Fish oil , found in oily fish such as salmon and mackerel as well as in pill form, has a wide array of benefits both inside and outside the gym. Omega 3 is a group of fatty acids found in fish oil, and is the reason there are a lot of health benefits associated with the intake of oily fish and fish oil supplements.
Benefits inside the gym include increase of protein synthesis and preservation of muscle mass. The fatty acids EPA and DHA, found in fish oils, may increase insulin sensitivity (the hormone responsible for regulating blood sugar levels). An increase in insulin sensitivity increases muscle protein synthesis due to its positive impact on regulating the passage of nutrients into muscle cells, which in turn can lead to the preservation of muscle mass and even increased lean muscle mass.
Outside the gym, fish oils have a number of health benefits - helping to manage bodyweight, improve cardiovascular health and overall body health.
An increase in insulin sensitivity, will improve your ability to lose weight, and the anti-inflammatory properties of fish oils, along with fact it may reduce stress, both work to help you improve your body composition and reduce body fat.
EPA and DHA also help to lower heart rate and blood pressure when stressed and maintain a healthy cholesterol ratio of HDL (good cholesterol) and LDL (bad cholesterol). Both help decrease your chances of developing heart disease.
Because of its anti-inflammatory properties fish oil can also alleviate joint pain, and the correct ratio of omega 3 & 6 fish oils can improve overall bone health.
The multitude of benefits associated with fish oils make it a must have in your diet whether or not you're lifting weights on a regular basis.
A daily intake of around 1.5g is a good starting point (a few grams will help to increase muscle protein synthesis). If choosing fish oil in the form of a tablet it is important to consider the potency and the levels of ACTIVE EPA and DHA. It is also useful to know that fish oil is susceptible to oxidation. If your fish oil is oxidized it isn't going to give you all the benefits listed above (a good way to test is to cut one open, if it smells really bad, its no good!).
Increasing your weekly intake of oily fish or supplementing with a fish oil tablet will ensure you can take advantage of the benefits fish oils have to offer.