April 10, 2011

Fish Oil - Quite Possibly The Best Supplement On The Market

In regards to the desired results we all seek to achieve whether it be gaining muscle or reducing bodyfat, or even getting stronger, training is just one important variable. But if the body isn’t provided with the nutrients and phytonutrients that it needs to function than progress with be subpar at best.

Obviously without training the body would have no need to adapt, but if the goal is to get the best return per investment of time, than it’s in your best interest to not only train hard, but also provide your body with what it needs. One of those things that it would benefit greatly from, is fish oil.

EPA-DHA (Fish Oil) is an Omega-3 fatty acid, and an essential one at that, meaning the body cannot make it on it’s own, but rather needs to have it provided through the diet.

Some literature suggests that the optimal ratio between Omega-6 fatty acids to Omega-3 fatty acids is 1:1, or at the very least 4:1 in favour of Omega-6. Unfortunately, there is literature that suggests that the average person living in North America is ingesting upwards of 15:1, which is almost 4 times higher than the range which is 4 times higher than optimal!

The reason for this skewed ratio because of the foods we eat, which generally have a high Omega-6 content. Omega-6’s are classified as pro-inflammatory, and when such ridiculous amounts are consumed, without countering them with Omega-3's, which are classified as anti-inflammatory, the potential for unnecessary health risks like heart disease increase dramatically.

Since their creation in the early 1900’s, food companies have been pushing products like margarine, soybean, sunflower, corn oil, as well as the ever popular ‘whole wheat’. Coincidentally, in that same time frame heart disease has become an epidemic.

Inflammation is a serious risk factor for heart disease and excess consumption of Omega-6’s are likely the main reason for this epidemic. Aside from reducing inflammation, which is key to heart longevity, there is literature that suggests Omega-3 fatty acids also –

1. Have an alkalizing effect on pH levels which is a marker of good health

2. Increase insulin sensitivity (more calories get stored as muscle and less as FAT)

3. Slow down the release of insulin into the blood stream

4. Mobilize fat (promote the body to use fat for fuel)

5. Improve neural recovery, especially after an intense (heavy) training session

6. Prevent depression and improve mood via increased serotonin levels

7. Improve fast twitch fiber function which directly affects strength and power development

8. Reduce blood pressure

9. Reduce resting heart rate

10. Prevent heart disease

11. Reduce the risk of sudden cardiac death (SCD)

12. Lowers cholesterol

13. Speeds up your metabolism

14. Reduces or halts breast cancer

15. Reduces the risk of prostate cancer

16. Reduces joint pain

17. Reduces the incidence for inflammatory diseases like asthma

18. Increases key pathways related to muscle growth

19. Prevents macular degeneration

20. Increases protein synthesis, making it anabolic!

There are likely many more benefits, but those should be enough to get the point across that fish oil is essential for everybody, and should be taken daily.

As far as dosage, well, it depends on the goal of the individual, but it would be safe to say as much as 5 grams more than your current bodyfat percentage would be beneficial for fat loss, but 4-5 grams a day is ideal, or roughly 1 gram per every 20 lbs. of bodyweight.

If you have any questions about the content presented, feel free to contact me at ben@paramounttraining.ca. I'm available for online consulting and personalized program design, as well as one on one training if you are located in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

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