Best Joint Supplement

Find help for your painful joints and creaky bones with our top 8 joint supplements.

Last updated: Apr 15th, 2024
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Best Joint Supplement

About 91 million adults in the United States — more than one-third of the population — may have some form of arthritis. Despite what popular culture might lead you to believe, arthritis and other joint problems affect more people of working age than they do the elderly. It can keep you from doing work you enjoy, spending time with family and friends, and, in some cases, caring for yourself. Joint pain isn’t limited to arthritis; people without arthritis are still vulnerable to joint problems and overuse injuries like bursitis, sprains, and strains.

Supplements are an easy way to boost your joint health with minimal extra effort. Whether you’re looking to support healthy joints or ease joint pain due to arthritis, there are supplements that can help. Since joint pain is such a common condition in the U.S., there are a lot of different joint supplements — and not all of them work as well as they claim. We picked our top eight joint supplements based on their value, ingredient makeup, testing stringency, and more. This guide will walk you through exactly what makes them so good to help you find the right joint supplement for your needs.

Don’t have time to read the full article right now? Check out our top picks below.

Summary of recommendations

Table of Contents

In this Review

Our Top Choice

Zenwise Joint Support contains glucosamine sulfate - a clinically-backed ingredient that reduces inflammation and supports cartilage.

Zenwise manufactures all products in cGMP-compliant U.S. facilities and tests in-house. Enjoy free expedited shipping and a risk-free guarantee on every order. Subscribe to save 15% on Amazon.

Why you should trust us

Joint pain is a common problem, and because of its prevalence, there are hundreds of supplements on the market claiming to reduce pain and inflammation. We’ve spent over 75 hours researching active ingredients and comparing prominent as well as more obscure products available. To help identify the active ingredients that have the most potential to help — and at what doses — we dove into over 40 scientific articles focused on joint health, arthritis, joint injury, and joint inflammation.

We also spoke with a nutritionist about the potential benefits behind different joint supplement ingredients to help sort the valuable ingredients from the rest that are far less likely to make a difference. Some substances have been studied in the context of joint health more thoroughly over the span of decades, while others have emerged only more recently as possible game-changers for those seeking joint support.

Like all health-related content on this website, this review was thoroughly vetted by one or more members of our Medical Review Board for accuracy. We’ll continue to monitor advancements in joint health supplementation to keep our content up-to-date and continue providing the latest and best advice.

Over the past two decades, Innerbody Research has helped tens of millions of readers make more informed decisions about staying healthy and living healthier lifestyles.

How we evaluated joint supplements

We considered four primary criteria to evaluate our top choices in joint supplements:

  • how effective the ingredients are
  • how safe the products are
  • how much they cost
  • how convenient they are to use

When selecting the winners for each of our categories, we considered their effectiveness first and foremost, with safety in a close second. A supplement has to be effective, and that includes having the right ingredients in the right dosages. We also confirmed whether or not companies are using third-party testing of their products. It’s essential to look into what a company is doing to ensure that you are safely receiving a high-quality product that contains exactly what they are saying it does. Cost and convenience are important to consider, too, and there can be somewhat of a wide range in the pricing of joint supplements.

Let’s take a closer look to see how we made our top picks for each criterion.


Winner: Zenwise

The biggest downfall of joint supplements is that there are many ingredients we think might be able to support our joints, but very few have been proven to work consistently in clinical research. With all the contradictory information out there, it’s hard to know what to pursue in a supplement. We sought out the latest in scientific research to help guide us. This 2022 meta-analysis examined the efficacy and safety of glucosamine combined with chondroitin (the most common combination used for joint health) and found that this combination was more effective than the individual ingredients alone. Other ingredients, like MSM, Boswellia extract, and turmeric, show promise, as well. The inclusion of proven, well-sourced ingredients at recommended dosages drove our evaluation of joint supplements.

Zenwise’s Joint Support includes all of the most promising ingredients for joint support. It provides research-backed doses of glucosamine and chondroitin and close-to-perfect doses of supporting ingredients, though there are a few fillers and additives.


Winner: Xendurance

The FDA doesn’t regulate supplements in the same way as prescription medications and food. Hence, it’s up to companies to do the right thing and consumers to be aware of what it is they’re ingesting. Safety includes everything from a thoroughly-labeled and well-tested ingredients list to independent third-party testing and GMP compliance.

Xendurance ensures that all of its products are tested and backed by prominent safety programs, including LGC’s Informed-Choice and Informed-Sport, which are similar testing processes for sports nutrition. Having both certifications is a big bonus despite their similarities. It means that Joint-4 is regularly and rigorously tested with every single batch of product before it hits the shelves, as well as being purchased and tested blind once a month to ensure that no bias or quality issues occur after Joint-4 has been made. From this third-party testing to simple, effective ingredients, Xendurance makes every effort to ensure you’re getting the safest possible product.


Winner: Doctor’s Best Glucosamine Chondroitin MSM with OptiMSM

The cost of a supplement comes down to more than just the sticker price. While that’s a good starting place, considering the number of servings per container, bulk deals, and discounts can shift that number dramatically. Customer service features like money-back guarantees and return policies also affect the overall cost. If you can’t return a product but try it and don’t like it, that can make a big difference.

