Adding fish oil to a protein-based supplement had a beneficial effect on rugby players training

 
 
 

Omega-3 fatty acids are known to have anti-inflammatory effects, that is why its use in sport has been investigated in various studies. Scientific evidence suggests that omega-3 fatty acid supplementation (EPA plus DHA) may ameliorate the functional changes following exercise-induced muscle damage (especially after eccentric exercise and resistance training): muscle soreness, development of delayed-onset muscle soreness, muscle swelling, limited range of motion, and strength loss after exercise. In general, omega-3 fatty acids supplementation could provide post-exercise benefits by minimizing these symptoms of muscle damage and thereby facilitate training in athletes undergoing heavy training.

In one study of 20 professional rugby players during pre-season training, with the purpose to investigate the effectiveness of consuming a protein-based supplement containing omega-3 fatty acids (EPA plus DHA) compared to a protein-based supplement on muscle soreness, countermovement jumps performance and psychological well-being, the athletes completed questionnaires assessing soreness, fatigue, sleep, stress and mood each morning of training; besides, they performed countermovement jump tests.

Adding fish oil (EPA plus DHA) to a protein-based supplement had a beneficial effect on muscle soreness, and this resulted in a better maintenance of explosive power. Explosive power training exercises are often used by athletes who need to generate a quick burst of maximal effort, such as movements required in football, court sports, cycling, etc. These types of exercises are movements that require a maximum or near maximum power output from the athlete in a short amount of time.

In conclusion, adding EPA plus DHA to a protein-based supplement for 5 weeks during pre-season training had beneficial effects on muscle soreness in a group of elite rugby players, and this translated into a better maintenance of explosive power.

Bibliography: 

Black KE, Witard OC, Baker D, Healey P, Lewis V, Tavares F, et al. Adding omega-3 fatty acids to a protein-based supplement during pre-season training results in reduced muscle soreness and the better maintenance of explosive power in professional Rugby Union players. Eur J Sport Sci. 2018 Jul 9:1-11. doi: 10.1080/17461391.2018.1491626. [Epub ahead of print]

Jakeman JR, Lambrick DM, Wooley B, Babraj JA, Faulkner JA. Effect of an acute dose of omega-3 fish oil following exercise-induced muscle damage. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2017;117(3):575-82.

Jouris KB, McDaniel JL, Weiss EP. The Effect of omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation on the Inflammatory Response to eccentric strength exercise. J Sports Sci Med. 2011 Sep 1;10(3):432-8.

Lewis EJ, Radonic PW, Wolever TM, Wells GD. 21 days of mammalian omega-3 fatty acid supplementation improves aspects of neuromuscular function and performance in male athletes compared to olive oil placebo. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2015;12:28.

Tinsley GM, Gann JJ, Huber SR, Andre TL, La Bounty PM, Bowden RG, et al. Effects of fish oil supplementation on postresistance exercise muscle soreness. J Diet Suppl. 2016 Jul 21:1-12.

Tsuchiya Y, Yanagimoto K, Nakazato K, Hayamizu K, Ochi E. Eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids-rich fish oil supplementation attenuates strength loss and limited joint range of motion after eccentric contractions: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group trial. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2016;116(6):1179-88.

 
 

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