Take a DHA-rich fish oil to improve cognition and memory. Better brain function means more focus, motivation, and drive, which will make everything about your life better, including your workouts.
There are many benefits of fish oil for health and performance. The brain is a major target for fish oil because more than 50 percent of the brain is made up of fatty acids. Fish oil supplies the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA. ALA is another omega-3 fat that comes from flaxseed and other vegetable sources. Research shows unique benefits from getting extra DHA fish oil for memory.
DHA-Rich Fish Oil Improves Memory
A study in the British Journal of Nutrition showed that DHA-rich fish oil is the most effective omega-3 for boosting the brain. This study compared the effects of supplementing with either 1 gram of DHA, 1 gram of EPA, or a placebo for 12 weeks. Researchers analyzed changes in concentration, brain activity, and blood flow.
Results showed that taking the DHA-rich supplement significantly increased blood flow to the brain during a challenging cognitive test. There was also a substantial increase in prefrontal cortex activity. The participants had better overall performance in memory-related tasks after taking DHA-rich fish oil.
There was no difference in cognitive performance, blood flow, or prefrontal cortex activity between the group that took the placebo and the EPA supplement. The EPA supplement contained 200 mg of DHA. But scientists think this is too low a dose for improving cognitive function and brain activity.
DHA Fish Oil Protects The Brain
DHA is a natural component of human and mammal brains. It appears that brain function is best when DHA makes up close to 20 percent of the fatty acids found in the brain. DHA fish oil maintains the structural integrity of the cell membranes of the brain, meaning it has a direct impact on neurotransmitter function and memory. It also plays a role in preventing Alzheimer’s and keeping you sharp as you age.
How Much Fish Oil Should You Get?
The amount of fish oil you should get is individualized and depends on health status. People with poor health or disease will benefit from a higher intake of EPA and DHA than healthy people.
Healthy people who limit intake of processed foods can benefit from at least 1 gram of fish oil daily. For brain health, 1 gram of DHA may be beneficial with total omega-3 intake in the 2 to 3 gram range.
People with poor health may be in a different boat. If you have high triglycerides, the American Heart Association recommends 2 to 4 grams of EPA and DHA a day. Patients with documented heart disease are advised to consume 1 gram of EPA and DHA a day.