Updated: Nov 8, 2018
Fish Oil helps naturally jack-UP your bodies anabolic system.
Scientists have sorted out the basic formula for whether you gain muscle. It’s pretty simple.
If your Muscle protein synthesis (MPS) is greater than your muscle protein breakdown (MPB) muscle hypertrophy (Growth) occurs.
Muscle growth = Muscle protein synthesis (MPS) > Muscle protein breakdown (MPB)
Muscle atrophy (loss) = breakdown > synthesis
What is super interesting is that you can change your bodies MPS rate.
“A greater anabolic response was observed following consumption of a DHA-enriched diet”
That greater anabolic response from DHA (omega-3 molecule found in fish) resulted in a 300% greater muscle protein synthesis response in older adults (+65years) and +155% MPS response in younger people (25-45).
Dr. Gordon Smith. The Effects of Dietary Omega-3s on Muscle Composition and Quality in Older Adults. 2016.
Fish oil increases the amount of muscle your body synthesizes naturally from the root level.
This makes sense based on our past article on omega-3s and fat loss. Omega-3s change what your body does with fat from storing it in adipose (fat) cells to burning it in muscle cells. It's kind of like a hyper focused keto diet except you can still eat chicken and tuna.
In fact, eat all the tuna and salmon you can.
Research also indicates that high omega-3 diets reduce muscle protein breakdown. Double-bonus!
“Omega-3 fatty acids inhibit MPB, which when coupled with an augmented MPS should further improve net protein balance and muscle accretion.”
In non-Dr. talk, “Fish oil stops your muscles from breaking down, which combined with a faster rate of muscle synthesis will increase the amount of muscle your body produces resulting in your getting jacked and lifting heavy weight.”
Clinical trials have supported these results.
Fish oil supplementation increased lean body mass 4%. While 4% might not wow the bros. it should wow you if you’re serious about health and gains. Strength and increased muscle comes 1 lb at a time, even when you’re benching 300lbs+.
If you weigh 200lbs 4% lean muscle is an extra 8lbs of pure muscle.
Muscle volume increased 3.6% compared to people who weren’t taking high dose fish oil.
Research also found fish oil helped increase 1 rep max.
Patients leg press 1 rep max increased 20lbs and their hand grip strength increased 6.5%.
Fish oil increases your muscle synthesis which slowly increases the actual quality of your muscles.
“Increases in strength following omega-3 fatty acid supplementation were ~2 fold greater than the gain in muscle volume…providing evidence for an omega-3 fatty acid induced improvement in muscle quality.”
Your improved muscle quality is a result of:
Reduced intermuscular fat infiltration
Improved neuromuscular function
If your fish oil levels aren’t high enough you are leaving gains in the gym.
Having correct omega-3 levels tunes your body to produce more muscle protein. Science shows more omega-3s and muscle protein results in:
150-300% increased muscle protein synthesis
Increased lean muscle mass
Increased muscle volume
20lb. heavier 1 rep max.
6.5% stronger grip test
Reduced fat infiltration into muscle
Improved blood flow and nutrient delivery
You can learn you actual omega-3 levels by taking the in-home Omega Blood Score test.
Prick your finger and send your personal sample to the lab. 2 weeks later you get an email with your personal report.
As you change your diet to incorporate more fish and introduce a fish oil supplement, test your levels again to see if your omega-3 level is rising to the appropriate level.
Other benefits of omega-3s?
Improved focus and more efficient studying
Improved mood and mental health
Reduced triglyceride levels