Choosing the Best Glucosamine Supplements – Top 10 Brands

Best Glucosamine Supplement Brands

Health and wellness are defined in a variety of ways depending on the source you ask, however one of the more prevalent philosophies in recent times has been that the way you move is a good indicator of your overall health. A person with rigid, weak or uncoordinated movement is certainly a far cry from the athletes and fitness icons who define the aesthetics and function of health and wellness.

To that end, our movement quality hinges on the quality of our joints. The joints throughout our body, from ankles, knees, hips and shoulders to tiny joints in our fingers and toes are critical to our ability to move and by extension, to exercise and live the best life possible. Joints are also one of the most chronic areas of breakdown over time, and especially for those who participate in athletics, hard training or manual labor. The impact of those activities can wear down the joints and coupled with a poor diet can lead to severe issues such as early arthritis.

Luckily, research and our knowledge of the human body have advanced to the point where we can take preventative action and mitigate much of the losses and damage sustained over time by our joints. Diets that are anti-inflammatory in nature, proper training, mobility work and stretching all help to keep our joints healthy and moving smoothly. However, these do not complete the full picture of joint care necessary or available to us and maintaining a perfect diet and exercise routine is not always feasible for all of us, thus the use of dietary supplements can come in handy to help keep the joints healthy.

Glucosamine is arguably the best option available, or at minimum one of the safest, for improving our joint health and helping us to move our best and continue to lead active, healthy lives longer. It is an excellent supplement choice for athletes and non-athletes alike and can improve our joint health substantially over time as well as provide other benefits, with virtually no adverse side effects.

In this guide, we’ll break down exactly what glucosamine is, what to look for in a good glucosamine option, and the best glucosamine products available today.

What is Glucosamine?

Glucosamine is a popular health supplement primarily taken to improve joint health, though it has some other properties and benefits as well. It is primarily derived from shellfish and has shown promise to improve joint health, slow chronic joint issues such as osteoarthritis, and potentially improve our glucose metabolism as well.

Glucosamine is an aminosugar, or a sugar molecule that is combined with a nitrogen molecule. It does naturally occur in the human body, but not always in high enough quantities, thus supplementing with the other natural source of glucosamine, shellfish, is often warranted. It is similar in structure to hyaluronic acid and may often be combined with hyaluronic acid for improved effects.

Glucosamine comes in several varieties and forms, though glucosamine sulfate or glucosamine sulfate salts appear to deliver the best benefits for joint health and thus would be the preferred version of glucosamine.

Benefits of Glucosamine

Glucosamine’s primary benefit is improved joint health. Specifically, glucosamine helps to slow the natural decrease in collagen we often see and experience as our joints age and break down. The more collagen our joints have the more fluid and healthy they are; thus, glucosamine is an ideal supplement to maintain joint health for as long as possible.

Glucosamine is also an effective supplement for slowing the progression of various chronic joint related conditions, such as knee osteoarthritis, where it has demonstrated the ability to slow the progression of that condition and is often taken as an alternative option to more popular or conventional methods such as using acetaminophen.

Athletes or anyone who participates in heavy physical activity can especially benefit from additional glucosamine supplementation; the wear and tear on their joints can be more pronounced than other more sedentary individuals, thus additional supplementation can help relieve pressure on the joints and even extend careers.

Who Is Glucosamine Best Suited For?

Glucosamine is best suited for those looking to improve joint health primarily. While this may typically apply to an older demographic struggling with these aging-related issues, it can also apply to other demographics who may desire to maintain joint health or improve their mobility.

Glucosamine is also appropriate for anyone struggling or anticipating chronic joint issues such as arthritis or osteoarthritis, as there is evidence that glucosamine supplementation over time can slow the effects of these chronic issues.

Finally, glucosamine is highly recommended for athletes, fitness enthusiasts and anyone who leads a particularly active lifestyle. The repetitive pounding on the joints from activities like running can break them down progressively over time and lead to decreases in collagen, thus supplementing with glucosamine can slow the breakdown on joints and even extend an athletic career in some cases.

Common Ingredients and Forms of Glucosamine

Glucosamine comes in a variety of forms ranging from capsules to powders and others. Some of the key factors to be mindful of will be the additional ingredients included. The primary ingredient of any glucosamine supplement is, of course, glucosamine.

However, every product will have differing levels of glucosamine; an important measure to keep track of will be the grams or milligrams of glucosamine per dose as that will inform on the potency of the product in each serving.

It also tends to be combined with other minerals and ingredients. Finally, glucosamine sulfate or glucosamine sulfate salts tend to be the most effective forms of glucosamine, thus those types of supplements should be preferred when possible.