Doctor’s Best has 60 servings in each $22.99 bottle, bringing the per-serving cost to just $0.38. The biggest perk is that this price doesn’t come along with stripped-down ingredients — their formula is one of the strongest we’ve seen, so you’re getting more bang for your buck than other competitors. Doctor’s Best also offers a 60-day return/refund policy.


Winner: 1MD Nutrition

The easier it is to take a supplement, the more likely you’ll be able to stick with it and, hopefully, feel its effects. We always consider convenience when researching, testing, and analyzing supplements since their makeups and requirements can vary dramatically among manufacturers.

1MD Nutrition’s MoveMD is the only joint supplement on our list that only requires one capsule a day; most others need you to take two or three daily to feel the full effect. These capsules aren’t particularly large, and you don’t need to take them with a meal or at a specific time. Plus, on MoveMD’s website, 1MD Nutrition walks you through exactly when you can expect changes to start occurring.

How our top recommendations compare

We’ve put together a chart to give you a fast and easy way to compare our top joint supplements. Check it out below for the differences in value, ingredients, customer support, and more.

Number of servings
Cost per serving
Pills per serving
2 Tablespoons
Glucosamine content
Chondroitin content
Other active ingredients
MSM, Boswellia, turmeric, hyaluronic acid
Collagen, Boswellia, astaxanthin, hyaluronic acid
Selenium, bromelain, ginger, turmeric, MSM, black pepper
MSM, hyaluronic acid
Boswellia, MSM
Third-party tested?
Subscription available
Return policy
60 days
90 days
60 days
45 days
30 days

What are joints?

Joints are parts of the body where two or more bones meet. They are made mostly of cartilage, a flexible connective tissue that coats the part of both bones that lie next to each other. The space between the cartilage is full of synovial fluid, a watery substance that keeps friction low, to create a capsule made out of tissue called the synovial membrane. Some large joints, like shoulders, knees, and hips, have fluid-filled sacs called bursae that help cushion the bones even more. But in all joints, both bones are held together with ligaments and tendons.

There are three major kinds of joints:

Fibrous joints

These joints are fixed and don’t move easily, as they don’t have a cavity or capsule. Joints in the skull are often fibrous.

Cartilaginous joints

Cartilaginous joints are where bones are joined by cartilage, which allows for flexibility and a little bit of movement. They can withstand a lot of weight and pressure. The left and right halves of your pubic bone are connected by a cartilaginous joint.

Synovial joints

These are the joints people most often think of when they hear “joint.” They are significantly mobile and have the aforementioned cavities full of synovial fluid. Hips, elbows, and knees are synovial joints.

There are 360 joints throughout the human body. They allow us to grab, walk, throw, and do countless other tasks of daily living. Yet, we so often only notice them when they cause us problems.

What causes joint problems?

Joint problems stem from damage done to your joints through wear-and-tear or inflammation damaging chondrocytes, the cells that make up your cartilage. This can come from any number of things, but we’ll discuss four of the most common sources: arthritis, injury, age, and other medical conditions that can cause joint problems.


There are over 100 diseases under the arthritis umbrella. While the most common type, osteoarthritis, tends to affect older adults, anyone can develop arthritis, even children. Some of the more common types of arthritis include:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Gout
  • Juvenile arthritis
  • Lupus

Osteoarthritis is one of the most common diseases we develop as we age. It’s commonly thought of as a “wear and tear” disease, meaning that it occurs from standard bodily processes taking a toll on your body and breaking down the cartilage in your joints. It affects specific joints (rather than all at once) and is most commonly found in the hands, hips, and knees. One out of every 10 adult men and 13% of adult women in the United States have osteoarthritis in their knees alone.

In contrast, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease where your immune system mistakes your joint lining for an invader and attacks it, leading to swollen, inflamed joints that are stiff and painful. And while not always the case, RA tends to affect joints symmetrically on both sides of the body. Over time, when left untreated, rheumatoid arthritis can lead to bone and joint deterioration.

Joint pain, stiffness, and swelling are the main symptoms of all kinds of arthritis. While prescription medication, physical therapy, and over-the-counter pain relievers can help you manage it, some opt to take joint supplements instead or in addition to other treatments.

Injuries and overuse

It’s unfortunately easy to injure your joints. Even if you’re not one of the 91 million who have some kind of arthritis, anything from playing tennis to walking around your neighborhood can injure your joints. These injuries aren’t often permanent like arthritis and other diseases, but when left untreated, they can destabilize your joints and cause more problems long-term.

Since your joints hold bones together and allow full range of motion, anything that affects the bones, tendons, or ligaments around a joint ultimately affects your mobility. This includes sprains, strains, and fractures. Dislocating joints is also surprisingly easy and the most common kind of joint injury — particularly if you have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), a group of inherited disorders that affect your connective tissue.

