Do you take fish oil / omega-3s to help lower inflammation?  Lauren Papanosof @functional.fueling joined us on the podcast and blew our minds when she explained why taking fish oil (or ANY antioxidant supplement) BEFORE your workout can be counterproductive 👀

Taking fish oil supplements close to your workouts can actually interfere with exercise-induced adaptations for several reasons:

Fish oil supplements are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, particularly EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), which are known for their anti-inflammatory properties. Although it may seem counterintuitive, you WANT acute inflammation after working out because this is essential for muscle breakdown and repair. Suppressing this normal inflammatory response can interfere with your body’s ability to adapt to exercise stress.

Some research suggests that omega-3 fatty acids, particularly EPA, can inhibit muscle protein synthesis, which is essential for muscle repair and growth in response to exercise-induced damage. Over time this can prevent muscle hypertrophy and strength gains – aka undoing all of your hard work at the gym.

Exercise-induced oxidative stress is a key trigger for muscle adaptation and growth. However, fish oil supplements, by virtue of their antioxidant properties, reduce your oxidative stress levels. 

Omega-3 fatty acids have blood-thinning abilities, which can potentially affect your blood clotting mechanisms during intense workouts or activities that carry a risk of injury. Although this isn’t directly related to exercise-induced adaptations, it’s an important consideration if you’re doing high intensity workouts often.

TLDR – if you’re taking an Omega 3 supplement, make sure to take it during the portion of your day that you’re NOT working out. If you like to exercise in the morning, just take your fish oil at night, and vice versa!

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