Training hard and achieving desired results is the ultimate reward. However, sometimes our bones and joints may disagree. Athletes and bodybuilders push their bodies to the max on a daily basis so it’s no surprise that it eventually starts to take its toll. Just as protein supplements are used to repair muscles, joint support supplements are quite commonly taken to repair bones, particularly the joints. Doing so can help prevent injuries and also assist in the prevention of future disorders such as arthritis. Most joint support stacks and supplements include ingredients such as glucosamine, MSM and chondroitin.
Perhaps the most well known and popular joint support supplement is glucosamine, which is used to reduce joint pain and swelling as well as reduce tenderness in osteoarthritis (UMMC, 2011). Formed when glucose is combined with amino acids, glucosamine is a compound of glycosaminoglycans – the main component found in cartilage. Glycosaminoglycans are found in the body’s connective tissues and help to maintain healthy cartilage by attracting water molecules, which keep joints lubricated and protected. Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) and chondroitin are also popular elements used as major ingredients in many joint repair supplements. Similar to glucosamine, both assist with healing and protecting joints and have also been proven effective in relieving osteoarthritis and other conditions causing joint degeneration, such as rheumatoid arthritis and Lyme disease (Morreale et al, 1996, Usha & Naidu, 2004). MSM can also be used as a natural anti-inflammatory substance – an alternative to using processed drugs.
Many athletes such as runners, netball players and basketball players and any similar sports people may experience frequent joint pain in the knees, while strength trainers and sports people such as tennis players may also feel joint pain in the elbows and shoulders. This is where supplements such as glucosamine, MSM and chondroitin come in handy. It is quite common for people to leave implementing joint support supplements until after they obtain an injury; however, taking supplements promoting joint support before becoming injured will decrease your chances of injury in the long run. Strong joints mean that you’re less vulnerable to a related injury – unfortunately, many people learn the hard way and end up taking time off training in order to heal. It is also beneficial to take these joint support supplements to assist in the prevention of future conditions such as arthritis. The recommended dosage is usually around 1500 milligrams per day, spread out throughout the day (UMMC, 2011). For example, three dosages of 500 milligram portions per day. It’s best to always check the label as different brands may vary. Joint support supplements are a foundation health supplement for bodybuilders & powerlifters as are essential fatty acids, protein & vitamins.
Joint Support Supplements are commonly presented & sold as Complementary Medicines, Registered Therapeutic Items or Goods and Formulated Supplementary Sports Foods in Australia. Joint support supplements are not a sole source of nutrition and should be used in conjunction with an appropriate physical training or exercise programme. Not suitable for children or pregnant women. Should only be used under medical or dietetic supervision. Always read label prior to use.
Morreale (1996), Comparison of the antiinflammatory efficacy of chondroitin sulphate and diclofenac sodium in patients with knee osteoarthritis. J Rheumatol, 23: 1385-1391
UMMC (2011), Glucosamine, University of Maryland Medical Center.
Usha & Naidu (2004), Randomised double blind, parallel, placebo controlled study of oral glucosamine, methylsulfonylmethane and their combination in osteoarthritis. Clin Drug Investig, 24: 353-363