You are selling your results short by not giving your body all the nutrients it needs. I am talking specifically about the nutrients that are “essential” to the body. Essential nutrients are nutrients that the body cannot make and therefore must be obtained through the diet. Concerning the macronutrients, there are two groups of essential nutrients, essential amino acids (EAAs) and essential fatty acids (EFAs). Getting adequate protein in your diet each and every day is heavily stressed in the fitness community, but what is not stressed is getting in adequate essential fatty acids each day. Why would you focus on only getting one of the two essential nutrients? Both EAAs (in the form of protein) and EFAs MUST be obtained from your diet. To get the best results possible you must focus on getting enough of both protein and essential fats.
There are two fatty acids that are essential to the body, the omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and the omega-6 fatty acid linoleic acid (LA). ALA and LA are readily available in food, but to obtain their full benefits they must be converted into their long-chain metabolites, ALA to Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) and LA to Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA).
Alpha-linolenic acid (Omega-3)
Linoleic Acid (Omega-6)
The conversion of ALA to EPA and DHA as well as the conversion of LA to GLA is very limited, so even if you get some ALA and LA in your diet you may not be getting enough EPA, DHA, or GLA. Adding fat sources that contain EPA and DHA (like fish oil) and GLA (like borage oil) is the ideal to ensure you get these essential fatty acid metabolites. We have established that taking supplemental EPA, DHA, and GLA is ideal. Now let’s go over the beneficial effects these fatty acids have.
EPA Decreases Protein Breakdown
Muscle tissue is in a constant state of turnover, meaning it is being synthesized as well as broken down at all times. If protein breakdown is greater than protein synthesis then you are in a negative protein balance and muscle is loss. We do not want this! We want to keep protein balance positive and gain muscle. One way to accomplish this is by decreasing muscle protein breakdown. EPA has been shown to decrease the activity of the ATP ubiquitin-proteasome proteolytic pathway, which catabolisms muscle tissue. By adding EPA to your diet you can decrease muscle protein breakdown and muscle loss. Calorie restriction increases ATP ubiquitin-proteasome proteolytic pathway activity, so adding fish oil to your diet is a must!
Fish Oil Increases Insulin Sensitivity
Many studies have shown fish oil to improve insulin sensitivity. The more insulin sensitive you are the less insulin your body needs to secrete in order to dispose of nutrients. Remember insulin causes nutrients to be stored in both muscle and fat tissue. Secreting less insulin means more nutrients are shuttled to active muscle tissue and less to fat tissue, leading to increased lean mass gains and decreased fat storage. Adding fish oil to your diet can improve your body’s ability to utilize insulin and store nutrients.
Fish Oil Enhances Amino Acid Uptake
A recent study investigated the effects of omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil on insulin-mediated protein metabolism and found that the omega-3 fatty acids increase whole body disposal or uptake of amino acids. An increase in amino acid uptake in muscle means an increase in protein anabolism, leading to muscle growth. Simply adding fish oil to your diet can lead to enhanced muscle gains!
Fish Oil Supplementation Increases Fat Oxidation during Exercise
Long term fish oil supplementation has been shown to increase fat oxidation during exercise. Any time you can increase fat oxidation during exercise you are enhancing your fat loss results. Adding fish oil to your diet is an easy way to burn more fat.
Health Benefits of EPA and DHA
Those are four beneficial effects fish oil has directly related to gaining muscle and losing fat. Here are more health benefits of fish oil.
Decrease body fat mass
Improve cardiovascular health
Reduce blood pressure
Increase insulin sensitivity
Improve joint health
Necessary for proper functioning of the brain
Repair damaged cell membranes
Provide building blocks for Eicosanoids (signalling molecules) and growth factors
Increase cell membrane permeability (ability to transport nutrients in and out of cells)
So far we have focused on EPA and DHA, but what about GLA? GLA has some beneficial effects too!
Controlling Inflammation with GLA
EPA, DHA, and GLA have anti-inflammatory effects, so we want to keep the levels of these fatty acids high and keep AA, which has inflammatory effects, levels low. GLA can be converted to DGLA, which also has anti-inflammatory properties. Increasing dietary GLA levels increases DGLA levels without increasing AA levels. EPA and DGLA compete with AA, so increasing your dietary EPA and DGLA (from GLA) consumption decreases AA’s inflammatory actions. Some inflammation is needed to recovery from a workout, but too much inflammation carries health consequences. By taking EPA, DHA, and GLA we can control inflammation and not let it run wild.
GLA Decreases Fat Regain
Some studies show GLA decrease gain after weight loss. Studies on obese subjects showed that giving formerly obese subjects GLA helped them not regain the fat they loss. More studies need to be done on this potential benefit of GLA, but GLA may help maintain a lean weight after losing fat.
Health Benefits of GLA
Improve nerve functioning
Increase calcium absorption leading to stronger bones
Improve skin health
Decrease joint pain and swelling
Improve blood pressure
Assist in weight management
Decreases PMS (A GLA deficiency may be responsible for some PMS symptoms)
Boosts immune system
If you are deficient in EAAs protein synthesis cannot proceed at its full rate due to lacking the needed building blocks (amino acids) to build muscle tissue. The same holds true for the EFAs. Being deficient in EFAs and their metabolites will decrease protein synthesis and muscle repair due to lacking the needed materials. An EFA deficiency may also cause your body to try to “hold on to” your body fat because it senses it does not have all the materials/nutrients it needs. So if you do not have enough EFAs then you are not gaining muscle and progressing at the rate you could and your fat loss can become impeded. EPA and DHA have been shown to decrease protein breakdown, increase insulin sensitivity and amino acid uptake in tissues, and increase fat oxidation during exercise, all of which can lead to increased muscle gains and fat loss. We see that EPA, DHA, and GLA are vital for muscle growth and fat loss.
Scivation has created Essential EFA to give you a high dose of EPA and DHA (from fish oil) and GLA (from borage oil). Scivation’s source of Fish oil (from the waters of Peru) provides the highest potency and purity (mercury non-detectable) and ensures that the proper safeguards are taken to also protect the environment by working with ethical fishing organizations in South America. The General Law of Fishery regulates all fishing activities in Peru. Peruvian waters are monitored constantly by the Marine Institute of Peru (IMARPE) to ensure the presence of a healthy and growing ecological system and avoid contamination of the waters by enforcing adequate waste treatment for all fishing companies. When you take Essential EFA you know you are getting a PURE source of fish oil without contaminants. With Scivation Essential EFA there is no reason not to get the essential fatty acids you need and optimize your results!
Scivation Essential EFA
Per 3 Sci-Gels
Servings Per Container: 60
Ultra EFA Complex 1700mg
300mg EPA (From Fish Oil)
200mg DHA (From Fish Oil)
150mg GLA (From Borage Oil)
Complete Essentials Blend
200mg Calcium (From Calcium Citrate Malate)
400 IUs Vitamin D (From Cholicalciferol)
75mg Magnesium (From Magnesium Citrate)
5 IUs Vitamin E (From D-Alpha Tocopherol)