Omega 3-6-9 fatty acids: helpful for exercise?
Omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids are all important fats. Interestingly, each one has a number of health and sports performance benefits for your body. However, it's important to get the right balance of omega-3, -6 and -9 fatty acids. Malek Labs Omega 3,6,9 provides each of these fatty acids in suitable proportions.
What are omega-3 fatty acids?
Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats. The term “polyunsaturated” refers to their chemical structure, as “poly” means many and “unsaturated” refers to double bonds. Since the human body can't produce omega-3s, these fats are referred to as essential fats meaning that you have to get them from your diet and supplements.
3 most common omega-3s:
The first is eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA): this fatty acid's main function is to produce chemicals called eicosanoids which help to reduce inflammation.
The second is docosahexaenoic acid (DHA): this fatty acid is important for normal brain development and function.
The third is alpha-linolenic acid (ALA): this fatty acid can be converted into EPA and DHA, although the process is not very efficient. ALA is mainly used by the body for energy.
Foods high in omega-3
The best dietary sources of EFAs are fatty fish (mackerel, herrings, sardines, trout and salmon and tuna), seeds (flaxseeds, chia seeds) and nuts (walnuts).
What are the benefits of omega-3 supplements?
Most people connect omega-3s with heart and brain health, but did you know they can also be beneficial if you are an athlete or lead an active lifestyle?
Omega-3s and sports performance
Working out is in itself an inflammatory activity which means adding omega-3s helps to ward off muscle soreness, which is known as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). DOMS can occur one to several days after strenuous exercise and significantly impact your ability to keep training at a high level.
Another study of rugby players investigated the effectiveness of consuming a protein-based supplement containing 1546 mg of fish oil (551 mg EPA and 551 mg DHA) twice daily compared to a protein-based placebo on muscle soreness during 5 weeks of pre-season training.
Researchers concluded that adding fish oil to the protein-based supplement significantly reduced both fatigue and muscle soreness.
Omega-3s and muscle growth
Omega-3s have also been shown to fuel muscle growth. In a study of nine healthy men and women, researchers gave them 4 grams per day of a purified fish oil for a period of eight weeks in an effort to evaluate the impact on the rate of muscle protein synthesis.
They found that omega-3s increased the subjects’ muscle-building response to insulin and amino acids, both of which are released in the body during exercise. It seems having a higher amount of omega-3 fatty acids in the muscle cell primes it for protein synthesis.
In other words, the more omega-3s you have the better your chances are in building and maintaining muscle.
Dosage per day
Athletes and those who live active lifestyles tend to have higher omega-3 needs than the average person. In the studies dosages ranged anywhere from 1 gram to 8 grams per day of EPA and DHA. It is important to make sure you are getting EPA and DHA directly.
What are omega-6 fatty acids?
Like omega-3 fatty acids, omega-6 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids. Omega-6 fatty acids are also essential.
The most common omega-6 fat is linoleic acid, which can be converted into arachidonic acid (ARA).
Like EPA, ARA is used to produce eicosanoids which are more pro-inflammatory.
Pro-inflammatory eicosanoids are important chemicals in the immune system. However, when too many of them are produced, they can increase inflammation.
What are the benefits of omega 6-supplements?
Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a form of omega-6 fat that has health benefits. One large study found that taking 3.2 grams of CLA supplements per day can effectively reduce overall body weight in humans.
Omega-6’s and sports performance
Research done on the athletic population has shown that some of the benefits of CLA supplementation include a decrease in fat mass, increase in muscle mass, increase in strength, possible increase in muscular and cardiovascular endurance, increased immune system function, increased metabolism and increase in energy expenditure.
What are omega-9 fatty acids?
Omega-9 fatty acids are monounsaturated, meaning they only have one double bond. Omega-9 fatty acids aren't strictly essential, meaning they can be produced by the body.
Oleic acid is the most common omega-9 fatty acid and the most common monounsaturated fatty acid in the diet.
Foods high in omega-9
Omega-9 fats are common in vegetable oils (olive, avocado) as well as nuts and seeds.
What are the benefits of omega-9 supplements?
Research has found that people with an adequate omega-9 intake had less inflammation and better insulin sensitivity.
Omega-9’s and sports performance
Omega-9 fatty acids may also help to increase energy. A clinical trial focused on determining whether monounsaturated fatty acids would affect physical activity and the amount of energy used. The study concluded that the use of omega-9 supplements was associated with increased physical activity and availability of more energy.
Omega 3,6,9 supplementation provides a suitable proportion of omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9, such as the ratio 2:1:1 for omega 3:6:9.
Taking an Omega-3,6,9 supplement will balance your ratio of these fatty acids.
This is essential to keep your body healthy and helps to build muscle, delay muscle soreness, increase energy and improve sports performance.