Omega-3 Fish Oil – Does This Crap Actually Do Anything?

What’s the best supplement?  Proper nutrition.  If you really dial it in, you don’t need any supplements.  Paleo folk want to get it right, but grass-fed beasts are fucking expensive.  I prefer to spend my disposable income on proven investments like scratch-off lottery tickets.  Before someone posts to comments about frugal ways to purchase grass-fed/wild-caught: I’m well versed in the concepts of cow-pooling and buying a separate freezer for my garage.  I make a respectable salary and as my Sperry Topsiders would indicate- I have a mortgage and own both of my vehicles.

Tell the world you enjoy the music of Vampire Weekend and think lacrosse is cool.

Times are tough and this post is for folks who want to follow the rules of good nutrition and avoid the Paleo-induced ‘Catholic-guilt’ by missing the mark because they can’t afford to pay $10 per lb for Polyface ground beef.  Specifically, I’m referring to the superior Omega-3 content of grass-fed meat and wild-caught fish as compared to grain-munching feedlot cattle and aquaculture fish.  Look, folks-  there is a bypass to getting your Omega 3’s without spending all your hard earned moneydollars on snob meat.

Imagine if chicks had just one boob with 6 nipples and it was above their crotch. Cows are weird.

Let’s break down the importance of omega-3 fatty acids:  While both Omega 3 (N-3) and Omega 6 (N-6) are essential to health, Robb Wolf recommends a ratio of 1:1 to 1:2 N-3 to N-6.  By comparison, the typical western diet has a ratio of 1:10 to 1:30 N3 to N6.  Basically, not enough Omega 3.  We used to get the favorable ratio back in our spear-chucking days by chewing on wild beasts.  These days, feedlot livestock stand teat-deep in their own shit and chew poopcorn.  They have a higher N6 content and suck at life.  You are what you eat.

"We totally just blasted our bi's and tri's"

To account for poor N3-N6 ratios in conventional meat and fish, getchoo some Omega 3 fish oil.  I’m not getting any loot for advertising, but I’m a big fan of Carlson’s Very Finest.  Other acceptable brands include: Nordic NaturalsBarleans and SFH.  The key is to get a product that has a high EPA/DHA count (which means you’ll have lower doses).  Cheap brands generally have a low EPA/DHA count which means the overall N-3 content is unfavorable.  This renders the supplementation of fish oil almost useless.  Additionally, make sure the product is Vitamin A/D free.  You don’t need that.  Do your research, read labels and pick for yourself. 

Not nearly as bad tasting as you'd think. Still tastes like shit, though.

As far as dosing, consult the almighty Robb Wolf Fish Oil Calculator.  It’ll tell you, based upon bodyweight and EPA/DHA count (with a health-status factor), exactly how much you should be taking.  For more information on fish oil check out the very helpful Whole 9 Fish Oil FAQ.            

Tips for idiots:  Don’t drink from the fucking bottle.  I learned the hard way.  After regularly drinking from the bottle, the once-clear oil developed an opaque, milky hue from my salivary bacteria which had run amuck.  It took me a couple days to figure out it was my fish oil that was making me nauseous.  I ended up having to throw out a half-used bottle.  Don’t be like me: use a spoon as directed.

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  1. #1 by Anthony Bider on July 28, 2011 - 12:02 PM

    Boatshoes and Lax’n! I’ll be ordering the liquid fish oil on the account of what my current shitty fish oil capsule label says.

  2. #2 by Dan Daugherty on July 28, 2011 - 12:42 PM

    Did you do any research on what the benefits are for getting your Omega3’s back where they belong? I now know that I am deficient in Omega3’s and even learned how to figure out how much I should take to get back to normal.
    Question is, why should I put that foul tasting crap in my mouth?

  3. #3 by Andy G. on July 28, 2011 - 1:28 PM

    Dan,

    I can get scientific on this one but in a nutshell a solid ratio balance prevents the likelyhood of the following: cardiovascular disease, systemic inflammation, a host of cancers, and autoimmune disease. I have never met an athlete with a balanced omega 3/6 ratio that wasn’t lean and healthy or at least on that path. Agressive doses of omega-3s on eldery cancer pantient have alone shown to stop the spread of wellknown aggressive cancers. Oh and Dan, sorry about having to canx the 12pm class bro!

    • #4 by EPIC on July 28, 2011 - 2:22 PM

      Thanks for taking that one, Andy. Omega 3’s are a total health/wellness thing which I believe is an indirect performance booster. I probably should’ve addressed the “why” more in this article, but didn’t want to be too long winded. In addition to the benefits Andy pointed out, Omega 3’s: reduce inflammation, improve cognitive (brain memory and performance) and behavioral function.

      Symptoms of omega-3 fatty acid deficiency include fatigue, poor memory, dry skin, heart problems, mood swings or depression, and poor circulation.

      • #5 by Dan Daugherty on July 28, 2011 - 4:28 PM

        Cool, thanks guys. I’m sure I could understand the science behind it but I don’t really need to. As long as there is some science and it’s reputable, I’m game. I’ll have to pick some up and see if my wife says I’m no longer pissy in the morning.

        Thoughts on glucosamine since we are on the topic of supplements? I was considering it when I was thinking of getting back into long distance running and hoping extra lubrication in the joints would help with the knee pain. Form isn’t the problem. I know they work differently, but if Omega3’s reduce inflammation and increase circulation, I can see how getting more blood flow could help with lubrication and less inflammation relieves pressure in the compartment, thus reducing pain as well.

        Andy, I went to open gym at 2 and got my workout in anyway. Next time I see you, I’ll have to make you do burpees

  4. #6 by EPIC on July 28, 2011 - 3:37 PM

    Another thing worth mentioning is where to purchase. I buy my Carlsons 16.9 oz bottle at the Vitamin Shoppe near Independance and 58 in VA BCH. It’s listed at like 28 bucks or something, but if you ask the cashier for the “internet discount” it drops to like $23. The bottle will last you about a month to 6 weeks depending on dosage.

  5. #8 by Tim on July 29, 2011 - 12:01 PM

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/story/2011/07/28/montreal-beautiful-cow-728.html?ref=rss

    Since you have two pictures of bovines, I figured I’d clue you in on the world’s most beautiful one. Yeah…you’re welcome.

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