Dosage and Use of Glucosamine and Potential Side Effects

As with any supplement or health-related product, it is always advised to consult with a medical professional on if it is the right choice for you, and it is also always advised to follow the recommended dosing strategy by the product.

When taking a glucosamine supplement, there are minimal to no side effects when staying within the recommended dosage ranges. The most common side effects with glucosamine are excess flatulence, headaches, dizziness, dry mouth, nausea and diarrhea, these are essentially your body’s way of telling you you’ve had too much and it doesn’t need the excess, though over time you may be able to adapt and gradually increase the dosage.

In addition, glucosamine supplements may not interact with medications that are often taken for other medical issues such as blood thinners for diabetes, anti-depressants or otherwise. It also can have adverse effects for pregnant or nursing mothers and those previous serious medical conditions such as diabetes.

If you are taking other prescription medications, are pregnant or nursing or have serious medical conditions, be sure to consult with medical professionals prior to any use.

If you are unsure what the proper dosage is, consult with your medical professional and check the product packaging for the RDA (recommended dietary allowance) as well. The RDA will vary depending on age, gender and in general your activity level as well.

Most sources recommend anywhere from 900-1,500mg a day for a safe range, however doses of 2,000-3,000mg a day have been studied and could be beneficial.

How To Pick a Good Glucosamine Supplement

Most glucosamine products will have little variability in their ingredients, generally it will just be glucosamine, therefore you’ll have to identify which version is the right choice for you and look for that option. Glucosamine comes in capsule forms, powders to mix with drinks, drops and more. It is also often combined with other minerals which is a factor consider.

Be sure when selecting a product to review any additional ingredients aside from glucosamine, such as additional supplements, fillers, artificial additives etc. as these may carry their own side effects or dilute the quality of the product.

Finally, as with any good product decision, look for reputable brands that are backed by strong scientific backgrounds, as well as offering a strong value. A good rule of thumb in terms of comparing price and value is to evaluate the price per dose and the concentration of glucosamine rather than overall dose, as most products will have varying sizes.

Top 10 Glucosamine Products

We have put together a list of our top 10 recommended glucosamine supplements. Each one has a short breakdown of its highlights, primary ingredients and usages, as well as a brief profile for the company who makes the product.

Check out all 10 and look for the best option that not only comes highly recommended but fits your individual needs and desires for a glucosamine supplement. We hope you enjoy and find the best product for you!

1. Schiff Glucosamine

Schiff Glucosamine

Schiff Glucosamine is one of the best products on the market. It delivers a powerful dose of glucosamine at 2000mg per serving in convenient tablet form. With additional hyaluronic acid it is one of the top products on the market today.

Product Highlights and Ingredients:

  • 2000mg glucosamine in each two-tablet serving
  • Also includes 3.3mg of hyaluronic acid
  • Uses glucosamine HCL, a high potency version with 83% active glucosamine
  • Comes with 150 tablets in each bottle
  • One of the more affordable options on the market

Company Profile:

Founded in 1936, Schiff is one of the oldest and most respected companies in the nutritional supplement industry. They follow GMP protocols and pride themselves on deliver high quality products that have effective ingredients. Their brands include Megared, Move Free, Digestive Advantage, Airborne and more.

Why We Recommend It:

This is one of the best products for a pure glucosamine supplement that delivers a quality amount from pure and all-natural sources. It also includes hyaluronic acid for additional fortification, and is affordably priced, making it an excellent value.

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2. Doctor’s Best Glucosamine Chondroitin MSM

Doctors Best Glucosamine And Chondroitin And Msm

Doctor’s Best Glucosamine Chondroitin MSM is an excellent product with a well-balanced glucosamine approach. It features glucosamine sulfate, chondroitin, and MSM as well as key minerals such as chloride, sodium, and potassium. It comes in convenient gel capsules and is all-natural.

Product Highlights and Ingredients:

  • 1500mg glucosamine sulfate, one of the best versions of glucosamine possible
  • 1200mg of chondroitin sulfate
  • 1000mg of MSM
  • Serving size is 4 capsules
  • Comes in gel capsules
  • Well-known brand
  • Non-GMO, Gluten Free

Company Profile:

Doctor’s Best was founded by physicians in 1990 and have since expanded to offering over 200 different products to their customers. They specialize in using science-based nutrition practices to create their products and serve innovative and effective supplements to consumers.

