It seems that more and more people are taking fish oil these days. Is this something you recommend?
ou’re absolutely right—fish oil is becoming very popular, and for good reason. There are a number of health benefits associated with this supplement and, if experts had to choose between fish oil supplementation and a daily multivitamin/ mineral, more and more would probably steer you toward fish oil. First of all, the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil are generally considered anti-inflammatory, while omega-6 fatty acids are considered pro-inflammatory. Unfortunately, traditional western diets are much higher in omega-6’s compared to omega-3’s, so trying to incorporate more omega-3’s into your diet is just good common sense. In addition, omega-3’s have been shown to lower triglycerides levels, reduce heart attack and stroke risk, slow the build-up of artery plagues, and slightly lower blood pressure. And if that’s not enough, they have also been studied extensively for their neuroprotective effects related to Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and depression. If you decide to supplement with fish oil, typical dosages start at 1,000mg of EPA and DHA (the two prominent fatty acids) per day. It’s also a good idea to incorporate at least two servings of low-mercury, fatty fish per week.
I know I burn a lot of calories during my workout, but I’ve read that the calorie burn continues even after my workout is done. Is this really true?
Yes—this is true. This phenomenon is termed EPOC, or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. It’s important to note that the calories your body burns is directly related to the amount of oxygen your body uses to function on a daily basis. Therefore, the more oxygen you consume, the more calories you burn. Many people will have you believe that doing high-intensity (or prolonged) exercise will turn you into an oxygen-consuming, fat-burning machine for the next 24-48 hours afterward. Unfortunately, research has proven this isn’t the case. Your metabolic rate is clearly elevated during exercise, but will gradually start to decline after your workout. The pace at which you return to baseline is determined by the duration and intensity of the exercise. The longer and harder you go, the longer it will take for your metabolic rate to return to normal. EPOC refers to the extra oxygen consumed (and, therefore, calories burned) during this timeframe. Unfortunately, despite the claims, EPOC doesn’t contribute significantly to total daily energy expenditure. The calories burned DURING your workout session are what you need to be concerned with…along with just being more active throughout the rest of your day!