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Omega-3 Fatty Acids - Enhanced Health, Muscle Gains, and Ripped Abs!
By Andrew McInroy, B. Sc. Nutrition
Omega-3 fatty acids may be one of the most under rated supplements on the market right now. When people ask you what supplements you’re on, they expect to hear: protein, the craziest new pre-workout, and a new muscle builder you read about in a magazine. From now on you better be including the omega-3 fatty acid supplements in your regime too. Not only are they important for your health, they can also increase your muscle gains and help with fat loss! Read on!
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential which means that you must obtain them from your diet since our body cannot synthesize them. The two main omega-3 fatty acids that we want to be concerned with are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Sources of Omega-3 fatty acids are fish oils and some plant oils, especially flaxseed oil. DHA is highly concentrated in the brains of mammals, but I am not going to recommend that you eat brains, after all this is not zombie nutrition!
Positive Health Effects: The positive health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids alone make it worth taking. Omega-3 fatty acids help to regulate blood pressure which is important for weightlifters that often have high blood pressure from AAS usage. Blood triglycerides and blood cholesterol are positively affected by omega-3s. As noted previously, omega-3s are a structural component of the brain and also the eyes.
There is no doubt that omega-3s have a positive effect on cardiovascular health and studies have proven that omega-3s are very beneficial in preventing heart disease. Omega-3s have also been shown to be helpful in treating depression and some evidence shows that it may help to reduce anxiety. Some studies have also shown that omega-3 fatty acids may have anti-cancer effects but this is a complex topic so feel free to search the net for more information. Omega-3s also have been shown to enhance immune function.
Joint Problems? Omega-3s help to reduce joint pain because they have anti-inflammatory effects. Many people have experienced relief from supplementation with them so don’t let pain in your knees and elbows stop you from achieving your goals.
So now you see that Omega-3 fatty acids can help you with your general health but lets be real here, we are performance junkies, so lets talk about what it can do to help you in the gym.
Insulin sensitization: In order to achieve the best results possible, you need to get the highest quality nutrients to your muscles. But this is only going to happen if your muscles are functioning properly so that the nutrients can enter.
Part of opening up the muscle cells is that the hormone insulin needs to attach to the insulin receptor on the muscle but unfortunately sometimes these receptors become desensitized and nutrient uptake is not as good. Omega-3s to the rescue! In research they have been shown to enhance insulin sensitivity. This means that they are going to help nutrient uptake and therefore enhance muscle gains.
Better Pump: The positive effects of omega-3s on blood values and the circulatory system make it easier for our blood to get to our muscles. Many people have used omega-3s to get a better pump. Try it! Take some fish oil or have some salmon with your pre-workout meal.
Get Shredded Abs! Studies have shown that omega-3s have helped with reducing body fat and a lot of the fat loss occurs in the stomach area! Furthermore, omega-3s enhance fatty acid oxidation (fat burning!) because they are easily pulled out of the cell membrane for energy.
Enhanced Protein Synthesis: Protein synthesis is muscle building and a recent study showed that omega-3 fatty acids enhanced protein synthesis! The omega-3s increased activity of the mTOR-p70s6k pathway which is very anabolic.
The Best Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Salmon Oil Pills (found here on the paramount-supplements store!), Herring, Sardines, mackerel, salmon, halibut, tuna, flaxseed and flaxseed oil, chia seed, and perilla.
The take home message: Dont stick to just whey, beef and eggs! If you want to really enhance your health, muscle and strength gains and get those ripped abs, you better make sure that you include your omega-3 fatty acids! Salmon oil pills are a must for all serious athletes and bodybuilders.