Professor of the Practice of Law University of Denver Sturm College of Law

Exercise & Omega-3s

Sometimes we avoid exercise when we are sore from a prior workout.  Recovery from exercise makes it easier to be active more regularly.

Researchers gave 14 healthy males in their 20s an omega-3 supplement (7) or a placebo (7).  After 4 weeks, all participants undertook a downhill running workout.  Muscle soreness was significantly lower in the omega-3 supplement group than in the placebo group, 24 hours after the workout.

This study suggests that omega-3 supplementation may make it easier to keep your exercise commitment because muscle soreness is reduced.  In this study, the omega-3 participants took a single 1040 mg capsule, three times a day, of Maximum Strength Pure Fish Oil, Nature’s Best, UK, for a total of 3900 mg of fish oil daily.  This dose is considered safe by the European Food Safety Authority.

Omega-3 supplements have also been shown to reduce depression symptoms, and to protect brain and cardiovascular health.

Takeaway:  Omega-3 supplements, if authorized by your doctor, might enhance muscle recovery, and make regular exercise easier due to a reduction in muscle soreness.

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Yvoni Kyriakidou, et al., The Effect of Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid on Exercise-Induced Muscle Damage, Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, Jan. 13, 2021,

Debra S. Austin, Food for Thought: The Neuroscience of Nutrition to Fuel Cognitive Performance, 95 Or. L. Rev. 425, 466, 485 (2017), online at

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