To preserve your joints and avoid injuries, it is important to work on your flexibility. Flexibility sports (gymnastics, dance, swimming) like bodybuilding require a certain level of flexibility. Exercise and dietary supplements can help improve joint mobility.
- The origin of the lack of flexibility
- Food supplements to improve flexibility
The origin of the lack of flexibility
In sport as in everyday life, good flexibility is important. When we observe a lack of flexibility, we can wonder about the factors having an impact on it. There are a multitude of them which vary according to the body and the frequency of physical activity. These factors include: age, diet, previous injuries, etc.
In general, it is observed that women are more flexible than men. This can be explained by their bone density fueled by estrogen , which brings more flexibility to the joints. However, due to the breakdown of collagen, the body loses its flexibility as we age.
Diet also has an impact on joint health. A good hydration as well as a good supply of vitamin C allows the production of collagen and the softening of the tissues. Conversely, a deficiency of this vitamin and a lack of water can weaken the human body. It is therefore important to stay well hydrated and to eat enough foods containing vitamin C (citrus fruits, red fruits, peppers, etc.).
In addition, flexibility exercises and stretching help to gain flexibility. Structured stretching sessions will quickly have visible effects on joint mobility. They can be added to an existing sports program, at the start or end of the session.
Food supplements to improve flexibility
Although a balanced diet is a guarantee of good health, it cannot fully guarantee complete nutrient intake. Indeed, the foods available today do not fully meet the nutritional needs of people who practice sport regularly :
A suitable supplementation plan is therefore recommended for athletes and sedentary people. Here are the dietary supplements that help to facilitate flexibility and joint flexibility:
Collagen : Collagen is a protein found in abundance in the human body. However, collagen levels deteriorate with age and with regular exercise. There are several types of collagen that respond to different problems:
- Type I collagen has effects throughout the body, including skin, hair, and joints. It has a preventive action on connective tissues and can be used to minimize the risk of injury.
- Type II collagen attaches only to joint areas. It is ideal for people with age-related or training-related injuries. Type II accelerates joint repair and wound healing.
There are other types of collagen but these have no particular influence on joint health. Only Types I and II improve flexibility.
Collagen protein is most effective in the hydrolyzate form. In addition, collagen is better assimilated when its molecular weight does not exceed 2000 daltons. For the protein to cross the intestinal wall without being destroyed, it is important to choose a collagen of 2000 daltons. To learn more about the many benefits of collagen, read our dedicated article.
Glucosamine : synthesized by glutamine, glucosamine is found in cartilage, tendons and ligaments. It is also known as N-acetylglucosamine.
This molecule produces glycosaminoglycans and hyaluronic acid, acids essential for the proper functioning of the joints. Glucosamine accelerates cartilage anabolism and therefore the joint recovery process. In addition, it has an anti-wrinkle effect on the skin as it preserves its elasticity and hydration.
Glucosamine comes from a natural source, plant or animal. Depending on the brands, other ingredients may be added, but these additions are not without risk for the consumer. Choose a glucosamine whose purity guarantee is at least 99%.
Chondroitin: Chondroitin stimulates the production of collagen in the tendons and the production of hyaluronic acid. In this way, chondroitin makes it possible to soften and strengthen the tendons. It also acts on the joints and muscles: it increases the grip of strength by reinforcing the mechanical resistance to friction.
It is recommended to consume chondroitin when the ingredients exceed 95% pure origin. This guarantees any possible allergens related to the presence of unwanted ingredients, such as proteins.
Keratin : this protein is found in large quantities in the body, especially in the joints and cartilage. It acts as a natural lubricant, strengthens connective tissues and fluidifies movements.
Keratin stimulates the synthesis of collagen, essential for joint health. It also prevents joint pain and promotes recovery.
The keratin must be extracted by non-corrosive means and guaranteed to be water soluble. Indeed, a denatured raw material is less effective and offers much less bioavailability.
Omega 3 : these are polyunsaturated fatty acids, essential fatty acids for health.
Omega 3s reduce the damage caused by cytokines, responsible for body aches. The latter are problematic for any practitioner of bodybuilding since they force to space out the training sessions.
Taking omega 3 speeds up recovery and minimizes muscle catabolism. In addition, they contain DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). This fatty acid gives the membranes of the body more flexibility and improves the flexibility of the joints.
The TOTOX index is also a criterion to take into account for omega 3.
Since DHA and EPA are very fragile and unstable molecules, omega 3s are subjected to an oxidation test. Beyond a certain level, omega 3s lose their beneficial properties and can become toxic to health. The TOTOX index makes it possible to evaluate the degree of oxidation: beyond (and equal to) 26, it is considered harmful.
Few traders communicate about the TOTOX index in their products. Favor transparent marks on this rate to limit the risk of intoxication.
At Nutrimuscle, the low oxidation rate of our omega 3s is guaranteed by our supplier EPAX © through numerous studies.
Most omega 3s come from fish oil, but some are extracted from vegetable oils (flax, walnut, rapeseed). The downside is that they don't contain DHA or EPA. These are present in fatty fish (salmon, tuna, sardines, herring, shrimp). On the other hand, it would be necessary to consume large quantities of fish to reach the daily rate of omega-3.
It is recommended to limit fish consumption to a maximum of twice a week for health reasons (polluted water, heavy metals in animals' bodies, etc.). Food supplements make it possible to cover intake while maintaining a rich and varied diet.
In order to protect the environment, be sure to consume omega 3 from sustainable fishing. Also pay attention to the presence of DHA: these acids nourish the membranes of the body and guarantee good flexibility to the body. DHAs are not present in vegetable oils, as mentioned earlier.