Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The experiment is done

Five months ago my middle-age man knees started hurting on a regular basis. I attributed it to the cumulative effect of my fitness training; years of karate and running, three years of high-volume bodyweight-only exercise training, and more recently, Olympic weightlifting training. I wasn't in major pain by any stretch of the imagination, but there were many days that my knees hurt.

So I decided to undergo a 60-day experiment taking a glucosamine and chondroitin supplement to determine if it would help my knee pain. I surfed the internet and visited various websites selling this supplement. All claimed that their product was superior because of this and that research, and testimonials from satisfied customers. I also asked friends who had taken this supplement about their experiences and opinions. What I discovered was that for every person who said it helped was another person who didn't notice any benefit.

The brand I purchased had the following ingredients in the recommended daily dosage:

Vitamin C - 60 mg
Manganese- 2 mg
Sodium - 30 mg
Glucosamine HCI - 1,500 mg
Joint Shield proprietary blend - 1,350 mg
Chondroitin/MSM Complex - 1,250 mg
5 Loxin AKBA Boswellia serrata extract - 100 mg
Boron - 3 mg

My 60-day experiment ended up taking five months to complete because I wasn't diligent in taking the supplement every day. Now that I've finished the 60-day supply, it's time to make an evaluation and draw a conclusion.

There are some variables that were not constant during my experiment, thus making it difficult to determine if this supplement helped my knee pain. First, I reduced the frequency of my karate training because I grew tired of the long-distance drive from my home to the dojo. Second, my running came to a screeching halt because it conflicted with Olympic weightlifting training. Finally, I started wearing knee bands while lifting which provided more knee support for the demands of the Olympic lifts.

So while my knees no longer hurt like they did five months ago, I hesitate to attributing it to the glucosamine/chondroitin supplement. I'm not sure if I will continue taking it, but I'm glad my knees no longer hurt and that the experiment is done.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum


Anonymous said...

Obviously, it would have been a much better experiment if you would have been consistent and faithful. It's hard to tell how much good, if any, it did you under the circumstances. Maybe you should try it again?

Anonymous said...

I'm in the didn't notice any difference camp. Even if you were faithful in you 60 day experiment, I notice that almost any injured condition gets better in 60 days. The body heals. I've read recently studies show stuff doesn't really make a difference. I choose to believe that. Notice the word "choose."


Anonymous said...

Mr. Pierini,
what are your thoughts on isometrics building strength as you have done many different exercises and talked to a lot of famous strongmen?

Pierini Fitness said...

Thanks for stopping by Charles & Tom. Feedback has been limited and equally divided. I'm make the decision the next time I am at Costco.

Hello anonymous and thanks for stopping by. I have never done isometric training on an extended basis and followed up with any type of objective strength test so I don't know.

I do believe isometrics are great for adding visible muscle chisel to a body that is already fit and free of excessive bodyfat.

Have a great day all!

Anonymous said...

Just keep using your magic feather, and everything will be fine.

Voodoo works!!


Pierini Fitness said...

Hi Cliff,

Your post gives this all a different perspective. I don't think I will continue taking it.