Key nutrients used in joint supplements, such as SAM-e, MSM, Glucosamine, and Chondroitin, can help support joint health†
Healthy lifestyle habits that help support joints include staying active, staying hydrated, and practicing healthy posture
Why Is Joint Health Important?
Considering the normal wear and tear your joints endure throughout an active life, it’s important to pay attention to them. It’s a good idea to add key nutrients found in joint supplements to your daily wellness regimen, as they can go a long way in supporting joint health.†
Which Nutrients Support Joint Health?†
There are a few key nutrients commonly found in joint supplements that you may want to consider:
SAM-e (S-adenosylmethionine) is a naturally occurring molecule that is produced and used by our bodies. SAM-e provides a source of sulfur, which is a critical component of joint tissue, and helps support joint comfort. Since SAM-e is not found in food, dietary supplements provide the only source of this nutrient outside of what is produced by the body. To support joint health, SAM-e dosages usually start around 200 mg per day and can increase until benefits are achieved up to a maximum of 1600 mg per day.†
Glucosamine is naturally found in joint tissue and is a key component in cartilage. Cartilage is the tissue that cushions joints. Glucosamine is produced naturally in the body but is also available as a dietary supplement. A daily dosage of 1500 mg of Glucosamine helps support healthy joint cartilage.†
Chondroitin is a naturally occurring compound that is a building block for connective tissues, including joint cartilage. Chondroitin is also produced naturally in the body, and since it is not easily found in food, it is available as a dietary supplement. A daily dosage of 800 mg of Chondroitin helps support joint cushioning.†
MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) is a source of dietary sulfur, a trace element used by the body in collagen, connective tissue, and joint cartilage. MSM is produced naturally by the body but is also found in plants and animals, though in small amounts. Some foods that contain MSM include apples, raspberries, leafy green vegetables, whole grains, coffee and tea. MSM is also available as a dietary supplement, as it is usually combined with Glucosamine and Chondroitin to help support joint health.†
That’s not all! Besides the nutrients listed above, there are some healthy habits you can incorporate into your lifestyle to help support your joint health†:
Stay hydrated: You probably already know that drinking water is important, but how does it help your joints? Approximately 70-80% of your joint cartilage is made up of water, which is what gives it a lubricating effect on joints. When your body is not receiving enough water, it will pull water from other areas of your body, which can impact your joints. Sugary drinks and energy drinks do not properly hydrate your body! Opt for water instead. For added flavor, consider adding sliced lemons, limes, or cucumber to your water.
Stay active: Staying active doesn’t mean you need to sprint laps, that just puts pressure on your joints, knees especially. Instead, look for activities that will help with joint stiffness, such as walking, swimming, and even water aerobics. Water adds resistance to help build muscle strength, while its buoyancy lessens direct stress on the joints and helps you move more freely.
Properly warm up and cool down after your workout: When you warm up before your workout, you essentially prepare your body for exercise. Your heart pumps blood to your muscles, helping to increase your flexibility and range of motion. The same preparation applies after your workout. Cooling down gives your body time to recover while keeping blood circulating and helping with muscle and joint flexibility.
Watch your posture: Healthy posture can help alleviate unwanted stress on your muscles and joints. What is healthy posture? According to the American Chiropractic Association, it’s the position of the body that creates alignment between bones, joints and muscles when standing, sitting, or lying down. Additionally, make sure you are protecting your joints when you bend over and especially as you carry or lift heavy objects.
Eat a well-balanced diet: Make sure you’re including lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein in your daily diet. This will help ensure you are getting a variety of the nutrients your body needs every day, especially nutrients important for bone health like Vitamin D, Calcium, and Magnesium.†
The Bottom Line
As joints age over time from use, supporting joint health becomes ever more important. Therefore, consider adding some of the key nutrients used in joint supplements, such as SAM-e, Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and MSM, to your daily regimen to help support joint comfort. Also look to add some healthy habits to your daily routine, like staying hydrated, staying active, and eating a well-balanced diet.†
Amy has an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University in Los Angeles and is a credentialed English teacher, though she left the classroom to write full time. She especially enjoys creating educational content about health, wellness, and nutrition. Her happy place is in the kitchen, and when not writing, you can find her trying out “kid-friendly recipes” and “healthy desserts for chocolate lovers” from her Pinterest board.