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Researchers at the University of Westminster have found that taking omega-3 supplements can help relieve muscle soreness after a workout.

The results can be important to people who abstain from exercise because of the pain associated with it.

Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids that play an important role in our bodies and can offer a number of health benefits. These are essential fats as our bodies cannot produce them and we have to get them from our diet, mainly from oily fish. They have anti-inflammatory properties, can help maintain a healthy heart, reduce your risk of heart disease, and can have incredible effects on brain and mind health.

Previous studies have looked at the effects of omega-3 fish oils on restoring muscle damage and inflammation after exercise. Although the evidence is mixed, it has been shown that prolonged omega-3 intake in your diet can result in poor recovery and possibly small gains in exercise performance in athletes after intense exercise.

In this study, the researchers gave people omega-3 capsules or a matching placebo three times a day for four weeks to help build their levels. They then took part in a very intensive training program that was supposed to cause severe muscle pain and physiologically harmless muscle damage.

Researchers then measured blood levels of inflammation and muscle damage markers, physical pain, and participants’ ability to perform vigorous muscle contractions each day for the next three days.

They found a lower inflammatory response and decreased muscle damage after exercise in the fish oil group. However, the omega-3 did not appear to change the amount of strength reduction in future muscle contractions, suggesting that omega-3 supplementation had limited effects on muscle function, recovery, and subsequent performance, but it did reduce participants’ pain.

Speaking of study, Ph.D. Researcher and lead author Yvoni Kyriakidou of the University of Westminster’s School of Life Sciences said, “While omega-3 supplementation didn’t seem to improve performance, it did reduce the pain we felt as humans didn’t like exercising because it hurts. If it doesn’t hurt that much, maybe more people keep doing it? “

The study was published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

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More information:
Yvoni Kyriakidou et al. The Effect of Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Supplementation on Exercise-Caused Muscle Damage, Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition (2021). DOI: 10.1186 / s12970-020-00405-1

Provided by the University of Westminster

Quote: Omega-3 supplements can relieve sore muscles after exercise. Study results (2021, February 18), accessed on May 4, 2021 at

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