What are the Best Supplements to Take for Joint Health?
Who Should Be Concerned About Joint Health?
After being locked inside of their homes for any amount of time (due to the different lengths of lockdowns around the country), many Americans found themselves suddenly far more interested in being active and outside than they had previously been. From full jogging trails around the cities every morning to hiking and camping trips around the country, the people of this great nation have found a resurgence of interest in getting out of their homes.
Aside from our new outdoor enthusiasts, a significant number of people in our nation are starting to get to the age where it is becoming far more difficult to be active or outside. We’re talking, of course, about the aging population. In 2019, 16% of the US population was comprised of those 65 and older. By 2040, that percentage is expected to increase to 21.6% of the population. That’s a significant increase in a nation of 360 million people.
Whether you are one of the newly active, a part of the ageing population, or just the type of person focused on taking care of your body now to prevent aches & pains later on in life, we should all care about our joint health. Thankfully there are whole food and all natural ways to care for our joints that can be implemented to help prevent the need for medications or painful surgeries later in life, if you are willing to implement a joint care regimen early.
How Can I Take Care of My Joints?
One aspect of joint care that often goes overlooked is as simple as what you wear on your feet. Running shoes and hiking boots are built to be sturdy and provide cushion & support to your joints with every step you take, but like anything else they have a finite amount of use that they can provide. Every step that you take can begin to compress or wear down the soles and cushion of your footwear, eventually leading to a product that can begin to do more harm than good.
Experts recommend that running shoes be replaced every 3-500 miles, meaning that if you run 20 miles per week, they should be replaced every four to six months. This doesn’t matter if you are running marathons or counting your walking steps at a local mall, as the effect on the support function of your shoes is the same. If you have a larger than average build (over 160 lbs.), this is extremely important as the shock of every step has more force on your joints due to weight.
This becomes especially important for your entire skeletal and joint system when you understand the compensation mechanisms of the human body. You may think that your footwear will only be important in regards to your feet and ankles, but in reality your entire muskuloskeletal system works together, and anytime one part is hurt or injured, it can have compounded effects on the rest of your body.
Have you ever injured your foot or ankle, and then realized that the opposite hip begins to hurt a few days later, and then suddenly you start having back pain after that? This is the concept of compensation - when one part of your body is injured, you start “compensating” that injury to avoid further injuring it.
You may begin to limp, or purposely avoid putting too much weight on that part of your body. By doing so, you change your normal posture and gait, which leads to overcompensation (overreliance) on other parts of your body, which leads to new injuries through overuse of the other parts.
On top of regularly changing your footwear, there are supplementation and dietary changes that you can make to help support your joints and musculoskeletal system. This can be just as important in the young and active as it is in the older generations, as proper joint care early on may help to strengthen and “lubricate” your joints, which can lead to prevention of joint injuries or pain later on in life.
Can I Change My Diet to Support My Joint Health?
There are several different supplements that can be used to support joint health, but are not in the standard human diet. Some of these, like gluchosamine and chondroiten, are well known by runners and those in the active communities. There are others that are not as well known, but have been shown in recent studies to do just as much if not more good for your joint health than even gluchosamine.
Collagen is one of these all-natural supplements that can go a long way to aiding joint support, but is not something that naturally occurs within the human diet. Collagen can promote joint and bone health, can help to reduce inflammation (which occurs internally even when there isn’t an obvious injury). Collagen also has the added benefit of promoting skin and gastrointestinal health, and has long been sought out for its benefit of providing younger looking skin.
As mentioned above, glucosamine also plays a key role in building and repairing joint cartilage (which isn’t something that can naturally repair itself). Glucosamine can also aid in tissue recovery, which again can be something that you don’t even notice is needed because an especially long run or rough hike leads to microtears within your joints or muscle tissue.
These may only seem like a minor inconvenience to you now, but can lead to bigger issues later on in life if not repaired. Glucosamine can also provide joint lubrication, which increases the elasticity of your joints, and can reduce stiffness and pain that comes from an especially active lifestyle.
Hyaluronic Acid (HLA) is a relatively new discovery in the world of active lifestyle supplementation, and helps provide additional support and benefits to some that gluchosmine also provides. HLA has been found to have a hydrating effect on cartilage, which again is something that your body cannot naturally repair on its own. This function can cause HLA to bring relief to sore or inflamed joints, making it both a great preemptive supplement as well as an excellent option for a recovery supplement.
If you are the type of person who already proactively shops for supplements that provide joint care or supports an active lifestyle, you may have noticed a sudden preponderance of joint care supplements that include turmeric or curcumin. This is because recent studies have shown that curcumin (an extract of turmeric root) has stong antioxidant properties and may be especially useful in reducing joint inflammation, stiffness, and may even reduce pain caused by arthritis.
