Categories: Joint HealthOmega-3Weight Control

Improve Your Workout with Omega-3 Fish Oil

Bo Martinsen, MD
February 22, 2013

“I used to be so sore and stiff the morning after going to the gym,” said Susan, a college professor and longtime Omega3 Innovations customer. “But that was before I started taking Omega Cure® or eating an Omega Cookie® every day.”

We hear statements like that regularly. Customers will tell us that when they add a solid dose of omega-3 fish oil to their diet, they feel less sore after their workouts.

Is there a relationship between fish oil intake and physical performance?

Enhance Your Exercise Experience with Omega-3 Liquid Fish Oil

No, omega-3 fish oil is not on any doping drug list. But fish oil does help to restore the muscular and skeletal systems after exertion.

Specifically, omega-3 fish oil helps improve recovery time by reducing soreness and stiffness post workout. Because omega-3 fish oil helps to reduce muscle and joint inflammation, it combats the fatigue that might prevent you from getting back to the gym for another two or three days. When you are able to exercise more consistently, you have a better possibility of building more muscle or at least retaining existing muscle mass.*

Taking fish oil in conjunction with exercise seems to increase muscle strength, reduce fatigue and improve bone density (which is especially important for people with osteopenia or osteoporosis).

Omega-3 Fish Oil Exercise Studies and Research

When we started giving Wellpride® fish oil to thoroughbred horses ten years ago, horse trainers told us their horses had better endurance and recovered much faster after racing. Additionally, the horses were less sore, had more vigor and were able to focus better.

The horse trainers’ findings mirror the results omega-3 researchers have found in the lab.

For instance, in a 2010 rat study from Australia, researchers examined how a diet rich in fish oil changed the cell membrane structure in the skeletal muscles, and how the changes in turn influenced muscle functioning. The result: After eight weeks, the rats’ muscles used oxygen more efficiently. Furthermore, the rats experienced less muscle fatigue and faster rates of recovery from their exercise sessions.

Human studies confirm similar observations. Not only does omega-3 supplementation reduce muscle soreness after exertion; but over time, it also seems to increase muscle strength, reduce fatigue and improve bone density.

~ In a recent study from the University of Connecticut, postmenopausal women received a daily dose of fish oil in combination with calcium and vitamin D — roughly the equivalent to eating a small Omega Cookie — for six months. Compared to women using a placebo, the women taking the fish oil, calcium and vitamin D dramatically improved their walking speed.

~ A study from Brazil revealed postmenopausal women experienced greater improvements in muscle strength when taking fish oil in conjunction with their exercise program as opposed to the women who did not take fish oil.

~ Another study from Washington University School of Medicine found a daily dose of omega-3 fish oil stimulated muscle protein synthesis in older adults and could help prevent muscles from wasting away.

Because omega-3 fish oil helps to reduce muscle and joint inflammation, it reduces recovery time after an exertion, allowing you to get back to the gym sooner. 

How to Integrate Omega-3 into Your Workout Routines

In order to improve the efficacy of your exercise routine, take one tablespoon of Omega Cure every day. That one tablespoon – roughly the equivalent of 8 to 10 regular fish oil capsules – matches the doses used in clinical research studies revealing omega-3’s anti-inflammatory properties.

To make it easy, add one tablespoon of Omega Cure liquid fish oil to your morning protein shakes or smoothies. Use it consistently for at least six to ten weeks before expecting to feel noticeable results. Another alternative is to eat an Omega Cookie as a breakfast or a snack before you exercise. In addition to an effective dose of fish oil, the Omega Cookie also contains oat fiber, which has its own merits in enhancing physical endurance.

While we can’t guarantee that you’ll look like a younger version of Arnold Schwarzenegger or Jennifer Aniston, you’ll at least experience more “ahs” and less “ouches” during and after your workout.

* As with any exercise program, listen to your body and respect your limitations. You need to recover from a strenuous exercise session. Most trainers recommend working a different muscle group during each exercise session so your muscle tissue has ample time to heal.

An Effective Omega-3 Dose, Made Simple

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1. Hutchins-Wiese HL, Kleppinger A, Annis K, Liva E, Lammi-Keefe CJ, Durham HA, Kenny AM. “The Impact of Supplemental n-3 Long Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Dietary Antioxidants on Physical Performance in Postmenopausal Women.” PubMed. In process.

2. Peoples GE, McLennan PL. “Dietary Fish Oil Reduces Skeletal Muscle Oxygen Consumption, Provides Fatigue Resistance, and Improves Contractile Recovery in the Rat in Vivo Hindlimb.” PubMed. Aug. 9, 2010.

3. Rodacki CL, Rodacki AL, Pereira G, Naliwaiko K, Coelho I, Pequito D, Fernandes LC. “Fish-oil Supplementation Enhances the Effects of Strength Training in Elderly Women.” PubMed. Jan. 4, 2012.

4. Smith GI, Atherton P, Reeds DN, Mohammed BS, Rankin D, Rennie MJ, Mittendorfer B. “Dietary Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation Increases the Rate of Muscle Protein Synthesis in Older Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial.” PubMed. Dec. 15, 2010.

Bo Martinsen, MD

Dr. Martinsen is an omega-3 specialist, innovator, and advocate for natural foods. As co-founder and CEO of Omega3 Innovations, he has created multiple patented technologies for medical devices designed to improve consumer compliance. He is also the creator of several medical food products that combine dose-effective ingredients of omega-3 fish oil with soluble fibers and other nutrients. Before Omega3 Innovations, Dr. Martinsen practiced medicine in Norway for 20 years. During his career, he also served as a medical consultant to large international corporations, focusing on stress management and synergistic medicine.

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