There are a number of nutritional supplements you can take that have swift and verifiable benefits for your workouts and physique. A good energy catalyst or pre-workout supplement will give you a powerful surge of focus and intensity that will positively impact your exercise output right away. Likewise, the relatively rapid onset of muscle cell volumization facilitated by creatine monohydrate supplementation should have a noticeable effect on strength within weeks or even days.
A good mass builder, with its potent combination of BCAAs, fast-action whey hydrolysate, creatine, and high-glycemic carbs for post-workout nutrient utilization, will often produce recognizable physique benefits in as little as two weeks of regular supplementation and high-intensity exercise.
These supplements are “high-reward” physique and performance tools. As such, they’re common sights in the gym bags and lockers of gymrats everywhere.
But what about supplements that offer less immediate gratification? Indeed, what about supplements that offer the promise of a lack of a life-changing event, such as injury or illness? These supplements are much less flashy and sexy than pre- or post-workouts, but they’re also usually staples of the supplement regimens of truly serious athletes. They are often the difference between short-term failure and long-term progress in attaining physique goals.
An Ounce of Prevention Is Worth a Pound of Cure
Joint support supplements are classic “delayed reward” performance tools. Their most obvious benefit — outside of the possibility of less perceived joint pain after workouts — is the reduced risk of a sudden debilitating injury or long-term chronic discomfort. And that’s important, because a devastating joint injury can set back your workout regimen and pursuit of physique goals for weeks, months, or even years. The most serious injuries can cause a permanent diminishment of function.
Unfortunately, the first sign of joint deterioration is often a catastrophic tear or separation. Tendons, ligaments, and joints are narrow bands of dense, fibrous tissue that receive little actual blood flow and, when deprived of adequate nutrition, can grow increasingly brittle, rigid, and fragile. Faced with an injury, surgery is always an option, but protecting those crucial connections in advance with targeted nutrition is by far the wisest option.
The Basics of of Joint Support Supplementation
For years, typical joint support supplements contained some combination of the co-factors glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin sulfate, and little else. And there’s nothing wrong with that because these two nutrients have a long history of providing support for healthy joints.
Glucosamine is an amino monosaccharide that has been shown to inhibit collagen degeneration as well as inflammatory processes that exacerbate cartilage damage. Joint stress results in cartilage metabolism, which entails the breakdown and rebuilding of type II collagen. When cartilage breakdown exceeds rebuilding, individuals become susceptible to joint pain and the integrity of the cartilage is threatened. Research has shown that daily intake of glucosamine may facilitate decreases in type II collagen degradation while maintaining collagen synthesis (1 Yoshimura).
Chondroitin sulfate, on the other hand, is a glycosaminoglycan that helps to retain water in cartilage, which aids in pressure resistance, especially during exercise. Chondroitin sulfate has also been shown to increase hyaluronic acid in joint synovial fluid, increasing the viscosity of that fluid, while also helping to minimize the breakdown of collagen (2 Vidyasagar). Research has also shown that chondroitin sulfate may promote collagen and proteoglycan production by stimulating chondrocyte metabolism. Thus, chondroitin sulfate induces cell proliferation, providing anabolic stimulation to cartilage while also inhibiting cartilage destruction (3 Ronca).
Of course, the progress of nutrition science never ceases, and newer, more advanced technologies of joint support have appeared since the heyday of glucosamine and chondroitin. These state-of-the-art co-factors have been embraced by a select few supplement manufacturers with a commitment to sports science research and development. One such manufacturer is ProSource and our commitment is reflected in the super-comprehensive wide-spectrum connective-tissue nutritional complex Extra Strength Joint Command.
