Avoid Anti-Inflammatory Drugs
Popping occasional over-the-counter anti-inflammatory meds (NSAIDs) to ease achy muscles is no big deal. But there's a school of thought that says taking them like candy actually hinders recovery because it cuts down on the natural inflammation that results from stressing your muscles and that preps them for repair. A 2012 article in Sports Medicine made the case that regular long-term use of NSAIDs can interfere with muscle regrowth. It's your body's response to stress, it initiates healing, says Keating, and that's what builds strength and size.