In our pursuit of peak performance and overall well-being, whether as high-performance athletes or individuals dedicated to enhancing our fitness levels at the gym, staying updated on nutrient intake is paramount. One dietary option that has garnered substantial attention in recent years is Omega-3 fatty acids, renowned for their cardiovascular health benefits and their vital role in protein synthesis and post-exercise physical recovery.
Benefits of Omega-3 Supplementation in the Gym
Clinical studies have unequivocally demonstrated the remarkable utility of Omega-3 supplementation for high-performance athletes, particularly in the context of muscle gain. These studies reveal compelling evidence supporting the notion that daily consumption of Omega-3 fatty acids actively promotes muscle mass accrual, even in older individuals, offering potential protection against sarcopenia [^1^].
Moreover, for those engaged in aerobic sports, incorporating a daily dose of 4 grams of EPA + DHA, as indicated by a clinical study, significantly enhances exercise adaptation while minimizing oxidative stress resulting from muscular inflammation [^3^].
A study conducted at the University of Westminster in the United Kingdom further underscores the advantages of Omega-3 supplementation. It found that Omega-3 supplementation not only reduces post-exercise muscular inflammation but also mitigates exercise-induced muscle pain. In this study, 14 participants were randomly assigned to either a regimen of 3 grams of daily EPA + DHA or a placebo for four weeks. The results unequivocally demonstrated a reduction in exercise-related muscle pain in those supplemented with Omega-3 [^4^].
Using Omega-3 for Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) After Gym Sessions
Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) is a common side effect following intense workouts, primarily attributed to muscular inflammation induced by the release of free radicals during exercise. Omega-3 fatty acids play an integral role in the body's inflammatory regulation, making them an indispensable tool for mitigating inflammation and alleviating DOMS.
A study published in 2018 featuring a team of 20 professional rugby players unequivocally showed that daily Omega-3 consumption reduces delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and preserves muscular function following eccentric exercise. The athletes were assigned to a supplementation regimen comprising 1052 mg of EPA + 1052 mg of DHA or a placebo group during a five-week preseason period. The results not only revealed a reduction in DOMS among the Omega-3 supplemented players but also a modest improvement in explosive strength and reduced perception of fatigue [^5^].
The Essential Role of Omega-3 EPA and DHA
Omega-3 fatty acids, specifically EPA and DHA, constitute a vital dietary component for athletes and individuals engaging in regular physical activity. Beyond their cardiovascular benefits, these fatty acids are instrumental in promoting muscle gain, physical recovery, and the reduction of DOMS.
If you seek further information regarding the pivotal role of Omega-3 fatty acids in physical activity, optimal daily dosages, and appropriate consumption methods, do not hesitate to get in touch or email us for more information.
Should You Take Omega-3 Before or After Gym Workouts?
You can incorporate your Omega-3 supplements at any time of the day that suits your convenience and helps you remember consistently. However, it's important to note that taking Omega-3 with a meal optimizes its absorption and bioavailability. Whether you choose to take it before, after your workout, or at another time during the day, maintaining a regular Omega-3 intake is crucial for reaping its long-term benefits.
- McGlory, C. et al. (2014). Temporal changes in human skeletal muscle and blood lipid composition with fish oil supplementation. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids; 90(6):199-206.
- Huang, YH. et al. (2020). Effects of Omega-3 Fatty Acids on Muscle Mass, Muscle Strength and Muscle Performance among the Elderly: A Meta-Analysis. Nutrients; 12(12):3739.
- Buonocore, D. et al. (2020). Effect of 8-week n-3 fatty-acid supplementation on oxidative stress and inflammation in middle- and long-distance running athletes: a pilot study. J Int Soc Sports Nutr.; 17(1):55.
- Kyriakidou, Y. et al (2021). The effect of Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation on exercise-induced muscle damage. J Int Soc Sports Nutr.; 18(1):9.
- Black, KE. et al. (2018). Adding omega-3 fatty acids to a protein-based supplement during pre-season training results in reduced muscle soreness and the better maintenance of explosive power in professional Rugby Union players. Eur J Sport Sci; 18(10):1357-1367.