Benefits of taking omega-3 for your mental & physical wellbeing

Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid (meaning we have to get it from our diet) that can have amazing benefits when you’re getting the right amount of it. You can read about all the benefits of taking omega-3 here, but right now we’re digging deeper into how it can actually help you to feel good.

What is wellbeing? We’re going off this definition:

So we’ll cover the brain and body, in fitness and in health. Skip through the subheadings if there’s a particular boost you’re wondering about!

Health & Fitness

The 6 benefits of taking omega-3 for sports and fitness

Omega-3 is good for your health in so many ways, but at the moment we’re all about fitness and doing it right as gyms are starting to open again. Until recently there wasn’t much research covering the effects of omega-3 on fitness (or anything, really) but last year a handy review was carried out on whether athletes should be supplementing. 

Turns out supplementing had a positive effect on:

  • Circulatory (heart), respiratory (lungs) and nervous (brain) systems
    • Reaction time is improved, possibly because the fatty acids are important for the fats in the brain that support nerve transmission
    • Omega-3 reduces heart rate and therefore the amount of oxygen your body gets through, so endurance is increased. This is also supported by omega-3 acting as a vasodilator, which means it increases the diameter of blood vessels allowing more oxygenated blood to reach the muscles
    • Omega-3 supplementation reduces inflammatory markers in the blood, which are of particular concern for older athletes as heart health might be declining
  • Muscular and skeletal systems
    • Omega-3 decreases the production of cytokines, which are inflammatory molecules released during exercise. A reduction in inflammation means a reduction in recovery time, as there’s less damage to repair! #DownWithDOMS
    • Studies have shown that omega-3 supplementation can ease rheumatoid arthritis, loosening up stiff and inflamed joints. This could be beneficial post-injury, or perfect for limbering up with yoga!
    • There is evidence that when supplementing alongside a high protein diet, burning of fat and building of muscle happens at an increased rate

Other source:

The benefits of taking omega-3 for fitness

Comfort & Happiness

As we come out of lockdown, it’s important that we look after our mental health too – especially as we’re being bombarded with pressure to get that “summer body”! 

Studies have shown that omega-3 – in particular EPA and DHA fatty acids – can improve the symptoms of mood disorders like depression including the depressive phase of bipolar disorder. One review even claims that it’s the best supplement out there for it! There are a few different suggestions for how this works, but anti-inflammatory effects are a common idea for the mechanism. Most studies have been carried out with supplementation alongside prescribed medication – you can read more about it here

There is also evidence that omega-3 is so good for concentration and focus, that it can improve symptoms of ADHD in children. A good thing to get on top of ready for a routine shakeup if you’re facing going back to the office! It may also help you to start getting into meditation or other forms of mindfulness.

Top tips for going back to the gym after lockdown

Everything adds up, too: we’ve all heard that exercise itself can improve mental health, relieving anxiety and depression with those all-important endorphins. So giving your body the best chance to flourish is offering your brain a helping hand too. 

Block out the haters and, if it’s your thing, bring on the biceps, with the help of our omega-3 (DHA) and vitamin E gummy bears!