Why We Recommend It:

This is one of the best glucosamine options available on the market offering just about everything you would look for in an effective glucosamine product. With a potent yet all-natural dose of glucosamine as well as chondroitin and MSM, it is an effective product for anyone looking for additional glucosamine in their diet.

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3. NOW Foods Glucosamine 1000

Now Foods Glucosamine 1000 1

NOW Foods Glucosamine 1000 is one of the best all-natural and vegetarian friendly options from one of the largest brands on the market. The glucosamine comes in veggie capsules for a healthy and pure glucosamine option.

Product Highlights and Ingredients:

  • 2000mg glucosamine hydrochloride per serving of two capsules
  • Non-GMO and all-natural
  • Comes from a well-respected brand
  • Comes in veggie capsules that dissolve easily

Company Profile:

NOW Foods is the maker of this product, and they are considered to be one of the companies in the greater supplement industry. For decades, they have produced products that are very high in quality yet also specialize in simplicity. They have a wealth of products, over 1,000 and are a major player in the industry.

Why We Recommend It:

NOW Foods Glucosamine 1000 is an effective product and is a potent product with easily dissolvable veggies capsules, making for an all-natural, non-GMO product. With an affordable price point, this is one of the best values on the glucosamine supplement market today.

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4. Bluebonnet Glucosamine Chondroitin Plus MSM

Bluebonnet Glucosamine Chondroitin Plus Msm

Bluebonnet Glucosamine Chondroitin Plus MSM is an excellent product that delivers glucosamine sulfate sourced from crustacean shellfish. It also includes chondroitin, MSM and vitamin C for a well-balanced and effective approach.

Product Highlights and Ingredients:

  • 1000mg glucosamine sulfate per 3 capsule serving
  • 500mg chondroitin sulfate
  • 500mg MSM, providing 170mg organic sulfur
  • 500mg Vitamin C

Company Profile:

Blue Bonnet Nutrition was founded in 1991 and have continued to grow and progress into a reputable company for supplements and nutrition. They specialize in creating natural and effecting supplements by combining science and nature, which has helped them create a wide variety of products.

Why We Recommend It:

This is an excellent choice from a very well-known retailer for a glucosamine supplement that supplies 1000mg of glucosamine with additional ingredients for a potent and well-balanced product. While the serving size is higher than most, this product is nonetheless very effective.

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5. Nature’s Way Glucosamine

Natures Way Glucosamine Sulfate

Nature’s Way Glucosamine is a unique product in the glucosamine market, utilizing a mixture of glucosamine sulfate with potassium chloride for a well-balanced and affordable product, making it a great value.

Product Highlights and Ingredients:

  • 1050mg glucosamine sulfate potassium chloride mix, with 750mg of glucosamine sulfate
  • 750mg MSM
  • Affordable option
  • Has a diluted mixture, thus glucosamine is not as strong

Company Profile:

Nature’s Way, originally founded by Tom Murdock, has been in the natural supplement business and industry for over 40 years. They are known for delivering products with herbal remedies ad natural supplements to their customers. Inspired by their founder’s personal success with natural remedies, they have continued to produce all-natural products that are always non-GMO.

Why We Recommend It:

This is a fine product from Nature’s Way, and it has an effective and potent dose of glucosamine, at an affordable price with no additional ingredients or fillers, making it a glucosamine product that effectively hits all the marks for a quality value, though it is not ideal for those who are looking for a purer glucosamine option that is not diluted.

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6. Nutrilite Joint Health Glucosamine and Chondroitin

Nutrilite Joint Health Glucosamine And Chondroitin

Nutrilite Joint Health Glucosamine and Chondroitin is one of the more unique glucosamine products on the market as it a unique proprietary blend chock full of ingredients. The copious amount of different nutrients makes this a great option for those looking for a glucosamine product with an extra kick.

Product Highlights and Ingredients:

  • 890mg proprietary blend including MSM, chondroitin, boron glycinate, manganese amino acid chelate and hyaluronic acid
  • 750mg glucosamine sulfate
  • 50mg boswellia serrata extract
  • 15mg vitamin C
  • 5mg acerola concentrate
  • 2mg citrus bioflavonoids

Company Profile:

Nutrilite is one of the only vitamin and mineral brands in the world that grow, harvest, and process plants from certified organic farms of their own. They employ a team of over 200 experts to use extensive research for every product they sell, thus helping them accomplish their goal of helping others lead healthier lives.

Why We Recommend It:

This product has one of the most varied lists of ingredients on the market, making it incredibly well-rounded for improved joint health. The proprietary blend is a bit of a downside as the individual ingredient amounts are not listed and the product is more expensive than some alternatives but is a quality product overall.

