The first thing doctors do after diagnosing a disease is to recommend a walk. It shows how important exercise is in the modern lifestyle. Modern work life has given everybody the luxury to exercise daily. Everybody prefers running since walking takes a lot of time and burns very little energy. But running is not easy, especially in old age. Our bones and joints get weaker and begin to hurt as we age. But they can also cause pain at a young age. Although running protects against arthritis in the long run, knee and joint pain are not uncommon among runners. It may be due to the deficiency of various ingredients in a runner’s diet. Following are some of the crucial joint supplements for a runner.
The active ingredient of turmeric curcumin has anti-inflammatory as well as antioxidant properties. Some studies suggest it is as effective as the anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac. It has documented effects on arthritis, osteoarthritis and other inflammatory conditions and it may also help alleviate running-induced joint pain. The therapeutic dose of curcumin is very high compared to what you eat in food. So you would have to take curcumin supplements.
Boswellia is a herbal extract that has been in use in the ancient world as a painkiller. Chinese and Indians have used it for arthritis and other kinds of joint and bone pain. It has anti-inflammatory as well as analgesic properties.
Glucosamine is an amino sugar that provides the building block for protein synthesis in joints. It also helps repair cartilage and promotes synovial fluid production, important for joint lubrication and movement. It has been shown to reduce joint inflammation and joint pain.
Chondroitin, however, is a major component of cartilage and helps to repair it. It is involved in maintaining hydration, which is necessary for lubrication and shock absorption. Thus, chondroitin helps prevent joint injury. Glucosamine and chondroitin supplements are very famous among runners.
- Hyaluronic acid
It is a natural component of the fluid that lubricates and cushions joints. When hyaluronic acid thins, the joints cause pain. It plays an important role in the development of cartilage by promoting tissue growth. It also helps reduce joint inflammation and pain caused by the injury or degeneration of cartilage. Hyaluronic acid is so necessary for joint health that sometimes it is directly injected into a patient’s joint to reduce pain and stiffness.
- Vitamin D
Perhaps the main cause of your joint pain is not running too much but vitamin D deficiency. People don’t realize they are vitamin D deficient until the first signs of joint pain appear in them. It is crucial for bone growth and density. Vitamin D supplement may also have anti-inflammatory effects and reduce joint pain.
- Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fats are very well known supplements for their anti-inflammatory effects. They have many benefits from the cardiovascular system to skin, hairs and nails. They can help increase the blood flow to the joints during exercise and thus reduce tenderness, swelling and pain. When used in conjunction with vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids appear to improve joint health in the long run.
However, if you are not sure which one to take yet, you can take the Solgar 7 multivitamin. It contains all of the important ingredients discussed here in a balanced amount. It is a bit expensive, though, but it is the best joint supplement for runners.