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Omega-3 and The Omega-3 Index

What are Omega-3 fatty acids?

Omega-3 fatty acids are nutrients you get from food or supplements that help build and maintain a healthy body. Since your body cannot produce omega-3s on its own, it’s important to get it through your diet. Omega-3s are an integral part of all cells in your body and helps keep your heart, brain and blood vessels working the way they should. 70% of the world’s population don’t consume enough omega-3 and would therefore benefit from an increased intake.

Omega-3s are three fatty acids: EPA, DHA and ALA. EPA and DHA are the most important ones since they are crucial for our bodies’ function. They are found in fish and fish oil. ALA is a plant-based omega-3 which is not crucial for our bodies’ function and doesn’t give the same health benefits as EPA and DHA.

When taking an omega-3 supplement it is therefore important to look at the amount of EPA and DHA the product contains, and not only the amount of omega-3. A high-quality product will contain high levels of EPA and DHA compared to the total omega-3 content.

Omega-3 and athletes’ performance

Many dieticians and professional athletes seems to be convinced of the importance of a high EPA and DHA intake. They trust that EPA and DHA has an anti-inflammatory effect and that a high intake could possibly help with reducing muscle soreness, prevent injury and improve physical results. When your body repairs rapidly, you can put up with more exercise and reach your results faster. EPA and DHA also contributes to heart health, which is especially important for athletes since they can be at a higher risk for cardiovascular diseases.

What is the Omega-3 index?

The Omega-3 Index measures the amount of EPA & DHA in your blood and can tell you a lot about your overall health.

Studies indicates that an Omega-3 Index above 8% should be the target, since it entails a significantly lower risk of cardiovascular disease. Unfortunately, the majority of people score below 4%.

Serious athletes knows the importance of giving their bodies the right nutrients at the right time. Although, most athletes don’t consume enough EPA and DHA and therefore score too low on The Omega-3 Index. Most athletes would therefore benefit from an increased omega-3 intake.