Four supplements to strengthen, support, maintain and improve joint health.
Joint health is a concern for everyone, particularly those who train with weights and individuals who wish to maintain high fitness levels. Each time we move, be it lifting, bending, running, stretching or sitting, the joints in our body are stressed when performing their duties. Many people believe that changes in joint health are just a part of ageing, but several factors contribute to joint health, including genetics, weight, age and sports-related activities. The most common joint structures affected are the knees, hips, back, shoulders, hands, neck and wrists.
Paying attention to your joints is the first step in helping to maintain your longevity in the sport and life-long joint health. The use of a comprehensive joint support formula, in addition to a healthy, nutritious diet, coupled with sensible training techniques, is a proactive way to promote healthy, mobile joint function for athletes of all ages and lifestyles.
When trying to choose an appropriate joint support supplement stack, athletes are advised to use products that contain efficacious doses of ingredients that have solid scientific support. The most common, well researched and scientifically proven ingredients include calcium, glucosamine sulphate, chondroitin sulphate, methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) and hydrolysed collagen.
Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body and it is a very important mineral for athletes for several reasons. The structural stress imposed by exercise, particularly weight training, requires an ample supply of dietary calcium to maintain bone density, joint strength and skeletal integrity.
As athletes often restrict dairy intake in order to reduce excess dietary fat intake, they may have difficulty in obtaining sufficient dietary calcium to maintain the minimum 1:1 calcium to phosphorus ratio in their diets, which nutritionists believe to be the minimum requirement for maintaining life-long skeletal integrity.
In addition, because the typical diets of highly active individuals are high in protein, it is generally also high in phosphorus (throwing off the calcium:phosphorus ratio even further) and causing excess amounts of calcium to be excreted in urine.
This ratio is important because if the required calcium is not available from the diet, the body will obtain it from wherever it can, which is commonly stored deposits in bones. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out then that when performing stressful exercise (which remodels bone in response to the stress), you don’t want calcium being removed from bones, thereby decreasing their integrity.
Calcium is also the primary mineral involved in muscular contraction.