A line—formed by a combination of age and experience—separates the majority of lifters. Some of you reading this are under the impression that you’re invincible, while some of you are all too aware of the sad fact that you are not. Nearly all of us begin weight training with our mental fortitude being the only thing standing between us and working to our full capacity. Most of us learn the importance of proper nutrition and eating to support our size, strength, and performance goals, and we will usually learn this fairly early on. While we’re on our way to ascending to becoming our biggest and strongest, we often feel a false sense of invincibility. This extreme sense of confidence and durability serves as a double-edged sword. It helps us to set fear aside and ruthlessly pursue our physical goals, but it can also leave us beat up, in pain, and aware of the fact that we are subject to wear and tear. So what should we do?
Joint and connective tissue health should be approached from various angles and with the same diligence that we attempt to support the growth and recovery of muscle tissue. We need to work both in the gym and in the kitchen if we’re going to eliminate weak links. This is a large subject to tackle and there is so much information we could go over, but for the sake of this article we will focus on nutrient support of joint and connective tissue. Just as we learn to provide our bodies with specific supplements for muscle building and recovery, we would be smart to supply our bodies with the right nutrients to support our connective tissues and joints. Since it is practically impossible to consume enough of the beneficial nutrients that occur naturally in whole foods, it makes sense to rely on supplements as a concentrated source of those nutrients.
There are countless joint support products—everything from single ingredient products to formulations consisting of all but the kitchen sink. Which is the right one? Personally, I’ve never been a fan of the products that throw a bunch of ingredients at the proverbial wall hoping that some will stick. Most of the time, those products fall short because they are unable to include each of these ingredients in meaningful and efficacious amounts. Manufacturers throw in everything under the sun in an attempt to wow the consumer. They’re banking on the idea that you will be too short-sighted to realize that they can’t possibly have enough of each ingredient to actually be effective. Having a ton of ingredients doesn’t make a formula comprehensive if those ingredients are not included in efficacious amounts. It just means that the product has a bunch of ingredients that are too watered down to do a damn thing for you.
On the flip side, the synergy between several different ingredients have been show to benefit joint and connective tissue health as much as single ingredients. Further, there are different ways to help joints, which allow formulations that consist of more than one ingredient to shine. For example, some ingredients may provide the body with the raw materials to help joint recovery while others can help balance inflammation to further assist with healing and support. At the end of the day, the right formulation is crucial not only to ensure a beneficial partnership between ingredients but to guarantee that each of those ingredients is included in an amount that is meaningful and effective.
No matter how perfect a supplement appears on paper (or in this case, the label), it must produce a significant effect. It doesn’t matter if a formulation is engineered to look like a masterpiece; if it doesn’t provide relief from joint pain and allow the user to focus on training to full capacity and not worry about aches and pains, it’s worth nothing. So, as is often the case, appearance is ultimately just that.
Animal Flex was formulated to work using the ultimate combination of ingredients. Yes, it works. When something works, the rest is irrelevant. That said, the formulation is so good that it actually deserves an explanation. Animal Flex makes sure to include key vitamins and minerals that do everything from boosting collagen synthesis to improving bone density, from balancing inflammation to scavenging free radicals. Including vitamins and minerals is always the first place to start when optimal health is the goal and, since we are talking joint health here, Animal is on the mark as usual.
Next in the formulation is a heavy dose of the joint building trio glucosamine, chondroitin, and msm. These ingredients have been mainstays in quality joint support products for well over 20 years now and for good reason. They not only provide the body with raw material for joint recovery and healing but they also mediate inflammation. Animal Flex shines where others fall short—in potency. With a 3 gram complex of these three ingredients, you don’t have to worry about having an under-dosed product.
Animal Flex also includes specific fatty acids selected to balance inflammation, reduce pain and stiffness, and actually help with joint lubrication. The inclusion of fatty acids in the formula is smart but rarely seen. Why? Most joint support is usually in either capsule or tablet form. Animal’s signature use of packs allows tablets, capsules, and liquid softgels to co-exist. Where others have to limit their formulations to one method of delivery, Animal is able to formulate in an uncompromising style focusing only on including ingredients that will deliver the best result.
Lastly, Animal Flex includes ingredients to help balance inflammation. Ginger root, turmeric root, boswellia, quercetin, and bromelain have all been shown in recent research to work with the body in helping to maintain a healthy inflammatory response. While inflammation is needed to drive healing, chronic and excessive inflammation is antithetical to that same process.
Whether you’re a newcomer to or a veteran of the iron game, joint health and support should be a priority. Pushing your training to new limits is hard enough without being limited by joint pain or connective tissue dysfunction. Plenty of veterans in this sport, myself included, will tell you that the last thing you want is to be restricted in your training because of pain, a lack of mobility, or poor joint integrity. The only thing worse than having to train at a fraction of your capacity is being sidelined altogether by an acute injury due to a joint or connective tissue injury brought on by chronic oversight and a lack of care. A joint support product is a smart investment that carries with it a tremendous value when you consider the cost to benefit ratio. And as far as joint support products go, there is none better than Animal Flex. The formula is comprehensive, uncompromising, and, more than anything, it works.