Fish Oil is among the most popular supplements in fitness circles. Apart from Whey Protein and Multivitamins, Fish Oil is certainly the most sought fitness supplement. It is generally used for better heart health, improved eyesight, and strong joints.
But why do bodybuilders take it?
One might ask if taking fish oil daily is even safe. The simple answer to this is Yes. It is as safe as any other fitness supplement.
The supplement has rich anti-inflammatory properties, and it is also known to boost muscle strength and increase energy. Before we dive deep into the topic and understand the importance of fish oil in bodybuilding, let’s first understand what Fish Oil actually is.
What Is Fish Oil?
Fish Oil is a supplement extracted from the tissues of fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, and halibut.
Fish Oil has rich amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids, which can’t be produced in the body naturally. But that doesn’t mean that Omega-3 fatty acids aren’t necessary for the body. The importance of Omega-3 fatty acids can’t be undermined, and Fish Oil is one of the best sources to get it.
The two common types of Omega-3 fatty acids found in Fish Oil are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). According to health experts, one should always include fatty acids in their diet.
This doesn’t mean that fatty acids can only be found in meat or fish. One can also get Omega-3s from walnuts, flax seeds, and pine nuts. However, these plant-based foods provide a less active Omega-3s known as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).
Now, for those who consume fish regularly, there’s no need to take Fish Oil. But a significant portion of the world population is either vegetarian or vegan. The trend of vegetarian bodybuilders is getting popular day by day, and that’s why Fish Oil has emerged as a vital supplement.
Benefits of Fish Oil
Since we are talking about athletes and bodybuilders, we will look at the benefits of fish oil from that perspective.
Better Workout Performance:
One of the key benefits of Fish Oil is that it improves workout performance. Fish Oil contains EPA and DHA. The rich anti-inflammatory properties of fish oil act against declining strength during the workout. This allows a person to workout with constant muscle force throughout and hence, helps in getting better results. When taken along with a healthy, balanced, and protein-rich diet, fish oil helps maintain muscle strength. The point to note here is that taking fish oil alone is of no use if you don’t follow a healthy diet.
Reduces Muscle Soreness:
Another key benefit of taking fish oil is that it reduces muscle soreness, which is really a common phenomenon after an intense workout session. At times, the soreness may last for a couple of days or even more. This phenomenon is called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. This is generally caused due to the soreness in muscle cells. This can affect your workout performance and act as a hindrance in achieving your goals. Since fish oil has rich anti-inflammatory properties, it not just reduces soreness but also prevents muscle damage.
When we say anti-aging, we are not talking about your skin. Fish oil does improve hair health and eyesight, but here we are talking about the impact of aging on your muscles. As one age, their muscle mass may start declining. As per a study, the muscle mass declines by 0.1–0.5% per year after the age of 30. This rate increases manifold after the age of 60. This is why building muscle and maintaining a healthy body starts getting trickier with the increase of age.
While these impacts can be reduced by proper training and protein supplements, fish oil is one of the best supplements to counter all these impacts of aging. Fish oil is really helpful for middle-aged bodybuilders.
Things To Keep In Mind While Buying Fish Oil
Now, as the demand for a product goes, the competition in the market grows automatically. When you search for fish oil online, you’ll see a lot of companies selling the product at different prices. While the one with the lowest price might attract you, price should not be the criteria for selecting fish oil or any supplement for that matter. When you look at fish oil, look for the ingredients. Good fish oil must have two omega-3s called docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid. You can also look at the oxidation values.
The Right Quantity
Another question that troubles a lot of beginners and intermediate-level body builders is: ‘What is the right quantity of fish oil to take on a daily basis?’
According to health experts, a healthy individual should consume 250–500 mg of combined EPA and DHA per day. Based on the brand of fish oil that you are using, you can calculate the right quantity by looking at the contents section.