Adding omega-3 fatty acids to a protein-based supplement during pre-season training results in reduced muscle soreness and the better maintenance of explosive power in professional Rugby Union players
Black, K. E., Witard, O. C., Baker, D., Healey, P., Lewis, V., Tavares, F., … Smith, B. (2018). Adding omega-3 fatty acids to a protein-based supplement during pre-season training results in reduced muscle soreness and the better maintenance of explosive power in professional Rugby Union players. European Journal of Sport Science, 18(10), 1357–1367. https://doi.org/10.1080/17461391.2018.1491626
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/13105
Evidence suggests that omega-3 fatty acid supplementation could reduce muscle soreness and maintain muscle function following eccentric exercise-induced muscle damage. The aim of this applied field study was to investigate the effectiveness of consuming a protein-based supplement containing 1546 mg of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) (551 mg eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and 551 mg docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)) twice daily (FO) compared to a protein-based placebo (P) on muscle soreness, countermovement jump (CMJ) performance and psychological well-being in 20 professional Rugby Union players during 5 weeks of pre-season training. Players completed a 5-point-Likert soreness scale with 5 indicating “no soreness” and a questionnaire assessing fatigue, sleep, stress and mood each morning of training, plus they performed CMJ tests once or twice per week. Data were analysed using magnitude-based inferential statistics and are presented as percent beneficial/trivial/harmful. On day 35, there was a likely (% beneficial/trivial/harmful: 94/5/1) moderate (0.75, standardized mean difference (SMD)) beneficial effect of FO vs. P on the change in lower body muscle soreness compared with day 0 (FO: −3.8 ± 21.7%; P: −19.4 ± 11.2%). There was a likely (92/7/0) moderate (SMD: 0.60) beneficial effect of FO vs. P on CMJ performance (change from baseline to day 35, FO: +4.6 ± 5.9%; P: −3.4 ± 8.6%). From day 20, a moderate beneficial effect of FO on fatigue was observed. In terms of practical relevance, the moderate beneficial effect of adding fish oil to a protein-based supplement on muscle soreness translated into the better maintenance of explosive power in elite Rugby Union players during pre-season training.
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This is an author’s accepted version of an article published in the journal: European Journal of Sport Science. © 2019 Taylor & Francis.