Core Flex Powder – Full Spectrum Joint Support

Core Flex

Core Nutritionals has released a “kitchen sink” type joint health formula in Flex that aims to be a “jack of all trades” type product.

One category that we absolutely love, but never see enough of in this industry is joint health supplements. Sure, we’ve seen a few notable additions to the category pop up over the previous year, but not enough to satiate our appetite for testing new joint support.

Well, that changes today, as Core Nutritionals has unveiled an update to their popular joint support formula, Core Flex. There’s been a minor tweak to the formula and a major change to the delivery from (from capsule to powder) for 2017.

Reason being? This formula is heavy and loaded – it’s nearly a kitchen sink supplement for joint support. And while we love that, we have a few comments regarding the dosing.

We’ve got the full breakdown below, but before we get to it, take a moment to check the best deal and sign up for PricePlow alerts:

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Note: Since you’ll likely still find some bottles of older Core Flex capsules in the stores in the above price comparisons, look for products that say “servings”, not capsules.

Core Flex Powder Ingredients

As mentioned above, Core Flex is currently available in capsule form; however, the powder version of the supplement is just a tad bit different in one area. Turmeric has been removed, as it’s notoriously difficult to flavor, and in its place Core has added 1.5g of the trademarked Celadrin.

  • Celadrin (1.5g)

    Core Flex Ingredients

    Flex includes just about every ingredient under the sun with some data backing its use in the area of joint health, but they’re underdosed a bit.

    Developed by Pharmachem Laboratories and Proprietary Nutritionals, Inc., Celadrin is an all-natural, proprietary ingredient for joint mobility and health. It’s a collection of esterified fatty acid carbons and other active synergists. The reasoning behind using an esterifying process, is that it makes the fatty acid stable so it won’t react with oxygen.

    Celadrin improves cell membrane function, which protects the cell itself, and repels the stressors in the body, combating systemic inflammation. Clinical studies using the compound document reduced pain, improved joint stability, greater mobility, and overall improvement in quality of life for patients plagued by osteoarthritis and joint degradation.[1,2]

  • Glucosamine (1.4g)

    Glucosamine is one of the most common joint supplement ingredients you’ll encounter, are arguably the most well-known. Glucosamine is a naturally occurring compound present in the human body.

    The reason it is typically included in all sorts of joint health formulas, is that clinical trials using glucosamine has been successful in reducing levels of CTX‑II, an important biomarker for collagen degradation.[3] Additionally, regular use of glucosamine has been found to improve joint mobility, most notably knee flexion and extension.[4]

  • MSM (1g)

    MSM Supplement

    MSM Supplements aren’t just for arthritis sufferers (although they have great research on that). Athletes need to check MSM out too!

    MSM is another one of the most popular joint help ingredients around. It’s an organic sulfur-containing molecule readily found in the body and nature that supplies the body with a bioavailable form of sulfur, used for protein synthesis, connective tissue formation, and nutrient absorption and absorbing nutrients for energy.[5]

    We’ve recently delved into this topic rather heavily in our MSM Supplement guide, so go there for the full story of this joint healing wonder.

    Some highlights of MSM include its ability to speed recovery from injury[6], improve mobility[7,8], and combat inflammation.[9] However, that’s only when dosed at 3g/day….so if you really want to see benefit from MSM you will need to add another 2g/day.

    We also tend to prefer OptiMSM as the best form of MSM due to its purity in the lab tests we’ve seen.

  • Cissus Quadrangularis (800mg)

    Cissus quadrangularis is a member of the grape family of plants that has long been used in Ayurveda. Traditionally, cissus was used to help heal broken bones, damaged tendons, and injured ligaments.

    Cissus Quadrangularis is rich in several compounds documented to improve the mobilization of blast cells to an injured area of the body.[10] These compounds increase the body’s retention of collagen, mucopolysaccharides, and key minerals like calcium and phosphorous, which supply the required “building blocks” needed for tissue repair.

    Furthermore, Cissus also acts as a fairly strong anti-inflammatory agent. Yes, some inflammation naturally occurs after a workout (as part of the repair process), but chronic inflammation results in swelling, aches, and pains. Cissus stunts the release of cytokines and neutrophils (types of white blood cells) that are released to injured areas of the body that also contribute to inflammation.[11]

    Again, the recommended dose is around 3g/day, so we’re not sure how much benefit you’re actually going to see from only 800mg.

  • Chondroitin (800mg)

    Core Flex ABC

    Combine Core Flex and ABC for superior muscle recovery and joint health.

    Chondroitin sulfate is a substance typically found in cartilage around joints in the body. When used in supplements, it’s usually manufactured from animal sources, such as cow or shark cartilage!

