Fish Oil. Answered.


Let's Dive Into the Hot Topic of Fish Oil

Is All Fish Oil Created Equal?

In short the answer is NO. Now get ready for the lengthy explanation.

If you don’t already know, balancing out your diet with healthy omega 3 fats is a crucial part to your diet as well as your performance. Omega 3 fatty acids serve several primary functions.

Why consume Omega 3 Fatty Acids?

  • Reduces Inflammation
  • Maintains Cardiovascular Health
  • Maintains Brain Function
  • Improves Oxygen delivery

Omega 3 vs Omega 6 Ratio:

Your body has a ratio of these fatty acids at all times. We just learned the benefits of Omega 3, but why are Omega 6′s bad?

Why Avoid Omega 6 Fatty Acids?

  • Increase Inflammation
  • Leads to fat storage
  • Promote the pathogenesis of many diseases
  • Promote the generation of cancer and autoimmune diseases

Omega 6 Fatty Acids are found in in vegetable oils, including corn, soybean oils along with a lot of processed foods. Omega 6 acids are needed to some degree, however in much lower levels than we typically see.

The balance of these two is important. In a typical Western diet the ratio is anywhere from 20-30 to 1. Uhhh that’s a problem…the ancestral ratio which we are said to evolve from was 1 to 1. Now that ratio is unrealistic in today’s world, but we can strive to get to a “better” ratio. When we get under 11 to 1, we start seeing issues getting better including asthma, cardiovascular disease, and skin disorders.

If you are eating a completely clean diet, with healthy grass fed fats, you may be close to this ratio without CrossFit workouts, however the inflammation of workouts add in another factor, which is why we advise supplementing your Omega 3′s.

There are a couple of factors involved when taking fish oil, Concentration, COST per Gram, and Dosage, which all come into play when picking a good Omega 3 supplement.

What should you look for in your Fish Oil?

- Certified by the IFOS.

IFOS is the International Fish Oil Standards – testing fish oils through its certified and accredited reference laboratory partners and specialize in testing Omega-3 and whole fish products forPCB, Mercury, Heavy Metals, and Oxidation levels in accordance with Council for Responsible Nutrition’s voluntary monograph on omega-3 products and safety standards for human consumption.

If your fish oil isn’t tested by this lab, you should throw it out immediately, cause who knows what is actually in that pill.

- The Dosage

Depending on the individual, their activity level, how clean their diet is, body weight ect.. you should be taking anywhere from 2g – 3g a day for females, and 3-4g for males.

That doesn’t mean 2g of Oil. Some companies tend to use a lot of filler in their fish oil to compensate, but the actual EPA/DHA quantity is what matters and what lowers your Omega 6 Levels.

This number can go down over time when we start to get our diet figured out and the overall inflammation in our bodies goes down.

Lets do a side by side comparison. Nature Made Fish oil vs. Pure Pharma Fish Oil with our friend JOE.

Nature Made Fish Oil costs $7.99 at Walgreens for 90 1000mg capsules.

Lets take Joe as our test subject. Joe is a 185lb male, who eats relatively clean, works out 3-5 days a week, has one cheat meal on the weekends. Joe needs about 3,000mg of EPA/DHA essential fatty acids a day based on his workouts, how clean he eats, and his activity level….pretty standard for your average Male.

***For a standard, female anywhere from 2,000-3,000mg of EPA/DHA is adequate dosage depending on diet, workouts ect.**

For Joe to get his daily serving from Nature Made- he must take 12 capsules of Nature Made a day. There are only 90 capsules in a bottle. So for Joe to reach his adequate amount, he must go through 4 and a half bottles a month. Which will cost him roughly $40 a month.

Without even going into the quality, the issue here is that you have to take TWELVE PILLS OF FISH OIL A DAY. Can you say Fish burps?

Joe would have to take 5 capsules of Pure Pharma, which is less than half the dosage, and only $35-$40 a month. Similar price, less pills to take, and we will get into the quality later on. While at first glance, Nature Made may seem cheaper, if you actually take the recommended dosage its more expensive and less effective.

- The Quality

Quality is important. Choosing a pharmaceutical grade fish oil over standard products is ideal. But what does Pharmaceutical grade actually mean?

Pharmaceutical Grade Fish Oil Has…

  • 80 to 90% Omega-3
  • Only 10 to 20% non-omega-3 oils (as opposed to 70% in 18/12 oils)
  • Easy to get high doses of Omega-3, like the dosages used in clinical studies
  • Feel the benefits of fish oil with fewer pills
  • Repeated molecular distillation required to get its high purity removes virtually all toxins and heavy metals like mercury
  • Virtually no environmental toxins
  • Ultra-purity reduces fishy odor

How do I know if I take too much Fish Oil?

To put this as simple as possible, you will know. If you take too much Fish Oil, the oil will travel quickly through the body, and exit quickly. Meaning if you turn into an oil spill, back it off…

I’m Vegan/Vegetarian, is their an alternative to Fish Oil?

There are alternatives that work quite well, most notable algae oil, which contains mostly DHA. These supplements will do the trick but tend to be very pricey. For quality and price effective I would still recommend Fish Oil as you best choice to get your Omega-3’s.

Hope this helps you guys answer any questions you might have about supplementing with Fish Oil. But and this is a big BUT…remember that supplements are just that, a supplement to your diet.

There is no way to OUT FISH OIL your horrible diet.

Get to the gym, clean up your diet, take your Fish Oil. Simple.

Learn more about supplements and how this affects your performance and recovery by attending the Performance Nutrition Seminar.