Fish Oils, Omega -3, EPA and DHA are considered essential fatty acids your body can not build on its own. While talking to the Special Operations performance nutritionist at Fort Bragg I asked her what, if any supplement should a high performance tactical athlete be taking. She told me that hands down the supplement she would suggest is an Omega-3 fish oil nutritional supplement. As military members we are generally pretty good at getting our protein in for the day and fairly good at taking a multivitamin but, we are terrible at getting our Omega-3s especially when we are over seas eating crap MREs. The question remains though; why do we need Omega-3s and fish oils in the first place? And what are Fish Oils anyway?
Fish Oils is a sort of generic term for a conglomeration of essential fatty acids. Fish oils consist of Omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) which are precursors to certain compounds that are known to reduce inflammation in the body (hint: the reason you take 800 mg motrin everyday is because of pain caused by inflammation).
As a soldier, sailor or Marine you are asked to go to places where your diet has to be compromised. With a fish oil supplement you can replace that missing part of your diet to help you perform at top levels. Unfortunately a diet too rich in fish can lead to increased ingestion of heavy metals such as mercury which is why the FDA recommends limiting the intake of fish to a few times a week which may not be enough to gain the benefits from the fish oils
Omega-3 is known to do the following:
1.Fish oils reduce insulin levels, when insulin levels are high HGH (human growth hormone) is low, you want insulin levels to be low and HGH levels to be high
2.Fish oils directly increase oxidation (breakdown) of fat inside fat cells
3.Lower Bad Cholesterol levels and increase good cholesterol
4.Reduce rates of Colon, Breast and Prostate Cancer
5.Reduce high blood pressure
6.Increase overall mental health, reduce depression and suicide rates, elevate mood
7.In animal studies fish oil nutritional supplements have been shown to lower the risk of developing ulcers when taking NSAIDs such as Motrin (which is why I keep them in my aid bag and when I prescribe any oral NSAID to a person on my team I include fish oils)
After talking to the performance nutritionist and doing some of my own research it really became such an obvious next step to increase my performance.
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