Everybody’s got joints and because of that, we all deal with joint pain in one form or another on some level. Creaky knees, angry elbows, achy ankles, tight hips — small annoyances that can sometimes turn into big problems down the road. Joints are comprised of thick, pliable cartilage that keeps bones from rubbing against each other, along with tendons, ligaments, and synovial fluid. Any or all of these components can break down for various reasons, leading to joint pain and swelling.
Your joints and other related connective tissues like tendons and ligaments are a part of your ability to perform basic functions every single day; like walking up and down stairs, bending over, driving a car, and picking up your kids. On the fitness front, you can feel these small annoyances even more after a good workout.
You know what I’m talking about…
Those wrists feel extra sore after an intense yoga class, and a heavy squat session can leave your knees crying the next day. Running? Phew! Pass the ibuprofen.
“Joints, just like muscle tissue, experience damage during exercise, undergoing a similar inflammatory response to repair damage. However, joints are not as resilient as muscle tissue, and over time the lubrication and cartilage that protects the joints begins to wear thin, causing stiffness and pain.”
The breakdown of cartilage and loss of joint function is unavoidable in some situations. After all, there’s not much you can do to avoid or reverse the effects of aging. Exercise is one of those things that’s kind of a double edged sword. Increasing your muscle mass and engaging in cardiovascular activity is always a good idea and beneficial for your long term health, but it can also cause your joints to wear out faster than they might have otherwise. Think about volleyball players and pitchers who have shoulder and rotator cuff issues, football and soccer players with knee problems, joint pain in these cases is expected and part of the game.
Fortunately, a glucosamine supplement might be the answer when it comes to helping these joints and tissues stay as healthy as possible and even addressing pain and discomfort.
The Goods On Glucosamine
When it comes to controlling inflammation, pain, and stiffness we need to take a deeper look at the cartilage that makes up our joints and joint tissues, and more specifically, the glucosamine that these components are built of. Glucosamine’s role in building cartilage is absolutely vital.
- Cartilage is important because it’s strong and pliant, protective and cushioning by nature.
- Chondrocytes are the special cells found in healthy cartilage that maintain the “extracellular matrix of cartilage”.
- Glucosamine is an amino sugar produced by cells called chondrocytes in cartilage. Its purpose is to make, strengthen and repair the extensive joint tissues, cartilages, tendons and ligaments in your body. It also helps form the synovial fluid which surrounds and protects the joints and lubricates them to keep your movements smooth and pain free.
- Glucosamine acts as a natural shock absorbent and is also needed for the synthesis of specific proteins and lipids (lipids = fats) that form important tissues, including cartilage for joints, tendons and ligaments.
Unfortunately, cartilage begins to break down for a variety of reasons. The wear and tear of joints can be attributed to an “age related decline in the natural synthesis of glucosamine, which contributes to joint lubrication and cartilage formation”. Aging, exercise, the regular repetitiveness of everyday movements — it all adds up over time and can lead to conditions like arthritis and osteoarthritis, along with any regular old pain and discomfort you might feel throughout the day.
When used in tandem with good and basic health practices (think exercise, weight training, regular stretching, maintaining a healthy weight), the right glucosamine supplement can also help with joint health and support. Taking glucosamine can also help address the problem (i.e. joint pain) rather than attempt to mask it, like pain relievers and NSAIDs.
According to the University of Maryland:
“…studies show that people with OA who took glucosamine (1,500 mg once a day) experienced greater improvement in their condition compared to people who took 100 mg of acetaminophen (Tylenol) 3 times a day.” So, that’s a major bonus.
Glucosamine supplements are used to help prevent the breakdown of joint tissues and any associated symptoms including pain, inflammation, lack of flexion, joint stiffness and weakness. Taking a glucosamine supplement can even prevent osteoarthritis from forming in the first place. Obviously, athletes and fitness enthusiasts are at a greater risk for developing joint related problems thanks to increased stress and movement placed on joints through exercise and weight training.
Here’s a greater list of benefits associated with taking a good glucosamine supplement:
You can find glucosamine naturally in a few different sources like the actual shells from shellfish like lobster, crab and shrimp shells. Take that into consideration if you have any related allergies. Animal cartilage is also another natural source of glucosamine which can partially explain the rise in popularity of bone broth since it’s packed with minerals and other healing compounds like collagen, proline, glycine, and glutamine, as well as glucosamine and chondroitin. Always make it a point to get as much glucosamine in your diet naturally and use supplementation in addition to healthy habits and practices.
It’s also worth mentioning that chondroitin is often talked about in tandem with glucosamine since they’re both important components of cartilage growth and repair. “Chondroitin helps keep cartilage healthy by absorbing fluid (particularly water) into the connective tissue. It may also block enzymes that break down cartilage, and it provides the building blocks for the body to produce new cartilage.”
Types Of Glucosamine Supplements To Choose From
Typically, there are two different types of glucosamine supplements to chose from:
- Glucosamine Sulfate – the most widely used type of glucosamine supplement, also the most studied and proven in both human and animal trials. Glucosamine sulfate is typically stabilized with sodium chloride and is typically the most effective at relieving pain and inflammation, helping with mobility in some cases of osteoarthritis in your larger joints like the hip and knee.
- Glucosamine Hydrochloride (HCL) – obviously made from glucosamine and hydrochloride combined. This combination hasn’t been studied as much as Glucosamine Sulfate and for some reason isn’t shown to be as effective for bone and joint health.
IdealLean Glucosamine contains 1500 mg of glucosamine sulfate because of the overwhelming amount of scientific data and research backing glucosamine sulfate over HCL. IdealLean glucosamine. Most competitors only use a fraction of the glucosamine sulfate sodium chloride in comparison to IdealLean.
As far as dosage goes, 1,500 milligrams is the optimal daily amount which is why IdealLean Glucosamine provides 1500mg of Glucosamine Sulfate Sodium Chloride, giving your joints the relief and support they need to remain healthy.
Should You Supplement, Yes Or No?
Joints are important! Without their pliant and protective cushioning provided by healthy connective tissues, your joints can’t maintain their healthy structure, which means your mobility is limited and you aren’t getting the most out of your workouts. IdealLean Glucosamine supports your joint health with optimal ingredients and supplementation geared towards meeting the high demand needs of an active lifestyle.
If you are over 40, lead an active lifestyle, and/or suffer from joint pain, stiffness and soreness on a regular basis – the answer is likely yes when it comes to a good glucosamine supplement like IdealLean.