Most people expect to see results equal to (or greater than) the amount they sweat after a big workout. We figure that if the workout was hard enough we should be as lean as we feel after we run a few miles. Of course, working out is only one half of the equation when you’re looking for significant results; the second half is everything you put in your mouth.
Diet is every bit as important—if not more important—than how hard you exercise. There are key nutrients that absolutely need to be in your diet if you want to burn fat and build a lean physique.
Omega-3 fatty acids are at the top of that list, and because your body does not produce this essential nutrient naturally, you need to supplement or get it from food. One of the best ways to acquire this key nutrient is through taking fish oil.
Some exciting revelations after a recent study conducted by the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition suggest that supplementation with fish oil could significantly increase your lean mass and decrease your fat mass.
That’s pretty exciting news if you are looking to drop a few pounds of fat.
One of the other more well-known benefits of fish oil is that it can lower your blood pressure and reduce triglycerides. High triglycerides can be caused by a poor diet leading to obesity, and heart disease. Certain birth control medications and increased estrogen levels can also raise triglyceride levels.
Aspiring to have a balanced diet that includes fish oil can reduce the risk of obesity, high blood pressure, and heart disease. All of these benefits of fish oil seem to suggest that you ought to increase your intake in omega-3s right? Well that really depends on how well balanced your current diet is, and how much fish you already eat.
According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, per capita fish consumption has doubled since 1961. Although, Dariush Mozaffarian, a cardiologist and epidemiologist at Harvard University who has conducted studies on fish oil’s effects on the body, says that if you are already consuming adequate amounts of omega-3s to begin with, adding more fish isn’t necessarily better for your health.
“More consumption doesn't really add much bang for your buck,” Mozaffarian says. To put it simply, once you meet your omega-3 fatty acid needs, there’s no reason to add extra amounts on top of that.
To see whether you should supplement with fish oil, take a look at your current diet and note how much natural omega-3s you are getting from whole food consumption. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in salmon, mackerel, flaxseed, chia seed, and dark leafy greens.
Fish isn’t for everyone and even smelling it may turn your stomach. If you hate fish and still want the benefits that fish provides then a fish oil supplement can be found in nearly all grocery, health, and drug stores. The American Heart Association says taking up to three grams of fish oil daily in supplement form is considered safe.
Of course, always check with your doctor before adding any supplement to your diet.
The JISSN study lends significant credence to taking a fish oil supplement if you’ve been struggling to lose fat despite being otherwise healthy and active. It is important to weigh the pros and the cons of any dietary supplement to make a responsible decision for yourself and your lifestyle.. If used the right way, taking fish oil may just give you the edge you’ve been missing to help get those results you have been working so hard for.