Does your fish oil suck?

So you’ve probably heard that fish oil is good for you. But did you know that not all fish oil is the same?

Similar to protein powder (and a lot of other supplements out there), some brands of fish are total crap.

The good news is that it’s pretty easy to spot the bad ones. I’m going to show you how.

First though, let’s go over a few benefits that fish oil offers and why you might want to add it to your lineup (if you haven’t already).

I should also mention that I’m not big on taking tons of supplements. However, a high-quality fish oil is one of the few I recommend to almost all of my coaching clients.

Why take fish oil?

  • beneficial in reducing Triglycerides, blood pressure, and cholesterol
  • increases HDL-C (the good Cholesterol)
  • decreases LCL-C (the bad Cholesterol)
  • promotes overall cardiovascular health (can help prevent heart disease & stroke)
  • Can help reduce menstrual related pains, breast tenderness and risk of miscarriage
  • improves mental clarity
  • helps with inflammation in some cases
  • possible reduction in cortisol/stress levels
  • has been shown in multiple studies to help reduce depression
  • can be beneficial in reducing muscle soreness
  • helps reduce dry eyes
  • helps with hair and nail health
  • and more

As you can see, fish oil has TONS of benefits, and I’ve only listed a few above.

So now that I’ve convinced you to try it out, let me tell you how to find a good brand.

How to tell if your fish oil is crap (in less than a minute):

  • Step 1: Look at the serving size
  • Step 2: Look at DHA/EPA content, not total fish oil (1000 mg = 1 g)
  • Step 3: determine how many pills you’d have to take to fill your daily requirement (less = better)

While you may pay a bit more for a high-quality supplement, you’ll take fewer pills overall so usually it ends up saving you money.

I usually recommend anywhere from 2-3g EPA/DHA daily which works out to only 2-3 pills of the higher-quality/more potent brands like this one.

To put that in perspective, you’d have to take 8-12 pill of the other brands to get the same amount of EPA/DHA!

Who the heck is going to swallow 12 fish oil pills? Not me.

In addition to making sure you’re getting a high concentration of DHA/EPA per pill, here are a few other factors to consider:

  • Sustainability: what type of fish was used? Some fish oils will use species of fish that are endangered. If this is something important to you, consider picking a brand that is approved by the MSC (Marine Stewardship Council).
  • Purity: look for a brand that is molecularly distilled to remove certain contaminants like mercury, dioxins, PCBs, and heavy metals.
  • Additives: Fish oil shouldn’t contain extra additives like corn, egg, gluten, milk, peanut, soy, magnesium stearate, sulfates, dioxides, preservatives, etc… (should be verified by an independent lab).

If you didn’t do so while you were reading this, now is the time to either:

A. Go to your cabinet and see if your current fish oil is any good (if you’re already supplementing with fish oil)

B. Make sure to check the labels when ordering. You know what to look for now, so you should be all set.

Lastly, if you’re looking for a high-quality option here’s my favorite option.

About Melissa

Melissa Wilson is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through NSCA and received her Bachelor’s degree from California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo. In addition to in-person training, Melissa is the founder of ProShape Fitness -- a healthy living company, which specializes in online fitness and nutrition coaching for individuals who want to get back into shape and adopt healthier lifestyle habits.

Read More About Melissa...