Imagine a set of all-natural nutrients that could help accelerate muscle building, burn fat, and increase your motivation.
Sounds like something out of an infomercial, right?
Despite what you might think, these nutrients actually exist!
The miracle nutrients we’re talking about are omega-3 fatty acids, or omega-3s for short.
You’ve probably heard about omega-3s for their amazing heart benefits, but not many people realize how important they are for building strong, lean bodies.
What Are Omega-3s, and Which Ones Are Most Important?
There are three types of omega-3 fatty acids: ALA, EPA and DHA.
Omega-3 fatty acids are found in both plant and animal sources.
EPA and DHA are found mostly in certain types of fish like herring, sardines, and salmon, while ALA is found in plant sources like flax seeds, chia, and walnuts.
When it comes to the fitness benefits of omega-3s, all the research showing their effectiveness has centered on the omega-3s that come from fish; EPA and DHA.
While ALA is certainly a healthy nutrient, it has not been researched as much as EPA and DHA, making its usefulness for fitness and bodybuilding unclear.
For that reason, our review of omega-3s will focus solely on the benefits of EPA and DHA.
Omega-3s Will Build the Body of Your Dreams
Omega-3s have long been an essential part of the bodybuilder’s tool kit, and for good reason. They make getting the body of your dreams a lot easier by helping you:
Build More Muscle
Our bodies are constantly creating and destroying muscle fibers.
The two types of omega-3s found in fish oil, EPA and DHA, actually help your body create more muscle fibers, while at the same time destroying less.
This tips the muscle-building equation in your favor, helping you build more muscle, faster.
Burn More Fat
A study done by the University of South Australia Adelaide showed that omega-3s from fish oil, combined with exercise, provide significantly greater fat loss benefits than exercising or taking fish oil alone.
The combination of omega-3s and exercise turns on your body’s fat burning enzymes, helping you burn fat faster.
But it doesn’t end there!
Omega-3s not only increase fat burning, but they also keep new fat from being stored! Omega-3s can increase insulin sensitivity, which means they help prevent your body from storing the food you eat as fat.
Control your Appetite
Your body uses a hormone called leptin to tell your brain that it’s full.
However, if you have lots of extra body fat, inflammation from fat cells can block the effect of leptin, causing you to feel hungry when you’re not. This condition is known as leptin resistance.
Luckily, omega-3s have strong anti-inflammatory properties. By consuming anti-inflammatory foods like omega-3s, leptin resistance can be improved, helping keep your appetite under control.
Staying highly motivated is key in the pursuit to get fit. Luckily, consuming omega-3s is an excellent way to get you more motivated.
Studies have shown that increasing the amount of omega-3s that you eat boosts the level of dopamine in the prefrontal cortex of the brain, which is the area of your brain responsible for drive and motivation.
The more dopamine you have in the prefrontal cortex, the higher your motivation!
Whenever you work out, you cause a small amount of damage to your muscles called microtraumas. These microtraumas are perfectly normal, and allow your body to heal and grow stronger.
Your body responds to these microtraumas by producing inflammation.
While many people think inflammation is a dirty word, a little bit of inflammation is perfectly healthy for you, as it’s your body’s way of bringing white blood cells and cytokines (your body’s “repair crew”) to fix damage.
However, if your body produces too much inflammation, it can actually slow the healing process and damage surrounding tissue.
As we already discussed with appetite control, omega-3s are very useful at bringing inflammation down to normal levels, helping keep your body’s recovery process as efficient as possible.
The Best Way to Get Your Omega-3s
When it comes to maximizing the benefits of omega-3s, your best bet is to eat more fish like tuna, salmon, sardines, or herring. In addition to being loaded with omega-3s, fish has tons of great protein, vitamins, and minerals.
But, what if you can’t afford to eat extra fish, are worried about mercury, don’t approve of factory farming, or just don’t like eating it?
In that case, using supplements can be an excellent and cost-effective way to get your omega-3s.
The Best Way to Supplement Your Omega-3 Intake
Because omega-3s have gotten a lot of attention in the media, you might have already decided to supplement your diet with fish oil pills.
However, you should know that getting your omega-3s in pill form is NOT the best way!
If you want to maximize the benefits you get from your omega-3 supplements, consuming them in liquid form is best.
Your body only uses 39%-53% of the nutrients contained in capsules. Because your body must first break down a capsule before getting its nutrients, your body absorbs much less.
However, your body is able to absorb up to 98% of nutrients that you consume in liquid form!
If you’re serious about maximizing the benefits of omega-3s, there’s no liquid fish oil brand better than Carlson. It’s been voted the #1 fish oil brand by ConsumerLab.com, and their liquid fish oil has won tons of awards for taste and quality.
Omega-3s from fish are an absolute powerhouse nutrient that you have no reason NOT to take.
They help you build more muscle, burn more fat, control your appetite, get more motivated, and recover quicker.
What’s not to like?
The ideal way to get your omega-3s is by eating more fatty fish. But if you can’t afford to eat more fish, are worried about mercury, or just HATE eating fish, then supplements are a definite must!
But getting the maximum benefits from omega-3 supplements isn’t as simple as popping a few pills. To get the most out of your omega-3 supplements, you should consume them in liquid form.