MSM stands for organic sulfur and, according to current knowledge, has excellent properties, especially for athletes. Whether you are a hobby or competitive athlete – with MSM you can reach a higher level of your performance. MSM noticeably promotes the regeneration of muscles and joints. MSM has an anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effect, which is why sports injuries and sore muscles are much more bearable and heal faster under the influence of MSM.
MSM for athletes
Exercise and sports not only make you healthy but also happy and satisfied!
However, physical stress also leads to the formation of free radicals, whose damaging effects in the body must be mitigated by antioxidants.
Hobby and competitive athletes know the problem of recurring tension, strains, pain, and inflammatory processes in overtrained muscles and tendons. Sore muscles, stiffness, tiredness, or susceptibility to infections then increasingly spoil the joy of healthy exercise.
You often have to take a longer break to protect your muscles. However, some of the fitness level, muscle strength, and muscle mass are then lost again.
Various research projects that have dealt with the investigation of organic sulfur, MSM (methylsulfonylmethane), and its beneficial effects, especially for athletes, promise ways out of this vicious circle.
Muscle protection with MSM
A study has shown that taking MSM for ten days improves the body’s antioxidant abilities. The values, which can give an indication of cell damage, injuries, and muscle damage, visibly decreased with the daily MSM administration.
The values of creatine kinase (CK) and the so-called LDH enzymes are used here as meaningful indicators.
Increased values indicate injuries in the cell and muscle area, while reduced values indicate improved repair mechanisms and increased antioxidant abilities of the body.
The investigations impressively showed that the athletes who took MSM had significantly lower values than the placebo group 24 and 48 hours after exercise.
The results suggest that MSM can protect muscles from injury from intense exercise. Sore muscles and inflammatory processes can therefore be effectively prevented with MSM.
Active cell protection with MSM
So-called reactive oxygen and nitrogen compounds (RONS) are formed through the activities of free radicals. They are usually of a destructive nature and yet again – but only in certain doses – extremely helpful for our immune system.
They can activate healing inflammatory processes. Here, however, it is extremely important that these processes do not lead to excessive reactions in the immune system and an unhealthily strong inflammatory reaction.
The immune system reacts too vigorously if the RONS values and transcription factors such as the nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kB) are above normal values.
Since an exaggerated inflammatory response leads to significant oxidative stress and damage to the body substance, it is extremely important to stop the aggressive RONS and transcription factors and keep them low.
Studies have shown that MSM is able to do just that! RONS and transcription factors decrease with MSM intake, while levels of the important antioxidant helper glutathione increase.
The effects of oxidative stress are consequently reduced and the repair and regeneration mechanisms of the connective tissue are comprehensively promoted.
Healthier joints with MSM
Further studies demonstrate the joint-protecting abilities of MSM.
A double-blind, placebo-controlled study by Linda Kim et al. (2006) found that MSM could reduce the pain associated with osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is associated with the degeneration and breakdown of cartilage mass. Painful inflammation occurs as the disease progresses.
Conventional medicine treats the symptoms with pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory drugs, which often have unpleasant side effects.
In the studies on patients, MSM achieved the same pain-reducing and anti-inflammatory success as commercially available painkillers, with very good tolerability.
The test subjects were able to live happier and more active lives than before thanks to the reduced pain activity and the regained freedom of movement.
Another study (Debbi et al. 2011) also showed – compared to the placebo group – an improvement in pain intensity and movement restrictions in knee arthrosis after taking MSM (3 x daily 1125 mg) over 12 weeks.
The study by Usha et al. (2004) came to similar conclusions: the positive effects of MSM intake could even be increased if glucosamine was also taken. Glucosamine and MSM reinforce each other’s effects, while MSM alone and glucosamine alone did not work as well.
MSM: Seven benefits for athletes
In summary, MSM has a positive effect on athletes in several ways:
- MSM fights sports-related inflammation.
- MSM reduces muscle damage and soreness.
- MSM reduces oxidative stress after exercise.
- MSM promotes muscle recovery by reducing RONS.
- MSM increases the body’s antioxidant power.
- MSM supports healthy joints and an optimal range of motion.
- MSM prevents cartilage degradation and relieves pain in existing joint diseases.
MSM – The Application
We explain the best way to take MSM in our main article on MSM under Using and taking MSM correctly. Please click on the previous link under “MMS”.