Home Fitness & Health Supplement Guide: Part III – Fish Oil

Supplement Guide: Part III – Fish Oil

by nick

Over the last few years, fish oil supplements become extremely popular. The amount of benefits associated with fish oil (omega-3) is almost endless, and potential side effects seem almost non-existent. For this reason I highly recommend that everyone should take fish oil supplements.

However, like when every other supplement gains popularity, questions usually follow such as:

  • What is fish oil?
  • What are the benefits?
  • Is it safe? Are there any side effects?
  • When and how should I take them?
  • How much fish oil should I take per day?
  • How much omega-3 should I take per day?
  • What brand is best?

Let’s answer all these questions now…

What is Fish Oil?

It’s the one and only supplement that I recommend to everyone, no matter what your fitness goals are (lose body fat, gain muscle, etc.) It doesn’t really matter if you exercise, follow a diet, or care about the way your body looks. You should still take it and I’ll explain why…

As mentioned above, fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, to be precise eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which are essential fatty acids that most people’s diets are lacking. EPA and DHA are extremely good for you and fish oil supplements just so happen to be the most rich and convenient source of it.

What Are The Benefits of Fish Oil?

There are so many benefits associated with fish oil supplements I don’t know where to begin. So, let’s first start with the benefits that help us build muscle, lose fat and improve how our bodies look.

In general, omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil supplements play a major part in almost every single of the processes that take place inside your body when you’re trying to build muscle, lose body fat, maintain muscle and recover from workouts.

Does fish oil burn build muscle or burn fat? No. However it definitely plays a role in assisting the process and helps improve your body’s ability to make them happen.

I’ve seen a few studies that both reached similar results: people lose more fat when they combine a healthy diet and exercise with a fish oil supplement, compared to people who just eat healthy and exercise regularly without taking fish oil.

Also, omega-3 fatty acids have also been shown to stimulate fat oxidation, develop insulin sensitivity and improve calorie partitioning.

Calorie partitioning means how your body uses calories. Therefore:

  • When you create a caloric surplus (needed for building muscle), will the excess calories be used to build muscle or be stored as fat?
  • When you create a caloric deficit (needed for losing fat), will your body burn your stored body fat for energy, or will it burn muscle tissue instead?

That’s calorie partitioning and fish oil supplements help improve it in the right direction; build muscle or burn body fat.

Also, fish oil supplements help you burn more calories per day (thermogenesis), prevents muscle breakdown (ant-catabolic effect) and reduces fat storage (anti-lipogenic effect).

Now that I’ve covered the benefits of fish oil supplements regarding building muscle and losing body fat, it’s now time to highlight the general health benefits of taking fish oil:

  • Reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack.
  • Lower blood pressure and blood triglyceride levels.
  • Decrease inflammation.
  • Reduce joint stiffness.
  • Lower cholesterol levels.

In addition, fish oil has been shown to help prevent the following:

  • Depression
  • Cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Arthritis
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Dementia
  • ADHD

Fish oil supplements have also been shown to improve concentration levels and memory. Other benefits often experienced when taking it are better skin and hair, and an improved sense of well-being. If you dig deeper you’ll find the benefits are endless!

Is It Safe? Are There Any Side Effects?

Fish oil supplements are completely safe!

What you have to consider is that it’s just the oil found in fish. Nothing else. Do ask what the side effects are before eating tuna? No. So for the average healthy adult its 100% safe as long as you’re not exceeding the recommended daily dosage.

The only side effect of taking fish oil that you may experience is a fishy aftertaste, but as long as you’re using a quality brand, you won’t experience this problem.

Obviously if you’re allergic to fish or iodine, or have any other health issues, you should check with your doctor before taking them, just to be sure.

When And How Should I Take Them?

You should always take fish oil supplements after a meal and not on an empty stomach.

Consuming a fish oil capsule is simple. Swallow it with a glass of water, just like you would with a normal tablet.

If you’re taking more than 1 fish oil supplement capsule per day, then you should spread it out throughout the day. For example; one after breakfast, one after lunch and one after dinner.

How Much Fish Oil Should I Take Per Day? How many capsules?

In order to answer this question, you first need to know your daily optimal fish oil dosage to actually experience the above benefits. Once you know that you’ll be able to work out how many capsules of your specific brand you need to take to reach the optimal dosage.

So, based on all the recommendations that I’ve seen, here’s what appears to be the best advice:

Optimal daily fish oil dosage = 1 – 3 grams of combined EPA and DHA per day.

Please note, I’m not talking about grams of total fat here. I’m talking about the total amount of combined grams of EPA and DHA – it’ll make more sense if you look at the nutrition guidelines on the back of the bottle.

EPA and DHA (omega-3 fatty acids) are the ingredients in fish oil supplements that provide all the benefits.

Therefore, the optimal fish oil dosage should only be based on them, not the total amount of fat, fish oil or omega-3 contained per serving.

Here’s an example of what I mean using Optimum Nutrition’s Fish Oil, which is the brand I personally use.

This specific brand contains 180mg of EPA and 120mg of DHA per serving which is one capsule.

So combined, 180mg + 120mg = 300mg of combined EPA and DHA


  • 2 capsules of this specific brand give you 600mg of EPA / DHA.
  • 3 capsules of this specific brand give you 900mg of EPA/ DHA.
  •   4 capsules of this specific brand give you 1.2 grams of EPA/ DHA. This is the minimum I’d recommend for fish oil to actually be effective.
  • 5 capsules of this specific brand gives you 1.5 grams of EPA/ DHA . This is the amount I personally take each day.

As I said above, I personally take 5 capsules of this specific brand per day, and that gives me 1.5 grams of combined EPA/DHA every day. Some people will take more, however as I eat a lot of fish, so this dosage is pretty close to perfect for me.

However, as long as you’re within the optimal range of 1 – 3 grams of combined EPA/ DHA per day, you’re fine.

Also bear in mind that the above amounts only apply to this specific brand. Other fish oil brands contain different amounts of EPA and DHA per serving and therefore a different amount of capsules will most likely need to be taken.

What Brand Is Best?

When selecting a particular fish oil supplement brand, you need to consider the following:

Quality – When it comes to supplements, quality is always the most important thing for me. I not only want to avoid the fishy aftertaste that’s associated with low quality brands, but I also want to see the highest levels of purification and the best results.

Convenience – As I mentioned above, some brands contain less or more EPA/ DHA per serving. The higher the concentration per capsule, the less you’ll have to take per day. Personally I’d rather take 5 capsules instead of 10 every single day.

Price – While generic store brands are generally cheaper than specific fitness brands, I don’t mind paying a little extra for the quality and convenience described above.

My Recommendation For The Best Fish Oil Supplement

Fish Oil: Optimum Nutrition Fish Oil Capsules

I’ve already mentioned the brand that I use and guess what? I highly recommend it! I spent a lot of time doing a lot of research on fish oil over the years. Based on all of that on all of that and considering the 3 factors mentioned above, I can honestly say Optimum Nutrition Fish Oil Capsules is a good fish oil supplement to get. It’s the only brand that I’ve ever used.

Where To Buy It

As for where to buy it, the link above will take you to Amazons website, which is where I’ve been ordering all of my supplements for years. I highly recommend getting your supplements from there too.

What to Look Forward to in Part IV

Now that you know everything you need to know about fish oil, in part IV we will discuss the next supplement that may be beneficial to you…multivitamins.

Related Articles

Leave a Comment