Athletes who daily use 3 grams of MSM experience less pain in their muscles and joints the first two days after they have run a half marathon. This is evident from a human study that American researchers from the National University of Natural Medicine [nunm.edu] published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.
StudyThe researchers gave 11 athletes 3 grams of MSM every day for 3 weeks. The supplement they used was OptiMSM, a Bergstrom Nutrition product. [bergstromnutrition.com] After that period, the athletes ran a half-marathon. On that day, and for the first 2 days thereafter, the subjects continued to use MSM.
Another group of 11 athletes took a placebo. They also ran a half-marathon.
Before and after the half marathon, the researchers analyzed the blood of the test subjects, and they determined the pain in their muscles and joints on the basis of questionnaires. The blood analyzes were paid for by Bergstrom Nutrition. Strictly speaking, this research was sponsored.
ResultsAfter the half marathon, the athletes who received MSM reported significantly less pain in their muscles and joints than the athletes in the placebo group. The differences were not statistically significant, but the were clinically significant.
How should MSM cause these effects? The researchers do not know. MSM had no effects on the classic markers of muscle damage, such as the activity of creatine kinase and LDH. MSM also had no effect on the increase in free radical damage markers in the blood, such as the concentration of MDA and 8OHdG.
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Conclusion"MSM supplementation may attenuate exercise-induced muscle and joint pain at clinically relevant levels", summarize the researchers. "But [...] it does not reduce postexercise markers of oxidative stress or muscle damage from pre-training levels."
"It still remains uncertain whether MSM supplementation attenuates exercise-induced oxidative stress and muscle damage from pre-race levels, or whether results observed in previous research only apply to narrow populations."
"High frequency stimulation or the greater number of electrical pulses delivered as a result of the high frequency may provide a stronger stimulus for processes that initiate muscle hypertrophy."
"Further research on the effects of MSM on pre-exercise levels of oxidative stress and muscle damage, and research examining the effects of MSM supplementation on post-exercise pain among a larger sample of broadly-trained participants is warranted."