5 Surprising Benefits of Antarctic Krill Oil for Athletes
If you follow Dr. Rhonda Patrick, you know the importance of Krill Oil and alllll the benefits they bring.
If you don't follow her and are interested in Krill Oil, we highly suggest you jump on the bandwagon and start.
But for now, here are the general benefits of Krill Oil and Omega-3 Fatty Acids
- Reduces All-Cause Mortality
- Delays Brain Aging and Atrophy
- Reduces Inflammation and Tissue Damage
- Increases HDL - "Good" Cholesterol
- Reduces Triglycerides
- Improves Cell Membrane Fluidity
We'll go over why Krill is beneficial to athletes in the upcoming paragraphs, so keep reading!
WHAT IS KRILL OIL?
Krill Oil comes from Antarctic Krill, the 'pink gold' of the ocean.
These tiny shrimp-like ocean creatures are the unsung heroes of the Antarctic ocean that sustain the world's largest mammal, the blue whale, as well as over 82 other species.
Crossing over to land, Antarctic Krill is packed with essential nutrients to benefit human life as well.
Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids EPA and DHA reduce triglyceride levels and LDL, while simultaneously increasing HDL levels.
Phospholipid Omega-3's are considered building blocks for your cells and are readily transported to your brain and easily absorbed by your small intestines.
Choline is vital for proper cell structure, function, and signaling. It also supports cardiovascular, liver, and brain health.
KRILL OIL BENEFITS FOR ATHLETES
Here's the meat and potatoes of this blog post and the reason you're still reading...Krill's benefits for athletes.
Athletes can use krill to:
- Boost Endurance
- Support VO2 Max
- Improve Recovery Time
- Reduce DOMS
- Build Muscle and Reduce Muscle Damage
- Improve Brain Health
Krill oil supplementation boosts your endurance by:
- Helping your heart beat slower and more efficiently
- Reducing the oxygen consumption of your heart and muscles without affecting performance
- Reducing inflammation in your airways so that you breathe better throughout your training
Endurance training relies on 3 principles:
- VO2 MAX - how much oxygen-rich blood your heart pumps out and how efficient your muscles are at extracting and using the oxygen from your blood
- A high lactate threshold - the fastest pace your body can maintain without producing too much lactic acid
- Muscle fuel economy - your body’s ability to efficiently use available oxygen and keep moving while minimizing energy cost
The more you train, the bigger your heart chambers and the thicker the walls of your heart become.
As a result, your trained heart makes each pump count. At peak performance, it can push out six times the amount of blood that an untrained heart does.
Omega-3 fatty acids found in krill oil slow down your heart's average pace — helping to get your heart in shape.
A study of 25 Australian footballers on daily DHA supplements showed that omega-3 fats lower:
- Resting heart rate
- Elevated heart rate during moderate to high-intensity exercise
- Peak heart rate
- Oxygen consumption
If your goal is intense training, a lower heart rate and efficient oxygen use by your muscles guarantee your endurance.
Speaking of oxygen, omega-3 fatty acids also help athletes breathe easier, especially those who suffer from exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (airflow obstruction).
The coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath that commonly occur during exercise are often caused by inflammation.
Omega-3 fats suppress the inflammation of your airways and lessen their narrowing—relieving labored breathing.
SPEEDS UP RECOVERY TIME
Every athlete struggles with DOMS (Delayed-onset Muscle Soreness), either from new or prolonged exercise.
It’s the unbearable pain following leg day.
DOMS affects your joint range of motion and shock absorption—which can put you out of commission for several days.
We feel your pain, and that’s why we love the benefits that krill oil products have on muscle recovery.
Omega-3 fats and astaxanthin are an impressive, anti-inflammatory tag team.
The strong antioxidant properties of astaxanthin counter the damaging effects of free radicals. Omega-3 fats cut down pain and decrease swelling 24–48 hours post-workout.
When we exercise our bodies heavily, we produce a sizable amount of free radicals. In large quantities, these free radicals overwhelm our in-built antioxidant system and cause muscle damage.
Supplementing with krill oil can help your body jumpstart the healing process.
