Grueling hours in the gym, countless days spent counting calories, pounds of chicken eaten and the thing that stops your career is joint pain? Shame.
Let’s face it, caring for your joints is incredibly important for your career; after all they are literally responsible for carrying your training plan.
We’ve all seen the videos of the King Ronnie Coleman squatting 800 solid ass pounds. We’ve also seen him walking with a stroller. A joint supplement could change this. Take note.
Your joints are incredibly important as they are the hinges between your muscles, and neglecting them can lead to great injuries. Not only this, but neglect can cause continuous pain daily, as well as a higher chance of injury in the future.
A study in 2017 found that most injuries in sport happen in the shoulder, lower back, knee, elbow, and wrist/hand (1); all areas where joints are prevalent. It is thus in your best interest to not only use training principles that tax your joints the least, but supplementing to help them recover as best possible.
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What are the Best Joint Supplements for Bodybuilding?
- MSM has substantial benefits towards joint health, mostly found in almost all joint health formulas.
- Collagen is still a winner, with sufficient evidence that it helps fight joint deterioration.
- Curcumin benefits isn’t only limited to fat loss and inflammation, it has joint health benefits as well.
- Cissus quadrangularis (CQ) has been shown to help fight inflammation and joint pain due to strenuous exercises.
- Glucosamine HCl was found to be effective, but only when combined with other joint health ingredients.
What a name huh? MSM is a organosulfur compound – fancy for “carries a Sulphur” and is organic. Due to the Sulphur, supplements containing MSM can lead to more production of Glutathione which can protect cells from damage. Sulphur on it’s own is also a factor for creating connective tissue, found in joints (4).
MSM can have great benefits for joint pain and joint protection, and is a staple in most joint health formulations.
MSM Powder (Methylsulfonylmethane) by Bulk Supplements provides a good dose of 1500mg per serving, the normal athlete seeing benefit from between 1500-3000mg per day. MSM also has some anecdotal evidence to suggest it may help with digestion, skin health, fortifying the immune system, inflammation and potentially DOMS.
Collagen is the protein with the highest density inn the human body, accounting for at least one third. A lack of collagen has been linked to weak frail bones, saggy skin, injuries, and weakening joint health.
Hydrolyzed collagen is the best version to use as a supplement as the bioavailability is much higher than that of pure collagen (2).
Again Bulk Supplements to the rescue! They have a Bovine Hydrolyzed Collagen, dosed quite nicely at 2500 mg, a perfectly adequate dose for athletes. This product comes in a powder form, range from 100g to 5kg, and a daily dose can be 1 – 2 servings per day as needed.
Collagen can help bodybuilders immensely with longevity, as well as relieving pain caused by heavy lifting.
A meta analysis in 2016 found that Curcumin supplementation can definitely have benefits towards fighting the inflammation associated with joint pain (2).
Joints often become inflamed due to overuse, and relieving the inflammation will allow the body to repair the tissue at a more efficient rate.
Bonus, Curcumin can also help with fat loss. Extra bnus, Curcumin is a powerful antioxidant, something all bodybuilders can use.
For Curcumin I would recommend the Joint Oil from Onnit. Not only does this 12 fl oz bottle supply you with 100mg of Curcumin per serving, but also 1.6g of Fish Oil (Great for overall health), as well as some GLA (A study found that GLA can relieve joint pain (5)).
Cissus quadrangularis (CQ)
I’m just going to refer to this one as CQ. CQ has been shown to specifically relieve the joint pain associated with strenuous exercise, a dose of 3200mg relieves pain by 31% (3).
This compound has been used for healing joints for many years, a possible reason for its effectiveness could be due to the high vitamin C content.
If you are looking to get your hands on some, Double Wood Supplement sells Cissus Quadrangularis Extract (150 x 500 mg Capsules). Not only do they offer bundle purchases, they also offer subscription purchases.
QC will be massively beneficial in any bodybuilders stack to alleviate some of those joint aches.
Glucosamine is a typical “only works when you’re around type of guy”, studies have literally shown it has little effects unless combined with other compounds on this list.
Glucosamine works similar to MSM in the way that it can increase the amount of Sulphur in the body, leading to the healing of joints and other parts of the body.
science.bio provides exactly this with their Glucosamine Sulfate 2KCl – Powder, 250g. Not only are their products third party tested but they also offer a 30 day money back guaranteed!
Take Home Message
In the end, all of these supplements can have great effects on your health, specifically joint health. While this does not allow you to go max out every single day as exciting as that sounds, you can still make sure to follow a diet that is higher in good fats (contains Sulphur which you need) as well as going for soft tissue work and managing stress and training volume.