EPA and DHA improve performance

The omega-3s EPA and DHA are major components of the muscle cell membrane and taking EPA/DHA supplements can increase levels of these fatty acids in muscle cell membranes. Doctors thought EPA/DHA might protect muscle after exercise through its anti-inflammatory action.

In this study, 16 men took a placebo or 2,400 mg of EPA- and DHA-rich fish oil capsules per day for eight weeks before performing six sets of weighted arm curls at 100 percent maximum muscle contraction. The exercise was designed to damage muscle. Before exercise, immediately after, and one, two, and five days later, doctors measured muscle stiffness by ultrasound while participants reported muscle soreness.

Compared to the EPA/DHA group, the placebo group had significantly more muscle stiffness and reported greater muscle soreness. Those taking EPA/DHA also retained more muscle strength and greater range of motion.


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