Bodybuilders must follow a strict diet and workout religiously to achieve their body goals. Although these two factors are critical, taking vitamins and supplements can help you build muscles faster. There are many supplements that bodybuilders turn to for additional health benefits. One of these common supplements is fish oil. If you’re not yet familiar with it, you definitely need this Fish Oil 101.
Read on to learn more why you need a fish oil supplement.
Fish Oil 101: Overview
What exactly is fish oil?
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential substances that your body needs to function properly. It serves many functions – from cell growth to muscle activity. Your body can’t manufacture omega-3 fatty acids so you must get them from your food.
Fish oil is a dietary source of omega-3 fatty acids. It contains two types of omega-3 fatty acids – eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). EPA helps your body in the process of chemical synthesis involved in inflammation and blood clotting. DHA, on the other hand, is a key part of cerebral cortex, retina, and sperm. They are present throughout your body, especially in the heart, eyes, and brain.
Fish oil also contains vitamins A and D.
Fish Oil 101: Sources
You extract fish oil from fishes that are known to contain fatty acids like omega-3. Some of the most common fish that are rich in omega-3 are trout, mackerel, tuna, and salmon. Additionally, herring, swordfish, sardines, anchovies, pilchards, and turbot are also good sources of fish oil. The quality of fish oil hugely depends on the type of fish from which you retrieve the oil.
American Heart Association recommends consuming fish at least two servings a week. It’s important that you take fish oil supplements if you’re not getting enough of omega-3 from your diet.
Fish Oil 101: Uses and Benefits
Fish oil is helpful in our body as it aids in vision improvement, skin care, weight loss, and other health issues.
Promotes heart health
One of the most important reasons why fish oil is important is that it boosts heart health. Having a healthy consumption of fish oil regularly greatly decreases your risk of developing a variety of heart diseases. A healthy heart is critical for your body, regardless if you’re a bodybuilder or now. Fish oil prevents the build-up of plaque in your heart. In addition, it also lowers your blood pressure.
Aids in weight loss
Can a fatty supplement actually reduce body fat?
It may seem counterintuitive, but fish oil is helpful in burning excess body fat. It increases your metabolism and as a result, you burn fat more quickly. You must get rid of the excess fat while you’re trying to increase your muscle mass if you want to achieve the best body shape possible.
Strengthens your immune system
Regular consumption of fish oil can boost your immune system. Therefore, you have more resistance to common diseases like flu, cough, and colds.
People suffering from lupus benefits from consuming fish oil. Studies have also shown that fish oil reduces fatigue, skin rashes, and fever.
Relieves anxiety and depression
Fish oil has been promoted to relieve depression and anxiety. Furthermore, it can also aid in providing relief for stress, mental fatigue, restlessness, sadness, suicidal tendencies, decreased sexual desire, and other nervous disorders. It is also helpful in stabilizing the mood and treating bipolar disorders.
Speeds up recovery time
Fish oil is useful in expediting the recovery of your body from physical activity. Because of its anti-inflammatory attributes, you get to recover quickly from a rigorous workout session. Moreover, it reduces muscle soreness, decreases joint pain and accelerates the process of your body to repair tiny tears in your muscles that occur after working out.
Maintains healthy levels of cholesterol
Bodybuilders have higher fat consumption than other fitness enthusiasts. As a result, they have higher cholesterol levels which can lead to dangerous health conditions. Consuming fish oil regularly can help maintain your cholesterol at a healthy level.
Promotes healthy skin
Regular consumption of fish oil reduces moisture loss from the skin. It also improves the condition of dry skin by making it look vibrant and shiny. In addition, it is used in the treatment of various skin problems such as rashes, skin lesions, skin redness, itching, psoriasis, and eczema. It is also an effective treatment for acne.
Fish Oil 101: Side Effects
Fish oil is considered to be generally safe when taken by mouth in low doses. However, too much consumption might suppress your immune response and may increase your risk of bleeding.
Some users of fish oil supplements reported experiencing side effects. This include:
- Loose stools
- Bad breath
Always ask a doctor’s supervision first before you take fish oil supplements. Taking high doses can possibly increase the risk of stroke and bleeding.
You should also be cautious in taking fish oil supplements when you’re taking medication for high blood pressure and weight loss pills.
Fish Oil: Recommended Dosages
How much fish oil should you take daily?
Unfortunately, there is no set recommendation on the amount of fish oil you should consume. However, the recommendations for the total omega-3 intake is 250–500 mg per day.
Make sure that you read the label when you’re buying fish oil supplements. This will help determine the amount of EPA and DHA included in that said supplement. You should get around 300 mg of combined EPA and DHA in a 1,000 mg fish supplement.
So should you consider fish oil as an essential part of your diet?
Based on the given facts above, we highly suggest that it should be an important part of your diet as a bodybuilder. It provides tons of benefits that are essential in achieving overall health and wellness.
If you want to reap the success in bodybuilding, you must be at your optimum state. Aside from being at your best physically, you should also be at the peak of your mental and emotional state. Fish oil, regardless if you get it from fish or from a fish supplement, is an effective aid for you to achieve this holistic state.
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