Omega-3, especially DHA and EPA, have been well researched and may be recommended for improving athletic / exercise performance. You may have already heard that omega-3s promote your heart health, but omega-3 can also increase lean muscle mass, which is something you want this summer!
DHA & EPA are found in fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines, herring, mackerel and halibut. If your diet does not include enough of these foods in a daily basis, you will need to talk to your dietician about taking an omega-3 or fish oil supplement. The FDA recommends to not exceed more than a total of 2 grams per day of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids from a dietary supplement.
Does fish oil help increase my muscle mass?
A scientific article found that omega-3 works on preserving your lean mass during calorie restriction, or in conjunction with aerobic exercise. It may help change your body composition. Another article found that fish oil supplements promote greater improvements in muscle strength in elderly women who performed strength training. Omega-3 improves insulin sensitivity, and one of the things insulin does is regulate protein formation. So omega-3 works indirectly with muscle mass synthesis. And remember…more lean muscle, means higher metabolism to burn through the fat
What else can EPA & DHA do?
Research has shown a combination of DHA & EPA intake can reduce inflammation. The decrease of inflammation may be linked to less muscle soreness, which means you can train more (and grow more lean muscle mass).
In addition, omega-3 has also been shown to increase blood flow to muscles during exercise. More blood flow gives more oxygenated blood to work the muscle further. Lastly, some research found that DHA may also improve your brain function. It may help you get greater focus and alertness during your training sessions.
Conclusion: start eating more cold water fatty fish for a better athletic performance, for a workout that gives you more, and ultimately for a leaner physique.