Okay, I’ve heard that taking flax oil in your post-workout drink is a bad idea as it inhibits insulin release…yet the latest fat roundtable seems to contradict this…what is it…when should i take my flax oil?? Also, i use pills which are measured in grams, not teaspoons…so, how many grams of flax oil should i take (i weigh around 165).
I read the roundtable and I may be wrong in my memory of it, but I didn’t see anything that contradicted the advice to “nix the flax in your postwrokout shake” (that’s almost a quote from an older Patterson Q&A in T-mag–note the word is “nix”, not “mix”). As I recall, it simply advocated the use of flax, fish, hemp, etc., and didn’t specify that flax ought to be a post-workout ingredient. Did I miss that? Personally, I use flax in the morning and again at night, and avoid it in post-workout shakes. What I’d like to know is this: does psyllium husk powder absorb flax fats, thus interfering with flax’s benefits?
As for thw amount, I’d be willing to bet your container has directions right on the label. I know us guys hate to read directions, but sometimes they’re beneficial, such as in knowing what quantity of flax capsules to take.
There is no contradiction. Fats (omega 3’s) increase whole body insulin sensitivity. Therefore they make the body more sensitive to insulin’s effects. But this is not an acute thing. It happens after weeks on omega 3’s. So you wont benefit from increased insulin sensitivity after a dose of fats.
You dont eat fats after a workout. After a workout, the fats slow digestion of carbs and protein if combined. Therefore the insulin release is slower but not less. It just takes longer to get the carbs and proteins to the muscle if you eat fats at that point. Ok for the rest of the day but not ok after a workout. Post workout, you want the fastest insulin release and carb delivery to the muscle after a workout.
So fat in the morning, fat in the evening, no fat after workouts!
Oh yeah, a table spoon of fish oil has about 14 grams while a teaspoon has about 5 grams of fat. If you have capsules, just do the math. Amount of fat in capsule x capsules needed = 14 grams of fat
John, are you sure about that? Fats increasing insulin sensitivity? The “fats roundtable” specifically included a major discussion on how flax oil will promote insulin resistance in cells, not sensitivity, which makes adipose cells beautifully oblivious to the signal to expand.
Good call! At least someone read the article correctly! I’m pretty sure of what I meant with my post here (since I wrote the article) but I dont think I clarified well enough…Sorry! Actually you’re partly correct while I am also. I guess my point was that omega 3’s make the muscle cells insulin sensitive while making the fat cells insulin resistant. Sorry for not clarifying.
Geez…In that last email I realized I should have made a stronger point. Again, I should have emphasized that the omega 3’s have this cool duality in that the work differently on different cells (especially muscle and fat). Fat becomes resistant while muscle sensitive. Its the best of both insulin worlds. By just decreasing fat cell sensitivity, fish oils would actually promote a diabetic-like condition of high blood glucose. Not good. Since they decrease fat cell sensitivity and increase muscle cell sensitivity, the overall effect is approx the same blood glucose (or even lower) with less bodyfat uptake of nutrients and more muscle uptake.
Now remember, we stressed FISH OILS not FLAX. There is a difference. Flax is high in 3’s but also has a good deal of 6’s. FISH OILS DOMINATE with their DHA and EPA content while FLAX is good with (but not the best).
John, I have to say that I think you guys are
over emphasizing the omega 3s. Here is why:
yes Omega 3s are great with lots of benefits,
but the human body also needs omega 6s. Omega
6 do serve essential functions in the body.
That is why they too are called “essential.”
