Omega-3, especially docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), have been well researched and may be recommended for improving athletic performance. You may have already heard that omega-3s promote your heart health, but did you know omega-3 can also increase lean muscle mass?
DHA & EPA are both found in fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines, herring, mackerel and halibut. Its quite important to include fish into your diet, if your diet does not include enough of these foods in a daily basis, you will need to talk to your dietician about taking an omega-3 or fish oil supplement. The FDA recommends to not exceed more than a total of 2 grams per day of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids from a dietary supplement, it is always better to get nutrients in via a food source.
How Can Fish Oil Help me Increase Muscle Mass?
A scientific article found that omega-3 works on preserving your lean mass during calorie restriction, or in conjunction with aerobic exercise. It may help change your body composition and promote a leaner figure. Another article found that fish oil supplements promote greater improvements in muscle strength in elderly women who performed strength training. Omega-3 also improves insulin sensitivity, and one of the things insulin does is regulate protein formation. So omega-3 definitely works indirectly with muscle mass synthesis.
Are there Other benefits of EPA & DHA?
Research has shown an association of EPAs and DHAs intake with a reduction in inflammation. The decrease of inflammation may be linked to less muscle soreness, which means you can train more (and grow more lean muscle mass).
In addition, omega-3 has also been shown to increase blood flow to muscles during exercise. More blood flow gives more oxygenated blood to work the muscle further. Lastly, some research found that DHA may also improve your brain function. It may help you get greater focus and alertness during your training sessions.
I would really recommend to start eating more cold water fatty fish for a healthier body and better performance!
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