Pixel Tracker

Friday, December 14 , 2018, 5:04 pm | Partly Cloudy 59º


Traver Boehm: Benefits of Fish Oil Supplements Catching On

But not all products are created equal, and quality does make a difference

“Of course I take fish oil. I get a big bottle of it every three months at Costco.”

Oh, boy. After last week’s juice talk, there were a lot of questions emailed in about supplements and their validity. Eric Malzone and I get asked on a daily basis about which supplements we are taking personally. The answer for most people, unfortunately, is rather disappointing — we take fish oil and vitamin C, and that’s it.

That’s it? But you guys work out six days a week? Yep, that’s all we take.

I spent a good portion of my 20s (and a good portion of my income in my 20s) running back and forth to GNC with a magazine in one hand and my hopes and dreams of gaining 50 pounds of muscle in the other. What did I walk away with usually? You know the old saying about doing something in one hand and wishing in the other? Yep, that pretty much sums it up. I usually bought a lot of expensive nonsense that didn’t add a pound of muscle anywhere on my body but did contribute significantly to the amount of time I spent in the bathroom.

Supplementing your diet with vitamins, minerals and even extra protein can be a good idea if you are deficient in those areas after eating a complete diet. Step one, however, is not all that popular. Step one should always be to get your daily intake of vitamins and minerals (not the recommended daily allowance set by your lovely government, by the way — that is the minimum amount necessary to keep you alive) through eating whole foods. Shocking, I know, but eating vegetables and lean meats will give you far more than supplements ever will.

That all being said, Eric and I do highly recommend fish oil supplementation and take fish oil on a daily basis ourselves. We do this simply because we have found, through our own self-experimentation as well as through monitoring the results of our athletes, that fish oil is the best natural anti-inflammatory agent that we know of. (Do a quick Google search on inflammation and the litany of ill health effects that scientists are discovering for which it’s at the root.)

There’s a catch, though. Fish oil is one of those products in which quality truly does make a difference. This is why we don’t want our athletes purchasing any supplement, or even food, for that matter, from major grocery chains or wholesalers.

What makes one fish oil better than another, you ask? Great question. What we’re looking for are two separate forms of Omega-3 fatty acid — docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). EPA is required for your body to produce prostoglandins, which are essential for healthy blood clotting and arterial health. DHA and EPA help with many processes, including brain development (60 percent of your brain is made up of fat, and most of that fat is made up of DHA, low levels of DHA have also been linked to depression) and functioning, cell-to-cell communication and most importantly to a serious athlete — regulating inflammation.

When choosing a fish oil, the keys to check are the amount of DHA and EPA present in the product as well as the ratio between the two. Most physicians will say that a healthy ration of EPA and DHA is 2:1 respectively. The amount of DHA and EPA in each capsule or teaspoon of fish oil will cue you in on its potency.

At Crossfit Pacific Coast, we sell and consume a fish oil product with 1,500 to 1,630 mgs or EPA per teaspoon and 1,025 to 1,075 mgs of DHA per teaspoon (compared with Costco’s Kirkland brand has a combined EPA/DHA of 300 mgs per capsule). This is obviously a very high concentration, without any fillers or artificial substances.

What positive results do we see from taking fish oil on a daily basis? I won’t speak for everyone, but I know that for Eric, myself and the rest of our coaching staff, when we are taking fish oil consistently our old injuries flare up far less often and we recover from workouts much faster. Less pain and faster recovery is exactly what we’re after.

If you’re not taking fish oil on a regular basis, I highly recommend doing so. If you have questions regarding a particular product, feel free to shoot us an email.

Have at it.

— Traver Boehm is co-owner and coach at Crossfit Pacific Coast, has a master’s degree in Chinese medicine, is a licensed acupuncturist at Alki Wellness, and a nutrition specialist. He can be contacted at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.