Overuse injuries, such as tennis elbow and bursitis, occur when you’ve repeatedly put too much stress on a joint. You can get an overuse injury from just about anything you do, as long as it involves movement in a joint, but poor technique makes it much more likely to occur.

Those who carry a few extra pounds also put themselves at higher risk of joint problems. When weight-bearing joints, such as your knees and hips, have to carry more weight than they’re built for, it increases the chances of an overuse injury.


Not only does your risk of arthritis increase over time, but aging itself can cause joint problems. Starting around age 30, you begin to lose bone density (escalating for women after menopause). Your joints begin to lose synovial fluid, becoming stiffer and less flexible. Likewise, your ligaments shorten, decreasing your range of motion. All of this combines to create creaky bones, bent posture, and over-flexed hips and knees, making overuse injuries more likely because of the strain already put on the stiff joints.

Unfortunately, because aging is a natural process, there isn’t much we can do to stop joint degeneration over time. However, taking care of your bones by exercising regularly, building strong muscles around your joints, and maintaining a healthy weight can all help keep your joints strong for longer.

Other medical conditions

There are dozens of other reasons you might experience joint pain. It’s an extremely common symptom related to inflammation, which many joint supplements target by including anti-inflammatory ingredients. Some other disorders that can affect your joints include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Sjögren’s syndrome
  • Osteoporosis
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Lyme disease
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Still’s disease
  • Some cancers
  • Rheumatic fever
  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Celiac disease

Supplements aren’t medications, nor should they be treated as such. They aren’t regulated by the FDA like prescription medications. While all our top picks are safely manufactured and tested, you can’t expect a supplement to treat or cure any conditions. Always follow your doctor’s advice when it comes to what you should and shouldn’t be taking.

How joint supplements work

Just as there are many ways your joints can be out of alignment, there are many ways to offset, slow, or dull an ache that doesn’t involve prescription medication. Joint supplements are just one of the tools you have to support your joints. But there are many kinds of joint supplements, all with different ingredients. We’ll go over the most common — and most useful — ingredients below.


Glucosamine is one of the most common ingredients in a joint supplement. It’s an amino sugar naturally found in our cartilage that helps to build physical structures and keep them in place. Taking glucosamine as a supplement won’t rebuild the cartilage you’ve lost or damaged, but it might prevent further breakdown by protecting cells called chondrocytes.

There are three kinds of glucosamine you’ll find in a joint supplement:

  • N-acetyl glucosamine
  • Glucosamine hydrochloride
  • Glucosamine sulfate

Currently, glucosamine sulfate has been researched the most and appears to be the most effective. However, a 2018 clinical trial demonstrated that the combination of both glucosamine sulfate and glucosamine hydrochloride with chondroitin was effective for treating osteoarthritis, with no significant differences between the two.

Glucosamine in supplements is either made from scratch in a laboratory or harvested from shellfish shells. It’s important to take note that there is the possibility of an allergic reaction in people with shellfish allergies. On average, successful studies have used dosages between 1,500mg and 3,000mg of glucosamine daily.


Like glucosamine, chondroitin is a compound that naturally occurs in your body. It helps your joints’ elasticity by allowing them to retain water and protect chondrocytes, the cells that maintain cartilage structure. Chondroitin can be found in food, too — gristle, for example, is extremely high in chondroitin, though it has nowhere near as much as a supplement. It’s often made from shark or beef cartilage. When supplemented, it’s thought that chondroitin reduces inflammation in both the synovial membrane and chondrocytes.

Current research on chondroitin — specifically chondroitin sulfate — is mixed. Some studies suggest chondroitin isn’t useful for those who have osteoarthritis, specifically in their knees or hips. Others point out that it inconsistently provides either significant differences in pain or nothing at all for those with moderate to severe osteoarthritis. Small, short-term studies show chondroitin can improve pain by 20%.

Chondroitin is generally considered slightly less effective than glucosamine but more effective than many herbal remedies. When useful in studies, it’s generally given at doses between 800mg and 1,200mg and used in combination with glucosamine.

Glucosamine and chondroitin are both naturally found in our cartilage and work together. Their inclusion together might not be physiologically necessary but can provide some benefit above either of them individually. The most extensive study on glucosamine and chondroitin to date found that they don’t affect pain in those with mild osteoarthritis but help those with moderate to severe symptoms. After two years, researchers followed up and found that pain decreased the most in the first 18 weeks of treatment and that glucosamine on its own had the most benefits for patients.

It’s worth noting that despite the research giving results that are conflicting and contradictory at times, supplements may offer a great alternative to those who are sensitive to NSAIDs and looking for some potential relief.

Curcumin (turmeric)

This common spice has a lot of promise in the supplement sphere. Turmeric is well known for having extensive anti-inflammatory properties in its primary polyphenol, curcumin. Curcumin provides turmeric’s iconic yellow color, quiets inflammation, and increases the number of antioxidants that the body produces. Some studies suggest that curcumin might work to relieve joint pain by preventing the death of chondrocytes and suppressing inflammation.

