Omega-3 for muscle building? Effect and dosage
The almost limitless choice of supplements in the jungle of the supplement industry often makes it difficult to select which products are really profitable for muscle building and which contain only empty promises.
Here you should always rely on the facts and only consider supplements whose benefits have been proven. Miracle products that increase and accelerate muscle building immeasurably are pure fiction.
It is worthwhile for the ambitious strength athlete to rely only on nutritional supplements whose research and applicability are scientifically sound. Omega-3 is one of these well-researched supplements.
As an essential substance that the body cannot produce itself, Omega-3 has many positive effects on muscle building. What exactly Omega-3 is and what influence it can have on the body will be discussed in more detail in this article based on the following points.
What is Omega-3?
Omega-3 fatty acids belong to the group of polyunsaturated fatty acids. These are contained in large quantities in fatty fish (salmon, herring, mackerel). The best-known omega-3 fatty acids, which are also the most easily utilized by the body, are EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid).
These fatty acids are of utmost importance for human metabolism. They are the building blocks of cell membranes and produce various tissue hormones (messenger substances). This means that, on the one hand, they are responsible for the transport of receptors, enzymes, and messenger substances; on the other hand, they regulate hormone levels.
In short, omega-3 fatty acids control a number of metabolic functions in the body. This primarily concerns the functioning of numerous organs and processes and, thus, the body's regeneration.
Regeneration is the keyword here for Omega-3 and muscle building. As already described in the article for accelerating muscle growth, the body's recovery is one of the three pillars for effective muscle building.
Without sufficient regeneration, muscle building can only take place with great difficulty. Our body needs a healthy starting point to recover from everyday life and training. Omega-3 fatty acids support numerous processes and functions at this point.
What are the effects of omega-3?
Omega-3 fatty acids are involved in many important processes in the human body. They help the organism to cope with numerous tasks and have a positive influence on the following points:
- Maintaining normal brain function
- Regulation of blood pressure
- Cardiovascular function
- Kidney function
- Blood clotting
- Immune system
Omega-3 fatty acids offer clear health benefits. Likewise, sufficient consumption of omega-3 can prevent many diseases.
EPA and DHA also help the body regulate normal triglyceride levels. Triglycerides can be thought of as fats that circulate in the blood. Omega-3 thus also contributes to the maintenance of normal blood lipid levels.
A high triglyceride concentration in the blood can lead to the hardening of the arteries or arteriosclerosis. This increases the risk of strokes, heart attacks, and other heart diseases.
The connection between omega-3 and muscle building becomes a little clearer here under the aspect of health. If one's own body has a good starting position due to properly functioning organs or good blood lipid values, this also increases its resilience and regenerative capacity. Muscles thus grow better.
Omega-3 and muscle building: The connections
First of all, the positive influence of omega-3 fatty acids on health cannot be denied. The resulting improved regenerative capacity of the body thus enables rapid recovery and, at the same time, increases resilience.
This means we can train harder or more efficiently and heal the micro tears in the muscles caused by training more quickly. This allows us to provide a significant stimulus more often and stimulate muscle growth.
The anti-inflammatory property of omega-3 is thus an indicator of the relationship between omega-3 and muscle building.
It becomes clear that the benefits of omega-3 go beyond sports and fitness. The unsaturated fatty acids could be considered a dietary supplement for the masses, as their influence on one's health is consistently positive.
Dosage and intake of omega-3
Since EPA and DHA as omega-3 fatty acids have the greatest benefit and usability for our body, the focus here is only on these two. These are found exclusively in oily fish and seafood.
Linseed oil or walnut oil also contain omega-3 fatty acids. However, only ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) and no EPA or DHA. Therefore, it is not worth relying on these sources.
Algae oil also contains EPA and DHA. They are not plants and are also suitable as a source of omega-3. So animal products are the best option here for an optimal supply of omega-3 fatty acids to the body.
The NDA board of the ESFA (European Food Safety Authority) recommends taking a dose between 2 g and 4 g of omega-3 per day. This should be the combined intake of EPA and DHA. So you can take 3 g per day.
NDA stands for Nutrition, Novel Foods, and Food Allergens.
For everyday life, this would mean eating a portion of omega-3-rich fish every day to meet this need. Unfortunately, such fish consumption does not correspond to the reality of most people.
Omega-3 supplements are a good choice here. These facilitate the absorption of unsaturated fatty acids and thus enable a faster and easier consumption of the essential substance.
However, this does not mean you no longer need to eat fish. It is rich in protein and vitamins and should not be missing from any diet. Especially since consuming unsaturated fatty acids (omega-3) is preferable to saturated fats.
When choosing your omega-3 supplement, look for a good ratio between EPA and DHA. This should be 3:2.
All in all, it can be stated that omega-3 influences muscle building by DPA and DHA, supporting the body in numerous regenerative processes.
In addition, apart from supplementation, the consumption of fatty fish also offers many benefits. It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and contains large amounts of protein and vitamins. In principle, it is worthwhile for all people to consider taking omega-3 supplements.
In particular, strength athletes benefit from using these supplements, as they can not only strengthen their health but also optimize the recovery phases of the body and thus have the potential to support muscle building.
However, here again, the interaction of training, nutrition, and regeneration are crucial. Without an effective training plan, a healthy diet, and sufficient sleep, even the intake of omega-3 supplements will not achieve the desired effect for muscle building.
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