There are multiple products to maintain joint and tendon health. But what are they and how to choose the right product for your needs? Nutrimuscle explains everything there is to know about anti-inflammatories and the criteria to take into account when choosing the latter.
- Why protect your joints?
- The role of anti-inflammatory dietary supplements
- Anti-inflammatory dietary supplements
- How to choose the best anti-inflammatory?
- Preventive measures and complementary treatments
Why protect your joints?
Joint health becomes a concern when it begins to deteriorate. In other words, it is very often neglected. Ultimately, this negligence leads to pain related to age, physical exercise and can even aggravate minor injuries.
Protecting your joints is essential when practicing a sporting activity. Indeed, the main cause of a drop in performance or a cessation of sport remains the injury, or, to a lesser extent, the appearance of small pains preventing physical activity. It inevitably leads to abandonment and false beliefs, such as:
- "I'm too old now."
- "I'm not cut out for this sport."
- "It's too dangerous a sport."
However, good joint health makes it possible to practice physical exercise serenely and, therefore, to achieve one's goals more easily.
The role of anti-inflammatory dietary supplements
Joint, tendon and muscle pain are linked to a process of tissue inflammation. The purpose of anti-inflammatories in medicine is to block pain information. The symptoms go away, but the problem persists. This is why it is said that prevention is better than cure.
An anti-inflammatory food supplement provides the chemical elements necessary for healing. For example, with age, collagen stocks decrease which leads to friction between the joints and, by extension, pain. An anti-inflammatory (corticosteroid or non-steroidal type) blocks the sensation of pain for a limited time, while taking collagen reduces pain over the long term.
Too often neglected, supplements that provide protection and repair of tendons, joints and muscles are nevertheless the first supplements to favor when starting bodybuilding and sport in general.
In addition to its importance in sports, anti-inflammatories reduce the symptoms of joint diseases, such as osteoarthritis or arthritis.
Anti-inflammatory dietary supplements
There are several anti-inflammatory food supplements. Here are some examples :
Chondroitin sulfate is a glycosaminoglycan, an important constituent of articular cartilage, tendons and skin (1-2) which is also found in type II peptan collagen.
It provides vital functions, especially for athletes by:
- Fighting against the degradation of cartilage cells (3-4);
- Exerting a naturally anti-inflammatory action (3-5-6);
- Fighting free radicals that attack our cells (7);
- Promoting tissue regeneration (8);
- Increasing the mechanical resistance to friction;
- Moisturizing and lubricating the joint (9);
- Ensuring its flexibility;
- Shock absorbing.
Chondroitin sulfate also produces indirect benefits on the joints. Indeed, it increases the activity of the enzymes responsible for the production of hyaluronic acid (a lubricant and anabolic food for the joints). (10).
By overstraining their muscles, the athlete accelerates the destruction of their joint hyaluronic acid. Athletes therefore have higher hyaluronic acid needs, needs that chondroitin sulphate helps to meet.
Chondroitin also promotes muscle growth. Indeed, in addition to its beneficial effects for joint health, hyaluronic acid also participates in muscle growth. (11).
Chondroitin doesn't just work on joints or muscles. It also helps to repair tendons by stimulating the local production of collagen. It is the latter that gives flexibility and resistance to the tendons.
Collagen type I and type II peptide
Collagen is the protein that provides joints, muscles and tendons with their cohesion, strength and elasticity. It is also he who is responsible for regenerating cartilage.
Collagen hydrolysates are successfully used against osteoarthritis (12-13-14-15-16-17-18-19).
Indeed, this degeneration is characterized by a decrease in the ability of the joints to produce collagen. Collagen hydrolysates are therefore ideal for combating this decrease in local cellular anabolism.
After muscular effort, the degradation of collagen in joints and tendons intensifies. The repair rate of tendon collagen is half that of muscle collagen (20).
The extracellular matrix that makes up the skin contains collagen and hyaluronic acid. It is 80% of type 1 collagen that is found in the skin. This collagen gives it firmness and suppleness.
Type II collagen is found very strongly localized in the bones and cartilages. It is therefore very interesting for people suffering from joint problems related to cartilage in particular.