When it comes to arthritis and other sources of joint pain, curcumin seems to be relatively effective. One recent study compared it to diclofenac, a topical NSAID pain relief medication for arthritis, and found that it provided similar results in the short term for people with osteoarthritis in their knees. Clinical researchers agree that, while it looks promising, more research is necessary to determine if curcumin could work to quiet arthritis symptoms.

Most studies use 400mg to 1,000mg of curcumin daily to see effects. However, it’s relatively rare to see this much turmeric in supplements; blends often cap out at around 250mg.

Some recent analyses have found high levels of lead from pigment in turmeric, so be careful when picking a joint supplement. This includes making sure that turmeric-containing supplements have been tested for heavy metals.

Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM)

MSM is an organic sulfur-containing compound that provides antioxidant and anti-inflammatory boosts to our bodies. It’s a common ingredient in all kinds of supplements but has a special place in joint supplement makeup; some studies show it works to the same degree as glucosamine.

Studies investigating osteoarthritis show that it might help manage osteoarthritis symptoms like pain and joint stiffness. MSM has a better track record in meta-analyses than many other supplement ingredients (with more rigorous, accurate studies), but it isn’t yet clear to what degree MSM might work against arthritis pain. It appears to support joint health even outside of arthritis. When given MSM after running a half-marathon, participants reported less muscle and joint pain (though not so much as returning them to pre-marathon levels).

There haven’t been many long-term studies on the effects of MSM, but short-term studies show minimal side effects (only an upset stomach at the start of treatment in a few participants). Most studies that provide effective results use a dose between 2g and 6g.

Other common ingredients

There are dozens of other ingredients you might find in a joint supplement. Below, we’ll explain the research and reasons to include the best of them.

Special Offer from Zenwise: Save 15% When You Subscribe

Boswellia serrata gum resin extract

Boswellia serrata gum resin extract (also known as frankincense) is used in Ayurvedic medicine and has proven anti-inflammatory effects. A 2020 meta-analysis of seven trials found that Boswellia extract may relieve pain and stiffness and improve joint function compared to placebo in subjects with osteoarthritis when taken for at least four weeks.

Black pepper extract

Black pepper extract can help the body absorb plant compounds. Just as curcumin is the chemical in turmeric that does the heavy lifting, piperine in black pepper helps the body to absorb curcumin, boosting how much gets absorbed into the body and how long it sticks around. Formulas that include black pepper extract or piperine alongside turmeric are more likely to see stronger and longer-lasting effects.

Calcium fructoborate

Calcium fructoborate is a relatively new ingredient approved to be safe for human use by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in mid-2021. It has been studied concerning joint pain since the late 1990s. It’s also found naturally in dried fruits like raisins and freeze-dried apricots. Calcium fructoborate has been shown to have a protective effect against inflammation associated with inflexibility, stiffness, and pain from osteoarthritis and has lowered joint pain in other studies (in doses of 110mg per day). One study showed that combining calcium fructoborate with glucosamine and chondroitin increased their absorption, but that study was retracted for reasons not stated.


Collagen is a protein that helps your body build cartilage. It’s also found in your skin, tendons, bones, and connective tissue. Collagen supplements are not absorbed intact but rather broken down into amino acids that your body can then use. We know supplemental collagen can be great for your skin and bone health, but research is mixed on whether or not it can help your joints. Some studies say that collagen supplements improve symptoms of osteoarthritis. Still, larger studies report that people feel little to no difference in pain — but a significant decrease in stiffness — due to osteoarthritis symptoms while taking collagen alone. These results depend on the kind of collagen you’re taking, as there have been 20 types identified to date; type II is the main component of cartilage, so it’s thought to be particularly helpful for joint health.


These fatty acids are nutrients that support cardiovascular health by lowering your blood pressure, triglycerides, and the risk of blood clots. But they can also reduce inflammation all over your body. Recent studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids may decrease swelling and tenderness in joints caused by rheumatoid arthritis.

Vitamin D

Achy joints are a common complaint from those deficient in vitamin D. The steroid helps your body absorb calcium, which can help strengthen your bones (and, by proxy, relieve some pressure put on your joints). It’s not uncommon to see vitamin D in joint supplements, as many people with joint pain also have vitamin D deficiencies, but the relationship isn’t particularly cut-and-dried. Studies have shown that people with lupus are more likely to be deficient in vitamin D, but supplementing your diet with vitamin D if you aren’t already deficient won’t help to improve your osteoarthritis symptoms.

Vitamin K

Vitamin K is one of the most important vitamins for bone and joint health. It can help prevent cartilage calcification — a condition most people experience that can lead to osteoarthritis down the road. A recent study showed that blocking vitamin K with warfarin speeds up the progression of osteoarthritis, so it’s essential to keep an eye on your vitamin K levels if you’re currently taking an anticoagulant.

S-Adenosyl methionine (SAMe)

SAMe is a natural compound produced by the liver that helps cells maintain their membranes throughout the body. Not much is known about SAMe yet, but a few studies have looked at SAMe’s effects on depression and osteoarthritis. A 2002 analysis showed that SAMe had about the same effect on osteoarthritis as regular NSAID use, but that study hasn’t been replicated yet.

