When most people think of omega-3 supplements, they think of fish oil. But there's another type of omega-3 that's becoming increasingly popular among athletes and health enthusiasts alike: krill oil. Krill oil offers a number of benefits that are worth considering if you're looking for an edge in your fitness routine. Here are five surprising benefits of krill oil for athletes.
Usain Bolt, when asked what his greatest fear was, said waking up and finding out somebody was faster than him.
“I don’t want to come in second,” hence the rigorous routines and tireless training he had to endure to maintain his top speed of 27 mph.
Even the fastest man on Earth knows how volatile the sports industry is – one day you’re the best, and the next, someone beats you to it. That’s why athletes need all the help they can get to stay on top of their game.
If you’re a weekend warrior that only goes on occasional hikes or a long-distance runner training for your next race, your body will still require the best care to perform its best. And krill oil supplement can support your performance and recovery to take your training to the next level.
If you’re looking for the best krill oil in town, our Arctic Advantage soft gels are the ones to get.
Let’s dig deeper into what krill oil is, and the reasons why it will help you become the athlete you’re meant to be.
So First, What is Krill Oil?
As the name suggests, krill oil comes from krill — a small shrimp-like marine animal consumed by penguins, whales, and other creatures of the deep.
The interest in this tiny crustacean stems from its dense Omega-3 Fatty acid content, particularly docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Since the body cannot produce Omega-3 Fatty acids on its own, we have to obtain them from external sources like the consumption of seafood.
Today, multiple studies show the benefits of krill oil for humans. And we’ll highlight below the science of how krill oil can support athletes in their recovery and training, so you can move in for the krill!
What are the Benefits of Krill Oil for Athletes?
1. Promotes Good Heart Health
Athletes like runners, bodybuilders, and gymnasts who normally engage in high-intensity interval training (HIIT) are at risk of developing chronic disorders like heart disease, making them susceptible to sudden cardiac arrests.
Omega-3s like DHA and EPA, the main components of krill oil, are found to be cardioprotective. According to research, omega 3 can help reduce triglycerides, blood pressure, resting heart rate, and neutralize systemic vascular resistance which results in overall positive heart health.
2. Maintains Muscular Strength and Integrity
Exercise and training increase the production of free radicals in the body. To athletes, this means they are exposed to oxidative stress, which in extreme cases, may lead to unwanted protein loss and muscle atrophy (thinning of muscle mass).
A study involving 2,875 participants showed that Omega-3s can fight oxidative stress by significantly increasing the number of free radicals removed in the body - to which the authors described Omega-3 as “enhancer factors in antioxidant defense.”
3. Improves Immune Function
No matter how hard you train, immunity is not the strongest suit of athletes. Recent epidemiological evidence suggests that athletes are more susceptible to infectious illnesses due to consistent intensive exercise and psychological stress associated with training and competition.
That said, improving your immune response is imperative to keep you in your best shape and performance.
Krill oil helps improve immune function by increasing the cytotoxic activity of natural killer cells which eliminates cells infected with tumors or viruses. Moreover, another journal described the function of Omega-3s to reduce mast cell-associated diseases like allergies and promote antibody-producing cells in humans.
4. Ensures Optimal Body Performance
On top of the Omega-3 found in krill oil, it is also a good source of choline in the form of phosphatidylcholine. Choline is an essential micronutrient that maintains optimum muscle performance and recovery among athletes. In other words, the higher the choline levels, the better the body sustains its performance.
A study observing runners revealed that serum choline levels drop post-race. It found significantly higher concentrations of choline among participants who used krill oil consistently for 5 weeks prior to the race. Another publication noted that choline supplementation may improve performance during times when free choline concentrations are decreased, like when performing strenuous activities.
5. Helps Reduce Arthritis and Joint Pain
It’s no secret that physical performance dwindles with age. And with old age comes all sorts of illnesses and excruciating joint pains that keep middle-aged athletes from reaching their full potential. Krill oil was shown to help alleviate joint pains that can support faster recovery among older athletes so they can be in the best shape their age can offer.
A study involving patients with rheumatoid arthritis found that krill oil can inhibit chronic inflammation and reduce arthritic symptoms. After 30-day consecutive treatment of krill oil, patients had reduced pain scores, stiffness, and functional impairment. Furthermore, krill oil improves mild knee joint pains. This goes to show that krill oil can lube up the old machine to get it running!
Krill Oil vs Fish Oil - Let’s End the Debate
Many online sources compare fish oil and krill oil to determine which is the more beneficial marine-sourced oil. Although both contain abundant amounts of DHA and EPA, krill oil is far superior in terms of bioavailability and bioefficiency. This means the body will absorb the nutrients from krill oil at a faster rate compared to fish oils.
The higher bioavailability is attributed to the chemical structure of krill oils. The Omega-3s found in krill oil are bound to phospholipids, which are efficiently absorbed by the body, contrary to fish oils that are connected to triglycerides.
That said, athletes who need immediate Omega-3 support to improve their athletic performance have better odds with krill oil than with any other marine-sourced oils.
Plus, krill oil has no fishy aftertaste, which is also helpful for athletes. Because if oxidative stress doesn’t knock you out of the park, a fishy breath certainly will...
Looking for Improved Athletic Recovery?
Athletes are driven by one thing: to meet, if not exceed, their previous impressive performance.
However, if their bodies cannot immediately recover from the damage sustained during exercise and training, it would negatively affect their performance. Thankfully, krill oil is there to give athletes the much-needed recovery and maintenance for peak performance.
If you’re looking for the best krill oil that’s packed with Omega-3s while being additive-free, our Arctic Advantage is your best bet!