A recent study found that triathletes who take omega-3 krill oil during training reported better athletic ability, less illness during training, and quicker recovery post-race. Naturopath Stephen Eddey explains why you should include omega-3 krill oil as part of your daily supplement plan:
If you've ever started a gym programme, only to fall ill shortly afterwards, or found it difficult to recover quickly after a workout, then you may need some krill oil.
Since many of us are serious athletes, or -weekend warriors', whereby we push ourselves to the limit on our days off, most of us would benefit from an omega-3 krill oil supplement. Intense exercise can deplete vital DHA (an omega-3 oil) and we need to replace this lost omega-3 by either eating lots of cold water fish or supplementing with omega-3s. Even if you're not a serious athlete, it is also a must-have for general health and wellbeing.
I take omega-3 oils twice daily with my largest meals (total of 4g per day). I've found that after a long-distance run, my joints can ache a bit, yet when I take omega-3 krill oils, I'm in less pain, so I can run longer and faster next time. As part of my health regime, I do four gym sessions and three long runs every week. I also swim 1.5km four evenings a week.
Omega-3s are some of the most important nutrients that our bodies need, as they are essential for maintaining and supporting cardiovascular, brain, eye and joint health. Eight out of every ten Australians have below target omega-3 levels, which is of concern, as low omega-3 levels may have a negative impact on cardiovascular health, inflammation and even your mood.
So what are krill? They're small, shrimp-like crustaceans predominantly found in the Antarctic waters. Krill oil is highly anti-inflammatory and has been shown to keep you healthier, even after a hard workout.
A pilot study of competing athletes during the gruelling Norseman 2017 race found that, in general, competing athletes experience a severe drop in their levels of omega-3 in the five weeks after completing the challenge. The Norseman race is one of the world's toughest triathlons, involving a 3.8km swim, 180km cycle ride, and 42km run.
The study, which tested the athletes' omega-3 levels before and after the race, found that those who supplemented with a high dose (four grams a day) of krill oil were less likely to be ill during training, and clocked better performances during the race. Their post-recovery rate was improved too.
Me? I may not be competing in the Norseman race, but despite being almost 50, I want to improve my fitness, and my lean muscle mass. I want to be the best me I can be. I can achieve this through nutrition, supplementation, mental wellbeing and of course plenty of exercise.
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