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The Competitive Athlete’s Edge: Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Athletes of any age and also abilities are regularly looking for to obtain a “boost” on their competitors. For many people, that commonly includes more time spent training and in competition and also much less time concentrated on recovery as well as correct nourishment. Unfortunately-and as opposed to exactly what lots of athletes believe-recovery is where improvement really begins, and correct nutrition is what sustains the physical body’s ability to fully recuperate.

Training produces several physical changes, both bad and excellent. The unfavorable feature of training is the anxiety and damage placed upon the physical body. The physical adjustment to that stress as well as harm is the physical body’s capacity to recuperate as well as enhance.

For the athlete, this improvement will likely be in the form of additional strength, speed, and endurance. The disadvantage of training tension, especially excessive training, comes when the natural recuperation process the body has to improve is interrupted or is not total prior to the anxiety of training happens once more.

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When this takes place, the body actually does not fully adapt, as well as overtraining occurs. The results are usually pain, pain, as well as injury.

For a lot of athletes, this is likewise real in their joints. What professional athletes have to comprehend is that joint soreness is a normal function of tough training. However, the should decrease joint soreness cannot be overstressed. Latent pain is a signal of micro-damage at the cellular level, and also the entire body has to make use of all if its offered resources to fix this damage.

Frequently, the body’s natural systems could not fix the damages in time for the next training event, therefore athletes usually look to anti-inflammatory medications, such as advil, to ease discomfort. In addition to the damaging side effects of chronic anti-inflammatory usage, the truth is that these medicines address the signs and symptom however not do anything concerning the cause of the problem.

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Enter DHA as well as EPA
Excellent information for athletes: The two major omega-3 fats located in fish oil, EPA and DHA, have actually been revealed to properly lower pain in joints1. In previous times, professional athletes needed to making a decision in between dealing with joint soreness as well as feasible injury, as well as taking very damaging anti-inflammatory drugs. Today we realize that a diet rich in EPA and DHA can be equally effective in relieving pain and soreness in joints. In addition, EPA and DHA have cardio-protective benefits that no anti-inflammatory drug can match.

Secondary Benefits
For that hard training athlete, the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids are multiple. Supplements of omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil have shown to improve muscular strength and improve aerobic performance in athletes 2. In addition, omega-3 supplements given to asthmatic athletes provided protection from attacks induced by exercise3.

Among the athletes with exercise-induced asthma, there was an almost 80% improvement in a breathing test taken a quarter-hour after exercise. These athletes also decreased their need to use bronchodilators after exercise by 20%. The researchers suggest the anti-inflammatory qualities of fish oil supplements could be the reason behind these powerful results.

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Make it part of your daily routine
Any athlete or individual concerned about joint health and peak performance should strive to include the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA in his diet. The conventional recommendation is three to four servings of fatty fish per week.

However, the majority of adult doesn’t meet this minimum recommendation, and the hard-training athlete could need much more. The easiest way to fill this critical need is with a high-quality omega-3 supplement.

Be sure that the supplement you decide on is  manufactured out of health-screened fish, harvested in cold waters free from contaminants. By making omega-3 fatty acids a part of your training, you will certainly be providing your body with the nutrients it needs to be its best.

References
1. American Family Physician, 7/1/2004.
2. Nutrition in Exercise and Sport, CRC Press
3. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine,
November 2003, vol 168: pp. 1181-1189.

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