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Fantastic, Fabulous Fish Oil

Fantastic, Fabulous Fish Oil

To me, fish oil is one of the first, and best supplements that I discovered. It has a list of benefits as long as your arm. Strangely enough, you’re about to find out about them.

I am fairly judicious about my use of supplements, so it has to be worth it to make the cut. Generally it is those supplements that have massive systemic benefits that I choose, for example, vitamin K2 and D3 and Magnesium. Not only do they have to have massive systemic benefits, they also have to either be hard to get in my regular diet (or lifestyle in the case of vitamin d3 – some days, you simply don’t get enough sun) or so extraordinarily depleted by exercise (as in the case of magnesium) that not supplementing inhibits your recovery from exercise and subsequent energy levels.

When it comes to fish oil, the key ingredients are the omega-3 fatty acids. It’s easy to get from diet – if you like fish. Unfortunately I don’t particularly. Nor do I like walnuts or flaxseed. SO unless I supplement, I am not getting enough of this vital nutrient.  If you are in the same boat as me, I suggest you do the same.

So what are these magical benefits? Well, first and foremost, omega-3 is anti inflammatory. Chronic inflammation is where I come into this story. Having a touch of arthritis here and there is a price many people pay for leading an active life. Having chosen sports that are a bit crash and bash and doing weights so heavy that some joint damage was almost inevitable, I am like millions of people across the world whose joints creak a little as they get older.

So fish oil was a natural thing to discover for me. The thing about chronic inflammation is that it is toxic to the body as a whole. Not only is it a factor in stiff joints, it’s also a factor in heart disease and digestive problems. Bottom line, lowering levels of inflammation is always a good thing.

But I did mention a list as long as your arm, so let’s learn a little more.

A really big one for someone like me who likes to see small tweaks that leverage into larger advantages is that there have been studies that show that people who are dieting and exercising in order to shed a few kilos shed more weight if they add fish oil to their diet than those who used diet and exercise alone.

Not only that, fish oil helps to preserve muscle mass. So consider that. Not only are you losing weight through the use of fish oil, the weight is fat, thus improving your body composition. Fish oil also raises testosterone levels,so it’s a triple whammy of benefits for anyone who exercises. OK, make that a quadruple whammy, because the lowered inflammation helps to improve recovery time from exercise.

Fish oil also lowers cortisol levels in the blood. Cortisol is a hormone that the body produces in response to stress. It’s how our bodies work. What we feel is as a result of the body’s release of various chemicals. The body releases one chemical and we feel hungry. It releases another and we feel full. It releases another and we feel stressed. Therefore, lowering cortisol lowers stress and anxiety.

It also lowers triglycerides in the blood, thus aiding heart health. But wait there’s more. It has also been linked to slowing cognitive decline as we age and improve your immune system.

Is that a list as long as your arm? Well I guess it depends on the length of your arm. No matter what, to me, those benefits are pretty impressive, and well worth using.

So how much and when do you take it? Well currently I am experimenting with the idea of taking it before and after exercise. Certainly after exercise is a given, due to its effect on post exercise inflammation.  However, others recommend that breakfast, lunch and last thing before bed is the optimum timing. So take your pick – experiment and see what suits you.

As to how much, naturally if you exercise heavily you should take more. It’s a bit of an awkward question, because everyone has a different answer. I personally currently use 8 1000mg capsules a day, split throughout the day – Two in the morning – two before a workout, two after – Two before bed.

That may seem excessive to some but it works for me. I think 3 1000mg capsules should be fine for most people. Once again, it depends on your individual circumstances. If you are like me, with a few joint pains, take a bit more and and see how your body responds. Getting to feel how your body responds to particular inputs is usually the best approach.

So there you have it. If you are overlooking fish oil at the moment as a supplement, time you stopped overlooking it. It’s like the swiss army knife of supplements for the amounts of benefits it gives.

 

About The Author

Shaun

A guy obsessed with stripping down whatever field he studies to get the optimum return from effort expended. Sort of like Tim Ferriss, except with zero fame.

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