Many joint supplements also include antioxidant ingredients in their formulas. As of yet, there hasn’t been much evidence that antioxidants have particular benefits for joint health. However, one 2016 review suggests that oxidative stress does contribute to cartilage damage and that a diet high in antioxidants is an economical, effective way to offset or minimize that oxidative stress. So while you shouldn’t need to look for a joint supplement with tons of beta-carotene, vitamin C, or vitamin E, supplements with antioxidants can provide a little extra power.

Some people also use topical creams with ingredients like capsaicin or CBD to target and relieve symptoms from one joint. These are valid modes of action and can be great for pain relief, but we won’t focus on them in this guide.

Are joint supplements safe?

Joint supplements are safe for most people. You might experience a bit of gastrointestinal discomfort when you first start taking them, but that side effect eases after a few days of regular use. Joint supplements aren’t typically recommended for people who have osteoarthritis in their knees, as many studies have shown little to no effects.

Most glucosamine is found naturally in the outer shells of shellfish. Unless a supplement containing glucosamine explicitly states that the glucosamine is created from something else or is vegan, it’s best to stay away if you’re allergic to shellfish. Likewise, unless otherwise noted, chondroitin is often taken from shark or bovine cartilage.

There are a few conditions and medications with which joint supplements interact poorly.

Glucosamine and chondroitin are great anticoagulants. This means that they keep your blood from clotting, so joint supplements don't mix well with prescription anticoagulants like warfarin (Coumadin). The EFSA declared in 2011 that glucosamine and chondroitin should not be used alongside anticoagulant medications based on more than 40 studies.

In some studies, glucosamine has caused difficulty with blood sugar regulation and liver damage. However, these studies were small and didn’t replicate easily, with more recent studies showing no link between glucosamine and blood sugar control; in the case of liver damage, all evidence comes from a few cloudy case studies. However, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Talk to your doctor first if you’re interested in trying a joint supplement and have diabetes, hypoglycemia, or a liver condition.

Pregnant and lactating people shouldn’t take joint supplements. Neither should children under 18. And, as always, supplements aren’t regulated by the FDA in the same way as prescription medications or food. They aren’t proven to treat, diagnose, or cure illnesses or diseases. If you have questions that our guide can’t answer, please reach out to your doctor.

Zenwise Joint Support

Best overall


  • Contains hefty amounts of every important ingredient
  • Manufactured in a cGMP-verified facility
  • Third-party tested
  • AVA-certified vegetarian
  • Strong customer service
  • 100% risk-free guarantee
  • Free standard shipping on every order
  • Subscribe & Save 15%


  • Large tablets
  • Contains several fillers and additives

This advanced strength joint supplement from Zenwise provides both anti-inflammatory and cartilage support, helping the body prevent future cartilage damage and deterioration.

Zenwise’s formula contains glucosamine sulfate, the kind most often used in clinical studies. It’s most likely to accurately reflect what we know glucosamine can do, making it one of the most likely options to actually work. Its ingredients all come in hefty, ideal doses:

  • Glucosamine sulfate: 1,500mg
  • Chondroitin: 1,200mg
  • MSM: 1,000mg
  • Boswellia serrata gum: 100mg
  • Turmeric root: 100mg
  • Hyaluronic acid: 25mg

One of the more unique ingredients in this formula is hyaluronic acid. The trendy facial moisturizer ingredient is also found in our synovial fluid, helping to cushion and absorb shock. Hyaluronic acid works exceptionally well when injected into the problem joint, the most common way you’ll see it used. It’s also been shown to relieve joint pain and stiffness in athletes almost immediately. Research on its ingestion is sparse, but oral hyaluronic acid seems to affect joint health positively.

On the other hand, Joint Support’s great ingredient list comes with some not-so-great inclusions too. This joint supplement has the most additives and filler ingredients on our list, including:

  • Microcrystalline cellulose (a non-digestible natural polymer traditionally made from wood pulp)
  • Stearic acid
  • Croscarmellose sodium (an additive that increases disintegration)
  • Silicon dioxide (an additive and anti-caking agent)
  • Glycerin

Other ingredients, such as dicalcium phosphate, ascorbyl palmitate, and hypromellose, help offset potential side effects and boost the active ingredient’s main effects. While it sources some ingredients from shellfish shells, making this choice unsuitable for those who are allergic, the supplement is still vegetarian-friendly and certified by the American Vegetarian Association (AVA).

Each tablet is quite large, and several of our testers found them a little difficult to swallow. Since they come in a hard tablet rather than a capsule or softgel, we recommend cutting them in half, though that does mean you’ll take six smaller tablets for one daily serving.

Like all of Zenwise’s supplements, Joint Support is manufactured in cGMP-compliant U.S. facilities and tested in-house. We confirmed that Joint Support also undergoes third-party quality testing, as well.


Zenwise sells its Joint Support in two sizes: a bottle of 90 tablets (30 servings) or 180 tablets (60 servings). The cost per serving improves with the larger bottle ($0.67 vs. $0.55 for 30 and 60-day supplies, respectively).

