08 July, 2011
Fish Oil & Creatine
Two common dietary supplements, fish oil and creatine, help you build muscle and recover from exercise. Fish oil contains essential fatty acids, required for hormone production and regulation. Creatine, a substance that your body produces naturally, provides a boost to your strength and power when taken in supplemental form. Consult a health care practitioner before using any dietary supplement.
Fish oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are considered essential. Your body does not produce enough of these fatty acids to support healthy activity. While they are most critical in those who have not yet finished growing, essential fatty acids also regulate your hormonal levels and play a key role in your endocrine system. Omega-3 fatty acids also serve an anti-inflammatory role, and maintain the health of your circulatory system.
Fish Oil Supplementation
Supplementation with fish oil can help you recover from intense exercise. When you train, your muscles break down, and your recovery ability is limited by your ability to repair damaged muscle tissue. A 2011 study published in "The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" showed that fish oil supplementation improved muscle protein synthesis. Even if you are not exercising, as you age you begin to lose lean muscle tissue, and omega-3 fatty acid supplementation can help prevent the age-related muscle loss that you may one day experience.
Creatine is a combination of other amino acids, and your body produces about 2 grams a day naturally. Creatine is also found in red meat, so if you are a vegetarian, your creatine levels may be lower than those of meat-eaters, according to a 2003 study published in "Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise." Creatine primarily functions to allow your muscles to contract, and the vast majority of the creatine you produce or consume is stored in the muscles of your skeleton.
Supplementing with creatine monohydrate is popular with many athletes. Creatine monohydrate supplementation increases both your ability to generate power, but your ability to build lean muscle mass, according to a 2002 study published in "Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise." This supplementation can be particularly useful as you age, as creatine supplementation can improve your endurance as well, according to a 2001 study published in "Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise."
- "Textbook of Biochemistry with Clinical Correlations"; Thomas M. Devlin; 2010
- "The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition"; Dietary Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation Increases the Rate of Muscle Protein Synthesis in Older Adults: a Randomized Controlled Trial; G.I. Smith, et al.; February 2011
- "Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise"; Effect of Creatine and Weight Training on Muscle Creatine and Performance in Vegetarians; D.G. Burke, et al.; November 2003
- "Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise"; Effects of Creatine on Isometric Bench-press Performance in Resistance-trained Humans; L.P. Kilduff, et al.; July 2002
- "Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise"; Creatine Supplementation Combined with Resistance Training in Older Men; M.J. Chrusch, et al.; December 2001
- Martin Carlsson/iStock/Getty Images