Definition: "An ergogenic aid is any substance or phenomenon that enhances performance "

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EPA-rich fish oil boosts footballers' endurance capacity

EPA-rich fish oil boosts footballers' endurance capacity
The endurance capacity of football players during a match increases if they take EPA-rich fish oil. British researchers at the University of Stirling write about this in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. The dose is a little bit on the high side though...

The researchers gave 13 footballers 7 capsules a day of concentrated fish oil for a period of four weeks during the football season. Each capsule contained 1 g fish oil, which consisted for 70 percent of EPA, 20 percent of Die and for 2 percent of docosapentaenoic acid. The footballers took the capsules at meals.

A control group of 13 different footballers took a placebo.

The researchers measured the footballers' maximal strength on a leg-extension machine before and after the supplementation period. Supplementation had no effect. The footballers who had been given fish oil didn't jump any higher, sprint any faster or breathe any deeper either.

The supplementation did results in considerably better scores in the Yo-Yo level 1 test.

EPA-rich fish oil boosts footballers' endurance capacity

The Yo-Yo test gives a good indication of the endurance capacity that footballers will have during matches. [Sports Med. 2008;38(1):37-51.]

The test involves sprinting a distance of 20 metres in increasingly shorter times, and walking a distance of 10 metres during a10-second period between sprints. The test continues until you can no longer sprint the 20 metres in the allotted time. The score is the total amount of metres covered.

"This study reveals a significant increase in anaerobic endurance capacity during intermittent exercise in soccer players following 4 weeks of structured training while supplementing with n-3 fatty acids," the researchers concluded. "However, further work is required in larger studies to confirm our observation, and to explore the mechanism involved."

"We also can conclude that 4 weeks of n-3 fatty acids supplementation did not improve strength, power or speed assessments of physical function, nor tests of respiratory function."

"The dose of n-3 fatty acids administered in this study was a high dose provided on a body mass adjusted basis to maximise incorporation of n-3 fatty acids into cell membranes, and this ingestion is unlikely to be feasible for all soccer players."

"Future studies should investigate the dose response effect of n-3 fatty acids supplementation on training induced outcomes, or examine whether a loading dose followed by a maintenance dose can sustain the lipid changes observed."

Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2017 Apr 7:1-25.

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