Various studies have shown that taking a fish oil supplement has a lot of health benefits to offer. Fish oil is full of omega-3 fatty acids linked to less inflammation, better blood lipid profiles, improved cognitive function, reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and better immune function.
So with all of these benefits, why fish oil?
First, your body can’t naturally make the two fatty acids found in omega-3s (DHA and EPA). So you either need to get omega-3s from food or a supplement. And while fatty seafood like salmon, tuna, trout, mussels, oysters and crab are high in omega-3 fatty acids, you’d need to consume a lot to reap the benefits. Depending on the fish, you risk consuming high levels of mercury or blowing your budget on expensive fish.
A fish oil supplement makes for a great alternative. Not only will you experience health benefits, but fish oil can also have a positive effect on your workouts and training.
Here are a few ways omega-3 fatty acids can help your training:
1. Protein Synthesis
Even after your workout is over, your body is still working to recover and rebuild itself. Omega-3s help your body with this process by synthesizing the protein you’ve eaten and turning it into muscle. Not only that, but some studies have also shown that a fish oil supplement helps reduce muscle soreness after a tough workout.
One of the functions of DHA and EPA is to reduce inflammation in your body. After a hard workout, your body experiences an increase in inflammation and could always use some help with recovery. That’s where fish oil comes in. Omega-3s also improve circulation, so your body delivers fresh oxygenated blood and carries away any waste products – both processes promoting improved recovery.
3. Cognitive Function
Not all omega-3 health benefits are physical; there are also quite a few mental health benefits, too. DHA and EPA help to improve cognitive abilities like reaction time and decision-making. These mental benefits may not appear to have anything to do with your training. But your mind trains just as hard as your body. Especially during a tough workout, like when you’re going for a new PR.
Choosing the Right Fish Oil Supplement
- As with most supplements, the cleaner the better. Look for a fish oil supplement that has zero or minimal additives or artificial ingredients.
- Choose a supplement that contains both DHA and EPA. The jury’s still out on the perfect ratio of these two fatty acids but aim for a product that includes both.
- The amount of DHA and EPA within a fish oil supplement varies. You can figure out the potency of a supplement by adding together the amounts of DHA and EPA within a serving size. Less expensive fish oils may seem like a good buy, but keep in mind that they are probably also less potent than alternatives.
We offer SFH Super Omega-3 Fish Oil at Shop Rhapsody. Pick some up the next time you’re at the gym!
If you’re a Charleston area resident, come join us for a free class!