Injury is the enemy par excellence of every human being, whether professional or ‘amateur’, whether sporty or not. Who has not had an injury from practicing some physical activity or simply from over-exertion in their day-to-day life? In fact, everyone is susceptible to suffering not just one, but several injuries of greater or lesser severity throughout their lives.
If it is true that the environment in which we move nowadays (stress, bad postural and nutritional habits, inadequate exercise on functional alterations, etc.), does not contribute in a positive way to mitigate in some way, the possibilities of suffering more or less injuries, in the sports, domestic, work or leisure environment. And I am explaining, without going into too much detail.
Basically, human beings have been degrading their natural and biological functionality as they have become more sedentary, until reaching the point where they have little to do with how we move nowadays and how biology dictated at the time that we had to do so. Because of this fact, chemical and structural changes are already being generated in the organism that take us directly to the path of the injury.
This is why we are increasingly looking for ways, whether physical, psychological or nutritional, to provide our bodies with the necessary pathways to protect us from these unwanted enemies.
Why use a supplement for injuries?
Without a doubt, the highest percentage of injuries is in the joints and adjacent tissues such as ligaments, cartilage and tendons, since any muscular decompensation will create a dysfunctional compensation that will directly affect the joint to which it connects, and indirectly other more distant ones.
When this occurs, apart from a precarious joint congruence, a difference in tensions and pressures that produce wear and tear and inflammation in the tissues, all of which give rise to the famous episodes of arthritis or in more severe and degenerative cases of arthrosis, we are much more susceptible to suffering a significant injury that keeps us out of the game for some time, lowering the pace of training, even having to stop.
From my point of view and as the article itself, or at least the one I intend to give you, titles, the concept of ‘supplement’ or ‘complement’, makes sense at least pharmacologically, i.e. products based on natural extracts, not synthetic and far from producing the harmful effects of drugs, such as ibuprofen (NSAID), unfortunately, the undisputed leader of consumption today in terms of treating any injury and that in my opinion, brings many more disadvantages than benefits in the short and especially in the long term.
That is why resorting to ‘biologically natural’ products, which are already generated and synthesised within our body, will be much more beneficial and we will achieve better favourable results in our objective of recovering or avoiding an injury and for our health in general.
Supplements for injuries
To get to the point, then, within sports and natural supplementation, we can find a multitude of products designed for this purpose, both combined in one, in which it provides you with a general level and in one or more shots, the dose of components needed in variable quantities and depending on the manufacturer or objective, or each component separately to use the one that suits us best or increase the dose of one in particular depending on our requirement.
In general, and whether in combination or not, the most famous star components used in the field of joint health to prevent, mitigate or when already present, injuries and their negative effects on us are:
This molecular form of sulphur is one of the most bioavailable (85%) of those that can be found on the market, which is why it is one of the most effective. Sulfur is one of the essential minerals for the organism and its deficiencies are associated with the processes of skin aging and tissue deterioration. When the organism has optimum quantities of MSM, it promotes the flexibility of the connective tissues and the skin, contributing to good healing. MSM also has anti-inflammatory properties. People with arthritis often report very good sensations when taking MSM, especially in women. Studies indicate very good results in joint pain, osteoarthritis, arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, epicondylitis, tendonitis, even headaches. The beneficial effect of MSM and its ability to sustain cell flow, allowing harmful substances such as lactic acid to escape while allowing nutrients to enter, make it a formidable product.
Glucosamine Sulphate and Chondroitinine Sulphate
These compounds are the chemical basis of the cartilaginous tissue that is found throughout the body in different forms, and depending on their type, we can find them either in the cartilages of all the joints, intervertebral discs, tendons, ligaments and joint capsules, menisci and even in the fascia itself that covers each muscle microfibre, viscera and periosteum of the bones. Chondrocytes are cells that produce collagen and proteoglycans, the latter formed in turn by these two substances, among others.
For all these reasons, the use of supplements with this composition will not only protect us against possible injuries but will also help us to regenerate the tissues that have been injured. Research has confirmed the benefits of these substances when treating an injury process and reducing the time of this one. Without a doubt, they will also collaborate, and whenever they are worked on subsequently, in the improvement of the proprioceptive function of the joint, giving it an optimum quality of movement.
