Fish oil and the omega-3 fatty acids that it contains have been a big buzzword in the health and wellness world over the last decade or so. With studies showing that it’s great for heart health and potentially brain health (including mental illnesses and brain disorders), it’s no wonder athletes are looking at fish oil supplements.
We’ll show you how to find the best fish oil for body building, athletes, and runners here, and give our unbiased review of some of the most popular products on the market.
What are Omega-3s?
Omega-3 fatty acids are just what they sound like. They’re a type of fat that science has shown us is very good for the body, particularly for heart and brain health. To be more specific, they’re an unsaturated fat. The body can’t synthesize these nutrients, so you must take them in via food or supplements.
There are three types of omega-3s: ALAs, DHAs and EPAs. Though there are slight structural differences between the three types, all of them have proven health benefits, despite the fat witch-hunts that occurred in the food industry over the last few decades.
Where Can You Find Omega-3s?
ALA omega-3s are found in plants. More specifically, you can find this type of omega-3 in plant oils like flaxseed oil, canola oil, and soy oil. Though these are not the highly sought after omega-3s found in fish oil supplements, they’re still very good for the body.
DHAs and EPAs are found in animal proteins, particularly in fish. For the most part, these are the omega-3s that make fish oil supplementation desirable. Most people don’t get enough healthy fish-derived omega-3s in their diet, meaning supplementation is probably a good idea for most people.
Since our modern diets tend to be particularly lacking in seafood, and also due to contamination of the ocean leading to a high mercury content in many types of fish, fish oil supplementation is a great way to make sure you get plenty of these heart-healthy oils.
What can Fish Oil do for Your Body?
There’s plenty of ongoing research to determine all the ways in which fish oil supplements can help the body. As is often the case with supplements like these, though, there are few definitive results that lead to FDA recognition of the benefits of supplements, despite evidence that they may work well.
There are only a couple FDA-backed, wholly approved uses for fish oil currently. The benefits of omega-3s from fish oil supplements in heart health, particularly in the regulation of triglycerides, blood pressure, and secondary cardiovascular diseases, are well documented.
Fish oil may also be effective in helping to alleviate morning pain and stiffness in the joints in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Other conditions that some people believe may be improved through the use of omega-3 supplements include anxiety, depression, ADHD, and dementia.
Why is it Effective for Athletes?
Studies performed at the University of Indiana at Bloomington have shown that fish oil supplements may have a positive effect on elite athletes, like bodybuilders or long distance runners, who suffer from exercise-induced asthma. It makes sense that breathing better would certainly improve performance.
Another reason that fish oil supplements may be good for serious athletes is the anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3s that are plentiful in fish oil. Word around the bodybuilding, CrossFit, and endurance athletics communities are that fish oil can also help with injury prevention.
It is also said that the use of fish oil supplements may help to reduce an athlete’s recovery time between workouts. For these reasons, many fitness enthusiasts are interested in finding the best fish oil for body building, athletes, and runners.
Who can Benefit from Fish Oil for Body Building, Athletes, and Runners?
Any person who exercises frequently and experiences pain, stiffness, or soreness in their muscles and joints can potentially benefit from using fish oil supplements. If you’ve ever had to take a day off after a tough work-out, it’s probably worth a shot.
Supplementing with fish oil has almost no negative side-effects. Since almost no one gets enough omega-3s in their diet, the chances that it will improve your overall health are pretty fantastic.
When Should You Take Fish Oil?
The directions on the label of the supplement you purchase should be followed to avoid any unwanted side-effects. Some fish oil capsules should be taken with food, some upon waking, and some before bed. Read the label carefully before use.
How can You Find the Best Fish Oil Supplement?
The least expensive fish oil supplement is probably not the best choice. If the cheap capsules you purchase are so rancid and fishy that you can’t stomach them, they certainly aren’t likely to do any good. Find a good quality supplement, ideally non-enteric coated, to get the best results.
Purchase your fish oil from a company that is transparent about the amount of omega-3s (both DHAs and EPAs) are present in their supplement, and look for a supplement that is purified and quality tested. Let’s check out our picks for the best fish oil for body building, athletes, and runners.
When we take into account these products’ overall value, and place the quality of the supplement as first priority, Viva Naturals Fish Oil supplement is our pick for the best fish oil for body building, athletes, and runners.
Make sure you do your research when considering any supplement. Check out the quality and purity ratings on independent testing sites and always consider what makes each type of supplement good. If you’re a performance athlete who is looking for the joint and heart benefits that come with fish oil, don’t hesitate to ask us any questions you may have about fish oil supplements, or anything else!