Fish Oils for Inflammation: How Much is Enough?

Research Review

Question: I was wondering how much fish oil I should take to help with inflammation? My body tends to break down during the end of a football season and I was told I should take high doses of fish oil to combat inflammation. On the other hand I hear that inflammation is needed to have my body adapt to heavy training or recovery. What is a good idea to help here?

Answer: Inflammation is beyond simple nutrition but it’s a good idea to use fish oil, unless you have a medical reason not to. Fish oil is very popular with patients with  rheumatoid arthritis, since omega 3 fatty acids from actual fish is not enough to make an impact with pain and other symptoms. One thing to remember is that inflammation from stress or injury is not the same as training.

Much attention to the natural response of the body to training, not blunting it, is a fear that does have support by research. Nutrient timing is a great tool for athletes to take advantage of, but if done incorrectly can spell complications. For example, some research has shown that taking antioxidants at the wrong time will impair performance, thus creating a concern that artificial interventions may be too good and interfere with the natural ability to repair.

Fish oil supplementation should be taken without fear that it will interfere with training adaptions, and taking it during normal meal periods should not cause any interference. Suggesting a specific dose is not something that can be done without more investigation and consulting with a nutritionist is a good idea. Joint pain or breaking down is a fine line that needs to be looked at beyond just dietary suggestions, as workload and other medical elements must be analyzed. Any dose beyond the suggestions of a nutritionist usually is trying to mask severe pain and any signal of something not right with the body is a bad direction to follow.

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Jimson Lee

Jimson Lee

Coach & Founder at
I am a Masters Athlete and Coach currently based in London UK. My other projects include the Bud Winter Foundation, writer for the IAAF New Studies in Athletics Journal (NSA) and a member of the Track & Field Writers of America.
Jimson Lee
Jimson Lee
Jimson Lee
  • Hi Jimson,

    We recommend our athletes to take at least 1g of EPA a day. In most fish oil formulations it will give the levels of EPA and DHA. Just count up the ammount of EPA and take the appropriate dose.

    For a larger athlete I heavy training, then ?ou can go up to 2 g a day.