If you've ever felt like you've been on a wild, rollercoaster ride with fish oil, you're not alone. The science behind it has been sending mixed signals for two decades, leaving us all a bit dizzy:
"Fish oil will sculpt your bod!" - Science, the Optimist
"Hold up, fish oil does nada for your physique!" - Science, the Downer
"Fish oil's physique-boosting powers remain a mystery!" - Science, the Enigma
But, fear not! We've now got the juicy answer for you:
Yes, fish oil can help you achieve those #BodyGoals, but there's a twist. You need to give it enough time and a hearty embrace.
You see, the past studies have been all over the place. Some were serving up fish oil by the gallon, while others were more stingy. Study lengths ranged from quickies to marathons, and the subjects were as diverse as the Spice Girls' wardrobe.
With all this scientific chaos, it's crucial to do some detective work beyond the flashy headlines. The newest study is here to end the confusion once and for all!
The Fresh Scoop
What's exciting about this study is that it enlisted fitness aficionados and threw them some high-dose fish oil. The brave volunteers were divided into two squads:
- Team Fish Oil: Taking a daily dose of 4.5 grams of fish oil.
- Team Placebo: Swallowing 4.5 grams of safflower oil daily (no fishy business here).
Both squads stuck to the same three-times-a-week strength training plan for ten weeks. Their diets stayed pretty much the same, with one exception – they were told to cram in at least 1 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight daily, which is basically the protein equivalent of a protein-packed high-five.
To keep things spicy, the researchers used fancy DEXA scans to check body composition and tested everyone's omega-3 levels. This gave them the inside scoop on whether the fish oil was getting cozy with the red blood cells and muscle cells. Spoiler alert: it was!
So, what happened, you ask?
- Team Fish Oil scored an extra 4 pounds of lean muscle, while Team Placebo settled for 3.
- Team Fish Oil bid farewell to 2 pounds of fat, whereas Team Placebo waved at...nothing.
- Team Fish Oil dropped their body fat percentage by 1.4%, while Team Placebo went for 0.6%.
When it came to the ultimate strength showdown, Team Fish Oil aced it with a 53-pound increase in squats, while Team Placebo trailed at 42 pounds.
And the bench press battle? Team Fish Oil celebrated a 24-pound victory, while Team Placebo could only muster 14.
Both crews trained the same way and chowed down on similar grub to their pre-study days, but
Team Fish Oil:
- Packed on an extra pound of muscle while waving goodbye to 2 pounds of fat.
- Crushed their max squat and bench press records with 11 and 10 extra pounds, respectively.
But here's the fun twist! Those researchers took one step further and said, "Hey, most of these improvements aren't statistically significant, Mr. Ph.D.," which, in layman's terms, means "it's not that impressive."
But here's the thing, they're looking at this through the narrow lens of a 10-week study. So, if you plan to keep flexing your muscles and keeping fit for more than 10 weeks (which is likely), you can keep reaping those body-boosting benefits from fish oil. Plus, even for seasoned gym-goers, shedding an extra 2 pounds of fat and gaining an extra pound of muscle in just 10 weeks sounds like a win.
To add a dash of spice to the scientific cocktail, the researchers looked at "effect size." This fancy term tells us how big the difference is between the two groups. After considering this, they humbly admitted, "Alright, it's actually a pretty big deal." Okay, we might have added a pinch of paraphrasing here, but you get the idea.
"But what if I up the fish oil dosage even more?" you ask. The volunteers in this study took 4.5 grams daily, which means they were downing a whopping 7 capsules. Now, consider this: our trusty oil sidekick, Shred with MCT, can help with inflammation and it only asks for 4 capsules.
So, the bottom line is that consistent consumption of high-dose, concentrated fish oil (bonus points for the DHA-rich kind) equips you with the upper hand when it comes to body composition – a nifty bonus to add to its already impressive list of perks. So, dive into the omega-3 ocean and let the fish oil waves carry you to your #BodyGoals!