While we often assume that athletes are in perfect health, professional sports can take a serious toll on your body.
Whether you’re a line-backer for your local football team or play lacrosse on the weekends, you need the right stuff to help your body rest and recover between games.
Joint pain is one of the most common types of pain, with an estimated one-third of all Americans affected and 23% of all adults (over 54 million) have arthritis. Even if you have a healthy diet and follow a strict exercise regime, you may still find yourself suffering from achy or inflamed joints, especially after a sports injury.
While regular exercise and resting periods are great ways to maintain joint health in the long term, joint supplements for athletes are powerful aids to overall health. It goes without saying that these health aids are meant to supplement a healthy lifestyle, so let’s look at some of the causes of joint pain and how to stay in good shape, whatever sport you compete in:
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Common Causes of Joint Pain and Inflammation
There are many potential causes for joint pain, but the most common is arthritis, which is exacerbated by old age and chronic conditions, as well as lifestyle factors. While you should always consult a doctor for a professional medical diagnosis, some common factors that contribute to joint pain and inflammation are:
No prizes for guessing this one – physical damage to your joints from a bad fall, a hard tackle or a sprain can cause long lasting damage – so try to avoid joint injuries where possible. Athletes that compete in contact sports like football are at a far greater risk of injury than most people, so make
sure to play safe and take your coach’s advice when it comes to rest and recovery.
Osteoarthritis – one of the most common joint disorders – is caused by wear and tear on a joint, which is exacerbated by increased weight. While strong muscles help to relieve some stress on your joints, your knees will support up to 5 times your body weight when performing strenuous acts like running and squatting, so your weight may be putting extra strain on your body.
Lack of Exercise
If you don’t exercise regularly, your joints may stiffen up or, in severe cases, deteriorate over time in something known as “disuse syndrome”. While joint pain due to a lack of exercise is extremely rare in athletes, make sure to do some low-impact exercises – like stretches or yoga – during your resting periods.
If you suffer from joint pain or inflammation, there are a variety of ways to manage your symptoms, including physical therapy, prescription drugs and joint supplements, to name a few. However, we know that not everyone can go to the doctor over an achy knee, so we’ve included some tips on how to minimise the symptoms with natural supplements below:
Everyday Treatments for Joint Pain and Inflammation
There’s no need to call a doctor or get a prescription for these joint supplements – you could probably get most from your local Trader Joes – and they’re all naturally good for you. However, you’re barking up the wrong tree if you want a miracle cure for your trick knee; these supplements are intended to (you guessed it) supplement a healthy lifestyle, so make sure to eat right and exercise as well as getting some:
Your mom was onto something when she made you take all those omega 3 fish oil tablets – omega-3s reduce joint inflammation and oxidative stress. These fatty acids help to prevent or reduce inflammation as well as lowering your chances of getting rheumatoid arthritis later in life, so make sure to include oily fish or omega-3 fish oil supplements in your normal routine.
We Recommend – Dr Tobias’ Omega 3 Fish Oil:
Each serving contains 1,400mg of omega-3s with an enteric coating, so you get plenty of omega goodness with none of the fishy aftertaste.
Good news for all you curry lovers – your favourite Asian-inspired dishes may contain curcumin, which has anti-inflammatory effects and may help you reduce inflammation. This medicinal compound is the active ingredient in turmeric and is responsible for its bright yellow hue, so the next time you tuck into a korma, you can fight joint swelling and tenderness with curcumin.
We Recommend – Nature’s Nutrition Turmeric Curcumin:
With sleek packaging, straight-talking marketing and over 1,800mg of turmeric extract per capsule, these curcumin supplements are one of the best ways to boost your curcumin levels.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin
They say, ‘you are what you eat’ and that definitely holds true for these supplements which have anti-inflammatory and cartilage-protecting effects. Because they’re derived from healthy cartilage (the connective tissue in joints), glucosamine and chondroitin may relieve joint pain, and they are even prescribed for osteoarthritis in Britain and many other European countries!
We Recommend – Vita Balance ProJoint Plus:
These joint supplements have a whole host of active ingredients including chondroitin for cartilage and glucosamine for lubrication to support cartilage and joint health.
If you’re struggling with muscle and joint Pain, MSM May Help: This naturally occurring compound has anti-inflammatory effects and can be found in fresh, raw foods, though the compound used in supplements is way more potent. Because inflammation is the main cause of joint pain, an anti-inflammatory supplement will tackle the cause of your discomfort.
We Recommend – Now MSM:
Straight-forward supplements at their best, Now MSM supplements contain 1,500mg per capsule at competitive prices. Need we say more?
Collagen peptide isn’t just for anti-aging creams anymore: this naturally occurring compound is the ‘glue’ that holds our bodies together, keeping our skin stretchy and our joints working smoothly. Collagen peptide can be found in meat and broth, so a comforting chicken soup naturally has some collagen for joint comfort and repair, though joint supplements will be far more concentrated.
We Recommend – Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides Powder:
With 20g of collagen per serving and a glowing recommendation from Jennifer Aniston, this collagen peptide powder is an easy and effective way to get more collagen in your daily routine.
Whether you’re looking to reduce inflammation, cut down on injury recovery times or improve your general health, joint supplements can offer unique health benefits. Joint pain is such as common complaint that you will probably be affected by it at some point, so why not get ahead of the game by incorporating these helpful supplements into your daily routine?