Best Joint Supplements for Bodybuilding

Joint supplements can save you not only from injury, but also prolong your career in bodybuilding for years to come. Even though bodybuilding has some of the lowest rate of injuries amongst other sports, making use of all your joints is incredibly important to keep training efficiently.

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 2017Β 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.

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.

MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane)

Best Joint Supplements for Bodybuilding

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.

Pros
  • Helps with joint pain and protection at 1500mg per serving

  • Readily available in bulk

  • Available in powder and soft gel form

Cons
  • Restricted in some countries

  • Only sold on the direct website

  • Not safe for individuals suffering from chronic venous insufficiency

Collagen

Best Joint Supplements for Bodybuilding

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.

Pros
  • Very high dose of hydrolyzed collagen

  • It is Hydrolyzed Collagen, which has a higher bioavailability

  • Savings available via subscription orders

Cons
  • Some people complain about heartburn from collagen powders

  • No vegan collagen on the market

Curcumin

Best Joint Supplements for Bodybuilding

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)).

Pros
  • Can aid in joint inflammation

  • Liquids can have faster absorption than capsules

  • Contains fish oil, which does also help joint pain as well

Cons
  • Curcumin needs an additive to be very bioavailable

  • Overuse does have drawbacks such as stomach ulcers

  • One study indicated hair loss from overuse of curcumin

Cissus quadrangularis (CQ)

Best Joint Supplements for Bodybuilding

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.

Pros
  • Can aid in joint inflammation, as well as various other benefits such as aiding in digestion, cholesterol and excessive fat

  • Can decrease cortisol

  • Does offer multiple pack purchases

Cons
  • Some report side effects of CQ to be gas, diarrhea, dry mouth, and headaches

  • Anecdotal evidence suggest insomnia as well, which defeats the purpose of a joint formula

  • Some studies suggest it could lower blood sugar, not always great for hypertrophy

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Best Joint Supplements for Bodybuilding

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Best Joint Supplements for Bodybuilding

Glucosamine HCl

Best Joint Supplements for Bodybuilding

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!

Pros
  • Specifically beneficial for joints around the hips

  • You can customize supplement blends

  • Formula is completely Vegan

Cons
  • Some people report nausea, heartburn, diarrhea, and constipation from Glucosamine

  • Only works when combined with other ingredients

  • Supporting studies are limited for Glucosamine

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.

1.) Keogh JW, Winwood PW. The Epidemiology of Injuries Across the Weight-Training Sports. Sports Med. 2017 Mar;47(3):479-501. doi: 10.1007/s40279-016-0575-0. PMID: 27328853.

2.) Clark KL, Sebastianelli W, Flechsenhar KR, Aukermann DF, Meza F, Millard RL, Deitch JR, Sherbondy PS, Albert A. 24-Week study on the use of collagen hydrolysate as a dietary supplement in athletes with activity-related joint pain. Curr Med Res Opin. 2008 May;24(5):1485-96. doi: 10.1185/030079908x291967. Epub 2008 Apr 15. PMID: 18416885.

3) Bloomer RJ, Farney TM, McCarthy CG, Lee SR. Cissus quadrangularis reduces joint pain in exercise-trained men: a pilot study. Phys Sportsmed. 2013 Sep;41(3):29-35. doi: 10.3810/psm.2013.09.2021. PMID: 24113700.

4.) https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-522/methylsulfonylmethane-msm

Daniel Louwrens CPT

Hi there! My name is Daniel Louwrens, and I have more than 10 years of experience in the bodybuilding & fitness world. I have graduated with a degree in Chemistry, and my aim with helping people is to educate people who have questions about anything and everything fitness: Training, Nutrition, Recovery, and PED's.

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