post 10 Best Fish Oil for Bodybuilding (2024 Review Updated)

10 Best Fish Oil for Bodybuilding (2024 Review Updated)

Supplements Considered 39
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James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Published by James Cunningham, BSc, CPT | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: February 19, 2024
We personally test every product featured in our reviews and guides. By ordering products anonymously and getting a group of independent testers, we are able to get first-hand experience and provide data-driven recommendations. Learn more.

I have personally integrated fish oil supplements into my daily routine not only due to their well-established benefits for brain, heart, and immune health but also because of my growing belief in their potential impact on lean muscle growth and overall body composition.

However, it's crucial to emphasize that not all fish oil supplements are created equal. Cheaper options often derive from unsustainable sources and may even contain harmful heavy metals.

That's why I decided to conduct a 35-hour research and consult a team of dietitians to figure out which fish oil supplements for bodybuilding are currently the best on the market.

The Best Fish Oil For Bodybuilding

Editor's Choice
CTA of Nutrigold Double Strength Omega-3 Fish Oil (Best Overall)
Nutrigold
Omega-3 / Serving
2000mg
Ingredients
4.8
Price
5.0
Overall Score 4.9
4.9
Click For Best Price
2nd Best Choice
CTA of Viva Naturals Triple-Strength Omega-3 Fish Oil (Best for Muscle Recovery)
Viva Naturals
Omega-3 / Serving
2000mg
Ingredients
4.8
Price
5.0
Overall Score 4.9
4.9
Check Current Price
3rd Best Choice
CTA of Dr. Tobias Omega-3 Fish Oil Triple Strength (Best Triple-Strength)
Dr. Tobias
Omega-3 / Serving
1400mg
Ingredients
4.7
Price
4.5
Overall Score 4.6
4.6
Check Current Price

Our Top Fish Oil For Bodybuilding (February 2024)

1 - Nutrigold Double Strength Omega-3 Fish Oil (Best Overall)

CTA of Nutrigold Double Strength Omega-3 Fish Oil (Best Overall)
Omega-3 / Serving
2000mg
4.8
Ingredients
5.0
Price
Overall Score 4.9
Click For Best Price

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • IFOS 5-star rating for purity, potency, and freshness
  • Positive reviews about it being fast to absorb
  • Free of the most common allergens for fewer chances of reactions

Cons

  • They seem to be one of the stronger-smelling fish oil supplement options

This Nutrigold Fish Oil supplement a powerhouse of nutrition, comes packed with a strong dose of Omega-3 fatty acids, providing all the nutrients needed for muscle recovery and joint health, among other benefits.

The company highlights that they use a specialized processing technique that maintains a higher and more natural purity.

Based on our tests and research, this might be a positive for performance athletes looking to build up some more muscle mass, but we haven’t been able to find a scientific study to support this processing technique.

The only thing I would highlight here is that we did find that it’s one of the more fishy-smelling and tasting options. But that won't stop you from boosting your bone health. Just make sure you take it just before eating.

Amount of fish oil in each serving: 2,000mg

Also, they pride themselves on using only fatty fish from Alaska for their fish oil products. Their product is 100% sourced and made in the USA.

2 - Viva Naturals Triple-Strength Omega-3 Fish Oil (Best for Muscle Recovery)

CTA of Viva Naturals Triple-Strength Omega-3 Fish Oil (Best for Muscle Recovery)
Omega-3 / Serving
2000mg
4.8
Ingredients
5.0
Price
Overall Score 4.9
Check Current Price

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Good balance of EPA and DHA may reduce inflammation
  • Claims to be not heat or chemically treated for better quality
  • Sourced from wild and sustainably caught fish
  • Low-cholesterol option for a cardiovascular health

Cons

  • Slight fishy aftertaste may be avoided by taking before food

Based on the feedback from several dietitians and nutritionists, who praised its efficacy in reducing muscle soreness and improving joint health, we decided to put this fish oil supplement at the top of our list as the best fish oil supplement for bodybuilding.

First of all, it has a higher than normal Omega-3 dose and it's one of the best Omega-3 supplements on the market. According to one study, this could be a contributing factor to muscle protein synthesis [1].

As for the purity, it’s good to see sustainability and wild-caught fatty fish on the dietary supplement label which is important when taking fish oil.

