I read an article that says Omega-3 fish oils improve athletic performance:

Here's an excerpt:

To improve athletic performance, eight capsules (each containing one gram of fish oil) has been taken by mouth daily for eight weeks. Fish oil capsules containing 3.2 grams of EPA plus 2.2 grams of DHA have been taken by mouth daily for three weeks.

I'm wondering has anyone taken them for any extended period of time and if so, have you seen any actual improvement in performance, in any way?

  • google.com/webhp#q=nlm%20fish%20oil
    – Daniel
    Nov 21, 2014 at 16:24
  • @Daniel I've only ever heard rumours of people posting links to Google searches on Stack Exchange... Now I've finally seen one in person!
    – Daft
    Nov 21, 2014 at 16:27
  • Haha, well. There is some good reading there. NLM publications are where it all begins. If you're really intrepid, you could include "athletic" on your search, like so: google.com/webhp#q=nlm+fish+oil+athletic
    – Daniel
    Nov 21, 2014 at 16:35
  • @Daniel cheers! I certainly hope you spam other people with links to Google and aren't giving me preferential treatment as I'm new to this stack exchange.
    – Daft
    Nov 21, 2014 at 16:48
  • 1
    Not at all -- but since you came here looking for an anecdote, I thought I'd suggest doing some research to see if there actually is any substantial merit to the fish oil claims. Anecdotes aren't of much value in medicine! As we know, "the plural of anecdote is not data."
    – Daniel
    Nov 21, 2014 at 19:42

1 Answer 1


Fish oil is a fairly common supplement in the fitness world, up there with protein powders and creatine. But similar to those other two, the effects are slight and not really detectable day-to-day.

Fish oils are being studied constantly, and at best they get a marginal stamp of approval. I don't think anyone (beyond supplement sales folks) are going to say they're absolutely necessary for a long and healthy life, but I also don't think anyone can just dismiss studies that end up with some rather blunt language:

The results of prospective cohort studies indicate that consuming fish or fish oil containing the n-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is associated with decreased cardiovascular death...

Fish oil falls into the category (for me) of car oil changes. You're not going to feel any differences after an oil and filter change, but in the long run you're delaying and/or minimizing other problems.

It's definitely something to keep watching the news for; it's something that's getting studied frequently so today's data will be only part of the story next year.

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