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Working Out on PrEP


Can I take supplements like creatine with PrEP?
Usually, but check with your doctor first. You should always tell your doctor and pharmacist about all prescription and non-prescription medications you take — as well as vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects depending on what else you take.

Will taking PrEP impact my lean body mass?
No, it won’t. And according to NAM AIDSMap, an international HIV information resource, PrEP doesn’t raise lipids or alter body fat, either.

Will side effects stop me from working out?
Probably not. PrEP is a safe and well-tolerated drug. According to Gilead, the makers of Truvada (the only currently-approved drug to be used as PrEP), about one in 10 people in studies reported they had nausea, stomach pain, or weight loss when they first started taking PrEP. Most of the time, these side effects improved or went away after taking PrEP for a few weeks.

Does PrEP make you more tired?
PrEP users may feel fatigued a bit early on. Reports show the feeling passes after a few weeks. Take it easy at first, until you have a chance to adjust to the drug. Don’t strain yourself at the gym. Take frequent breaks, drink fluids, and get a good night’s sleep. Consider less strenuous workouts (such as yoga, swimming, or tai chi) on days you’re feeling tired, but do know many weight and resistance trainers take PrEP without any impact.

Do I need to take PrEP with food?
Nope. You don’t need to take PrEP with food or at any specific time of day. The most important thing is taking it every day at the same time. Set a regular practice. Schedule it between your protein shake and morning run, for example, or right before bed.

Are there other health benefits to taking PrEP?
People on PrEP must see their medical providers more frequently — which turns out to improve men’s health overall because the doc will screen you (and treat you) for any sexually-transmitted infections that might crop up before you’re even aware you have them. Being on PrEP relieves stress and anxiety over potentially becoming HIV-positive, and many say it makes them feel more empowered in taking control of their sexual health. Having conversations with your doctor about your body and sexual habits also have positive impacts on health — and anything you tell them is confidential, so be honest. 

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