Athletes often take omega-3 and glutathione supplements for help with muscle growth and performance. What benefits do these supplements offer athletes and gym-goers? Research suggests they can improve the benefits of exercise while mitigating the toll heavy workouts take on your body.
Omega-3 fatty acids—particularly the long-chain omega-3s found in fish oil and algae extract—have many benefits for athletes, including the following.
First, omega-3s help increase muscle mass by reducing wear and tear while improving your muscles’ response to insulin and amino acids, which your body produces while working out. One 2011 study found that your muscles’ anabolic response to these substances is increased with higher levels of omega-3s present.
Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is a common aftereffect of intense workouts, and it can make life difficult for a couple days afterward. Research has shown that soreness might be reduced with increased omega-3 intake.
Not only can omega-3 fatty acids assist with muscle growth and soreness, but they can also improve performance and reaction times. One study found that omega-3 supplementation improved muscle activation by about 20% during resistance training for athletes, suggesting neuromuscular benefits.
In addition, another study found that fish oil improved reaction times for soccer players after four weeks of supplementation, suggesting potential benefits for neuromotor function.
Many people exercise in order to lose weight, and omega-3s can assist with that as well. A study conducted on 44 men and women found that after six weeks of supplementation with fish oil, participants had less fat mass and increased lean muscle.
Finally, omega-3s appear to have neurological impacts that can be beneficial for athletes who experience depression or performance anxiety. In one 2013 study, low omega-3 levels were found to be associated with increased symptoms of depression with comorbid anxiety. Increasing your intake of omega-3s may therefore help you cope with anxiety and stress as well as reap more benefits from your workout.
In addition to omega-3s, glutathione is another popular supplement for athletes, including body builders and endurance runners. This is due to its role as an antioxidant, and it can have valuable benefits for athletes.
Glutathione is an antioxidant produced by all cells in the body, and it helps combat the effects of oxidative stress that accompany intense workouts. As you exercise, you’ll actually deplete the glutathione levels in your body, which is why many athletes use supplements to help enhance their performance.
In general, glutathione plays a role in controlling the muscle fatigue that results from oxidative stress. IN addition, one study from the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition measured muscle mass and strength after eight weeks of glutathione supplements. The end result was increases in both. As such, it’s possible that increasing your body’s glutathione levels can promote muscle growth.
To increase glutathione, many people opt for supplements, but most glutathione supplements are inefficient. A far more effective way is to improve your gut health.
In particular, Lactobacillus fermentum ME-3—one of the beneficial bacteria found in the patented Reg’Activ® supplements—produces glutathione. By supplementing levels of ME-3, you can help your body cope with oxidative stress, potentially improving your athletic performance and workout results.
When it comes to omega-3s, glutathione, and exercise, these questions frequently come up.
Omega-3s need time to take effect, so it’s generally best to take them beforehand. That said, taking them afterward may still help reduce DOMS.
Studies suggest that omega-3 supplements appear to have positive results for weight lifters.
Bodybuilders take glutathione to enhance performance and reduce the stress that exercise puts on the body.
Probably the best time to take glutathione is about a half hour pre-workout.
Omega-3 supplements—such as Dr. Ohhira’s Essential Living Oils—have many potential benefits for anyone who exercises on a regular basis. Additionally, improving gut health with probiotics<, particularly like those in the Reg’Activ products can help your body synthesize more glutathione to enhance physical performance. To learn more, contact Essential Formulas today.