Omega-3s for muscle growth & endurance!

Athletes of bodybuilding as well as endurance athletes could benefit from consuming 3-4 grams of omega-3s a day.

Omega-3s are beneficial in bodybuilding

Omega-3s are good in bodybuilding, as they:

  • increase protein synthesis
  • decrease muscle soreness after workouts
  • promote muscle recovery
  • fight exercise-induced inflammation
  • improve exercise efficiency
  • assist in injury prevention during intense training

Omega-3s help the muscles use energy more efficiently.[1,2]

Strenuous exercise significantly increases inflammatory markers in the muscles. Eating foods high in antioxidants is vital for faster recovery. Omega-3s have potent antioxidant properties.

Most noteworthy, high omega-3 intake can increase protein synthesis, both in young and older men and women.

According to a 2011 study of the Washington University School of Medicine, a daily dose of 4 grams of omega-3s helped people build muscle mass in just 2 months. Omega-3s have anabolic properties.[3]

According to another study, omega-3 supplementation can decrease post-exercise muscle soreness and damage![4] According to researchers, a daily dose of 3 grams of omega-3s can reduce exercise-induced inflammation and muscle soreness by 15%.

So, omega-3 supplementation is very beneficial in bodybuilding. Both elite bodybuilding athletes and beginners can benefit from high omega-3 intakes. Either from food or dietary supplements.

According to a 2018, published in the European Journal of Sport Science, professional rugby players benefited from taking 551 mg EPA and 551 mg DHA twice daily. After 3 weeks, athletes had reduced muscle soreness and damage. Also, they had improved athletic performance.[5]

Moreover, athletes of bodybuilding could benefit from omega-3 intake because they protect the joints. Omega-3s may relieve joint pain and help swollen joints to heal faster, as they have potent anti-inflammatory properties. Bromelain in pineapple can also relieve joint pain.[6]

In addition, omega-3s are beneficial for muscle growth and athletic performance because they improve insulin sensitivity. They help muscle cells to metabolize necessary nutrients, such as glucose and amino acids.

Last, but not least, omega-3s are involved in the functions of the nervous system.

Omega-3s are beneficial for endurance athletes!

Besides muscle growth, omega-3s can be beneficial for runners and other endurance athletes.

Omega-3s may improve endurance performance and increase VO2-max. Moreover, omega-3s may decrease submaximal heart rate, and peak heart rate. Furthermore, they can decrease body oxygen consumption during exercise!

According to a 2015 study, published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, supplementation with omega-3s (DHA & EPA) delayed fatigue and improved neuromuscular function and total exercise performance in well-trained athletes.[7]

Moreover, according to a 2015 study published in the European journal of sport science, a daily dose of 1.3 grams of omega-3s twice a day for 3 weeks increased VO2-max and total exercise performance in elite cyclists.[8]

In addition, omega-3 supplementation may reduce bronchial inflammation. According to a study of the Indiana University, supplementation with 3.2 grams of EPA and 2 grams of DHA a day, after 3 weeks, reduced symptoms of exercise-induced asthma. “Sport asthma” is an important limiting factor in athletic performance.[9]

How much omega-3s should an athlete get per day?

Actually, there hasn’t been established a recommended daily intake of omega-3s. The National Institutes of Health recommends a daily intake of 1.6 grams for men and 1.1 grams for women from plant-based sources.

There are 3 main types of omega-3s: ALA, DHA, and EPA. Plant-based foods contain mostly ALA. Certain seeds, nuts, and avocado, are vegan foods high in omega-3s.

In fact, avocado is one of the best post-workout foods an athlete can eat.

Seafood and fish contain mostly DHA and EPA. Eggs contain decent amounts of omega-3s as well.

Certainly, you can get much higher dosages of omega-3s from dietary supplements. You can find a wide variety on iHerb.

Extremely high dosages of omega-3s for a long time may cause side effects, though. Always consult your healthcare provider before changing your diet or taking any dietary supplement.

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