Don't immediately run off when reading the word 'supplements'. I know most of us are not a huge fan of this word as we tend to associate it with bodybuilding or steroids, but there are actually some healthy supplements that can support you on your fit journey! So, don't write them off just yet. One of these good supplements is omega 3, also known as fish oil. I will tell you about the pros and cons of omega 3 supplements from my personal experience with them.
Remember when I wrote about protein shakes? I started drinking them and discovered that they have a lot of benefits when you're working out regularly - maybe some of you have changed your perspective on it as well. Well, it turns out that there are more healthy supplements that are good for you and will help your through your fit journey. I want to emphasize the word healthy, as I will never feed my body crap in order to make it look fitter. That's definitely not the way to go! Luckily for you and me, there are good supplements out there as well. So, what do we know about omega 3 so far? You're probably sick of commercials idealizing their products by claiming "it is super rich in omega 3" or "contains the recommended daily dosis". Although they may or may not be lying about their product, omega 3 really is good for you.
What is Omega 3?
Omega 3 is a collection of polyunsaturated fat, a fatty acid that lowers your cholesterol and reduces inflammation throughout your body. Let's get a bit scientifical: the fatty acids found in omega 3 are eicosapentaenic acid (EPA), docosahexanoic acid (DHA), found in fish, and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is found in plants. EPA and DHA are essential fatty acids which the body does not produce by itself. That's why it's important to get them from foods or supplements. You can find high doses in fish like salmon, tuna and herring, so if you already eat a lot of fish then don't overdo it by taking supplements (howstuffworks.com). If you are not into the omega 3-rich sea creatures, let me tell you why it would be beneficial for you to take omega 3 supplements.
- Reduces the chance of cardiovascular disease
- Decreases the risk of arrythmias (an abnormal heartbeat)
- Prevents blood clots from forming
- Slightly lowers your blood pressure
- Improves your learning abilities and memory (good for when you want to concur the world someday)
- Protects your brain against depression and other mood disorders
- Improves the health of your skin
That's nice and all, but how does it help you get fit, you might wonder. Omega 3 helps your body to burn fat, increases your insulin sensitivity which causes your body to store less fat, and it keeps your joints and muscles supple. Basically, it helps you turn into a fat-burning machine - even if you're sitting down. Sounds promising, doesn't it? But do remember that I'm not an expert in this so I do not know whether this has been proven scientifically, and you will probably not be able to see tangible changes by solely taking more omega 3. Also, there may be some cons that you might experience as well:
- Unpleasant aftertaste
- Fish-tasting tiny burps (Ewl! Sounds gross)
- Mild diarrhea (if you take too much on one day)
These are symptoms that you may or may not encounter, they do not happen to everybody. For example, I haven't experienced any of these myself (yet?). I take one capsule a day with my breakfast, so that probably covers up the unpleasant aftertaste. Regarding the other cons - figure out what your body needs and how it reacts, you can always adjust the dosis or decide to take in your omega 3 dosis through food. If you're interested, you can try out these capsules from MyVitamins.
I'm curious to hear what you think about omega 3 supplements. What are your experiences with them? Let us know in the comments!