If you know that you like Zenwise’s Joint Support supplement, you can join their Subscribe & Save program to cut 15% off your order. You’ll receive a new bottle of Joint Support every 30 days, and while you can’t change the frequency of deliveries, you can easily skip or cancel your subscription at any time. This may be handy if you are purchasing the larger bottle size since you likely won’t need a refill every month.

Zenwise offers a risk-free guarantee that grants you a no-hassle, money-back guarantee no matter how long it’s been since you ordered from their website. And while they don’t ship internationally, all orders from the United States get free standard shipping, so you’ll never have to worry about calculating a fee.

It’s also notable that Zenwise offers a vegan option for joint support, too. That formula is completely different, containing non-shellfish-derived glucosamine HCl as well as a nice blend of other proven ingredients, like turmeric and Bowellia. Be prepared that the vegan formula is more costly, however, and doesn’t have quite the power of ingredients as the regular joint support. Nonetheless, it is our recommendation for vegans at this time since Physician's Choice recently discontinued its Joint Support supplement.

Doctor’s Best Glucosamine Chondroitin MSM with OptiMSM

Best budget pick


  • Well-balanced, potent formula
  • Non-GMO, gluten-free, soy-free
  • Free shipping on orders over $20
  • Third-party tested, cGMP facilities


  • Recommended dose is four capsules daily

Doctor’s Best Glucosamine Chondroitin MSM with OptiMSM combines superb value with proven ingredients at ideal dosages. One serving includes:

  • Glucosamine sulfate: 1,500mg
  • Chondroitin: 1,200mg
  • MSM: 1,000mg

All three main ingredients are some of the best for joint support and are available in excellent quantities. The dosages match Zenwise head-to-head, but Zenwise beats out Doctor’s Best with the addition of other beneficial ingredients like Boswellia, turmeric, and hyaluronic acid. However, Doctor’s Best is almost half the cost of Zenwise ($0.38 versus $0.67 per serving), so if a simpler formula works for you, Doctor’s Best is a great option. The biggest downside is that one serving is four capsules. If you don’t mind the inconvenience of taking four capsules daily, then the cost savings might just be worth it.


Doctor’s Best Glucosamine Chondroitin MSM with OptiMSM comes in three sizes (30, 60, and 90 servings). The best price per serving is currently found with the 240-capsule, 60-serving bottle, at a price of $22.99 ($0.38 per serving). Unfortunately, Doctor’s Best does not offer a subscription program. They do, however, offer free 2-3 day shipping on orders over $20. It also appears that orders made on Doctor’s Best’s website are fulfilled by iHerb. We found that pricing was similar between the two websites, although iHerb does offer an auto-ship and save option, which would give you a 5% discount.

Doctor’s Best has a 60-day refund/return policy. Requests can be submitted on the Doctor’s Best website.

1MD Nutrition MoveMD

Best collagen-based joint supplement


  • Contains astaxanthin, a potent antioxidant
  • Third-party tested
  • One capsule per day
  • Free shipping on almost everything
  • 90-day money-back guarantee
  • Subscribe and save up to 30%


  • Ingredients lean experimental
  • Not vegan- or vegetarian-friendly

If you aren’t convinced by the current research on glucosamine, chondroitin, and curcumin, you can try other kinds of joint supplements. 1MD Nutrition’s MoveMD is an excellent example of an alternative supplement. This joint supplement is recommended by a board-certified rheumatologist and contains:

  • Boswellia gum resin extract: 100mg
  • Astaxanthin extract from algae: 2mg
  • Types I, V, and X eggshell membrane collagen: 100mg
  • Type II chicken sternum collagen: 280mg
  • Hyaluronic acid: 25mg

Astaxanthin is a carotenoid with antioxidant properties found in krill that gives them their remarkable red color. The ingredient has the potential for joint pain relief – a clinical trial is currently underway to evaluate astaxanthin’s ability to reduce inflammation, control pain, and improve physical function in osteoarthritis patients. Astaxanthin works hand-in-hand with the Boswellia extract to decrease free radical damage. At the same time, collagen and hyaluronic acid support the joints.

More than 20 kinds of collagen have been identified, but there are five main types. MoveMD contains two of the four most common (I and II, which comprise more than 90% of total collagen combined) from chickens. Type I, in particular, is well-known for its use in commercial tissue regeneration, while type II is the main component of cartilage. A few studies have shown that taking type I collagen orally can protect the chondrocytes in joints, slowing the progression of diseases like osteoarthritis. Others have found that those taking type I collagen experience less joint pain in the knees, a part that’s notoriously hard to affect with more traditional joint supplements.

1MD Nutrition uses GMP-certified facilities to make their supplements in the U.S. The webpage for MoveMD has an interactive timeline that helps you understand when to expect different results, as not everything happens all at once. (Of course, take this with a grain of salt; everyone’s body behaves differently.)


1MD Nutrition has a complicated pricing structure depending on how many bottles you’re ordering and whether or not you’re joining their subscription program.

