What Is Glucosamine? What It Does And Why You Might Want To Take It

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes, 20 seconds.

21

September, 2018

In recent years, Glucosamine has rapidly become one of the most popular health supplements on the market. Simply because it can benefit so many different people. In particular, those who are ageing and those who lift heavy amounts of weight at the gym. Below, we will delve a bit deeper into some of the benefits you can expect to gain from Glucosamine and how you can get started today. But first …

What is Glucosamine exactly?

Glucosamine is an amino sugar that is found naturally in your body’s cartilage. As such, it is a key component in helping to keep your joints healthy and moving nicely. The Glucosamine that you see sold in supplements is actually made from the shells of some shellfish. Within the shells is a substance called chitin, which is then processed to make Glucosamine.

It can also be made through other methods, such as fermenting corn. However, the most common method is to derive it from chitin. You are most likely to come across Glucosamine as Glucosamine sulfate. This is by far the most tested form of the supplement and the one with most evidence that it can help support your body’s health.

So, what are the benefits of Glucosamine?

As you might imagine, Glucosamine offers a number of potential health benefits. These include the following:

Delaying painful arthritis

As we get older, the levels of Glucosamine in our bodies start to drop. Naturally, this can cause severe pain and arthritis in our joints. Well, by taking Glucosamine supplements you can help to delay this process and avoid painful arthritis in areas such as your knees, ankles, hips, and elbows. This is especially effective when taken alongside chondroitin, which is discussed below.

Alleviating pain caused by osteoporosis

In much the same way, a combination of Glucosamine and chondroitin have been shown to reduce the gaps between cartilage and bone and reduce the pain associated with osteoporosis. Especially when you compare the benefits of Glucosamine compared to NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory drugs.

Boosts joint mobility and flexibility

For both younger and older patients alike, Glucosamine has been shown as an effective way to help people maintain full mobility and flexibility. That is why it is taken by people of all ages. In particular, athletes who exercise heavy amounts. One study found that athletes suffering from an acute knee injury, and who took Glucosamine for 28 days, saw a significant improvement in their knee extension and flexion capabilities.

Contains anti-inflammatory properties

A number of different studies have taken place that have proven the anti-inflammatory benefits exerted by Glucosamine. This includes studies in both children and animals. It is these anti-inflammatory capabilities that help Glucosamine to quickly reduce pain associated with many of the previously mentioned ilnesses. Such as front those with osteoporosis, arthritis or those who have suffered injury or trauma as a result of heavy levels of exercise.

How do you include Glucosamine in your diet?

As mentioned, Glucosamine can be found in the shells of animals such as shrimp, crab and lobster. However, eating these is not a part of an average diet. As such, it is best to consume Glucosamine via supplementary form. There are a variety of Glucosamine supplements available.

The majority come as Glucosamine sulphate, but 2 other common varieties include Glucosamine hydrochloride and N-acetylGlucosamine. Typically, you’ll also find these supplements come with something called chondroitin. Chondroitin is one of the most significant components of cartilage. It helps to retain water and this reduces friction between bone joints.

A number of studies have been performed which have shown that taking a combination supplement of chondroitin and Glucosamine is incredibly effective for many of the health conditions mentioned above. Such as in the treatment of arthritis, osteoporosis and, in general, maintaining healthy joints after excessive exercise.

Health benefits of Glucosamine

How do you include Glucosamine in your diet?

As mentioned, Glucosamine can be found in the shells of animals such as shrimp, crab and lobster. However, eating these is not a part of an average diet. As such, it is best to consume Glucosamine via supplementary form. There are a variety of Glucosamine supplements available.

The majority come as Glucosamine sulphate, but 2 other common varieties include Glucosamine hydrochloride and N-acetylGlucosamine. Typically, you’ll also find these supplements come with something called chondroitin. Chondroitin is one of the most significant components of cartilage. It helps to retain water and this reduces friction between bone joints.

A number of studies have been performed which have shown that taking a combination supplement of chondroitin and Glucosamine is incredibly effective for many of the health conditions mentioned above. Such as in the treatment of arthritis, osteoporosis and, in general, maintaining healthy joints after excessive exercise.

How much Glucosamine should you take?

Studies have found that it is safe to take up to 2000 mg of Glucosamine a day and 1200 mg of chondroitin a day. When you purchase Glucosamine supplement from a well-respected brand, they should offer clear instructions on how best to take it. Usually, you would take smaller doses a few times each day. And you can do so either in capsule or powder form.

Some Glucosamine supplements come as ready-mixed drinks for you to have. In order to gain maximum benefit from Glucosamine, it is important that you only buy from a trusted brand. Also, you should commit to taking it for a number of weeks, as opposed to every now and then. That way, you can ensure your Glucosamine levels are maintained at a suitable level.

Rounding up

Now that you know what Glucosamine is and the benefits it offers, you should have a solid idea of whether or not it is right for you. It is important to remember that it is not a miracle supplement designed to enhance your strength and performance. Instead, it should be taken as a means to help maintain your body’s source of Glucosamine and promote healthy joints.

If you are a member at Ultimate Fitness Birmingham, we would love to discuss Glucosamine with you in greater depth. We stock a range of supplements, including Glucosamine, and would be happy to find one perfect for you. Just swing by and talk to a member of staff next time you’re in.

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