Of course, bodybuilders must maintain a careful diet and stick to a strict exercise routine if they want to achieve their goals. But, supplements and vitamins can provide additional health benefits and aid your body in the muscle-building process. Whey protein (like our chocolate whey protein powder) is one of the most common supplements bodybuilders consume to provide them with extra nutrients and speed up their bodies’ recovery process. Fish oil is another common supplement used by bodybuilders because it supports muscle growth and offers a plethora of other health benefits like good cholesterol levels and heart health. Learn more about this widely used supplement to determine if it’s right for you.
What Is Fish Oil?
Fish oil supplements are extracted from fish known to contain fatty acids like omega-3. Some of the most common fish high in omega-3 include salmon, tuna, mackerel and trout, amongst other species. For those who consume a lot of fish with omega-3 in their daily diet, fish oil supplements may not be necessary, or you may want to consider taking a smaller dose.
But, the American Heart Association recommends consuming foods with omega-3 fatty acids at least two times per week. If you don’t get enough omega-3 from your diet, fish oil supplements are a great way to provide your body with this essential nutrient, but you want to avoid overconsumption. It’s not recommended that anyone ingest more than three grams of omega-3 capsules unless instructed by a doctor.
The Benefits of Fish Oil
1. Speeds up Recovery Time
Similar to the way that protein powder can speed up the body’s process of rebuilding muscles after an intense workout, fish oil supplements help your body to recover from physical activity more quickly. Fish oil is known to possess anti-inflammatory attributes, which can be extremely beneficial before or after a workout, particularly for those who practice bodybuilding. It can help reduce muscle soreness, decrease joint pain and accelerate your body’s process of repairing tiny tears in your muscles that occur after working out. Combining protein powder and fish oil supplements can greatly reduce recovery time after exercise and work to increase your muscle mass at a quicker rate.
2. Helps Your Body Burn Excess Fat
Though it may seem counterintuitive that a fatty supplement can actually reduce body fat, fish oil pills have been associated with increased metabolism, which in turn burns fat more quickly than a slower metabolism. In order to get your body in the best shape possible, you want to burn fat while increasing muscle mass. If you’re not eating properly and taking the correct supplements, you may be unintentionally burning lean muscle instead of fat. Integrating a small dose of fish oil into your daily diet can help you to accomplish both of these goals at one time—burning fat while repairing and growing muscles.
3. Maintains Healthy Cholesterol Levels
While cholesterol levels may not directly affect your ability to build body mass, it’s an important part of leading a healthy lifestyle. According to BodyBuilding.com, bodybuilders tend to consume foods with higher levels of fat, which typically increases cholesterol levels and leads to dangerous health conditions. However, research shows that fish oil can help you maintain a healthy cholesterol level and lower your risk of heart attack.
4. Promotes Heart Health
One of the most important health benefits of fish oil supplements is the effect it has on your heart. Physicians, fitness experts and nutritionists all agree that fish oil can greatly decrease your chance of developing a variety of heart diseases. Whether you’re a bodybuilder or just perform a regular workout routine, maintaining a healthy heart is the best thing you can do for your body. Fish oil works to prevent plaque build-up in your heart and can also lower your blood pressure. In terms of bodybuilding, maintaining a healthy heart is important to support your body during intense workout sessions.
5. Can Help Prevent and Speed up Recovery from Injuries
If you practice bodybuilding, you’re more prone to getting injured during exercise because you’re pushing your body to the max and working out frequently. Ingesting a small dose of fish oil (the American Heart Association recommends about one gram of omega-3 per day) can help prevent injuries as well as speed up recovery from muscle and joint issues. When you take fish oil, your muscle inflammation decreases, making you less prone to strains and sprains. Should you injure yourself while working out, taking fish oil can also help accelerate the healing because of the same anti-inflammatory properties.