Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for our health and play an important role in muscle building. The two main types of omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish and supplements are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). In this blog post you will learn what role EPA and DHA play in muscle building and health and which omega-3 supplement best suits your goals.
EPA and DHA: what are the differences?
EPA and DHA are long-chain omega-3 fatty acids found primarily in oily fish, such as salmon, mackerel and herring, and in seaweed oil. Both fatty acids have different functions in the body:
- EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid): EPA primarily has an anti-inflammatory effect and plays an important role in regulating inflammatory processes in the body.
- DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid): DHA is an important component of cell membranes, particularly in brain and nerve cells, and supports cognitive function and vision.
EPA, DHA and muscle building
Both omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, have positive effects on muscle building:
EPA and muscle building
- Anti-inflammatory effect: Intensive training causes micro-injuries in the muscles that cause inflammatory reactions. EPA has an anti-inflammatory effect and thus supports the regeneration of the muscles and reduces the risk of injury.
- Promoting Insulin Sensitivity: Good insulin sensitivity is important for muscle building because it facilitates the transport of nutrients, such as amino acids and glucose, into muscle cells. EPA can improve insulin sensitivity and thus optimize nutrient transport.
DHA and muscle building
- Improving Protein Synthesis: DHA supports protein synthesis in muscle cells. Improved protein synthesis ensures that the body can build new muscle mass more efficiently.
- Strengthening of cell membranes: Since DHA is an important component of cell membranes, it contributes to the stability and integrity of muscle cells and thus indirectly promotes muscle growth.
EPA, DHA and health
In addition to the positive effects on muscle building, EPA and DHA also offer numerous health benefits:
EPA and health
- Cardiovascular Health: EPA may help lower blood pressure and blood triglyceride levels, which reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Mood and Mental Health: Studies have shown that EPA combined with DHA can be effective in treating mood disorders such as depression and anxiety.
DHA and health
- Brain function and cognitive performance: DHA is an important component of brain and nerve cells and promotes cognitive function, memory and learning.
- Vision: DHA is a component of the retina in the eye and plays an important role in vision and eye health.
EPA or DHA: Which Omega-3 Supplement is Right for You?
Since both EPA and DHA have various positive effects on muscle building and health, taking a combination of both omega-3 fatty acids is recommended. Most omega-3 supplements contain both EPA and DHA in varying ratios. It is important to ensure a sufficient supply of both fatty acids.
The German Society for Nutrition (DGE) recommends a daily intake of 250 mg EPA and DHA. To get the most out of the muscle building and health benefits of EPA and DHA, they should be taken regularly and in adequate amounts. When buying supplements, make sure they contain both EPA and DHA and are of high quality.
EPA and DHA play an important role in muscle building and health. Both omega-3 fatty acids have different roles in the body, each contributing in their own way to promoting muscle growth, recovery, and overall health. Therefore, it is recommended to take a combination of EPA and DHA to get the full potential of these essential fatty acids. Ensure adequate intake and prefer high-quality supplements to best support your fitness goals and health benefits.