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5 Supplements Every Runner Should Take For Joint Health

January 16, 2024

As a runner, you put a lot of strain on your joints with every stride. Over time, this repetitive impact can lead to joint discomfort and even injury.

Fortunately, there are a variety of vitamins and supplements available that will allow you to continue pursuing your passion for running without worry.

In this article, we’ll take a look at what science says are the best supplements for runners’ joints and discuss how they can benefit your overall joint health.

Best Supplements For Runners Joints

1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids 

Omega-3 fatty acids have many health benefits, including helping to regulate the production of molecules that can affect joint health. Omega-3 fatty acids cannot be made in the body and must come from food sources or supplements.

Click here to see our selection of Omega Oils

2. Glucosamine 

Glucosamine is a natural compound found in the body that plays a crucial role in the formation and maintenance of healthy cartilage — the flexible connective tissue that cushions the joints and helps them move smoothly. Glucosamine can help support healthy joints by supporting cells called chondrocytes, which help maintain cartilage structure.

Click here to see our selection of Glucosamine Supplements.

3. Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid is your body’s natural moisturiser, a naturally occurring substance in the body that’s found in high concentrations in your skin, eyes, and joints. Hyaluronic acid plays a crucial role in maintaining joint health by lubricating the joints. It is also a component of synovial fluid, which provides the lubricated cushion between bones. As we age, the body’s natural production of hyaluronic acid decreases, so taking a supplement is an easy way to support joint health.

Click here to see our selection of Hyaluronic Acid Supplements

4. Curcumin

Curcumin is the active component of turmeric, an antioxidant-rich member of the ginger family. Curcumin is an excellent joint support supplement for runners. Curcumin helps your joints by acting as an antioxidant, helping to fight free radicals that are naturally produced in the body. Free radicals can lead to oxidative stress, which is negatively associated with joint health.

Turmeric is a highly accessible source of curcumin but has poor bioavailability — meaning the body struggles to absorb all of curcumin’s benefits. For that reason, when looking for a curcumin supplement, it’s important to choose one formulated for greater bioavailability, such as Solgar Full Spectrum Curcumin.

Click here to see our selection of Curcumin Supplements

5. Solgar 7

What’s better than one joint-supporting ingredient? Seven joint supporting ingredients! Solgar 7 is a unique formula specifically designed to support joint health. It starts improving joint comfort in just five days and improves mobility and flexibility.

This breakthrough formula contains:

  • Undenatured UC-II Standardised Cartilage — supports comfortable joint movement and range of motion (Patented process; made in USA)
  • 5-Loxin Advanced — clinically studied to support joint health and function. Helps alleviate occasional joint stiffness (extracted from Indian Boswellia serrata trees)
  • Ester-C — supports your body’s collagen production. Collagen (found in joints) may wear due to aging, injuries, and overuse. This unique, stomach-friendly form of Vitamin C also delivers immune system support.
  • Botanical Extracts — turmeric, ginger, and white willow bark; often used in traditional herbal wellness practices
  • BioPerine — supports turmeric absorption.

Click here for more information on Solgar 7.

How To Support Joint Health While Running

Supplements are just one step to better joint health. Let’s take a look at a few other ways to protect your joints while you run.

Stop Overstriding 

Improving your running form is one of the best ways to support your joint health. Over-striding is a running mistake where an athlete makes contact with the ground too far in front of their center of gravity.

Instead, aim for your feet to land under the body, which allows all of your muscles to absorb the impact, and protects your joints. You can try recording yourself while running on a treadmill to help assess your form or join a runner’s group that focuses on form.

Strengthen Your Muscles 

Healthy joints are surrounded by muscles that keep them in place. Weight and strength training can help promote bone density and joint mobility. Having strong glutes, hips, and core will also help keep your body in alignment while running and improve your form.

Switch Up Your Running Surfaces

Did you know that concrete is‌ harder than asphalt? That’s why many runners prefer to run on the side of the road rather than the sidewalk. Dirt trails are the best option for running, but you can also try running on a track — as long as you switch up the direction so you’re not constantly turning only one way. 

Stretch Diligently 

Stretching is part of running! Regular stretching helps to improve joint mobility by increasing the range of motion in your joints. It also helps to reduce muscle tension, which can place additional stress on your joints.

When you stretch, you promote the flow of synovial fluid, which lubricates your joints and helps to reduce friction. This can help to prevent joint degeneration and maintain joint health over time. Stretching before and after your run can also help to warm up your muscles and prepare your body for physical activity, reducing the risk of injury.

Don't Ignore Minor Injuries

It’s important not to minimise seemingly minor injuries. Many types of injuries can cause long-term structural or biomechanical imbalances and lead to joint degeneration that doesn’t become apparent until years later.

The Bottom Line

Taking supplements like omega-3 fatty acids, hyaluronic acid, glucosamine, curcumin, and Solgar No.7 are all great ways to support your joint health while running. Make sure you’re also paying attention to your form, stretching consistently, and wearing quality running shoes to optimise joint health over time.

Support your fitness regime by ensuring you are getting enough protein. Read our blog 'Are You Getting Enough Protein? With Optimum Nutrition' to find out if you are getting adequate levels. 

These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.