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Saving Your Joints
Joint Protection for Powerlifters

Powerlifting Bench Press

When your lifting at the gym, I'm sure you take measures to protect your joints. Knee wraps, wrist wraps, and proper form on squats or all different measures that people take in an effort to prevent injuring the knees, back or other joints. These things may help protect the soft tissues of the body, but you are still putting a lot of stress on the cartilige in your joints.

When cartlidge begins to degenerate, doctors refer to it as arthritis. I'm sure many older powerlifters reading this article know exactly what I'm talking about. The way to prevent this may be through your diet.

Polyunsaturated Fats

Have you ever noticed that when you are really lean, you tend to have more pain in your joints. Bodybuilders and lean powerlifters may notice that they often suffer from stiffness in their joints. This may be due to their low fat diet. I'm not advocating high fat diets, but polyunsaturated fats do help to lubricate your joints and help them move freely. If you suffer from tendonitis, polyunsaturated fat may also help reduce the inflamation that causes your pain. Both Omega 3 and Omega 6 are the two main types of polyunsaturated fats and they can be found in flax oil, salmon and herring. If you aren't a fish eater, try either adding some flax oil to your protein shake or pick up some Omega 3 capsules.

Whild your supplement shopping, you might want to look at what the doctors are recommending for arthritis sufferers. It may just help prevent joint pain and stiffness.

Glucosamine & Chondroitin

I'm sure you've heard of the two, but what do you really know about them. Doctors have been studying the effects of these two naturally occuring substances for years. I first heard of them when a friend of my mother had surgery on her wrist and they recommended that she take glucosamine and chondroitin.

In 2001, the Lancet published the results of a double blind study that involved 212 people and 3 years of monitoring. Subjects treated with glucosamine experienced symptom improvements of 20-25%, while the placebo group became slightly worse.

The glucosamine is believed to stimulate production of cartlidge building proteins. Chondroitin on the other hand is believed to inhibit cartlidge destroying enzymes and prevent inflammation.

When you combine the two with a diet rich in polyunsaturated fats, you've got a formula for joint longevity. How do you know if you are getting enough though?

Well, Glucosamine supplements generally come from shellfish shells and chondroitin is usually derived from cow cartlidge, so unless you have a cast iron stomach you probably don't take in a significant amount of either in your diet.

Your best bet is to find a reputable supplement brand and take the recommended dosage. Choosing the best brand is important. Just because you pay less for something that is supposedly the same product does not mean it is of the same grade. Absorption is very important. Some products now provide glucosamine with chondroitin in easy to absorb liquid supplements. The best way to know if you have a good product is to try it for a while.

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