A Synergy of Advanced Joint Support Compounds
Unlike one-dimensional generic joint-support products, Extra Strength Joint Command offers a multi-pathway approach to total connective tissue nutrition. For instance, it contains a novel, patented form of hyaluronic acid called HyaMax™. Hyaluronic acid is a non-sulfated glycosaminoglycan that makes up connective tissue like cartilage and is a major component of synovial fluid that lubricates the joints. Research has demonstrated the highly effective therapeutic effect of hyaluronic acid on individuals, successfully restoring synovial fluid (lubricating joints) and cartilage rebuilding while providing anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain relief) effects (4 Moskowitz). Hyaluronic acid also stimulates the cells in healthy cartilage to produce components of the extracelluar matrix, improving blood flow and nutrient delivery and further promoting joint health (5 Xu X).
Extra Strength Joint Command also contains Meriva®, an advanced phytosome technology that enhances the bioavailability and anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin. Research has demonstrated various attributes of curcumin including antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. More specifically, it has been associated with decreases in inflammation and pain while improving joint function with noteworthy tolerability of supplementation (6 Belcaro).
Another highly promising joint-support technology incorporated into Extra Strength Joint command is 5-LOXIN, an enriched boswellia serrata extract with enhanced anti-inflammatory properties. Indeed, test subjects supplementing with eight weeks of boswellia serrata extract intake have experienced decreased swelling and reported levels of pain with increased range of motion and walking distance capability. Researchers suggest 5-LOXIN may reduce proinflammatory modulators which aid in controlling and/or minimizing inflammatory responses (7 Kimmatkar).
Of course, Extra Strength Joint Command also contains the more common ingredients associated with joint support, but in purer, more potent dosages than you’ll find anywhere else. Joint Command provides pure, stabilized, 98% absorbable glucosamine sulfate (at the clinically researched potency), paired in precise ratio with chondroitin sulfate, plus MSM and UC Type II collagen, compounds linked to anti-inflammatory action, flexibility support, and overall joint health.
Serious athletes know that big muscles and weak connective tissue are a recipe for disaster. Supplementation with validated, precision-target nutrition for support of tendons, ligaments, and joints can keep you injury-free on your pathway to achieving your physique and performance goals.
1 Yoshimura M, Sakamoto K, Tsuruta A, Yamamoto T, Ishida K, Yamaguchi H, Nagaoka I. Evaluation of the effect of glucosamine administration on biomarkers for cartilage and bone metabolism in soccer players. Int J Mol Med. 2009. 24(4):487-94.
2 Vidyasagar S, Mukhyaprana P, Shashikiran U, Sachidananda A, Rao S, Bairy L, Adiga S, Jayaprakash B. Efficacy and tolerability of glucosamine chondroitin sulphate-methyl sulfonyl methane (MSM) in osteoarthritis of knee in Indian patients. Iranian Journal of Pharmacology & Therapeutics. 2004. 3:61-65.
3 Ronca F, Palmieri L, Panicucci P, Ronca G. (1998). Anti-inflammatory activity of chondroitin sulfate. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 6(Suppl A):14-21.
4 Moskowitz RW. (2000). Hyaluronic acid supplementation. Curr Rheumatol Rep. 2(6):466-71.
5 Xu X, Jha AK, Harrington DA, Farach-Carson MC, Jia X. (2012). Hyaluronic acid-based hydrogels: from a natural polysaccharide to complex networks. Soft Matter. 8(12):3280-3294.
6 Belcaro G1, Cesarone MR, Dugall M, Pellegrini L, Ledda A, Grossi MG, Togni S, Appendino G. Efficacy and safety of Meriva®, a curcumin-phosphatidylcholine complex, during extended administration in osteoarthritis patients. Altern Med Rev. 2010 Dec;15(4):337-44.
7 Kimmatkar N, Thawani V, Hingorani L, Khiyani R. (2003). Efficacy and tolerability of Boswellia serrata extract in treatment of osteoarthritis of knee—a randomized double blind placebo controlled trial. Phytomedicine. 10(1):3-7.
Use as directed with a sensible nutrition and exercise program. Read and follow all product label instructions and warnings thoroughly before use. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
The articles featured herein are for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Specific medical advice should only be obtained from a licensed health care professional. No liability is assumed by ProSource for any information herein.