Posted by THE FUEL Nutrition Editorial Staff on November 09, 2015
If you want an edge on the competition, getting enough fish oil is a no brainer. After all, fish oil provides the essential nutrients EPA and DHA that are necessary for your body to function optimally.
Why Is Fish Oil So Important?
Your body uses fish oil to build the outside lipid (fat) layer that protects your cells, resulting in a faster metabolism and better insulin sensitivity. Fish oil also improves blood flow to muscle, enhances cell communication, and lowers inflammation and soreness for elite performance every day!
Benefit #1: Stronger Muscle
When you increase insulin sensitivity, it’s a good bet you’re going to improve protein synthesis in the muscle because insulin regulates the passage of nutrients, hormones, and chemicals into muscles. Simply taking a few grams a day of fish oil increases protein synthesis by as much as 30 percent, which means more muscle growth, less soreness, and an all-around better recovery from hard training.
Benefit #2: Greater Strength
Because fish oil is incorporated into cell membranes, it enhances nerve conduction (simply, the message is getting from the brain to the muscle faster). It also improves the movement of calcium ions, which play a principal role in muscle contraction. Together, these factors mean strength capacity is better sustained during heavy workouts.
Benefit #3: Recover Faster
One of the most fascinating benefits of fish oil is how it reduces our experience of stress. Fish oil lowers levels of cortisol, but it can also counter the mental stress and depression that comes from a long, grueling season. When 24 elite female soccer players took 3.5 grams per day of fish oil for 4 weeks, they improved reaction time and efficiency, most likely because levels of the stress hormone cortisol were lower.
Benefit #4: Less Body Fat
Besides improving insulin sensitivity so that your cells have an easier time burning blood glucose (blood sugar) for energy, fish oil also stimulates thermogenesis or the burning of calories. This is why “healthy” fats don't make you fat, but can help you get lean!
Benefit #5: Greater Oxygen Delivery
Fish oil improves blood flow to working muscle, lowering RPE so that workouts will feel easier. This can give you a major mental boost when your job requires you to hit it hard day in and day out. That’s not all—fish oil promotes a faster recovery between all-out sprints or heavy weight lifting sets and it enhances endurance capacity, giving you that much needed edge over competitors!
Wondering how much fish oil you should take? This article gives you nine tips on how to achieve all the performance benefits of fish oil, without breaking your budget.
All prices are in USD