training Center, wrote a great recap of over a decade of studies about the use of ibuprofen during and prior to endurance events for Inside Triathlon. I found the conclusions to be surprising - not only was ibuprofen ineffective at reducing swelling, tissue damage, and perceived stress, but it also could mess with your kidneys ability to process fluids when taken in large doses, increasing the chance of dehydration and renal failure. In a nutshell, ibuprofen may do just the opposite of what endurance athletes want!
Here's an excerpt regarding a study around the Western States 100:
What about the effects of NSAIDs on athletic populations? Neiman et al. measured the influence of ibuprofen use during the 100 mile Western States trail running race. Athletes were placed in a control group, a group consuming 600mg and 1200 mg ibuprofen the day before the race and on race day. The groups who used Ibuprofen had higher plasma levels of many muscle damage markers including serum C-reactive protein, plasma cytokine and macrophage inflammatory protein. Delayed onset-muscle soreness and serum creatine kinase levels did not differ significantly. Interestingly, race times and rates of perceived exertion did not differ among groups. This study concluded that ibuprofen use compared to nonuse by athletes did not alter muscle damage or soreness and was related to elevated indicators of inflammation-the exact opposite reason that athletes take NSAIDs in the first place!Wild, huh? Be sure to check out the whole article.