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Eat To Grow: Smokin’ Joints

Can nutrition prevent joint damage from heavy lifting?

Q: I consistently train heavy with a lot of intensity to build as much muscle as possible, and I realize that over a long period that can wreak havoc on my joints. What supplements do you recommend for preventing future joint problems?

A: You’re assuming something that isn’t so. Your consistent heavy weight training won’t wreak havoc on your joints. In fact, sensible, consistent training, accompanied by proper warmups, moderate stretching, adequate rest and, of course, an intelligent training schedule, will strengthen and protect your joints from injury. Consistent and heavy training doesn’t mean that you should use max resistance at every workout, however.

As for supplements that are important for training longevity and joint protection, I’d advocate vitamins C and E along with selenium to keep the capillary structures strong and pliable. I’m also an advocate of getting adequate minerals in your daily diet, with an emphasis on calcium, magnesium and zinc. The water-soluble vitamins C and B complex are much more efficiently absorbed and disseminated for the body’s use when there’s calcium in the digestive tract. IM

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