Should You Use Fish Oil for Bodybuilding?

By Alex Fischer / January 16, 2016

Note: This is a guest post from Alex over at

In this day and age, bodybuilders are faced with a huge array of supplements, powders, and other products to help them put on muscle faster. Some of these products will help you put on muscle, but are unhealthy in the long run. Others are extremely unhealthy, and don’t even necessarily help with muscle growth, although they may claim to.

However, there are a select few products that are both healthy for your body and helpful for muscle growth. Fish oil is one of those products.

What is Fish Oil?

Simply put, fish oil is just what it sounds like - oil harvested from the tissues of certain oily fish. It’s a common health supplement and can be found just about everywhere that sells vitamins and supplements. For everyday people, it’s recommended for its anti-inflammatory qualities and its antioxidant content. 

What are the Benefits of Fish Oil for Bodybuilding?

For bodybuilders, fish oil offers a number of benefits. In short, fish oil helps to speed up recovery time, supports testosterone levels, helps burn body fat, and helps promote muscle growth.

Lets go over the details of each benefit below.

Aids in Fat Loss

For those who want to shed fat while building muscle, fish oils can be very beneficial. A study conducted by the University of South Australia showed that a group of subjects given six grams of fish oils per day lost significantly more weight and body fat than the control group, who were not given any supplements. This was just one of many studies that have shown the effectiveness of fish oil for fat loss.

Reduces Risk of Injury

Fish oil has been proven to significantly reduce unhealthy inflammation and the risk of sports-related injury. Anyone who has become injured at the gym will recognize that this is a HUGE benefit of fish oil for bodybuilders. Taking fish oil is not going to make you invincible, but it will definitely help you avoid getting hurt at the gym - and in the case of an injury, it can also help to reduce inflammation and pain and speed healing.

Balances Omega Fatty Acid Levels

Long story short, most people consume far too much Omega-6 fatty acid, which can cause unhealthy inflammation. Ideally you should have a 1:1 ratio of Omega-6 and Omega-3, but most people consume more like 10:1 or worse. Fish oil, which contains a high concentration of healthy Omega-3 fatty acids, can help to balance the body’s levels, which reduces unhealthy inflammation.

Note that inflammation is not necessarily bad - in fact, it’s the body’s way of healing minor injuries and rebuilding muscle. However, when you consistently have an imbalance of fatty acids, your muscles and joints will be continuously inflamed, which can cause tissue and organ damage in the long run. Constant inflammation also leads to chronic muscle fatigue, increased soreness, and slower muscle recovery - all conditions that will prevent you from making the gains you work so hard for.

Increases Muscle Gain

In several studies, researchers have shown that subjects taking daily fish oil supplements had increased muscle gain in a given period, when compared to their peers who did not take fish oil. Several researchers have speculated that fish oil can help to take calories that would normally be stored as fat, and partition them for muscle building. And since these supplements can help reduce muscle fatigue and soreness, you will find it easier to workout more often, which obviously helps to build more muscle.

Those are the just a few of the benefits you will enjoy if you opt to supplement your routine with fish oil. It’s also important to note that fish oil is a recommended supplement for just about everyone, so there’s really no harm in taking it. Besides the benefits listed above, fish oil has been proven to reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, and many other life-threatening ailments.

Research has also shown fish oil to assist in mental health and brain health. It’s such an easy, risk-free addition to any diet/supplement regimen that we recommend it to everyone who will listen to us! In essence, fish oil will help you gain muscle, feel better, and live longer - so why not add it to your diet?

​To learn more about fish oils, check out our article here.