I would just mention that there is a bit of an aftertaste if you don’t take it immediately before a meal.

Amount of fish oil in each serving: 2,200mg

3 - Dr. Tobias Omega-3 Fish Oil Triple Strength (Best Triple-Strength)

CTA of Dr. Tobias Omega-3 Fish Oil Triple Strength (Best Triple-Strength)
Omega-3 / Serving
1400mg
4.7
Ingredients
4.5
Price
Overall Score 4.6
Check Current Price

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Sourced from non-GMO wild-caught fish
  • Claims to be purified to reduce heavy metal exposure
  • Reports of no fishy aftertaste

Cons

  • Contains some soy, which may not be suitable for some folks

With a slightly lower dose, this fish oil supplement, despite its lesser potency, should still provide a large enough amount for most men and women during a strength and fitness training program, aiding in muscle health and reducing delayed onset muscle soreness.

We liked that it seems to use a unique purification process that should eliminate a lot of the common toxins that you might find in many other standard fish oil pills, which makes it a high-quality fish oil option.

We’ve noticed recently that this seems to be one of the more popular brands among our performance sports clients.

Amount of fish oil in each serving: 2,000mg

4 - Optimum Nutrition Omega-3 Fish Oil (Best Value)

CTA of Optimum Nutrition Omega-3 Fish Oil (Best Value)
Omega-3 / Serving
1000mg
4.5
Ingredients
4.7
Price
Overall Score 4.6
Check Current Price

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Uses a range of oil sources for more sustainability
  • Good value for money with bulk bottles available
  • Reports that softgels are easy to swallow

Cons

  • Not the strongest dosage available

This fish oil supplement is another brand that is quite popular in the bodybuilding industry, and one of the main attractions is that you often get good bulk-discount bottles.

Most people we checked with said the softgels often mixed with protein shakes, had a favorable shape, making them easier to swallow without getting stuck in your throat which is essential for those taking fish oil supplements.

It may not have the highest omega fatty acids amount in each serving, but at this price, you could easily increase the dose.

Amount of fish oil in each serving: 1,000mg

5 - Micro Ingredients Omega-3 Fish Oil (Cheapest Option)

CTA of Micro Ingredients Omega-3 Fish Oil (Best High-Dose)
Omega-3 / Serving
3750mg
4.5
Ingredient Quality
4.5
Price
Overall Score 4.5
Check Current Price

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • One of the stronger fish oil supplement doses available
  • Free from most common allergens and artificial additives
  • Claims to not cause any fishy burps

Cons

  • Full dose requires three softgels

This fish oil highlights that it has been formulated to avoid the most common allergens.

It seems to avoid the use of any kind of unnecessary fillers or additives, ensuring a balanced diet, overall body composition and muscle recovery is on point.

The strength of each serving is probably why it has become popular for performance athletes on high-intensity exercise days.

The only downside we noted is that the full dose advertised on the supplement label does require three softgels to be swallowed. However, you could spread that out if you want to avoid it all in one go.

Amount of fish oil in each serving: 3,750mg

6 - InnovixLabs Triple Strength Omega-3 Concentrated Fish Oil (Best Easy-to-Swallow)

CTA of InnovixLabs Triple Strength Omega-3 Concentrated Fish Oil (Best Easy-to-Swallow)
Omega-3 / Serving
1200mg
4.5
Ingredients
4.1
Price
Overall Score 4.3
Check Current Price

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • The softgels seem to be easy to swallow without getting stuck
  • User reviews support the claim that it doesn’t have an aftertaste
  • Comes with a third party testing seal for toxin testing

Cons

  • Not all of the oil comes from sustainable stock

One of the benefits that stood out for us with InnovixLabs was that it has a 3rd party testing seal which is an assurance that their omega supplements are high quality and beneficial for heart disease prevention and other benefits such as skin health associated with these fish oil supplements.

What does this mean? It is a process that regularly checks batches for toxins that may be above-recommended amounts.

With these types of purified dietary supplements like fish oil, toxins could become an issue when taken for longer periods [2].

We did find, though, that there are some indications that only some of the catch is sustainably sourced, which might increase its environmental impact.

