Complete Guide to Fish Oils
Fish oil is one of the most beneficial supplements around. It has a whole host of benefits that extend way beyond the world of fitness, and is one of the few supplements that just about everyone should consider taking if it all possible. Quality is important, and the dose will vary based on a few factors, but it is well worth the investment in the long run.
Fish oil can be extracted from several different fish, depending on the supplement, but it should always have a high level of omega-3 fatty acids. Your body functions best with a proper 1:1 balance of omega-3 to omega-6s, and many of the processed, fatty foods, or fast-food meals people tend to consume are high in omega-6s. Getting in good omega-3s is very beneficial to the body.
Without going into detail on each one, we can list many, many benefits that fish oil has been proven to influence. It has a positive influence on the cardiovascular system; maintains healthy blood lipid levels; can enhance mood and brain function; can decrease plaque build up and other factors that may increase risk of heart disease; and it acts as an anti-inflammatory. Anecdotally, users have reported healthier, softer skin, healthier hair growth, reduced joint pain, and better energy throughout the day. It may also improve insulin sensitivity, making weight loss easier.
It’s important to note that fish oil can have a blood thinning effect, so if you are on blood thinners prescribed by your doctor, you may not want to use this supplement. If taken in too high of a dose, it may cause an upset stomach, or fish burps - the taste of fish in the mouth, which some users find unpleasant. This can be avoided by purchasing enteric coated fish oils, which don’t break open until they reach the lower intestine.
Dosing is dependent on the person. At a minimum, it is recommended to get 250mg of combined DHA/EPA, but this can easily be obtained through regular fish intake. You can see how much DHA/EPA is in your given product by checking the label. For inflammation, higher doses may be taken, up to 4-5g total fish oil per day, or more if you can handle it. Start with a small dose, and gradually increase, to avoid unnecessary stomach discomfort and/or digestive issues.
If you do eat a lot of fish, you may not need to supplement with fish oil, or you may be able to see results with a much smaller dose. If you are eating fish at least three times per week, or you consume a lot of other healthy fats, such as avocados and nuts, you can probably stay on the lower end of the dosage range for fish oil.
It’s best to spread it throughout the day, if you can. If you take capsules, split them up and dose them so that you take one or two with each meal, or you can take a small serving of liquid fish oil as well. It’s probably best to avoid taking it all at once, unless you have no other option.
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