Bodybuilding is a sport that is very much diet and nutrition-orientated, which is why so many bodybuilders spend so much time, effort, and money on finely tuning their diets in order to get them to point in order to help enhance muscle growth and repair. Once they have their foods in order, the next logical step is to focus on supplements. Supplements in bodybuilding can be the difference between a good physique and an amazing physique, which is why the supplement industry is booming and is so highly competitive. As well as your more well-known supplements such as whey protein and creatine, there’s another supplement that many bodybuilders are underestimating and are left out of their supplement stacks, and that supplement, or rather those supplements are omega 3 fish oils.
Omega 3 Fish Oil and Bodybuilding
Although omega 3 fish oil doesn’t quite directly contribute to and support muscle growth like protein supplements do, it can’t be denied that it plays a key role in the growth and development of muscle in bodybuilders of all shapes and sizes. Omega 3 fish oil supplements are considered some of the healthiest and most beneficial supplements on the planet. They provide numerous general health and well-being benefits, including being able to protect the brain and heart. From a bodybuilding standpoint, however, fish oils are ideal for the following reasons:
Fish Oil helps Burn Fat
Let’s face it, none of us want to be fat at the best of times, and body fat and bodybuilding just do not go together. The idea behind bodybuilding is to lose fat whilst building muscle, which is why omega 3 fish oil supplements are ideal. Although these are fats, these are healthy fats and when consumed, they aren’t actually stored as body fat in the body at all. Instead, they’re used as energy which increases the metabolism and therefore helps us to burn even more calories stored in our body fat.
It helps promote Muscle Growth
Another reason why fish oil is considered beneficial for bodybuilding is the fact that it helps to reduce the catabolic (muscle wasting) hormones such as cortisol, making it an anabolic (muscle building) supplement. Fish oil also helps increase protein synthesis, which in turn aids in post-workout muscle recovery when new muscle proteins are synthesized by the body.
It Reduces Inflammation
Bodybuilding is a very physical sport, and it’s probably safe to say it’s pretty painful at times as well. Bodybuilders will often feel sore and their muscles will ache following a workout, because they have literally destroyed their muscle tissue. This places stress on the body and can cause painful swelling and inflammation, which hinders protein synthesis and muscle growth. Fish oil is a potent anti-inflammatory which means it can play a key role in post-workout muscle recovery and repair.
Omega 3 Fish Oils promote Healthy joints
Another key bodybuilding benefit of fish oils and fish oil supplements is the fact that they promote healthy joints and help to lubricate them, preventing inflammation and helping to ward of conditions such as arthritis. Bodybuilders’ joints take a real pounding as they build muscle because they become so much heavier. The knees in particular are the first to suffer which is just another reason why fish oils are so beneficial.
Omega 3 Fish Oils help Increase Energy Levels
Bodybuilding is a very tiring sport, both physically and mentally, and if you think that your energy levels are only affected whilst working out, you’ve obviously never really tried your hand at real bodybuilding. Of course the workouts themselves are physically demanding as the idea is to push your body to its absolute limits whilst in the gym, to help shock it into new muscle growth and recovery. Each workout should be more effective than your last, which will mean more weights, more reps, less recovery, more volume, and the more energy required as a result. The great thing about omega 3 fish oil supplements is that they have been proven to substantially increase the amount of energy produced by the body. The two main reasons for this are that as these fatty acids are a form of fat, the body is able to utilize them immediately. Contrary to popular belief, carbohydrates are not the body’s preferred source of energy, fats are, and so by increasing the amount we consume, we increase the amount of energy produced as a result. They also help to increase the metabolism, which also brings us to our next benefit.
They help to promote Fat Loss
It may seem a little bizarre to some of you – eating fat to lose fat, but remember that omega 3 fish oils are healthy fats, and so they behave differently once consumed. Numerous studies have confirmed that omega 3 fatty acids could play a key role in weight management and fat loss, for many different reasons. The first reason is that although they are fat, they’re structurally different than unhealthy fats, which means that once consumed, the body immediately uses them as a source of energy, before it has a chance to break them down and store them as body fat. They also help to increase the metabolism, which means that we burn more calories, and also have more energy. This increase in energy is especially beneficial because the more energy we have, the more effective our workouts become and so the more body fat we can lose as a result.
They Improve Brain Health and Function
When it comes to bodybuilding, the brain is one of the most important parts of our body we could ever imagine. A key element of bodybuilding, weight training, and exercise in general is what is known as the “mind – muscle connection”. This is basically the art of actually visualising which muscles are being worked with each exercise, visualising the benefits, and of course, actually helping you to focus and get in “the zone” so that when you are training, your mind is firmly fixed on your training, rather than what you plan on watching on TV when you get home. Studies have found that omega 3 fish oils are incredibly healthy for the brain, particularly because they help increase serotonin levels. This helps improve mental focus and clarity, it helps prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia, it boosts memory and reaction speeds, and much more besides.