7. Nature’s Bounty Maximum Strength Glucosamine

Natures Bounty Maximum Strength Glucosamine

This is one of the strongest and most potent glucosamine products on the market, with 1500mg per capsule and 3000mg in a single dose. It is fortified with additional vitamin D, making this product one of the strongest available and ideal for those looking for a potent glucosamine product.

Product Highlights and Ingredients:

  • 3000mg glucosamine hydrochloride
  • 400 IU vitamin D
  • Large dosage size may be too much or more than needed for some people
  • More expensive than other alternatives

Company Profile:

Nature’s Bounty is one of the largest supplement and vitamin manufacturers in the world. Founded in 1971, their products can be found in many local stores and retailers. They have been producing quality products for decades and continue to produce quality vitamins and supplements.

Why We Recommend It:

This is one of the strongest products available for glucosamine, though it is debatable if that much glucosamine is truly necessary for results. The cost of the product matches the dose making it more expensive than other options, thus this would be best suited for those looking for an incredibly potent amount of glucosamine.

8. Solaray Glucosamine Sulfate

Solaray Glucosamine Sulfate

Solaray Glucosamine Sulfate is an ideal product for those looking for a smaller glucosamine dose in a user-friendly capsule. With 1500mg of glucosamine sulfate, these are great glucosamine supplement capsules for convenience and a more controlled dose.

Product Highlights and Ingredients:

  • 1500mg glucosamine sulfate
  • Ideal for those looking for a smaller or more controlled dose
  • Less bioavailable and potent than some stronger alternatives
  • Well-regarded brand and company

Company Profile:

Solaray, a part of the Nutraceutical brand family, is one of the largest and most expansive companies in the health product market. Founded in 1973 in Utah and acquired in 1993, they have over a thousand different products ranging from natural supplements to blended herbal products.

Why We Recommend It:

This is an excellent supplement choice for convenience and portion control. The capsules are easy to take, and with a lower glucosamine dose than most competitors it is easier to customize your dosage. While this product may be more expensive than most for the amount of glucosamine offered, it does offer a convenient form of ingestion.

9. Twinlab Glucosamine Sulfate

Twinlab Glucosamine Sulfate

Twinlab Glucosamine Sulfate is a simple and effective glucosamine supplement from a long-standing brand in the nutritional supplement industry. One of its key features is a glass bottle for storing the capsules, giving it a longer shelf life than some competitors.

Product Highlights and Ingredients:

  • 1500mg glucosamine sulfate per serving of two capsules
  • Comes in easy to swallow capsule form
  • Glass bottle helps to maintain freshness and shelf life longer
  • More expensive than most
  • Less potent than many alternatives

Company Profile:

Based in New York, Twinlab is one of the elder statesman of the supplement industry, having started over 50 years in 1968. They are dedicated producing high quality supplements for the fitness and health industry and consumers with over 500 products!

Why We Recommend It:

While this may be one of the more expensive options on the market, this pure glucosamine sulfate offers ultimate flexibility in its dosage and a longer shelf life than many other alternatives. It may be a bit expensive as compared to other options, but it is a quality product overall.

10. Thorne Research Glucosamine and Chondroitin

Thorne Research Glucosamine And Chondroitin

This blend of glucosamine and chondroitin from Thorne Research employs a special blend of the two synergistic options, with added potassium and chloride as well. It delivers a moderate dose, making it a great choice for beginners or those looking for more customized dosages.

Product Highlights and Ingredients:

  • 500mg glucosamine sulfate complex, including potassium and chloride
  • 250mg chondroitin sulfate
  • Comes in vegetarian capsules, however product is not wholly vegetarian
  • More expensive than most

Company Profile:

Founded in 1984, Thorne Research is based in Seattle, Washington and originally was known for their first product, Pure Ascorbic Acid or vitamin C. They have continued their initial trajectory of providing quality, effective and innovate products, backed by research as their brand name would suggest.

Why We Recommend It:

This is one of the simplest yet effective products available on the market, and it delivers a solid dose, though not overwhelming, of glucosamine with added chondroitin. It is more expensive than most and is ideal for customized dosages or for beginners.

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Carl Putman

Written by Carl Putman

Carl Putman is a strength and conditioning coach at the collegiate level and writer on fitness, health and supplements. Over the past decade, he has worked with a wide variety of clients ranging from professional athletes and world champions to youth and general population, as well as tactical practitioners. He is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Organizational Leadership. Based in Florida, he continues to train and coach as well as write with a passion for making a positive impact for his clients and readers.