At the skin level, taking Collagen Nutrimuscle orally provides collagen and increases hyaluronic acid synthesis, which helps the dermis to stay young, fighting against wrinkles and dryness (21).
Nutrimuscle Collagen Peptide Type I also promotes hair growth and healthy nails (22-23-24). It also inhibits bone loss, which preserves skeletal integrity (25).
Of all the glucosamines, only N-Acetylglucosamine is capable of accelerating cartilage anabolism, and therefore joint recovery (26-27-28) (29-30-31-32).
Research shows that N-Acetylglucosamine increases the rate of cartilage regeneration by 40%, while other glucosamines only slow anabolism (26).
Regular intake of glucosamine delays the progression of osteoarthritis. It also reduces the pain associated with it, while facilitating joint mobility (33).
Nutrimuscle N-Acetylglucosamine plays an important role not only in the joints. It also has vital functions for the skin. By ensuring elasticity and hydration, Nutrimuscle N-Acetylglucosamine acts as an anti-wrinkle agent, since the latter are due to the dryness of the skin and its lack of elasticity.
The reduction in the oily appearance of the skin as well as its better hydration suggests that N-Acetylglucosamine could also help cleanse the skin of its impurities and therefore fight acne. It can also help with healing, combat excessive flaking and sun damage to the skin (34-35-36-37).
Glycine is a non-essential amino acid (38) which can however be lacking in athletes. Due to the omnipresence of this amino acid in the collagen of muscles, tendons, ligaments and skin, intense physical activity will increase our needs for glycine, without our intake increasing adequately without supplementation.
In collagen proteins, glycine makes up a quarter to a third of all amino acids (39).
It is therefore glycine which is the amino acid most present in this basic material for tendons, muscles, ligaments or skin.
In athletes, glycine deficiencies have been shown to be associated with a greater risk of injury than normal (40).
In endurance athletes, glycine supplementation protects the integrity of the athlete's health, particularly in the kidneys (41).
How to choose the best anti-inflammatory?
Several criteria must be taken into account when choosing your anti-inflammatory. Depending on the pathologies and sports needs, some food supplements will be more suitable than others.
Of the four joint protection supplements, Nutrimuscle Super Collagen Mix is the most universal, as it contains the amino acids that make up cartilage and tendons as well as glucosamine and chondroitin. Unlike other supplements, this collagen works on joints and tendons while N-Acetylglucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, and type II collagen essentially repair joints.
Glucosamine and chondroitin act in different and complementary ways on the joints. There is a synergy between these two joint protectors ; which explains why it is preferable to use them together rather than separately (42-43-44).
If you want to target the joints only, the ideal remains type II collagen as well as N-Acetylglucosamine, reinforced by chondroitin sulphate.
However, for total protection , it is preferable to combine collagen peptide type I + collagen peptide type II + N-Acetylglucosamine + chondroitin sulfate in order to act in depth both on the tendons as well as on the joints. It is, in this case, a coherent mixture operating in synergy.
For people with a shellfish allergy, collagen peptide type II or type I is ideal, because unlike glucosamine, it is not an extract of shellfish. The Super collagen mix can also be used without problems.
Preventive measures and complementary treatments
There are several ways to maintain joint health. These include low-intensity exercise, rest, and diet.
Studies have shown the importance of a balance between activity and rest to maintain healthy joints. Rest helps reduce stress and strain on the joints, helping to heal and prevent injury. However, prolonged rest can lead to muscle stiffness and weakness. It is therefore essential to maintain regular and appropriate physical activity.
Physical exercise plays a crucial role in maintaining joint health. Studies have shown that regular exercise strengthens the muscles that support joints, improves flexibility and mobility, and reduces the risk of developing joint diseases, including osteoarthritis. Low-impact activities, such as swimming, water aerobics, cycling and walking, are particularly recommended, as they strain the joints while limiting stress on them.
Osteopathy and physiotherapy are complementary approaches to preserving joint health. Osteopaths use gentle manual techniques to improve joint mobility, relieve pain and restore musculoskeletal balance.
Besides these approaches, maintaining a healthy weight preserves joint health. Studies have linked overweight, obesity and an increased risk of developing joint diseases, especially osteoarthritis. A balanced diet rich in joint-beneficial nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and collagen reduces the risk of developing joint disease.
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