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Omega-3s May Help Combat Delayed Muscle Onset Soreness

Delayed muscle onset soreness (DOMS) occurs a day or two after a workout and can slow exercise progress for people who are not used to the pain. A recent study suggests that taking a high dose omega-3 supplement may lower DOMS in untrained women following resistance training.

Participants in the study included 17 non-resistance trained young women who were given either 6 grams of fish oil (containing 3,000 mg of EPA and 600 mg of DHA) or a placebo for one week. Following that week, all of the women completed a round of resistance exercise consisting of 10 sets to failure of elbow flexion and leg extension machines. Muscle soreness was measured daily over the next week via grounded visual analog scale while participants continued to consume their assigned supplement

Soreness during functional movements and limb circumferences were measured at 48 hours and one week post-exercise. The fish oil group had less static and functional muscle soreness in both the upper and lower body muscles than the placebo group. Effect sizes for resistance exercise-induced static and functional soreness responses were 33 to 42% lower in fish oil versus placebo. The results were similar to the reduction in muscle soreness that typically can be expected form taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Researchers from Baylor University conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on July 21, 2016, in the Journal of Dietary Supplements.

Omega-3s have been linked to a number of health benefits, including improved mood, improved joint mobility, reducing the risk of 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 omega-3s. For people who don’t like fish, consider taking a daily high quality non-fish supplement that has been tested for purity and potency.

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