As previously mentioned, chondrocytes also produce collagen, which is found in most tissues, including skin, hair and nails and gives them flexibility, elasticity and structural characteristics. They are strong, fibrous proteins. Deficiencies of this component can lead to stiffness, joint pain and inflammatory processes of arthritis and tendinitis, among others.
Collagen can be supplemented in two ways:
- Marine: Precedent of fish, being hydrolysed to obtain the optimum molecular weight and the best properties.
- Terrestrial: From cattle, pigs or even poultry, for example, from the chicken sternum, obtaining collagen powder.
By consuming collagen, whether in hydrolysed form or not, our body will break it down into its simplest amino acids, which will be digested and passed into the bloodstream to be used by the cells when the body needs it. As a natural source of this element we can resort to gelatine. Given its importance in the organism, it is another magnificent ally to be consumed as a supplement.
It is another of the substances naturally present in the human body. As it forms part of the glycosaminoglycans, it is directly related to glucosamine and chondroitinine sulphate and plays a fundamental role in the homeostatic process of the joints, i.e. it intervenes in the processes of self-regulation and maintenance of the composition and internal properties of the joints and tissues, especially with the synovial fluid, which lubricates and nourishes the cartilage.
It should be noted that it is a substance that helps retain water, thus moisturizing the tissues, a very important characteristic, especially in the skin.
There are many studies that show the effectiveness of hyaluronic acid for the treatment of pain and inflammation of the knee, although it is also true that it is usually done through infiltrations directly into the joint, but it is a method that perhaps not everyone can access easily. However, improvements can also be seen by taking it orally.
It is therefore another viable option when it comes to dealing with injuries.
Magnesium in its saline form is an extremely important mineral for every living cell. It has been observed that it has a very direct relationship to collagen formation, we could say that it functions to some extent as a precursor. Deficiencies of magnesium are strongly associated with arthritis and osteoporosis, a pathology which degrades the bone system.
On the other hand, it is also closely related to stress, which can generate a magnesium deficit, and vice versa, this deficit contributes to adopting a hypersensitivity to stress.
In women it is very important especially at times of hormonal changes such as menstruation and pregnancy. Studies have even shown the effectiveness of Magnesium and its salts according to bioavailability.
In the sports field it is very much linked to the appearance of cramps and muscle spasms during or after exercise, as it is present in the cells of the nervous tissue; and we already know how annoying and painful they are, and even more so when they appear constantly.
Needless to say, these are sufficient reasons to include it in the daily diet
Nor do I want to overlook the negative action that an acidic environment in which our body finds itself can produce in our muscular, connective and even neuronal tissues, literally destroying them. There are various reasons why we can generate an acidic environment in our body, but in my opinion, the most important is stress, whether due to physical or psychological over-exertion.
The effects of daily and prolonged stress cause real problems by significantly increasing cortisol levels, acidifying the blood and other extra-cellular fluids.
Clearly, we must help reverse or balance cortisol levels, and for this we can also turn to supplements, such as:
Mineral salt complexes
These formulas are high in calcium, magnesium, chromium and zinc and B-group vitamins, play an essential role in stress reactions and help mitigate their effects such as physical fatigue.
They help to eliminate the malicious free radicals, unstable and highly reactive molecules that have the task of oxidizing other beneficial ones by making them unstable and thus causing a chain reaction that will undoubtedly lead to multiple cell damage. The best antioxidants include Alpha Lipoic Acid, Resveratrol, Vitamin C, Chlorella, Astaxanthin and CoQ-10.
We can find: Ginseng, Astragalus, Rhodiola and Ashwagandha help the body to deal with the side effects of stress and rebalance the metabolism. These supplements not only keep cortisol levels lower but will also help decrease the effects of stress on the body by stimulating the immune system.
Although it is synthesized in laboratories, it is a hormone that is naturally found in the body. The main characteristic of this hormone is that it regulates the biological rhythm and the sleep/wake cycle of the body. The occasional consumption of melatonin has been shown to combat the prolonged effects of cortisol, hormone regulation and to help sleep and rest better.
In conclusion, we not only can, but we must seek all those alternatives that will facilitate in one way or another the improvement of our health and the recovery from those injuries that intoxicate our quality of life. And one of them is clearly the way of supplementation.