MUSCLE RECOVERY CAN PREVENT BLOOD CLOTS
While on the subject of recovery, healing your muscles and tissues can prevent a serious condition called deep vein thrombosis (clots in your veins). Athletes are particularly prone to this because of workout injuries and large muscles that narrow the blood outlets.
Long-term use of omega-3 keeps blood vessels free from damage. They also cause slow blood clotting by preventing blood platelets from clumping together.
As with most essential nutrients, supplementing afterward doesn’t yield results. You need a consistent supplement regimen to work preventatively and keep your body primed.
BUILD MUSCLE AND REDUCE MUSCLE DAMAGE
In krill oil, these superhero fats, omega-3s, are carried by fatty acids similar to the cell membrane phospholipids in our bodies.
The fats can easily plug into the membranes surrounding your muscles, triggering:
- Production of more protein
- Efficient production of energy within your muscles at a cellular level
- Suppression of factors that regulate muscle protein breakdown
Krill oil is vital for muscle repair work and the synthesis of protein—a key component in the formation of new muscle.
MUSCLE GROWTH AND REPAIR
As an athlete, you’re constantly trying to maintain a net positive protein balance so that you don’t tap into your muscle reserves for energy.
Meanwhile, the exercise that is helping you build new muscles is also causing muscle breakdown.
Although this balance of building and breaking down protein is normal, an imbalance in your body can tip the scales—thus affecting your muscle mass.
What do these imbalances look like?
- Overdoing one type of exercise, either cardio (aerobic) or resistance training (anaerobic)
- Taking insufficient amounts of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), which are the easiest protein components for your body to use
- Buildup of free radicals resulting from exercise without antioxidants to prevent muscle damage
- Stress hormone buildup which causes protein breakdown
Krill oil, with its strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, protects existing muscles while setting the stage for muscle growth.
Our extra strength krill oil carries double the amount of omega-3 for athletes pushing their muscles to the limit.
KRILL OIL SUPPLEMENTS SUPPLIES YOUR BODY WITH THE CHOLINE IT NEEDS
Choline and omega-3 fats are a winning combination that boosts muscle control and human brain function.
CHOLINE BENEFITS FOR BRAIN HEALTH
Choline supports higher brain functions such as sense and recognition, motion, learning, memory retention, and spatial recognition.
Take a moment and think about any contact sport or physical training. You need to retain the memory of skills learned. You then tap into these memories and use your senses and spatial recognition to play well.
CHOLINE BENEFITS FOR MUSCLE RECOVERY
A randomized controlled trial of athletes supplementing choline showed that:
- Choline made them less fatigued before practice
- Athletes felt more energetic at the beginning of practice and the end of the session
Your body uses choline to make acetylcholine, which is the chief transmitter of messages from your brain to the nerves that contract muscles, dilate blood vessels, and slow heart rate.
Studies have shown that choline levels drop below 50% in cases of prolonged exercise (two hours or more).
Choline deficiency during endurance exercises leads to muscle damage and reduced muscle stimulation. These two contribute to the muscle fatigue you experience at the end of prolonged exercise.
DID YOU KNOW?
Krill is one of the higher natural phosphatidylcholine sources.
This phospholipid contributes to the lipid composition of cells. It also incorporates choline as a head group.
Why is this significant for athletes?
Phospholipids are the building blocks of every cell in your body. They are readily transported into the brain and are easily absorbed in the small intestine.
KRILL OIL INCREASES PRECISION AND REACTION TIME
60% of your brain is fat. Omega-3 fats in krill oil are the raw material for your brain cells.
Beyond brain structure, these fats are also vital for:
- Visual sharpness
- Mental development
- Perceptual motor skills—the combination of senses and motor skills in interacting with the environment, including spatial, directional, and temporal awareness
When you combine the three ingredients above, you get better reaction time and better decision-making skills. Elite female athletes were also found to have sharper reflexes while supplementing omega-3.
KRILL OIL VS. FISH OIL
Krill oil is a better source of omega-3 than fish oil.
Krill are at the bottom of the marine food chain and are less likely than other fish to bioaccumulate toxins like mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).