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Omega-3s May Improve Endurance in Athletes

Athletes often want to push their bodies as far as they can go, but sometimes their bodies aren’t quite up to the task. A recent study suggests that omega-3s derived from seal oil may help improve neuromuscular function and fatigue in athletes.

Participants in the study included 30 male athletes with an average age of 25 who were already training for an average 17 hours per week. They were given either the seal oil supplement, containing 375 mg EPA, 230 mg DPA, and 510 mg DHA, or a placebo daily for three weeks.

At the conclusion of the study, the seal oil group had increases in blood EPA levels but no changes were noted in DPA and DHA levels. They also had a 20% increase in thigh muscle function as measured by vastus lateralis electromyography and reduced fatigue, when compared with the placebo.

The researchers also administered the Wingate test, an anaerobic test used to measure peak anaerobic power and anaerobic capacity. Participants in the seal oil group had a 3.4% lower power drop than those in the placebo group.

The difference in performance was not clear. The omega-3 group had a 50% improvement, while the placebo group had a 33% improvement.

Researchers from the University of Toronto conducted the study. It was published on June 18, 2015, in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

Omega-3s have been linked to a number of health benefits, including alleviating arthritis pain, better moods, improved joint mobility, helping with age related macular degeneration, and aiding your immune system.

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. Oily, dark fish such as tuna and salmon are high in DHA and EPA omega-3s. T If you don’t like the taste of fish or are just finding it hard to work it into your meal plans, consider taking a high quality supplement. Make sure your supplement is tested for purity and potency.
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