And Now, Fish Oil...

I just finished reading Never Let Go, by Dan John. He's a strength coach at Utah State and publishes lots of short articles to various places on the internet and the book basically gathers them together. It got me all fired up about a lot of stuff but the best were:

  • Eat protein and fiber at every meal,
  • Don't train medium! Focus on the things that improve your performance, and
Seriously, the dude is in love with fish oil.

When my dad was recovering from his heart attack (and related chest ninja damage), his doctor told him to start taking fish oil. I don't remember how much, but it seemed like he was drinking it by the can. At the time, I was like, "Eat a salmon bro, you're drinking like a million calories in fish oil."

And he was all, "Your sister always was the good one..."

So now, I've got him (and now my mom) on one side and my new best friend Danny John on the other. I decided it was time to ask my trusty companion, The Internet.

The internet was all, "Yeah, it's really good for you. You want science? Here's a million studies. How's that? Quit bothering me and drink your fish oil."

Not one to under-commit, I bought the most awesome jug of fish oil the internet would sell me.

Note to self: Practice a less gummy smile.

For some reason I thought I was getting this tiny 8 oz bottle. The jumbo canister above was only $20 so I think I win.

Now the question is, how much do I take? Turns out there's more than one school of thought.

Dan John (source): Steadily increase your dose until you get the runs. Then dial it down a notch.

Christian Thibaudeau (source, mildly NSFW): Take one gram per percent current body fat.

Chad Waterbury (source, mildly NSFW): Take 0.1 grams of omega-3 per pound lean body mass.

Mayo Clinic (source): Take 1.1 grams of a-linolenic (plant based: flax, chia) and 0.5 grams of EPA+DHA (fish). They suggested eating two fish per week and some plants.

Now, I immediately disregard the Mayo Clinic option because (a) it's not insane, and (b) whatever goals they have, I'm pretty sure they're not setting out to make me ripped and awesome.

I weigh about 190 and my skin fold calipers tell me 18% or 34.2 lbs of that is fat (leaving 156 lbs of "lean" body mass: eyeballs, teeth, hair). Christian would have me taking 18 g per day. Chad would have me taking 16 g per day. And my buddy Dan would have me taking stool samples for a month.

One teaspoon of my magic fish juice has 1.6 g of omega-3s. I figure I'll slurp a tablespoon in the morning and one at night. That will give me a total of 9.6 per day. We'll see how that goes. Dan's protocol is really helpful here because I've got an indicator to let me know if I'm overdoing it.

Perhaps you're thinking, "Wait, what about the a-linolenic stuff the [boring] Mayo clinic was on about?" Never fear! I've been doing a home-from-work shake lately that has 2.4 g of omega-3 from flax. I'm pretty sure I've got my bases covered one hundred and crazy percent.


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