Fish oil supplements are very important for athletes to take because the body uses it to build the outside lipid layer that protects your cells, which results in a faster metabolism and better insulin sensitivity. Fish oils also improve blood flow to muscles, enhances cell communication and reduces daily inflammation and soreness.
Fish oil supplements contain the most readily available form of Omega-3 Fatty acids that your body can use, they are EPA and DHA, which are only found in fish.
There have been many studies done on how specifically fish oil supplements can improve athletic performance:
A study was performed on 10 elite athletes with exercise induced bronchoconstriction (EIB) and 10 without EIB, it was found that fish oils are effective at suppressing EIB by lowering forced expiratory volume (amount of air exhaled post exercise) and improved post exercise lung function (1)
Another study was performed to test if the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oils altered oxygen efficiency in humans during exercise. The results showed that the fish oils lowered both average and peak heart rate during exercise to exhaustion. They also lowered steady-state submaximal exercise heart rate, whole body oxygen consumption, and myocardial workload (2)
A study on 20 male athletes showed that when athlete supplement with fish oil it reduces oxidative stress when performing eccentric resistance training (3)
Lastly for older individuals who exercise regularly, decrease of muscle mass and function are inevitable. A study was performed on 60 individuals over the age of 50 and found that there was a significant difference in muscle size and strength increase between the groups that supplemented fish oils and the one that used a placebo (3)
1. Fish Oil Reduces Heart Rate and Oxygen Consumption During Exercise
2. Fish Oil Supplementation Reduces Markers Of Oxidative Stress but Not Muscle Soreness After Eccentric ExercisePatrick Gray-Andrew Chappel-Alison Jenkinson-Frank Thies-Stuart Gray – International Journal Of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism – 2014
3. Fish Oil-derived N-3 PUFA Therapy Increases Muscle Mass and Function in Healthy Older Adults
Gordon Smith-Sophie Julliand-Dominic Reeds-David Sinacore-Samuel Klein-Bettina Mittendorfer – The American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition – 2015