Omega-3 fatty acids are one of the supplements you might be aware that you should be taking, but it can be extra motivating to hear about why. Keep in mind that the body needs omega-3’s but it cannot make them on its own, so it’s crucial to get them from food and often supplement form.
There are actually three different kinds of omega-3’s, which are: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). The first two are the kinds that we get from foods like fish, while the ALA is the one that we get from certain plant sources. It’s important that we get all of them, which is why many omega-3 supplements offer all in one.
One reason why omega-3’s are very important for the body is that they can speed up out recovery times. When we workout and especially when we weight train we create small tears in the muscles that then have to heal which is the process of building muscle. Omega-3’s work as anti-inflammatories in the body which will help speed up this process and help the body work most efficiently.
They can also help support protein synthesis, which means that more of the protein that you eat will be used to build muscle. Omega-3’s can also cut down on muscle soreness that occurs after working out, which will get you back into the gym faster and cut out the need to for rest when you don’t actually need a rest day.
Thanks to the quick recovery and anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3’s they can also help you prevent injuries from overuse. An increase of oxygen and a decrease of inflammation helps to support the muscle tissue.
Besides the muscles, one of the most important places in the body where omega-3’s are put to use is in the brain. Fat is very important in the brain, to support muscle membranes, nerve endings, and neurons. Some research has shown that increasing omega-3 fatty acids can improve cognitive function and even improve reaction times.
With an increase in the neuromuscular function, omega-3’s can also increase the efficiency of your muscles working together and cut down on unnecessary fatigue. There is also some research to suggest that omega-3’s help the body use calcium efficiently which can help to support strong bones.
Omega-3’s can also help the body burn more fat and less muscle when you are losing weight, which is of course ideal. We want to retain as much muscle as possible when we are losing weight since muscle requires more calories than fat to remain, meaning that your metabolism will be higher the more muscle that you have in the body.
Omega-3’s can also decrease the heart rate which can make the body work more efficiently when it’s utilizing oxygen during exercise, so working out can actually feel a bit easier when you’re getting adequate levels of the stuff. It can also improve the function of the airways for people who have exercise induced asthma.