Joint pain and discomfort are challenges that many face daily. Whether it's due to age, rigorous physical activity, or underlying conditions, the quest for relief is constant.
You've probably heard of glucosamine, chondroitin & MSM as a potential solution. But the burning question remains: when is the best time to take it? With over a decade of experience in the health and wellness industry, I've delved deep into this topic, analyzing countless studies and consulting experts.
In this article, I'll address your primary concerns, debunk common myths, and guide you towards making an informed decision for optimal joint health.
Let's dive into the science and real-life experiences to determine the ideal timing for taking glucosamine, chondroitin & MSM.
When Is The Best Time To Take Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and MSM?
Understanding Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and MSM
What are they?
Glucosamine: A natural compound found in cartilage, glucosamine is crucial for maintaining the integrity and health of joint tissues. According to Versus Arthritis, glucosamine can both detain the repair and breakdown of damaged cartilage which was discovered by animal studies. When classified as an amino sugar, it serves as a building block for different structural components like tendons, cartilage, synovial fluid, and ligaments.
Chondroitin: This ingredient plays a significant role in maintaining the integrity and health of different connective tissues in the body, such as the walls of blood vessels, tendons, ligaments, and cartilage. As a natural compound found in connective tissues, chondroitin sulfate decreased cartilage volume loss in 6 months of treatment for people with knee osteoarthritis, according to BMJ Journals.
MSM: As an organic sulfur compound beneficial for joint health, MSM is considered a dietary supplement that is usually taken for its potential health benefits in relation to inflammation reduction, skin conditions, and joint health. A 2017 study published in the National Library of Medicine showed that MSM is well-tolerated by most people with mild side effects at up to four grams daily dosages.
Benefits for Joint Health
Pain relief from osteoarthritis
- Glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM have been discovered to provide potential benefits for improved joint function and pain relief in individuals with osteoarthritis. These three ingredients are capable of providing cartilage support to maintain cartilage health and support the production of proteoglycans and collagen.
- The best glucosamine and chondroitin supplements can become beneficial for those suffering from osteoarthritis
- These three ingredients provide anti-inflammatory properties to support overall joint health. Glucosamine's anti-inflammatory properties come from cyclooxygenase (COX) and prostaglandins as inhibiting enzymes and pathways involved in inflammation. Chondroitin has anti-inflammatory properties due to the activity of enzymes that can break down cartilage-like matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). Even MSM possesses anti-inflammatory properties because of its sulfur content for maintaining the function and structure of enzymes involved in inflammation regulation.
Potential to slow joint degeneration
- They have the potential to slow joint degeneration, specifically in cases related to osteoarthritis. Glucosamine offers synovial fluid production, chondroitin can retain water in cartilage, and MSM's antioxidant properties can help lessen oxidative stress.
Evolution of Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and MSM Usage
A 2011 study published in the National Library of Medicine showed that glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate gained popularity since the late 1990s in North America and have been medicinally utilized for over 40 years in Europe.
In the same study, the two ingredients appeared effective for knee osteoarthritis. On the other hand, methylsulfonylmethane is a popular dietary supplement and anti-inflammatory agent.
A 2017 study published in the National Library of Medicine, chemists from the Crown Zellerbach Corporation namely Dr. Hershler and Dr. Jacob started an experiment in search of related therapeutic uses of dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) with the odorless MSM. Herschler was granted a United States utility patent in 1981 for using MSM to strengthen nails and smooth and soften the skin.
These dietary supplements also have some traditional uses and cultural significance. Natural sources of glucosamine-containing compounds used by Native American tribes, such as bone marrow and animal cartilage, to support joint mobility and comfort.
Optimal Timing for Consumption
Morning vs. EveningStudies regarding the best time of the day to take these supplements are still limited. According to Vinmec International Hospital, there are opinions that it's best to consume glucosamine in the morning. The primary reason for this is that taking the supplement first thing in the morning makes it easier to create a routine around the process and be more consistent.
Remember that the best time to take glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM can vary based on
individual preferences and other medications you might be taking. But Maher Chaar, a medical expert, and writer Kara Williams both suggested in HealthNews that the best time to take these three supplements is mealtime.
By mealtime, you can take such supplements if you have your meal during breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Regardless of the suggestions, it's essential to experiment with what time works for you.
With or Without Food?
Importance of absorption
According to ScienceDirect, compared to glucosamine hydrochloride, glucosamine sulfate may be better absorbed since oral absorption may be affected by the form administered. Absorption in taking glucosamine is significant through maximizing the bioavailability of glucosamine to ensure that enough amount reaches the joint cartilage and other tissues.
On the other hand, a 2002 study published in the National Library of Medicine showed that exogenous chondroitin sulfate, together with derivatives, is absorbed as a high molecular mass polysaccharide, resulting from partial depolymerization.
Some factors affecting the absorption of MSM include its formulation, accompanying compounds, and individual variability. You may find it effective to take this supplement during meals to improve its absorption. But since MSM is water-soluble, it can also be absorbed on an empty stomach.
Potential side effects on an empty stomachTake note that taking glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM on an empty stomach is generally safe for most people. However, some potential side effects include nausea or mild indigestion when taking the supplement. These supplements, specifically glucosamine, can also be acidic, leading to stomach irritation when taken without food absorption.
Scientific Studies and Findings
Efficacy Regardless of Timing
It's best to be realistic in thinking that there is no best time of the day to take glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM. Their efficacy, regardless of the timing of the day, will not be altered.
A 2012 study published in Springer showed that 118 patients were randomized to receive three times daily either 500mg of MSM, 500mg of oral glucosamine, or placebo capsules for 12 weeks.
Results showed that the combination of oral glucosamine and MSM showed rapid improvement in patients due to its anti-inflammatory effect in osteoarthritis. This means that even if you combine such supplements or stick to one supplement, it will still impose results for several weeks.
Q1: Does the time of day I take glucosamine chondroitin MSM affect its efficacy?
A1: Research indicates that the time of day doesn't significantly alter their efficacy.Q2: Can I take glucosamine chondroitin MSM on an empty stomach?
A: It's generally recommended to take it with food to enhance absorption and reduce potential side effects.
Q3: How long does it take to see results from taking glucosamine chondroitin MSM?
A: Results can vary, but many individuals report feeling better after one to two months of consistent use.
Q4: Are there any side effects associated with glucosamine chondroitin MSM?
A: Some individuals may experience gastrointestinal discomfort. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement.
Q5: Can I take glucosamine chondroitin MSM with other medications?
A: It's essential to consult with a healthcare professional to ensure there are no interactions with other medications.
Even if you're not an athlete or an active individual who engages in physical activities, taking care of your joints is essential, especially as you age.
Taking glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM is necessary to improve your overall joint health and to avoid severe conditions related to joint pain. These substances have anti-inflammatory properties for joint lubrication, flexibility of joint tissues, and to reduce joint inflammation.
It's important to spend time researching these supplements' benefits and possible side effects before taking them. Make sure to align your individual preferences, medical history, and existing joint-related conditions to these supplements. In doing these, you would be able to gain knowledge on what will work best for you or what will be considered inadequate. The supplement that might work for you may not work for someone with a different medical history.
Most importantly, consult your doctor or a medical professional regarding these supplements. Their suggestions will focus on personalized advice according to your individual health status. They can provide you with up-to-date information based on scientific research regarding the effectiveness of these supplements.