    Chondroitin is frequently paired with glucosamine in joint health formulas because early studies using the combination showed they were somewhat effective in improving joint mobility and restoring function.[12,13] However, more recent meta-analyses have found little to no benefit from chondroitin or those studies were poorly designed and subject to statistical error (due to small test groups).[14,15]

  • Boswellia Extract (800mg)

    Also known as Frankincense, Boswellia serrata is another age-old plant with a long history of use in ancient medicines due to its inherent medicinal properties. Boswellia is rife with bioactive compounds, and Core’s particular extract is standardized for 65% Boswellic Acid.

    Research demonstrates that boswellia is particularly effective at enhancing joint function and reducing stiffness.[16,17] Additionally, it also inhibits MMP-3 activity, which protects against collagen breakdown.[18]

    Boswellia’s benefits extend beyond joint health though, as it’s also being investigated as a method of treatment for other diseases such as Ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease, as well as for retarding tumor growth.[19,20]

  • Bromelain (400mg)

    Pineapple Slices

    Pineapple is rich in Bromelain, a powerful digestive enzyme that also helps reduce swelling and redness.

    Bromelain is the popular digestive enzyme that’s found in great abundance in fresh pineapple. It’s a proteolytic (protein-digesting) enzyme first discovered in the late 1800s that is used today as a digestive aid in many of the best protein powders.

    More pertinent to joint health though, bromelain also has a history of use in European countries as an agent to reduce swelling and redness.[21] On top of that, bromelain also has been used as a treatment for the aches and pains associated with the aches and pains brought on by osteoarthritis.[22,23,24]

  • Black Cherry Extract (100mg)

    Cherry extracts have been well regarded for their ability to accelerate recovery following intense exercise, particularly in the area of reducing muscle pain.[25] Black cherries are replete with polyphenols and antioxidants, particularly anthocyanins, that help combat inflammation.

    In fact, cherry’s inflammation reducing properties extend to joint support. A 2013 study in Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, found that patients drinking two 8-ounce bottles of tart cherry juice daily for 6 weeks saw significant improvements in stiffness, pain, and physical function.[26] Researchers also documented significantly decreases in C-reactive protein (CRP), a key marker of inflammation.

  • Black Pepper Extract (5mg)

    Core Flex Shaker

    Flex comes in the orange pineapple flavor and should be quite tasty.

    Last but not least, we have the absorption maximizer black pepper extract. Given the vast assortment of botanicals included in Core Flex, having a little added insurance when it comes to enhancing bioavailability and absorption is always welcome.

Flavors Available

Core Flex is set to launch on January 9th. When it’s released, it will be available in the Orange Pineapple flavor, which should be delicious!


Core Flex is a fantastic “kitchen sink” type of joint supplement. It includes just about everyone one of the popular joint support ingredients available, but several of the ingredients are underdosed, which makes us wonder what is the “most effective” type of joint product. The “kitchen sink” approach where we have a bunch of ingredients in minor doses, or is it better to just go with two or three clinically-dosed ingredients?

Core Nutritionals Core FLEX – Deals and Price Drop Alerts

Get Price Alerts

No spam, no scams.

Disclosure: PricePlow relies on pricing from stores with which we have a business relationship. We work hard to keep pricing current, but you may find a better offer.

Posts are sponsored in part by the retailers and/or brands listed on this page.

Note: Since you’ll likely still find some bottles of older Core Flex capsules in the stores in the above price comparisons, look for products that say “servings”, not capsules.


About the Author: Mike Roberto

Mike Roberto

Mike Roberto is a research scientist and water sports athlete who founded PricePlow. He is an n=1 diet experimenter with extensive experience in supplementation and dietary modification, whose personal expertise stems from several experiments done on himself while sharing lab tests.

Mike's goal is to bridge the gap between nutritional research scientists and non-academics who seek to better their health in a system that has catastrophically failed the public. Mike is currently experimenting with a low Vitamin A diet.

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  2. Kraemer WJ, Ratamess NA, Maresh CM, et al. A cetylated fatty acid topical cream with menthol reduces pain and improves functional performance in individuals with arthritis. J strength Cond Res. 2005;19(2):475-480. doi:10.1519/R-505059.1.
  3. Duclos ME, et al; Significance of the serum CTX-II level in an osteoarthritis animal model: a 5-month longitudinal study. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. (2010)
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  8. Kim et al. Efficacy of methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) in osteoarthritis pain of the knee: a pilot clinical trial. OsteoArthritis and Cartilage 2006, 14:286-294. (Full PDF available at
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  11. Jainu, Mallika, and Chennam Srinivasulu Shyamala Devi. “Attenuation of neutrophil infiltration and proinflammatory cytokines by Cissus quadrangularis: a possible prevention against gastric ulcerogenesis.” Journal of herbal pharmacotherapy 5.3 (2005): 33-42.
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  13. Bruyere O, Reginster JY. Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate as therapeutic agents for knee and hip osteoarthritis. Drugs Aging. (2007)
  14. Wandel S, et al. Effects of glucosamine, chondroitin, or placebo in patients with osteoarthritis of hip or knee: network meta-analysis. BMJ. (2010)
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