Pre-workout PUFAs may prevent pain

New research suggests a pre-exercise dose of omega-3 may reduce post-workout muscle stress.

A pre-workout dose of omega-3 may reduce post-workout aches and pains, according to new research.

Kinesiology professor Timothy Mickleborough of the Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington previously studied how an omega-3 supplement from the New Zealand green-lipped mussel seemed to help reduce the effects of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowl disease and exercise-induced asthma. "I thought if it can be used as an anti-inflammatory for lungs, perhaps it could reverse muscle inflammation as well," said Mickleborough in a university release.

Both studies were funded by Pharmalink International LTD, which developed the marine oil used in the research.

For the new study, Mickleborough and his team enlisted “untrained male subjects"--"untrained” in reference to their exercise habits, not their propensity to put the seat down. “Untrained” subjects would show greater muscle response than athletic, “trained” subjects. The subjects were randomly given either the marine oil supplement or the placebo for 26 days before a 20-minute, muscle-damaging exercise session that had them run at fairly high intensity downhill on a treadmill. Researchers tested the subjects’ bodies’ reaction immediately and at 24, 48, 72 and 96 hours post-workout.

The supplement seemed to make a big difference. Subjects who took it experienced less muscle soreness, muscle pain, less strength loss, less fatigue and even less inflammatory proteins in their bloodstream.

The supplement could help triathletes, recreational athletes and even couch potatoes who sprint to the fridge during commercials. "Essentially, for anyone who is engaging in unaccustomed exercise, it's a nice product," said Mickleborough. The research was published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition and noted on

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