Fish Oil Boosts Muscle Function in Response to Exercise

February 3, 2012 | Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist

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 Fish Oil Boosts Muscle Function in Response to Exercise
A study shows that two grams of fish oil per day combined with strength training exercise improved muscle strength better than exercise alone. The study was conducted on 45 women aged 64 over a 90 day period.

Exercise not only strengthens your body, but also burns fat. When it comes to fat, we know that "you are what you eat." A small but relevant percentage of your fat per day needs to be in the form of omega-3 essential fatty acids, DHA, and EPA. These accumulate in every cell membrane of your body and are required for proper cell communication and function. The importance of these fatty acids to your nerve cells, brain, heart, and arteries is indisputable. This study points out that they are also needed by muscle cells for more optimal function.

The ability to maintain muscle strength--especially as you age--improves blood sugar metabolism while helping pump more blood to your brain as you move about. Better muscles contribute to better immunity, better balance, better bones, and overall better quality of health. The fact that fish oil improves muscle response to exercise, actually improving aspects of muscle dynamics that otherwise do not improve at all with exercise alone, is a very important finding. It is one more reason to ensure that you get your essential fatty acids, especially DHA, on a regular and consistent basis.

This particular study was in older women. However, the findings likely apply to people of every age. This is also due to the fact that DHA and EPA help resolve the muscle inflammation that is produced during exercise, speeding your recovery for better muscle fitness.

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