Do All Athletes Need to be Taking Omega-3 Supplements?


Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids that are good for your heart, have anti-inflammatory properties and play a role in brain function. The words "anti-inflammatory" are usually what attract athletes to taking these supplements, especially athletes with chronic injuries.

Does this mean that all athletes should be taking omega-3 supplements?


Definitely not.


Many athletes are able to get enough omega-3 from their diet and may be wasting money if they're also taking supplements.




Recommended Intakes for Omega-3 Fatty Acids

The recommended intakes for omega 3s for adults are 1.1 grams per day for women & 1.6 grams per day for men.


Those numbers really aren't hard to get in your diet when you consider that a 3-oz piece of salmon contains around 1.3g of omega 3s. Most people usually eat double that amount in one meal!

Other sources of

Omega-3s include:

  • Fatty fish like mackerel and sardines.

  • Plant-based sources like chia seeds, flaxseed, and walnuts.

  • Even some eggs, breads and cereals contain omega 3s!

Omega-3 supplements are usually unnecessary if you're eating these foods on the regular.



Why choose food over supplements?

Not only are you getting omega-3s from eating the foods listed above, you're also getting the other nutritional benefits. For example, salmon also contains a good amount of animal-based protein, B-vitamins and Vitamin D. It's also super delicious, so why would you give all that up for a yellow capsule?


However, if you absolutely hate fish and don't even know what chia seeds are, then it might be time to look into a supplement which I can provide suggestions for!



Sources:

https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/food-nutrition/healthy-eating/dietary-reference-intakes/tables/reference-values-macronutrients-dietary-reference-intakes-tables-2005.html

https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/175168/nutrients

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