One-time costSubscription cost (per bottle)Subscription cost (per order)
One bottle$50$41N/A
Three bottles$47$39$117
Six bottles$45$35$210

Except for a one-bottle one-time order, all packages from 1MD Nutrition have free shipping. Subscriptions are automatically shipped every one, three, or six months, depending on the number of bottles you purchase. No matter what, you can skip, change, or cancel your subscription without penalty.

1MD Nutrition also offers a 90-day money-back guarantee. Regardless of why you want to return the package, if you send the bottles back within 90 days of purchase, 1MD Nutrition will give you a full refund. The only exception is that you can’t send back empty bottles before the time in which you would’ve used them; they won’t accept an empty six-month supply after 30 days, for example.

Physio Flex Pro

Best natural ingredients


  • Pairs turmeric with black pepper extract for maximum efficacy
  • Well-studied and proven ingredients
  • Made in cGMP-verified and FDA-registered facilities
  • Physiotherapist-approved formula
  • Bundle and save up to 10%


  • On the expensive side
  • No free shipping
  • No subscription option

Physio Flex Pro was inspired by the number of people who suddenly found themselves having joint problems after exercising more at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. In response, the founder created Physio Flex Pro in December 2020 with the help of orthopedic and nutrition experts.

This supplement’s formula is based primarily on natural ingredients. One two-capsule serving includes:

  • Selenium: 200mcg
  • Glucosamine HCl: 500mg
  • Bromelain: 300mg
  • Ginger extract: 250mg
  • Turmeric extract: 200mg
  • Chondroitin: 100mg
  • MSM: 100mg
  • Black pepper extract: 10mg

The key ingredient that distinguishes Physio Flex Pro from other joint supplements is black pepper extract. The household spice works in tandem with turmeric extract, dramatically increasing how much your body can absorb — and, therefore, how much of it you’ll feel. And while we liked the addition of the black pepper extract, we do wish there was a greater amount of glucosamine and chondroitin in the formula (more along the lines of Zenwise) to really pack a good punch.

Physio Flex Pro is manufactured in a cGMP-compliant facility and is tested for quality in-house. We were unable to confirm if Physio Flex Pro also utilizes third-party testing for safety and quality.


There isn’t a subscription program available for Physio Flex Pro. However, you can order in bulk for a slight discount:

  • One month: $58
  • Two months: $114 (save 5%)
  • Three months: $160 (save 10%)

According to their FAQ, there’s a chance that Physio Flex Pro will be offered on subscription in the future, so if that’s something you absolutely have to have, keep an eye on their website to stay in the loop.

Physio Flex Pro doesn’t offer free shipping, but everything ships at a flat rate of $5 in the United States. They absorb some of the cost of international shipping, but prices vary depending on your location.

Nature’s Way Joint Movement Glucosamine Liquid Supplement

Easiest to swallow


  • Liquid formula perfect for easy swallowing
  • Excellent ingredients at good dosages
  • Fast absorbing
  • Shellfish-free
  • Found at most major retailers
  • Can be taken by itself or added to drinks
  • Free shipping on orders over $25


  • Includes some additives and preservatives
  • One bottle contains only 16 servings

Joint supplements can be large and uncomfortable for some to swallow. We like this option by Nature’s Way as a convenient way to get a powerful combination of proven joint health ingredients.

It contains:

  • Glucosamine HCl: 2,000mg
  • Chondroitin: 1,200mg
  • MSM: 500mg
  • Hyaluronic acid: 10mg
  • Vitamin D3: 10mcg (400IU)

You only have to take two tablespoons per day to get the benefits from Nature’s Way Joint Movement. The product can be taken on its own, or you can add it to your favorite juice or smoothie if you don’t care for the berry flavor. We really like that this formula contains the heavy hitters of joint supplements at very good dosages, all while in an easy-to-swallow liquid form. It doesn’t have as much MSM or hyaluronic acid as Zenwise and also uses the form of glucosamine that isn’t as thoroughly studied, though, so we don’t give Nature’s Way our best overall rating. It also lacks the turmeric and frankincense of Zenwise, though we do like the addition of vitamin D here. (Nature’s Way Joint Movement is the only product on our list that includes it.)

Nature’s Way takes quality seriously -- their website states they were “the first recognized GMP facility by NSF” and that they raise the bar for quality standards in the supplement industry. They have an extensive testing program that exceeds supplement manufacturing expectations.


Nature’s Way Joint Movement Glucosamine is offered at $18.49 for 16 fl oz. (16 servings) on their website, but we found much lower prices at other retail sites. And while the Nature’s Way website does not offer a subscription option, Joint Movement Glucosamine is available at most of the major retailers, and you can use subscription benefits from sites like Amazon and iHerb. Even without a subscribe and save option, the significant price reductions on Amazon ($11.99/bottle, $0.75/serving) and iHerb ($13.30/bottle, $0.83) make Nature’s Way Joint Movement Glucosamine more affordable, although it's still not as cost-effective as our best budget pick, Doctor’s Best ($0.38/serving). But again, if the convenience and ease of using a liquid supplement are important to you, Nature’s Way Joint Movement is a great option.

