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Why Runners Should Take Omega-3 / Fish Oil

Posted by George Parker on
Why Runners Should Take Omega-3 / Fish Oil

Omega-3 Fish Oil as a dietary supplement makes a lot of practical sense.
Most health care professionals and dietary guidelines suggest eating fish 2-3 times per week. This equates to approximately 500mg of Omega-3s per day.

However, I imagine very few people are eating fish 2-3 times per week. 

Therefore, adding a Omega-3 / Fish Oil supplement to your dietary routine makes a lot of practical sense.

How to choose an Omega-3 Fish Oil

  1. EPA/DHA Content - 1,000mg of Fish Oil doesn’t mean the pill contains 1,000mg of Omega-3’s like EPA/DHA. Do not only look at the total amount of fish oil. Instead, look at the amount of EPA/DHA included and aim for more than 500mg in total.

  2. Quality - The market is full with cheap, low quality Fish Oil. Fortunately, third party certifications exist to help navigate to top quality products. Look for GMP", "3rd Party Tested", and clear expiration dates printed on the label. These simple checks help reflect a quality product and a commitment to quality by the manufacturer and brand.
     
  3. Enteric Coated – A top barrier to repeat Fish Oil usage is well, a fishy taste for the pill. The taste most commonly manifests as a fish-tasting burps…Fortunately, it’s possible to apply a polymer barrier which prevents the early dissolution of the Fish Oil pill in the stomach. The result – burpless fish oil.

Benefits of Omega-3 Fish Oil for Runners

  1. Hearth Health - Omega-3s are readily known by the general population for their heart health benefits. EPA/DHA improve heart health primarily by lowering triglycerides levels.
     
  2. Joint-Health / Anti-Inflammatory - For years, aspirin and ibuprofen were the primary tools for runners to reduce inflammation and soreness. However, due to the side effect profile of these drugs, there has been increased interest in finding more natural alternatives.

    Numerous studies are showing that omega-3s have similar anti-inflammatory properties as traditional medicine without the side effect profile. Similar to ibuprofen, omega-3s counter the production of inflammatory substances by the creation of the natural anti-inflammatory prostaglandin E3, thus reducing the body's level of tissue inflammation. Reduce inflammation and you hurt less and heal faster. [3][4]

In summary, consider adding a daily Omega-3 Fish Oil to your dietary routine. The practical benefits of convenience (2-3 servings of fish per week is a lot) and specific benefits to runners (joints and heart) make Omega-3 Fish Oil a valuable training partner. 

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