Do You Need a Joint Supplement?
If you’re a bodybuilder or fitness enthusiast who loves to lift heavy, then chances are the answer to „do you need a joint supplement“ is yes. Your muscles are able to recover fast from the onslaught in the gym, but the joints are often slow to catch up. Over time if you aren’t careful, you may develop chronic joint stiffness, pain and inflammation, and other problems.
But it’s not just bodybuilders that could benefit from taking a joint supplement. Runners, MMA fighters, tennis players, even golfers may need a quality joint supplement too. Even if you’re just looking to keep your joints smooth, flexible and healthy as they age, here you’ll find a list of the best joint supplement ingredients that can help you with just that.
Who Needs a Joint Supplement?
To find out the answer to „do you need a joint supplement,“ you’ll have to ask yourself these questions first:
- Are you active and love to train?
- Do you ever feel joint stiffness or discomfort?
If your answer is yes to any of these questions, then you probably need a joint supplement. But there’s another factor that comes into play, and that is your age…
When Should You Start Taking a Joint Supplement?
Regardless if you play sports or not, supporting your joints becomes important once you hit your 30s and beyond. This is the age bracket where things start going downhill for most of us, but the good news is, you can offset the decline. Studies show that the sooner you optimize your diet around nutrients that support joint health, the less likely it is you’ll encounter problems like arthritis and joint inflammation as you age.
But how do joint supplements work? We explain that in the next section.
How Joint Supplements Work
Oftentimes when our knees hurt or shoulder feels sore, many of us immediately reach out for aspirin or ibuprofen. While these are great at relieving the discomfort in the short-term, you don’t really want to take them daily as they can be hard on the liver and bring their own side effects. Plus, they don’t treat the cause.
Joint supplements are a better and safer alternative. Some ingredients in joint supplements, like fish oil and CBD, are shown to naturally reduce pain and inflammation. Other supplements like glucosamine have compounds that are already present in your joint tissues.
But not all supplements are the same as you know. That’s why it’s good to know what to look out for in them. Below, we’ll show you the 5 best ingredients for a joint supplement. And don’t forget: if you’re dealing with chronic joint issues, try to find out what’s the root cause with your doctor.
Best Joint Supplement Ingredients
CBD is naturally found in the hemp and cannabis plant, and is known for its pain relieving and anti-inflammatory properties. Being safe and legal, CBD is a supplement of choice for many pro athletes and busy professionals who’re seeking to improve their muscle & joint recovery, and to manage pain. Some studies even show it’s as effective as some anti-inflammatory drugs. (2, 3) Not only is CBD fantastic for joint health, it also promotes positive mood and mental well-being. You really can’t go wrong with this one!
Glucosamine is one of the more popular ingredients in joint supplements, and for good reason. Found in foods like chicken and shellfish, this natural compound is required to build cartilage – the tissue that lubricates your joints and makes them soft and flexible. Glucosamine is even used in food treats for dogs, and owners often report a notable difference within only few weeks of starting taking glucosamine. Studies confirm us these beneficial effects; showing that glucosamine supplementation can potentially reduce the risk of developing bone and joint issues. (4, 5) You don’t need to take glucosamine supplements to benefit from this essential compound, though; any meat that has a lot of cartilage will have plenty of glucosamine. Bone broth is an excellent source of glucosamine too.
Fish oil is a source of omega-3s, which are beneficial for your body and brain. Research shows that omega-3s help to reduce tender joints and morning stifness. Krill oil and cod liver oil are also excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids – including EPA and DHA which are shown to naturally manage inflammation. (6, 7)
Whey protein is a staple supplement for many bodybuilders, and most of us are aware of its benefits on muscle building and recovery. But whey isn’t just for building slabs of muscle. As it turns out, it can be a powerful aid for your joint health as well. How so? It’s simple: whey protein is shown to significantly reduce C-reactive protein, which is the main marker of inflammation in your body. (1) What’s more, whey protein also provides amino acids, which act as building blocks for your joint and bone tissue.
You might have already heard of the anti-inflammatory benefits of turmeric, a traditional Indian spice. Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric, and is shown to help quench inflammation in the body. (8) In fact, some studies suggest that curcumin might be as effective as ibuprofen in this regard.
Don’t Forget Water
It’s easy to forget about the basics when looking to improve your joint health. Staying hydrated is key to maintaining smooth and flexible joints. A dehydrated body means your cartilage and tendons are dry, which often leads to joint pain and inflammation. 6-8 full glasses of water per day is the recommended average, but if you’re an active person, you may need more.
Taking joint supplements is a good way to cover your bases and ensure your joints feel awesome. Each one of us is different, so some supplements might be more effective for you than others. That’s why it’s a good idea to try experimenting with them.
Ultimately, there’s no denying that your joints are important. They help you move and do what you want throughout the day. In other words, watching after your joints is a good way to watch after you.
- Effect of whey supplementation on circulating C-reactive protein: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. (source)
- Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs. (source)
- Cannabinoid Delivery Systems for Pain and Inflammation Treatment. (source)
- Potential effects of chondroitin sulfate on joint swelling: a GAIT report. (source)
- Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate: biological response modifiers of chondrocytes under simulated conditions of joint stress. (source)
- The Effect of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Patients With Active Rheumatoid Arthritis Receiving DMARDs Therapy: Double-Blind Randomized Controlled Trial. (source)
- Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis: a meta-analysis. (source)
- Natural anti-inflammatory agents for pain relief. (source)