Fish oil is one supplement that can boost performance in and out of the gym.
The supplement market is saturated with so many options to boost athletic performance and strength training, but fish oil is one of those popular supplements to aid in your overall health that must be in your dietary regiment. Of course, as a bodybuilder, it is important to maintain a careful diet and strict exercise to see those big gains come to life, but supplements are simple ways to provide energy and nutrients to optimize your health and wellness and shouldn’t be overlooked. Fish oil is one that will prove to be effective for your weightlifting and recovery needs without feeling forced to search for the right nutrients.
Praised for its overall benefits when it comes to heart and brain health, fish oil is also that nice boost for energy ultimately leading to muscle growth and fat loss. With so much going into your body for that pre-workout boost, and so much depletion during that grueling and strenuous workout, fish oil will aid in recovery and ensure you retain those vital nutrients for your benefit.
What is Fish Oil?
Fish oil is a fatty acid derived from the tissues of oily fish, such as trout, salmon, and sardines. What has given fish oil so much attention is the fact it contains omega-3 fatty acids, something your body cannot produce on its own. There are three important types of omega-3 fatty acids: alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). ALA is most commonly found in plants, while DHA and EPA are in most animal foods. For people who eat a lot of fish or other foods high with omega-3 fatty acids, taking a supplement is not necessary, but considering smaller doses are also beneficial to ensure you keep feeding your body with those vital nutrients.
Benefits Of Fish Oil
Increased Recovery Time
Fish oil can aid in recovery and speed up the recovery process, allowing for more efficient muscle growth. Known to possess anti-inflammatory properties, it can be extremely beneficial when working out, or even pre-workout, to get your mind and body right for an effective lift. Its ability to reduce muscle soreness (1) is also something very effective when it comes to your body repairing those tiny muscle tears that occur during your workout. A faster recovery means more gains and the ability to recharge before each and every workout.
Burning Excess Fat
Although a fatty supplement, fish oil can actually increase your metabolic rate allowing you to burn more calories and work more efficiently to burn fat. By not taking in the proper nutrients, it can be easy to burn lean muscle instead of fat, which is quite the opposite of what you want to do. With a solid workout routine, this can be very effective with fat loss (2). With fish oil in your dietary regiment, you can keep your body replenished with what it needs while not compromising your goal of increasing lean muscle and losing fat.
Promotes Heart Health
Maintaining a healthy heart goes without saying for anyone, athlete or not. But for those who constantly work out and keep the body pushed to the max, keeping your heart in top shape is often taken for granted. Fish oil is great for preventing plaque build-up in the heart and can lower blood pressure, which can improve blood circulation and keep you pumping efficiently. While also assisting in cholesterol control, fish oil can lower your risk of a heart attack (3).
Supports Mental Health
The stress of eating well and working out all while trying to be healthy in your everyday life can be exhausting. With a regular dose of fish oil, you can improve your mood to be happier and more engaged inside and out of the gym. What fish oil does is it supports the level of serotonin in your body, which keeps you feeling good. Often times, high-carb foods can provide someone with serotonin which is why they are often craved. But with fish oil, you can manage your stress, anxiety, and depression (4), while getting enough serotonin to keep you feeling good.
Is It Effective?
Taking a healthy dose of fish oil is great for the wide array of health benefits involved. The ability to increase performance is something any athlete strives for and fish oil allows for a no-stress, healthy way to get there. It’s anti-inflammatory properties are perfect for those looking to recover fast and not feel bogged down by pain in the gym. Trial and error is the best way for anyone to experiment with a supplement to see what works and what doesn’t, but the benefits of fish oil have long been debated and the jury is out that it can be very beneficial for your overall health. If you already consume fatty fish or other foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids, look into smaller doses to keep those nutrients flowing through your body.
Some foods that are high in omega-3 are:
- Kidney beans
Nuts & Seeds
- Egg yolks
For a long time, studies and research have shown that fish oil can be quite beneficial for you. Whether it be for athletic performance or everyday living, fish oil provides those much-needed nutrients that are hard to find. Since your body cannot produce omega-3 fatty acids, it is imperative you get them from either a supplement or food incorporated into your diet. The benefits are immense from boosting athletic performance, to promoting heart health, to improving mood, all of which play a role in having an efficient and effective workout to lose fat and build muscle. For bodybuilders who deplete their bodies of much needed nutrients to accomplish the goal of big gains and that toned physique, it is vital to use a supplement to re-charge the system. Fish oil is a great way to do so and is the perfect supplement to add into your daily routine.
*Images courtesy of Envato
- Jouris, Kelly B.; McDaniel, Jennifer L.; Weiss, Edward P. (2011). “The effect of Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation on the Inflammatory Response to eccentric strength exercise”. (source)
- Du, Shichun; Jin, Jie; Fang, Wenjun; Su, Qing (2015). “Does Fish Oil Have an Anti-Obesity Effect in Overweight/Obese Adults? A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials”. (source)
- Roeder, Amy (2019). “Omega-3 fish oil rises to top in analysis of studies”. (source)
- Su, Kuan-Pin; Matsuoka, Yutaka; Pae, Chi-Un (2015). “Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in Prevention of Mood and Anxiety Disorders”. (source)