Are you looking to prevent, protect and recover your body in the most effective way possible? Then let’s talk about joints. During training, the most commonly used joints are our shoulders and knees.
To function properly, joints require cartilage and synovial fluid. Cartilage is the soft tissue layer on each side of the joint that acts as a cushion to the end of the bones. The synovial fluid between them helps lubricate the moving parts so they move against each other freely.
All levels of athletes are tough on their joints and repetitive impacting movements can cause wear and tear in the long term. This creates rough spots that can lead to degradation of the cartilage and damage to the synovial fluid.
You don’t have to wait for an injury to occur to start supplementing. In fact, most of us would benefit greatly from supplementing early. Damage can occur whenever the intensity of your physical exercise causes the rate of wear and tear to exceed the rate in which your body can produce new cartilage and synovial fluid to replace the ones lost.
This then results in inflammation, pain, stiffness and reduced movement of the joints. Whether you’re a cross fitter, marathon runner, avid gym-goer, we all aim to perform our best and be our strongest, healthiest and most functional selves with minimal recovery time and injuries.
While stretching, muscle creams, ice baths and recovery routines can help, the true key to recovery begins with what we put in our body.
There are countless supplements on the market to help support, build and protect your joints. We’ve done our research to bring you four of the most important ones:
Chondroitin is a natural compound that is an essential component of our connective tissue, mostly found in cartilage and bones. It’s particularly important in helping prevent cartilage damage and support joint health by lubricating the joints. This ensures that your joint cartilage stays strong and elastic and fights the natural aging process. Chondroitin also helps reduce the risk of overuse injuries and prevent the joints from becoming too stiff after intensive exercise.
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body, vital for maintaining structure in tendons, skin and cartilage. Supplementing with collagen may have a variety of health benefits, including positive effects on bone, muscle, joint and cartilage. Marine Collagen is highly bioavailable, containing Type I and III sources that can be quickly absorbed by the body and used to replenish collagen stores.
3. Glucosamine Sulphate
Glucosamine Sulphate is another major component of joint cartilage. Our bodies use this to help build tendons, ligaments, cartilage and joint fluids. Naturally present in the body, it’s made of glucose and the amino acid glutamine. By adding this to your supplement routine, it can help prevent the breakdown of joint cartilage and promote new cartilage formation.
4. Vitamin D3
Vitamin D3 is known to help increase calcium uptake for enhanced muscle function and strong bones. It is also worth noting our bodies cannot synthesise Collagen without Vitamin C, therefore it is important to choose a supplement including Vitamin C. Additionally we have all heard of the numerous benefits of antioxidants, especially for overall muscle recovery. Food sources high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties help you to recover and are important for connective tissue function and bone and cartilage structure
Luckily, you don’t have to purchase all these supplements individually. The ultimate functional support, our RawFIT Collagen Build contains 5000mg of Type I and III Marine Collagen, 250mg of plant-based Chondroitin, Vitamin C for collagen synthesis and Vitamin D3 to increase calcium uptake.
With its subtle peach flavour, this soluble powder is perfect for adding to water, juice, smoothies, breakfast bowls or your favourite recipes. Daily supplementation could help reduce the risk of joint injury, pain and discomfort by supporting your bones, muscle and cartilage throughout intense workouts.