By reading your article a person could get
the impression that people should only eat
omega 3s, and I don’t really think that is
what you meant. You may be emphasizing that
because most “average” people eat too many
omega 6s - but I don’t think that’s really
a problem for readers of T-mag. For example,
I eat beef (saturated fat & omega 6), turkey
(negligable fat content) and tuna and salmon
(omega 3) as protein - so figure those balance
each other out. That’s not enough fat to get
my requisite 30% fat calories, so I need to
add some EFA oils (I hate fish oil capsules)
to compensate. I could get the impression from
reading your article that I should only eat
high omega 3 oils like flax. But don’t you
think it would be better to use oils with a
balance of omega 3 and omega 6 - assuming that
one is not eating much fat other than
the EFA oils? Personally, I like a product
called “Essential Balance Oil” from Arrowhead
Mills. The product contains omega 3 and omega
6 in a 1:1 ratio. Ingredients: flax oil,
sunflower oil, sesame oil, pumpkin seed oil,
borage oil. Personally, I get better results
from that product, than I did when I was using
straight flax oil (and it tastes better
too). So, keeping in mind that all the fat I
am eating is from the animals and the oil
blend, what do you think? Omega 3 only, or
omega 3 and omega 6 in the proper balance?
BTW, I find that the little bit of saturated
fat in the beef helps with gains, and I’ve
also found that monounsaturated (omega 9) fat,
such as olive oil, is more prone to causing
fat gain than the omega 3 or omega 6 fats.
Oops. I just looked at the bottle of that
Essential Balance oil I mentioned, and it
actually has a ration of 2:2:1. That is, 2
parts omega 3 to 2 parts omega 6 to 1 part
omega 9 (monounsaturated). In addition to
the EFAs, I think there are some benefits
to eating some of these oils. For example,
there is some evidence that pumpkin seeds/oil
are/is beneficial for prostate health.
John, thanks for the clarification. Where do Udo’s Choice fat pills fall into the spectrum? As good as fish oil? Not so good?
Is Cod Liver oil omega 3?
I know it’s nasty but it’s CHEAP!
Cod Liver Oil does not contain the ideal 3 ratio. I would go with cold-water fish oil…Again a can or two of salmon per day might get you your requirements. And give you some protein…We’re such a subculture of pill poppers. In this case there are great food sources so just eat them!
Im not sure of Udo’s choice’s formula. I think I recall a 2-1 or 3-1 ratio in favor of 3’s. That’s pretty good. But remember, if you eat animal products (beef, eggs, dairy), you’re probably getting enough 6’s already so then just focus on 3’s from other sources.
3)I hate to disagree with you, Free…but it is not so much disagreement as clarification. I dont mind the “challenge” because it brings out important information…
As far as eating 6’s studies have been done to indicate that only about 1 gram per day is required…and even that is questionable when omega 3’s are present in the diet.
But even if 6’s were required, the bottom line is that any animal fat (except cold water fish) has enough omega 6’s already. For example, your beef probably contains enough 6’s for your daily requirement. I think that the 1:1 ratio is just presented to tip the scales in favor of 3’s and slowly change the “fat consumption paradigm” but we think in our lab that if this balance can be shifted more in favor of 3, than go for it. I think you are right in that if someone is only getting Omega 3’s alone (and no sats, monos or 6’s), then they may be out of balance. But in this other situation, they eat no other fats, then their bodybuilding progress will suck. So basically the recommendations are for guys who actually eat bodybuilding-type diets that have good animal products (fats and proteins).
What I do disagree with is that most t-mag readers get enough of a good balance of fats. A couple of fish meals a month is not enough. This has to be daily. So unless they eat cold-water fish daily and supplement with fish oil daily, they’re probably out of balance.
Assuming someone eats no fats, then a balanced fat intake of 1:1 oil is good. But how the heck anyone can consistently eat a fat free diet (or would want to) is beyond me. If any fat is consumed, the chances are that they're 6's and sats or monos. In this case, just fish oil supplementation is best.
As far as your blend, I have the same thing at home. I add fish oils to it though to jack up the 3 content. With your diet, you are already high in 6’s. By adding oils that are 1:1 your ratio is still higher than 1:1, right. So you’re still out of balance, but you’re better than most. And yes…saturates do work!
Hope that helped.
I’ve always thought that using olive oil was a
good thing for getting enough fat in the diet.
I take it from all this info and from the fat article this past week on the site, that this may not be true?