Running is a high impact sport. And while it isn’t always seen this way, running is one of the toughest sports on your joints. Most athletes suffer from one joint injury, at least one in their career. Injuries in the knees, ankles and elbows. If you are a runner you want to protect your joints and avoid injury if possible. Taking supplements help to keep your joints heathy.
To add joint supplements to your running program, you need a little insider scoop about what supplements will help strengthen and improve your joints. Glucosamine, an amino acid sugar derived from shellfish, is the most popular joint supplement on the market due to its effectiveness. MSM (methyl sulfonyl methane) is possibly the second most common of the joint supplements for runners available on the market. This is because MSM helps treat and prevent osteoarthritis, a big risk factor to runners, is well as joint pain. The last pure joint supplement available is chondroitin, a sugar that helps strengthen tissue integrity, allowing the tendons to perform their jobs better and taking stress off of the joint itself. And while there are other runners joint supplements, the only ones proven to work will include one or more of the three listed above.
Joint supplements for runners can be tricky. Certain supplements can cause lethargy, or similar reactions, and thus it is best to take them after a workout. Other supplements have to be taken on an empty stomach, and pre-run, having even a small liquid supplement in your stomach can stave off the hunger resulting from an empty stomach that many runners find so discomforting. Read the directions on the label, and be sure to follow them exactly. This will ensure that you get the best possible experience from your joint supplement.
Just like any type of medication or supplementation you use, joint supplements for runners will take time to start working. Don’t expect joint pain to disappear, or for your joints to take on the quality of iron after a single dosage. However, over time, fitness levels may rise due to the strengthening of your joints caused by consistent joint supplement use. A good joint supplement isn’t guaranteed to make you bigger, faster or stronger, but it can improve your race times, as stronger joints mean more efficient movements—something many runners dream of.
If you have bad joint pain, don’t take a supplement and then run through it. Supplements are not magic. Take any of the joint supplements for runners you choose, and rest. Allow yourself a break from running until your joint pain disappears. If it does not disappear, consider going to see a doctor. Remember, supplements are not intended for the treatment of medical conditions, so don’t experiment with yourself. Ask your doctor before starting any supplement regimens.