Getting the right fish oil dosage is important if you’re an athlete. There are many valuable health and athletic performance benefits of fish oil.

As amazing as fish oil is, it’s important not to OD on it. Too much fish oil may suppress the immune system. Excess fish oil also causes prolonged bleeding due to the fact that it thins the blood.

Here are nine steps to getting just the right amount of fish oil into your diet:

#1:  Use Up To 3 Grams of Fish Oil For Athletic Performance

The optimal dose of fish oil hasn’t yet been identified. Studies suggest that 3 grams a day will promote health and athletic performance. Up to 6 grams a day may be indicated when training is extra stressful, such as at altitude or in the heat.

#2: Favor EPA & DHA Fish Oil Over ALA Omega-3s

There are two main types of omega-3 fat in fish oil: EPA and DHA. Take fish oil in a ratio of EPA-to-DHA of 3:2 to counteract exercise-induced inflammation for overall health.

#3: Aim For A Balance Between Omega-3s & Omega-6 Fats

Omega-6 fats are a main ingredient in processed foods. Omega-6 fats compete with omega-3 fats in the body. Too many omega-6s and you cancel out the benefits of omega-3s. This can lead to an inflammatory state in the body. Inflammation hampers physical performance and delays athletic recovery.

#4: Substitute Healthy Omega-6s for Processed Fats

Don’t be afraid of omega-6 fats from “whole” sources, such as avocados, nuts, and seeds. These foods are predominantly monounsaturated fat, which is associated with better health and wellness.  

#5: Avoid Omega-3 Fortified Foods

Steer clear of foods fortified with omega-3s because you don’t know the source or quality of the fat.

#6: Weigh The Pros & Cons of Pollution In Fish

People like the idea of getting all their omega-3 fat by just eating fish. However, fish is often polluted with heavy metals like mercury. In comparison, high-quality fish oil is tested to ensure it is free of heavy metals and other toxins. Therefore, a reasonable approach is to eat up to 1 pound a week from “cleaner” fish and round out omega-3 intake with a top notch fish oil supplement.

#7: Include Pasture-Raised Meat

Round out your EPA and DHA intake with organic pasture-raised meat, which are another healthy source of omega-3 fats.

#8: Buy Quality Fish Oil

Look for fish oil that exceeds GMP (good manufacturing practices) guidelines and ensures authenticity, purity, and potency.

#9: Avoid Contaminated Fish Oil Brands

Fish oils is easily contaminated. Use fish oils manufactured in a pharmaceutical-licensed facility that are tested to be free of contaminants, such as heavy metals, dioxins, and PCBs.

References

Bourre, J.M. Where to Find Omega-3 Fatty Acids and How Feeding Animals with Diet Enriched in Omega-3 Fatty Acids to Increase Nutritional Value of Derived Products for Human: What is Actually Useful? The Journal of Nutrition, Health, and Aging. 2005. 9(4), 232-242.

Mickleborough, Timothy D. Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in Physical Performance Optimization. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Metabolism. 2013. 23, 83-96.

Ros, E., Mataix, J. Fatty Acid Composition of Nuts: Implications for Cardiovascular Health. British Journal of Nutrition. 2006. 96(Suppl 2), 29-35.

Shei, R., et al. Omega-3 Polyunsaturaed Fatty Acids in the Optimization of Physical Performance. Military Medicine. 2014. 179(11S), 144-156.

Wall, R., et al. Fatty Acids from Fish The Anti-Inflammatory Potential of Long- Chain Omega-3 fatty Acids. Nutrition Review. 2010. 68(5), 280-289.

Simopoulos, A.P. Human Requirement for N-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids. Poultry Science. 2000. 79(7), 961- 970.

Simopoulos, A.P. The Importance of the Ratio of Omega-6/Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids. Biomedicine and Pharmacotherapy. 2002. 56, 365-379.