When you damage tissue, your body reacts by producing glucosamine (which naturally occurs in tendons, ligaments and cartilage) to form new connective molecules. Glucosamine’s main function is to stimulate the growth of cartilage and hydrate tendons and ligaments, protecting them from injury. The body normally manufactures this miracle hydrator and protector, but as production levels diminish with age or due to excessive training, glucosamine levels can fall short of demand, leaving your joints, tendons and ligaments vulnerable. Taking a glucosamine supplement will increase the synthesis of a substance called chondroitin, which keeps your cartilage nourished, hydrated and strong. When looking for a glucosamine joint formula, select a product that combines glucosamine and chondroitin, which will restore synovial fluid and tissues in and around your joints, cushioning the bones, tendons and ligaments from damage. The ideal dose is 520mg of glucosamine and 300mg of chondroitin per day, which can be found in all good health food shops.
If you want to avoid injury, improving your diet and including these foods can form part of your protective programme. Investing in regular massage and physiotherapy can help, too, as will including core stability work and stretching in your training programme. Making time for these lifestyle changes, as well as factoring adequate rest into your program and avoiding pushing yourself too far, too soon, will help you enjoy injury-free running all year round.