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Which supplements are best for arthritis and joint pain: powders, capsules or tablets?

which supplements

How do you decide which arthritis remedy is best for your joint pain?

When you look for a natural supplement to help relieve arthritis symptoms like joint pain, the range of options on the shelves can be overwhelming.

There are so many natural ingredients that are said to help with joint pain, and so many different formats.  So which arthritis supplement will work best for you?

Start by checking what’s in your joint pain supplement

With a few special exceptions, most high-quality, natural arthritis remedies will contain some combination of the following ingredients:

  • Glucosamine: your body produces this joint cartilage building block naturally, but as you get older, you tend to produce less of it. This is why supplementing can often help to maintain joint health and assist with arthritic joint pain.  Glucosamine comes in two forms: look for Glucosamine sulfate, which is the form with the most research behind it.
  • Chondroitin: another compound that your body produces naturally, chondroitin helps to improve the shock absorption in your joint cartilage.  It seems to work best in combination with glucosamine for arthritis symptoms.
  • MSM: this organic, easily absorbed form of Sulfur can help reduce the pain and inflammation of arthritis.  Studies have shown that arthritic joint cartilage may contain less than a third of the Sulfur of healthy joint tissue – which may explain MSM’s effectiveness.

Then, choose a joint pain supplement format that works for you

Natural arthritis remedies tend to come in three different forms: capsules, tablets and powders.  Each has its own advantages, so the right one for your joint pain will depend on your needs.

  • Capsules: often seen as the easiest supplements to swallow, capsules are convenient and portable.  However, they’re also smaller than tablets, so manufacturers can fit less of each therapeutic ingredient into them.  This means you may need to take 2-3 capsules a day to get a therapeutic dose.
  • Tablets:  tablets are larger than capsules, so they have room for more of each ingredient.  This means you may be able to get your entire day’s joint pain relief from a single tablet.  The downside is that some people have difficulty swallowing large tablets, in which case one of the other formats may be a better option.
  • Powders: because a powder scoop is larger than either a tablet OR a capsule, powders usually provide the strongest relief from arthritis symptoms.  And although people think of powders as less convenient, that’s more perception than fact.  All you need to do is stir them into water or juice, or sprinkle them on your cereals.

So if you want maximum-strength arthritis symptom relief, a powder is probably the way to go.  If you prefer to keep your supplements simple and one-a-day, try a tablet. Or, if you find tablets hard to swallow, try capsules.  Whichever you choose, check the total amount of each ingredient that you’re taking each day. It’s this total that determines how effective a supplement is for joint pain, not the format.