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Omegas for Athletes: Plant-Based Nutrition
Omegas for Athletes: Plant-Based Nutrition
If you’re an athlete, you probably think a lot about nutrition — even more so if you’re a vegetarian or simply trying to eat more plant-based. One class of nutrients that can often go missing in a vegetable lover’s diet is omega fatty acids. That’s a concern, because omegas play a vital role in an athlete’s diet. The good news is that Omega Blend by Juice Plus+ is an easy way to incorporate vegan omega-3 — as well as vegan omega-5, omega-6, omega-7, and omega-9 fatty acids into your diet — without fish oil.
Why should athletes take an omega supplement? Check out these omega benefits:
- Recovery. Regular exercise helps promote a healthy inflammation balance in the body. The catch is that strenuous exercise can also cause a temporary spike in inflammation, particularly if you overdo it.[i] Supplementation with omega-3s can be a great way to help with the inflammation caused by training, so you can recover better.[ii],[iii] One study of young women who were just taking up weight training found those who took omega-3s were 33 to 42 percent less sore than those who took a placebo.[iv]
- Maintain Healthy Blood Levels. Many people eat fish or take fish oil supplements to ensure they’re getting enough omega-3. But how do you get vegetarian omega-3? The good news is there are vegan omega-3 sources, such as nuts and seeds. The bad news is you’ve got to eat a lot of these foods to bring your blood levels to an optimal level. A more concentrated source of vegan omega-3 is oil derived from algae (the same place fish get it!). Supplementation with vegetarian omega vitamins made from algal oil is an easy way to help you maintain healthy blood levels of omega fatty acids, no fish required.
- Get a Diverse Range of Nutrients. As an athlete, it’s crucial to get just the right mix of lean protein, complex carbs, and healthy fats onto your plate. Healthy fats include monounsaturated fats, like olive oil, and polyunsaturated fats, such as omega fatty acids. Just like protein and carbs, omegas are essential elements of an athlete’s diet, whether you’re a rookie or a seasoned competitor.
- Work Out Harder. Several studies have found omegas improve various measures of athletic prowess.[v] One of these was performed on 30 young men who were spending an average of 17 hours a week training. Even these athletes, who were already performing at a high level, got stronger and experienced less fatigue when they took an omega supplement.[vi]
- Stay Well. Nothing sidelines a workout like being under the weather. And your immune system can be temporarily depressed after a long, hard workout, leaving athletes particularly susceptible to immune challenges. A study of 37 healthy young cyclists found that taking an omega supplement increased several markers of immune function.[vii]
Omega Blend by Juice Plus+ is a plant-based mix of omega-3, -5, -6, -7, -9 fatty acids containing DHA, EPA, and ALA derived from fruit, algae, and seed oils. Because the omegas are harvested from algae rather than fish, and the seeds are cold-pressed rather than extracted with chemical solvents, you can feel good knowing Omega Blend is made in a sustainable and eco-friendly manner. It’s a convenient way for a busy athletes to reap all the benefits of omegas.
[i] Daniells S. Omega 3-s show ‘positive effects’ for athletic endurance and muscle function. Nutraingredients. 2015 Jul 1. http://www.nutraingredients-usa.com/Research/Omega-3s-show-positive-effects-for-athletic-endurance-and-muscle-function
[ii] Lewis EJ, et al. J Int Society Sports Nutr. 2015 Jun 18;12:28. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=21+days+of+mammalian+omega-3+fatty+acid+supplementation+improves+aspects+of+neuromuscular+function+and+performance+in+male+athletes+compared+to+olive+oil+placebo
[iii] Khazaei M. Iran J Basic Med Sci. 2012 Sep-Oct;15(5):1008-09. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Chronic+low-grade+inflammation+after+exercise%3A+controversies
[iv] Zhang H, Zhang C. Exp Diabetes Res. 2012; 2012:972679. doi: 10.1155/2012/972679. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Vasoprotection+by+dietary+supplements+and+exercise%3A+role+of+TNF-alpha+signaling
[v] Polus A, et al. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta. 2016 Nov;186(11):1746-55. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Omega-3+fatty+acid+supplementation+influences+the+whole+blood+transcriptome+in+women+with+obesity%2C+associated+with+pro-resolving+lipid+mediator+production
[vi] Tinsley GM, et al. J Diet Suppl. 2016 Jul 21:1-12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Effects+of+fish+oil+supplementation+on+postresistance+exercise+muscle+soreness
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