Can omega-3’s help you recover from muscle injuries?

Yes! Omega-3’s are involved in the muscle healing process AND they can help with wound healing! 

How?

Well, soft tissue injuries often trigger an inflammatory response and these types of injuries include wound and/or muscle damage [1]. Omega-3’s are well known for their anti-inflammatory properties. Thus, consuming enough omega-3’s or supplementing with this nutrient can help relieve excessive inflammation in the body [2]. 

Studies have also shown that omega-3 supplementation could also prevent loss of muscle tissue that occurs with disuse [2]. For instance, in a 2012 study, researchers recruited 9 healthy young and middle aged adults participants to study how omega-3 supplementation would affect their rate of muscle protein synthesis. They found that supplementing with these fatty acids did show anabolic effects on the individuals [4]. In a previous 2011 study, the same researchers found similar results in older adults [5]. 

In your diet

Where can you find omega-3’s naturally? Try to include salmon, mackerel, or tuna in your meals to get enough of this nutrient. If you eat a plant-based diet, be sure to include walnuts, flax seeds, or chia seeds [2]. 

Supplements

If you complete a nutrient analysis and find that you are still lacking in this nutrient, you can try supplementing with omega-3 capsules. We recommend the brand Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega 2X Sport. You can shop for it HERE.

What’s the proper dosing protocol? If you are currently recovering from an injury, we recommend taking 3 grams of omega-3, 3 times per day, for up to 30 days. This would total 9 grams per day. If you are not injured but you are still an active athlete, it might be beneficial to supplement at a maintenance dose of 2-3 grams per day [3]. 

Remember, if you sign up to join Wellevate, our online supplement dispensary, you will receive 20% off MSRP of all supplements! 

Want to learn more?

To learn more about the 10+ other nutrients that can help you recover from wounds, tendon/ligament injuries, and muscle injuries, check out our Nutrition for Soft Tissue Injury Mini-Course!


References:

  1. Duchesne, E., Dufresne, S. S., & Dumont, N. A. (2017). Impact of Inflammation and Anti-inflammatory Modalities on Skeletal Muscle Healing: From Fundamental Research to the Clinic. Physical therapy97(8), 807–817. https://doi.org/10.1093/ptj/pzx056
  2. Tipton K. D. (2015). Nutritional Support for Exercise-Induced Injuries. Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.)45 Suppl 1, S93–S104. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-015-0398-4
  3. Lin, E., Kotani, J. G., & Lowry, S. F. (1998). Nutritional modulation of immunity and the inflammatory response. Nutrition (Burbank, Los Angeles County, Calif.)14(6), 545–550. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0899-9007(98)00046-x
  4. Smith, G. I., Atherton, P., Reeds, D. N., Mohammed, B. S., Rankin, D., Rennie, M. J., & Mittendorfer, B. (2011). Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids augment the muscle protein anabolic response to hyperinsulinaemia-hyperaminoacidaemia in healthy young and middle-aged men and women. Clinical science (London, England : 1979)121(6), 267–278. https://doi.org/10.1042/CS20100597
  5. Smith, G. I., Atherton, P., Reeds, D. N., Mohammed, B. S., Rankin, D., Rennie, M. J., & Mittendorfer, B. (2011). Dietary omega-3 fatty acid supplementation increases the rate of muscle protein synthesis in older adults: a randomized controlled trial. The American journal of clinical nutrition93(2), 402–412. https://doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.110.005611
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