We all want to look and feel our best. After all, isn’t that why we weight train in the first place? Okay … some of us are gluttons for punishment and actually like weight training. Whether you love it or loathe it, everybody wants results. While there are a number of miracle powders and protein bars out there promising to get you swole, these come with additives and unnecessary calories. Want to bulk up? Enlist is the best workout buddy known to humankind: fish oil. Here are five reasons why fish oil is your ideal weight training wing-person.
Why Use Fish Oil?
You may have noticed that wellness headlines have been shining a light on fish oil as of late. This is because studies continue to uncover the importance of omega-3 fatty acids.
In the Standard American Diet, we get plenty of omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-6s are typically found in animal fats that leave us full, such as beef and lamb. Unfortunately, filling up on Omega-6s leaves little room for Omega-3 fatty acids. These are the amino acids found in plant-based proteins and lean animal protein like fish.
Life is about balance. For the system to function smoothly, we should have a 3:1 Omega-3 to Omega-6 ratio. However, the majority of the population doesn’t adhere to this standard. Seeing as the body can’t create omega-3 fatty acids on its own, this can be a bit of a problem.
There are three types of omega-3 fatty acids. They are:
- Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA)
- Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA)
- Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA)
ALA is a short-chain fatty acid. Our body burns through it too quickly. Therefore, our body must convert ALA to the long-chain fatty acid, EPA. From there, the EPA is then converted to DHA. DHA is essential for boosting our performance in the workroom, maintaining focus, and replenishing our energy levels.
Converting ALA is not the most convenient way to boost your DHA levels. Experts suggest your daily intake of EPA and DHA equals 500 to 1,000 mg per day. To meet this recommended intake, fish oil supplements should become a staple in your regular wellness routine. However, it’s also a must for your workout regimen.
Why Use Fish Oil for Working Out?
Omega-3 fatty acids are chock full of amino acids. Amino acids are what scientists call the building blocks of life. Fish oil supplements are critical for your body to replenish cells, tissues, and muscles during a workout. Thanks to the high levels of DHA in fish oil, you will not only shred excess pounds but tone your body as well. Here are the top five benefits of supplementing with fish oil during weight training.
Improves Cognitive Abilities
As important as working out may be, it’s also quite tedious. It’s hard to carve time out to do something for yourself. Your mind is racing to all the other things you should be doing. Not to mention, weight lifting is exhausting. All of these scenarios may result in you pulling the plug on your workout sesh prematurely.
The brain is 60% fat. As anyone with a little excess poundage around the waistline knows, fat attracts fat. In the case of omegas and the mind, this attraction is a good thing. Your brain absorbs the beneficial acids in omega-3s with ease. This puzzle piece-like fit makes fish oil one of the strongest brain-boosting supplements on the market.
With your eye on the prize, you can push through the workout much easier. Your brain will be more focused. As a result, you forget about all the other pressing matters you need to address, and you won’t dwell on the intensity of the strenuous workout.
Also, studies find that fish oil can help your reaction time. Omega-3s play a critical role in muscle memory, nerve endings, and cell signaling. By supplementing with fish oil, you are more likely to get into a rhythm when pumping weights. As you know, once you’re in the zone, you just got a free pass to the gun show!
Repairs Wear and Tear
While working out improves your body, it also puts your muscles, cartilage, and joints under intense pressure. One wrong move while you are weight training and you can do significant damage to your body. Whether you are experiencing a muscle strain or a ligament tear, omega-3 fatty acids are body’s first line of defense.
What causes pain during a workout is the buildup of lactic acid. As your body burns off energy during an exercise, it needs to draw energy from elsewhere. Therefore, it turns to your muscles, drawing out lactic acid. While lactic acid helps us push through a workout, it comes with a consequence.
The acidic nature of lactic acid can cause an inflammatory response in your joints. However, omega-3s have potent anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, supplementing with fish oil can help the burn in your bones while simultaneously helping burn the pounds off your belly.
Makes You Stronger
If you’re pumping iron, there’s no doubt you want results. Fish oil supplements can help you get there. Studies find that omega-3 fatty acids stimulate the signaling pathway in the body. This pathway is the most integral proponent in muscular cell growth.
As we work out, the body burns off the protein that we consume from our food. When this happens, the amino acids within the protein have chemical reactions. Based on the quality of your protein, tissues, muscles, and cells are formed. Amino acids found in omega-3 fatty acids have shown to promote the growth of biceps, triceps, and traps!
In fact, one study followed eight healthy young men and women. They found that after eight weeks of supplementing with fish oil, the subjects showed increased “concentrations of protein, RNA, and DNA in muscle.” Therefore, adding fish oil to your workout routine can help you pack on the muscle!
Helps You Blast Fat
Sometimes to get to the muscle, you have to blast through the fat first. Luckily, fish oil supplements can get you there. A study following 44 healthy men and women found that six weeks of using fish oil led to leaner muscle mass and a decrease in body mass.
While we discovered fish oil is essential for protein synthesis, it doesn’t synthesize other fat lipids. EPA and DHA actually oxidize fat cells, causing them to dissipate. With lipids no longer clogging up the pathways, omega-3s allow for more efficient carnitine acyltransferase I (CAT 1) activity.
CAT 1 is essential for transporting amino acids to areas of the body that need rebuilding. Plus, it’s a gateway for long-chain fatty acids to provide us energy. Thanks to omega-3 fatty acids, we not only burn weight and increase muscle mass, but also get an extra boost in the energy department!
Regulates Your Heart Rate
Fish oil supplements are not only beneficial for the brain and the waistline. They’re also good for the heart, too. This benefit is clutch when you are working out (or doing anything), because your heart … well, it’s kind of a big deal.
When you are getting a sweat-on, your heart is working overtime. As you push through your weight training routine, you may feel like your heart is beating out of your chest. Pushing yourself this hard can cause you to feel faint, nauseous, or short of breath. Due to the intense heartbeat, you may feel gassed a bit quicker, causing you to quit your workout prematurely.
Studies on omega-3 fatty acids found they lower heart rate significantly. This benefit will help you pace yourself. Consequently, your workouts might last a bit longer with better results.
Not to mention, when your heart isn’t working overtime, it means less oxygen is being pumped through the system. Using less oxygen helps you go the distance during your workout routine. Talk about a second wind!
Change Your Workout Game with Fish Oil
Next time you pack your gym bag make sure you have a bottle of fish oil in there. These supplements are not only good for the heart and brain, but they’re the best workout buddy you’ll ever have. With fish oil supplements, you can focus better at the task at hand. Fish oil contains essential fatty acids that will repair the wear and tear caused by a weight room session and leave more muscle in its wake. Plus, fish oil helps lower your heart rate. That way you can push on and burn more fat during your workout. Want the body you always dreamed about? Give fish oil a try today!
What are your go-to workout supplements? Let us know in the comments below!