If you’ve ever swum through supplement research, you’ve surely dipped a toe in the ocean of information surrounding fish oil. This little supplement has made waves, but should you dive headfirst into the fish fry? In a word, yes. In a bad joke, fish oil is off the hook!
It might sound silly, but there’s nothing fishy about this incredible supplement. Care to know more? Then cast your line and get ready for school. I’ll teach you the ins and outs of this popular dietary supplement. I’m also going to introduce you to the newest and hottest change to fish oil since sliced bread – Phytoplankton – Fish oil’s Father.
Fish oil & phytoplankton contain essential fatty acids (EFAs) that have been shown to offer myriad benefits. Since they’re the most widely researched and important, we’ll focus here on two essential Omega 3 fatty acids: EPA and DHA.
These fatty acids are termed “essential” because we need them for proper function, but our bodies cannot produce them. Thus, we must obtain them through food or supplements.
Who is Phytoplankton For?
Phytoplankton supplements provide a wide variety of health benefits. Thus, they’re incredibly useful for the general population and can help everyone from athletes to sedentary individuals.
Bodybuilders and physique athletes find it intriguing due to potential body composition benefits, but almost anyone looking to support overall health may be interested in the fine fats from marine phytoplankton.
As mentioned, fish oil’s primary, active components are EPA and DHA. In the body, EPA and DHA can be stored in the phospholipid bilayer of cells for future use. If you consume enough EPA or DHA, you can significantly alter the composition of the fats that make up the bilayer of your cells. This can have a profound impact on processes that utilize those stored lipids (fats).
Of particular relevance is the anti-oxidant and acute, exercise-related anti-inflammatory nature of EPA and DHA. Since high-intensity exercise and weight training cause increases in inflammation and oxidation, reducing this response may be beneficial in improving exercise recovery. While it’s emerging, the research has yet to fully examine this angle of EPA and DHA supplementation.
Perhaps more interesting for people looking to build muscle, EPA and DHA supplementation has been suggested to support muscle protein synthesis and limit muscle protein degradation. This can mean less muscle breakdown and more muscle growth.
Now bear with me, ‘cuz I’m about to drop some algebra on you.
The essential formula for gaining muscle is that the rate of lean tissue gain, or protein balance, is the rate of synthesis minus the rate of degradation. Since EPA and DHA can increase synthesis and decrease degradation, they can light both ends of the candle and help push the muscle-building balance in your favor!
Additionally, EPA and DHA have been suggested to support insulin function and increase glucose and fatty acid uptake into muscle cells. This may help partition nutrients toward muscle and away from fat, improving overall body composition and providing more fuel to the muscle during workouts.
EPA and DHA have also been suggested to increase cardiac output and stroke volume, which may help support healthy blood flow and possibly exercise performance, though this has not been examined directly.
In order to gain the body composition and muscle metabolic benefits of these two fatty acids, make sure you consume around 2-4g of EPA or DHA every day. One drop of PhytOriginal in the morning will supply you with all the EPA you need.
EPA in particular—has been shown to work synergistically with HMB for reducing muscle protein breakdown. Since EPA can enhance muscle protein synthesis, it may also be useful to take with leucine, BCAAs or whey protein, which also support muscle protein synthesis.
Of course, you can also stack fish oil with your usual foundational supplements (such as a multivitamin).
As a rule, I recommend purchasing supplements from labels which can provide lab analysis of their products. There is a new live product that is the first of the kind on the market. It provides living phytoplankton which has shown superior benefits to fish oil. This ensures that what’s on the label is actually in the bottle.
Since most of the benefits are from the EPA and DHA content, look for supplements which contain a high concentration of these fatty acids.
If taking fish oil pills be aware the most common side effect is gastrointestinal distress from fish oil consumption. Many people also experience unpleasant belching while taking fish oil capsules. If this is the case, stick with taking live EFA’s that hasn’t been processed with a fish.
As always, talk with your physician before starting any new supplement.
Fish are an awesome source of essential fats, especially EPA and DHA. Unless you love daily deep-sea diving, a supplement is one of the best ways to get the multiple muscle-building and health benefits of essential fishy fats.
Special Thanks For The Contributions Of Dr. Layne Norton
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