Fish Oil

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Fish Oil And You

At this point I seem to be more knowledgeable than I ever wanted to be about fish oil and Omega 3’s. I am still unsure why I am even so fascinated with it, why I have spent a good part of the last month googling, reading and talking to various experts about it, not to mention the non-experts and trying to figure out some truths to the benefits. Seems even the ‘experts’ have differing opinions on all this. Anyway, the following is my attempt to sum it all up, most of it is true.

Fish oil will NOT give you a 225lb overhead squat. Only hard work will.

What fish oil does for you.

First off, the main thing we’re going after in consuming fish oil is EPA and DHA.  Combined those two make up Omega-3 fatty acids.

Omega-3’s have many benefits, but the biggest one for CrossFitters is it’s anti-inflammatory powers.  Do you feel super  sore the day after a hard workout?  Well before mankind had Advil, we had meats stocked with Omega 3’s!  Taking proper doses of Omega 3’s to supplement your diet (which is lacking Omega 3’s more than ever) will help relieve some muscle soreness.

Omega-3’s also lube the joints, you know that area in-between two bones, yeah you don’t want that to get messed up.  It’s been shown that taking fish oil rich in Omega-3’s help regenerate synovial fluid, which aids in lubing up your joints.

It also helps increase brain function, lower blood pressure, lowers triglycerides (prevents heart disease), and calms children better than Ritalin! (Dan says: and in a pinch can be used to oil up door jams, squeaky toys, and all kinds of other things)

Kiwi's recent bathroom reading material

How to read fish oil labels.

All fish oil on the market has Omega-3’s, 6’s and 9’s. Some companies don’t disclose all the information on the labels which seems fishy to me.

Anyway, the Omega-3  is the good stuff and the 6’s and 9’s we all get plenty of (actually TOO much) that from our regular diet.  In reality we are meant to consume equal portions of omega 3 to omega 6’s, but because we now consume way more Omega-6’s than 3’s in our ‘American diet’ we have to make up for that unbalance. On the label you want to make sure the proportion of omega-3 to 6’s is substantial.  A 5:1 ratio is excellent! Also note, ‘other Omega-3’s’ have no real value, just look for the DHA and EPA. DHA is for brain function, EPA is for the body function, remember anti-inflamatory. You want to have a close to 1:1 ratio of DHA to EPA.

How much fish oil do you take?

WOW! this is the most widely debated question. Look at what what the FDA or standard american diet dictates and its pretty low around 1 gm / day. vs what Rob Wolf who recommends .75 to 1gm / 10lbs body weight (the upper end being for those who are “all banged up”).  See the fish oil calculator and find your number.

Obviously quite a range here, haven’t heard of anyone OD’n on this stuff, but you also have to consider how much the body can absorb of any type of fish oil. Barleans ‘Omega Swirl’ claim their oil contains tiny molecules which are 900% more absorbent than regular fish oil.

Where to get fish oil.

Fortunately we just got a fresh shipment of Barleans in at the box! Although there are many brands on the market with varying claims, we felt Barleans was one of the most upfront and honest about the contents of their product. Also note that their fish oil products are independently tested to ensure what they claim is in their product is actualy in their product, pretty neat!

What started out as fun and games is about to get someone's eye poked out.

We are evaluating other brands of fish oil.  Stronger Faster Healthier is a prominent maker of fish oil products in the CrossFit community.  Carlson’s has been making top notch stuff forever now.  There’s a lot of options on the table.  In general, we would recommend going with a top tier fish oil if you’re going to do it, as lower grade fish oils have come into scrutiny recently for having elevated levels of mercury.

Competitive edge

What will you do to knock that that extra few seconds off your WOD? I heard Dan is experimenting with Salmon oil. Its a brand new line for Barlean’s.  Is that better than regular old fish oil? Will that be what it takes to beat me? Lets hear it in the comments, what do you are you doing that you think is going to give you the competitive advantage.

Workout of the Day 4/8/2011

Strength.
Shoulder Press 1-1-1-1-1
Push Press 3-3-3-3-3
Push Jerk 5-5-5-5-5