Athletes don’t need to consume omega-3 fish oil to continue their hard core training. However, these essential fatty acids may help with the increased physical demands athletes place on their bodies on a day-to-day basis and may even help increase performance.
One way to get more omega-3s in your diet is through adding a fish oil supplement to your daily routine, or mixing the flavored liquid form directly into your protein shake or yogurt. Just remember – no blending! Omega-3s are sensitive and can be destroyed by your high tech blender.
It’s also a good idea to check the label for the exact omega-3 content (especially EPA and DHA), as well as to verify purity and quality — looking carefully for a five star certification from a third party like International Fish Oil Standards.
As with most health supplements, additional research is your best friend. However, here are some of the fitness related issues that research shows fish oil may be able to help with:
- Exercise-induced asthma
- Insulin sensitivity
- Providing nutrients & oxygen to bodily systems
- Metabolic functions such as lactic acid build up
- Calorie burning
- Promoting blood vessel function
- Joint flexibility
- Digestive health
- Immune & inflammatory response
Several studies have shown that fish oil improves lung performance in athletes, and also improves blood flow and oxygen delivery during peak energy intervals. Since many athletes incorporate some type of high intensity training (HIT) into their workouts, these benefits are particularly relevant. The body actually demands more from the lungs, muscles, and brain during these types of athletic activities.
In addition, studies have also revealed that fish oil can help stimulate the body’s natural anti-inflammatory responses. This is important for treating pain, increasing endurance, improving back and joint health, and even increasing mobility. Omega-3 fatty acids appear to help the body burn calories, too. You can read more about this at Want to Get Physically Fit? Try Fish Oil.
For healthy adults without a history of heart disease, adding an omega-3 supplement to your diet is as simple as talking to your doctor about what fish oil dosage is right for you.
Most people review their current diet and lifestyle; then choose a dose based on things like existing omega-6 levels and desired outcomes. Building your dose gradually while monitoring for results is a great way to start.
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