Fish Oil Facts and Benefits for Bodybuilders

Fish Oil Facts and Benefits for Bodybuilders

picture of fish oil soft gels in a spoon

Fish oil is a great way to supplement your diet and boost your bodybuilding exercises. If you're into fitness, you've probably seen every health supplement out there and maybe you've tried out more than a few products. Fish oil is a natural supplement that is rich in Omega-3 and other essential fatty acids to help you with your endurance training and improve your workout quality. In this article, we'll look at all there is to know about fish oil, how it will help your strength training, and the best fish oil supplement for bodybuilding.

What is fish oil?

Fish oil is a natural extract derived from the fatty tissues of fish like tuna, mackerel, sardines, halibut, salmon, and herring. It is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids such as Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Omega-3 is a vital nutrient that you must obtain from your diet. Your body cannot synthesize this compound naturally. While you can get one type of Omega-3 fatty acid (alpha-linoleic acid, or ALA) from plants such as walnuts and flax seeds, your body needs the more active EPA and DHA types. 

The general process of extracting fish oil from fish tissues is the same. It involves cooking the tissues, pressing them to produce the oil, filtering to remove any unwanted residue, then centrifuging the resulting product. The oil is then sold in bottles or packaged as capsules or pills.

Omega-3 fatty acids are closely associated with improved cognitive function since they enhance nervous system regulation, cell membrane function, structure and signaling. 

Fish oil benefits for bodybuilders

Fish oil has a large variety of advantages for your body as a bodybuilder, especially since the active ingredient (Omega-3 fatty acids) helps with blood pressure regulation, inflammatory processes, and improves your blood clotting factors. Here are some important benefits of fish oil for bodybuilders.

Helps lessen muscle soreness after weight lifting

It's common to feel sore in your muscles after a workout. You may now even feel sore immediately after working out, or it may come 12-72 hours later. This is called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). Some medical experts say that it is caused by inflammation in the muscles or tiny lacerations in the muscle fibers. DOMS is common among bodybuilders and can greatly affect your morale and productivity. A randomized study conducted in 2017 showed that fish oil significantly reduces muscle soreness as compared to a placebo. Quick muscle recovery is essential and fish oil supplements help your muscles after endurance training.

Improve workout quality

Since fish oil helps lessen muscle soreness, it will boost the overall quality of your workout. Omega-3 helps reduce muscle swelling, temporary loss of muscle strength, and improves range of motion after workouts. It also decreases muscle stiffness. These findings are heavily supported by two independent studies conducted in 2018 and 2019.

Fish oil also improves the quality of your workout by boosting the health of your heart. Here is how it promotes heart health:

  • Stabilizes blood flow in and around the heart
  • Reduces triglyceride levels in blood
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Prevents blood clots in the vessels
  • Lowers blood pressure

Does fish oil help build muscle?

Fish oil is not directly associated with building muscle mass. However, it will help you increase lean muscle while burning fats if you maintain a healthy bodybuilding diet and take the correct amounts of supplements and water. You should add high protein snacks to your diet to keep your protein intake at optimum levels for bodybuilding. If you do not have enough proteins and fats in your diet, you may end up burning muscles during your strength training exercises. This will be detrimental to your bodybuilding endeavors. It is vital that you take fish oil as a supplement to a healthy diet, not as a substitute.

In addition to this, fish oil helps prevent muscle loss as a result of old age. Sarcopenia is a natural body phenomenon, where your body loses muscle due to aging. Fish oil prevents this process and will help you maintain physical independence as you age.

As you grow older as a bodybuilder, your body may find it harder to withstand intense exercise and tolerate your high protein intake. The anti-inflammatory properties of fish oil help your body fight these aging effects and keep your muscles vibrant.

Does fish oil make you gain weight?

Short answer: No. Fish oil helps you burn excess fat and regulate the cholesterol in your body. While this may seem counterintuitive given that fish oil is a fatty supplement, it increases your metabolism, allowing you to burn off any excess fat in your body. It also helps you maintain a healthy cholesterol level and keep your blood pressure at a normal level. This reduces your risk of hypertension and heart attacks. Fish oil can help you shed off excess weight and maintain a healthy BMI as a bodybuilder.

Is fish oil bad for testosterone?

Fish oil has no known negative effect on testosterone. As a matter of fact, a study conducted on a dose-response of fish oil showed that taking fish oil supplements consistently for 60 or more days was linked to higher sperm count and higher free testosterone levels. Omega-3 has no effect on testosterone levels.

Best time to take fish oil

You can take fish oil at any time, morning or night. Some bodybuilders take fish oil supplements at night before bed and others in the morning. The general rule of thumb for bodybuilding is to take fish oil pills after a meal. There is no specific time stipulated for you to take the supplements.

How much fish oil should I take for bodybuilding?

bowl of fish soft gels oil and high protein food on a cutting board

As a bodybuilder, it is recommended that you take between 2,000-3,000 mg of EPA and DHA per day for maximum benefits to bodybuilding. It is best that you take this amount as a supplement if you don't have Omega-3 fatty acids sources in your diet. The EPA and DHA concentrations vary in fish oil depending on the type of fish.

Can I take fish oil on an empty stomach?

The best time to take Omega-3 fish oil supplements is with or just after a heavy meal. This is because the Omega-3 fatty acids are best absorbed when there is a fatty lining in the stomach. If you typically do not eat that much at dinner, it's best to take fish oil after your heaviest meal, either lunch or breakfast.

Is it safe to take fish oil with other supplements?

There are possible adverse drug interactions associated with fish oil and anticoagulants. Taking fish oil supplements with herbs or other supplements that reduce your blood clotting factors may cause excessive bleeding if you get injured. This is especially risky for bodybuilders, since the possibility of injury is higher during intense workouts.

Can I take fish oil with proteins?

Since fish oil is a nutritional supplement, it is highly recommended that you take it alongside your regular diets. As a bodybuilder with a high protein intake, Omega-3 combines with the proteins in your diet to reduce inflammation in your muscles after an intense workout. You need to have high protein snacks in your diet as you take your fish oil supplement pills. Fish oil and proteins will combine in your body to reduce inflammation and help with muscle recovery, which is the key quality of your workout.

Which fish oil is best for bodybuilding?

There are tons of fish oil supplement produced in the market today. You can try out any of the following products:

  • Omega JYM Fish Oil Capsules
  • Omega-3 Fish Oil supplements 120 softgels
  • Fish oil softgels

Fish oil dietary supplements are an essential part of a bodybuilder's diet and play a vital role in your bodybuilding regimen. Every bodybuilder is unique and you need to study your body to know the proper exercises and diets that you need. If you are looking for a crucial dietary supplement for bodybuilders, then fish oil is the way to go.

Check out BFR Shop's Blood Flow Restriction Bands to incorporate into your workout regimen so you can easily achieve your goals!