A very important sports supplement for football players is Fish Oil. Players can consume Fish Oils by taking supplements or eating fish.
But what is Fish Oil?
Fish Oil is found in the tissue of oily fish, with the healthiest options coming from fatty cold water fish. Your body can produce most of the essential fats needed for day to day living, however, it’s not unable to create Omega-3 fatty acids.
And you guessed it….
Omega-3 Fatty Acids are the essential fats for your body.
And when we discuss Fish Oil for sports performance, we are referring to these Omega-3 fatty acids.
The main forms of Omega-3 fatty acids are:
- Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA)
- Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA)
Where are Omega 3 Fatty Acids Found?
As previously mentioned the essential Omega 3 fatty acids can be found in fish. Here are some of the main sources:
- Cod Liver
- Salmon (Research has shown that wild-caught Salmon has more EPA and DHA than farmed Salmon)
- Seal Blubber
- Whale Blubber
The Australian Institute of Sport ranks Fish Oils as a Group B Sports Supplement (Deserving of further research). However, our bodies need Omega 3 Fatty Acids for overall health. They are excellent supplements for all round health.
Omega-3 fatty acid deficiency ranked as the sixth highest killer of Americans
More on this Harvard University Study
Fish Oil is FDA approved to lower triglycerides levels but is also advised to help many other conditions.
- Lowers blood pressure
- Lowers cholesterol levels
- Lower triglycerides
- Bypass surgery
- Chest pain
- Clogged arteries
- Heart failure
- Irregular heartbeat
- Preventing blood clots, and high blood pressure after a heart transplant
- Rapid heartbeat
- Berger’s disease
- Heart transplantation
- Kidney complications related to diabetes
- Kidney disease
- Kidney failure
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Bipolar disorder
- Developmental coordination disorder
- Mental impairment
- Migraine headache
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
- Dry eyes
- Allergy to salicylate
- Behcet’s syndrome
- Crohn’s disease
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Raynaud’s syndrome
- Stomach ulcers caused by Helicobacter pylori
- Blood infection
- Cystic fibrosis
- Pressure ulcers
- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
- Scaly and itchy skin (psoriasis)
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Lung disease
- Preventing blood vessels from re-narrowing after surgery to widen them
- Seasonal allergies
- Weight loss
Other condition which Fish Oil is used for:
- Cystic fibrosis
- Gum disease
- Lyme disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Preventing weight loss caused by some cancer drugs
- Sickle cell disease
- Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
- Weak bones (osteoporosis)
But how can Fish Oil help Sports Performance?
Fish Oil Benefits for Sporting Performance
Reduces muscle soreness – Fish oils improve blood flow, which delivers oxygen and other nutrients to muscles and tissues.
Improves aerobic metabolism due to faster delivery of oxygen – which is great for performing for 90 minutes or even extra time.
Reduces Inflammation of tissue from muscular fatigue and overexertion – Allowing you to recover quicker after training, or if you have an injury.
Increases Muscle Synthesis – helping you get bigger and stronger after training
How Much Fish Oil Should You Take
The optimal daily amount of Omega-3 fatty acids is:
1.3 – 2.7g of Omega-3 Fatty Acids (not fish oil tablets) per day.
This is the ideal amount for an everyday diet.
This recommendation is 1.3 -2.7g of Omega-3 Fatty acids and not just Fish Oil tablets.
As with a lot of supplements on the market, you always need to check the labels. The amounts of Omega -3 fatty acids vary from product to product, with many have very low percentages.
Always look for fish oils that have adequate amounts of:
- Cod Liver Oil
- Shark Liver Oil
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You may see a price increase for the most effect Fish Oils, but the investment is worth it.
However, if you are not a fan of taking pills you can get enough Omega-3 fatty acid from your diet. The guidelines suggest getting two servings of fatty fish per week.
Sounds too good to be true?
Fish Oil Does have a few Side Effects
There are a few side effects that may come from Omega-3 Fish Oil, these include:
- Fishy breath
- Fishy taste in your mouth
- Loose stools
- Stomach upset
- Consuming more than 3g a day can cause problems
Consult your doctor if you feel you need more than 3 grams a day of Omega-3 Fish Oil. Although they will strongly advise you to aim for improving your diet to get more Omega-3 than taking supplements.
So, what does fish oil do for your body?
The simple answer is A LOT!
But the beauty is that you can get all of these benefits from a healthy diet (with two servings of fatty fish a week). So if you are handy in the kitchen, try mixing fish into your footballers’ diet.