What Are the Best Supplements to Take for Joint Health?
Avid runners and outdoor enthusiasts of the past often had nothing more to rely on that aspirin or ibuprofen, merely soothing the pain that came with their active lifestyles and not having a way to prevent the future damage that it would do to their bodies. Thankfully we now have preventative joint care, and the products listed below are some of the best on the market to help soothe joint pains and prevent long-term damage.
Joint Vibrance by Vibrant Health
If you live an active lifestyle and are looking for a single supplement that includes all of the latest benefits of joint care, Joint Vibrance by Vibrant Health has it all. Along with the standard vitamins & minerals that you would need in an active supplement such as Vitamin C, Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc, and Manganese, Joint Vibrance also has many joint-specific benefits that can help keep your body & joints in tip-top shape.
Joint Vibrance includes four different types of cartilage builders (bovine collage, avian collagen, glucosamine HCL, chondroiten sulfate) to help repair your joint cartilage as well as to keep your joints lubricated. The supplement also has many different additions to help improve your flexibility and reduce inflammation, such as MSM, HLA, turmeric, grapeseed, and others.
If you are looking for a single daily supplement that can provide all that you need to keep your joints moving smoothly and pain-free, Joint Vibrance by Vibrant Health includes it all in one package.
The Recovery Bundle by Vibrant Health
If you live an active lifestyle, you know that joint care is only one part of the overall needs to keep your body in top form. The Recovery Bundle by Vibrant Health includes the Joint Vibrance product listed above, as well as Maximum Vibrance and Super Natural Boron in a single package.
Maximum Vibrance can aid your muscle recovery by providing 20g of all-natural plant-based protein as well as antioxidants from six different cereal grasses, 25 billion CFUs of probiotics from 12 different strains to keep your gut health running a maximum efficiency, fiber, adaptogens, and all of the essential vitamins & minerals that you need.
Recent tests have shown that boron can reduce the post-workout recovery time, provides excellent anti-inflammatory properties, and can even help to alleviate pain from arthritis and increase mental clarity - all of the things you need to keep your active lifestyle running at full speed.
Physio Flex Pro
Recommended by physical therapists and approved by the World Orthopedic Group, Physio Flex Pro is a research-based formula that uses natural ingredients to nourish and lubricate your joints while relieving pain and protecting cartilage.
Curcumin, ginger extract, bromelian, and selenium are used to reduce inflammation, swelling, and pain in the joints. MSM and chondroiten are used to build and strengthen your cartilage, ligaments, tendons, and bones, while also keeping your joints nice and lubricated with synovial fluids. While this product is all-natural, it does contain shellfish, meaning that it isn’t a great option for vegans or vegetarians, but can be used by pescatarians.
If you’re looking for a preventative joint care supplement that’s so easy to find that it can be picked up at most supplement or even big box retail stores like Target, Osteo Bi-Flex is a great, affordable option. This is a far more mass-market solution than any of those listed above, but it contains all of the essential elements needed for basic joint care: glucosamine HCL to keep your joints lubricated, a “joint shield” complex of boswellia serrata (which is also present in Joint Vibrance listed first above), and a chondroiten/MSM complex to help reduce inflammation. While not always available, there is a version carried in some big box retailers that also contains turmeric, which packs in additional antioxidant and joint care properties.
Flex by Performance Lab
Flex by Performance Lab is another joint care supplement that seems to check all of the boxes and is on several of the top lists, but as many of the versions of crucial ingredients are proprietary versions, there are still some questions as to whether they are as effective as those at the top of our list. This product is mainly turmeric and glucosamine sulfate, with the additional benefits of boswellia serrata, phytodroitin, and OptiMSM. It’s labeled as vegan-friendly, meaning that those with an active lifestyle and most diet restrictions can take it.
A wide swath of our population has a newfound love for the outdoors and active lifestyle, and a very large portion of our population is beginning to age into their golden years. Proper joint care is essential for both of these populations, but for very different reasons.
If you are young, healthy, and active, it may seem like the world is your oyster and nothing can harm you. That’s a great feeling to have, but can often come back to haunt you when you do get older and realize that all of those bumps & bruises from your youth hurt significantly more when you age.
At the other end of the spectrum, we have the older population who is beginning to feel pains in parts of their body that are new to them, with the joints typically being the first.
Although for different reasons, joint care in both of these populations is extremely important. Whichever population you fall into, use the advice and products listed above to ensure that you are providing the best care for your joints. Nobody is a fan of needing a knee or hip replacement, and the proper care now can potentially help to prevent that in your future.