If you don’t love your Joint Movement Glucosamine, you can request a refund or replacement product within 45 days of purchase from Nature’s Way (whether purchased directly or from one of their authorized sellers). You’ll need to call Nature’s Way’s customer service and be able to provide them with information about where and when you purchased the product.

Xendurance Joint-4

Best for athletes and best for product safety


  • Well-balanced formula
  • 90 servings per container
  • Informed-Choice and Informed-Sport Trusted by Sport
  • Subscribe and save 10%
  • Joint Team XND and save 25% sitewide


  • No free shipping
  • Starts with six capsules a day

Xendurance’s Joint-4 combines superb value with great ingredients that are frequently tested to ensure excellent quality. One serving of Joint-4 includes:

  • Glucosamine HCl: 750mg
  • Chondroitin: 600mg
  • Boswellia extract: 300mg
  • MSM: 750mg

All four ingredients are some of the best for joint support and are available in reasonable quantities, though not as high as in our top choice, Zenwise. The biggest downside to Xendurance is that, to start with, the company recommends taking three capsules in the morning and three at night, shifting each day’s glucosamine, chondroitin, Boswellia, and MSM intake into the ranges used in clinical research. This means you’ll be taking six capsules daily, which can be inconvenient. If you find success after one month, decreasing to the listed three capsule serving will maintain your joint health. One bag contains 90 servings, so even when you’re getting started, you’ll be able to make each purchase last.

Joint-4 stands out as our top choice for athletes and safety because of its Informed-Choice and Informed-Sport certifications. These certifications are part of a stringent supplement testing program established by LGC, a doping control laboratory, and are recognized by sporting and anti-doping organizations all over the world. Informed-Choice and Informed-Sport recognition ensures that supplements are high quality and don’t include any banned substances, which could be career-ending for elite athletes. These two certifications are very similar, but there are some critical distinctions between them.

Informed SportInformed Choice
Testing frequencyEvery batchOnce a month
What’s testedPre-market supplementsSupplements from store shelves
Number of batches checked per testThreeAt least one
Batches stored?
Blind testing?

Being both Informed Sport and Informed Choice certified guarantees that everything goes smoothly from pre-production to the moment you open it at home with some of the best independent third-party testing around.


Joint-4 comes in one size and costs $39.95 if you want to try it once. If you know you'll like it, you can join Xendurance's subscription program and save 10% ($35.96) on monthly deliveries. It's relatively easy to change, skip, or cancel your deliveries, too, but they only ship once a month. You'll still need to pay shipping, which varies depending on your order and where it's headed. Shipping for one bag of Joint-4 costs about $6.95.

Xendurance has a 30-day money-back guarantee. Whether or not you've tried it, anything you don't like is eligible for a full refund within 30 days of purchase.

You'll save 25% on every purchase and unlock free shipping to the United States if you join Team XND, Xendurance's paid membership program. Membership also includes bonuses like $100 in product rewards and double points for their rewards program. It costs $95 a year to be a Team XND member.

FAQ about joint supplements

Alternatives to joint supplements

If you aren’t ready to take a joint supplement just yet or are just starting to experience joint pain and stiffness, there are some other steps you can take before you call up a physician.

Move regularly

The best way to keep your body limber is to move it often. It doesn’t have to be a full pilates class, either: regular low-impact exercise (such as walking, swimming, or rowing) gives your joints a chance to move and stretch without risking overexertion. As one of our testers’ physical therapists says, “motion is lotion” for your joints.

Listen to your body

Overexerting yourself during exercise is just as bad — if not worse — than not moving. Repetitive movements over long periods can lead to stress injuries, tearing, and degeneration of the muscles and cartilage, which causes joint pain. When you feel joint pain while working out, listen to your body and rest, prioritizing low-impact exercises instead of high-exertion moves like running.

Keep a healthy weight

Carrying more weight than your frame can reliably support means you’re more likely to experience joint pain. This is because it exerts an excessive force upon your joints, particularly in weight-bearing spots like your knees and hips. Staying at a healthy weight can help ease the pressure, keeping your joints healthier long-term.

Eat a varied diet

Some ingredients commonly found in joint supplements, like turmeric, are easy to work into your daily diet. Eating foods rich in anti-inflammatory properties, such as tomatoes, olive oil, and leafy greens, can help to soothe inflammation related to joint pain. Getting at least two servings of fish or nuts per week provides a healthy dose of omega-3s. Plus, eating a rich and healthy diet can help your body stay at the right weight without too much extra work.

Stay hydrated

When you’re dehydrated, your body begins to pull water from its reserves, including the synovial fluid that cushions your joints. Not having enough synovial fluid can lead to increased friction between pieces of cartilage as you move, increasing the likelihood of damage and joint pain. The rule of 6-8 glasses of water a day is a reasonable goal.

Get prescription help

Sometimes, there’s no amount of swimming, eating fish, and staying hydrated that you can do to prevent joint pain or arthritis. If you’ve made lifestyle changes, tried joint supplements, and still can’t find relief, reach out to your doctor. They may prescribe anything from painkillers like NSAIDs (such as ibuprofen) to corticosteroids or hyaluronan injections.



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