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Omega-3s Could Boost Workout Benefit for Mature Women

As the body ages, it loses muscle function and force. Fish oil supplementation may improve muscle function in post-menopausal women according to a study from researchers at the Parana Federal University in Brazil.

The study is published in the February 2012 issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Study participants included 45 women with an average age of 64. All of the women participated in the same 90 day strength training program, but received different levels of omega-3 intervention.

• 15 women consumed 2 grams of fish oil daily during the strength training

• 15 women consumed 2 grams of fish oil for 60 days before the start of the strength training and then continued during the training

• 15 women consumed a placebo.

Each fish oil supplement contained 0.4 grams of EPA and 0.3 grams of DHA.

The researchers observed that strength training improved muscle torque and the rate of torque development for all groups, but the effects were more noticeable in the omega-3 groups. The omega-3 groups also showed improved performance in the chair-raising exercise, which involves rising from a straight chair without using your hands.

Because omega-3 fatty-acids are not found naturally in the human body, it is especially important to make sure that they are a part of your daily diet. DHA and EPA—the omega-3 fatty-acids used in this study—can be found in dark, oily fish such as tuna or salmon.

If you think you’re not getting enough omega-3 fatty-acids through diet alone, consider adding a high quality supplement to your routine. Make sure your supplement has been tested for purity and potency in order to avoid harmful mercury levels and to get the most out of your daily intake.

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