Should One Take Fish Oils Post-Workout?

new studies suggest fish oils may enhance the immune system

Fish oils have traditionally been used to reduce inflammation associated with joint stiffness and arthritis—but a new study suggests they may enhance the immune system as well.


Researchers published in this month’s Brain Behavior and Immunology that fish oils taken post-exercise can enhance immune function.

Researchers had subjects perform an hour of cardio at 70% of their max heart rate, then consume fish oil or placebo oil, 3 grams per day. Blood samples were taken pre-supplementation, pre-exercise (post-supplementation), immediately, and one and three hours post-exercise.

The samples revealed that three hours post-exercise, PBMC IL-2 (a protein that regulates the activities of the immune system’s white blood cells, and is a natural killer of viruses) was
 greater in the group taking fish oil than in the control group.

Bottom line: Taking fish oils after exercise can enhance the actions of the immune system and possibly prevent colds and drops in immune function after exercise.

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REFERENCE: Gray P, et al., Brain Behav Immun., Aug. 10, 2012.