While the number of supplements on the market could fill a landfill (and most probably should), fish oil remains one of the few highly regarded additions to a good diet. It’s one supplement we absolutely recommend.
What does fish oil do? For the CrossFitter, it’s a valuable anti-inflammatory that can improve the speed and quality of your recovery. But research has also shown that it is valuable for overall health, especially for the brain and heart. Fish oil can improve cognitive function, prevent against cardiovascular disease, boost the body’s immune function, and may even prevent against cancer.
When shopping for fish oil, you want to consider quality above all else. A number of manufacturers use superfluous ingredients such as soy, dairy, rice and even wheat. Avoid brands with these ingredients. Look for a product with only a few ingredients, namely fish oil concentrate, gelatin/glycerin if it is a pill, and possibly a natural ingredient such as lemon to help mask the fish flavor.
Second, you want to consider quantity. While some experts recommend as much as .5 grams per 10 pounds of bodyweight (that’s 8g for someone who weighs 160 pounds!), most agree that 2 to 4 grams per day is sufficient. Take 2 grams for general health and maintenance; consider taking more if you are sick or injured.
You want to look for the total amount of EPA and DHA per serving—this is more important that the total amount fish oil listed on the label. Add up the amount of EPA and DHA in each serving, and figure out how many pills or teaspoons you’ll need to take to reach the quantity you’re aiming for. For example, if one pill has 400mg EPA and 200mg DHA, that’s 600mg per pill. You’d need to take four pills per day to get 2.4 grams of fish oil.
We recommend PurePharma’s Omega-3 fish oil. It offers high-quality, highly concentrated fish oil, and the capsules are tinted to avoid quality degradation. This is available for purchase in the CFCOA store. StrongerFasterHealthier also offers a high quality product in liquid form, with a variety of flavors.
For more information on fish oil, check out the great Q&A on Whole 9.