Amount of fish oil in each serving: 1,200mg

7 - Nordic Naturals ProOmega Fish Oil (Best Without Fishy Aftertaste)

CTA of Nordic Naturals ProOmega Fish Oil (Best Without Fishy Aftertaste)
Omega-3 / Serving
1280mg
4.2
Ingredients
4.3
Price
Overall Score 4.3
Check Current Price

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Third-party tested for common toxins
  • The softgels have a slight lemon flavor to avoid fishy aftertaste
  • Available in good bulk order bottles

Cons

  • May require two softgels for an amount that other products achieve in one

This fish oil supplement is one of the best for getting a bulk order discount with a large bottle, making it a cost-effective option for those looking for lean muscle growth and joint health.

The dose of each serving might not be the highest, but the price does make taking several of them more affordable.

It’s possibly the only one of these dietary supplements that we saw where the softgels have a slight lemon taste to avoid those fishy taste and fish burps.

I would just mention that if you don’t like swallowing these types of fish oil supplements, you might be able to find a single softgel option above.

Amount of fish oil in each serving: 1,280mg

8 - Omega JYM Fish Oil Capsules (Most Sustainably Sourced)

CTA of Omega JYM Fish Oil Capsules (Most Sustainably Sourced)
Omega-3 / Serving
2600mg
4.2
Ingredients
4.1
Price
Overall Score 4.2
Check Current Price

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Claims to be specifically formulated for building muscle
  • Positive comments about the lack of fishy burps
  • Provides a high dose in each serving

Cons

  • Some users think the softgels are a bit big to swallow

Another high-dose fish oil supplement option, this one claims to be specifically formulated for the need of a typical bodybuilding athlete; muscle recovery and reducing delayed onset muscle soreness.

This does seem to be supported by studies that suggest it may boost energy and overall performance [3].

We noted that there were very few comments about those smelly burps that are common with these supplements, and our team does seem to agree with that after a few weeks of testing.

We did find a few reports that they were a bit tough to swallow, and women may want to reduce the dosage a bit as it’s quite strong.

Amount of fish oil in each serving: 2,600mg

9 - WHC UnoCardio 1000 Pure Triglyceride Fish Oil (Best Travel-Friendly Packaged)

CTA of WHC UnoCardio 1000 Pure Triglyceride Fish Oil (Best Travel-Friendly Packaged)
Omega-3 / Serving
1300mg
4.0
Ingredients
4.1
Price
Overall Score 4.1
Check Current Price

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Sourced from sustainable fisheries for lower eco-impact
  • Requires only one softgel daily
  • Comes in a convenient flat package to make it easier for travel

Cons

  • Some reports of fishy smells and aftertaste

WHC seems to have designed a product that is more geared towards women than men.

The lower dose in a single softgel of this fish oil supplement should give the right nutrition amount for most female sports and fitness needs.

We also liked that it’s one of the certified products that has been sustainably caught. It’s always a good idea to minimize your environmental impact.

The reason this doesn’t feature higher up on our list is that we saw a few reviews that it may have quite a strong aftertaste.

Amount of fish oil in each serving: 1,300mg

10 - MuscleTech Omega-3 Fish Oil (Best Low-Dose)

CTA of MuscleTech Omega-3 Fish Oil (Best Low-Dose)
Omega-3 / Serving
1000mg
4.0
Ingredients
4.0
Price
Overall Score 4.0
Check Current Price

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Third-party tested for purity and toxins
  • Many reports that they are easy to swallow
  • Doesn’t seem to cause any fishy burps

Cons

  • Quite a small serving size

While this MuscleTech option has a below-average amount of fish oil in each serving, we did like that it’s independently tested for purity.

This should reduce the risks of becoming exposed to toxins from your workout or sports supplements.

Just make sure that when you compare the prices that you keep in mind that the serving size is pretty small. For some fitness goals, especially for men, this may not be enough.

Amount of fish oil in each serving: 1,000mg

How We Tested Best Fish Oils for Bodybuilders

In our pursuit to identify the premier fish oils tailored specifically for bodybuilders, we adopted a stringent testing methodology rooted in the following essential criteria:

Omega-3 / Serving

Recognizing the paramount importance of omega-3s for muscle recovery, inflammation reduction, and overall health, we meticulously evaluated the quantity of omega-3 fatty acids in each serving. We prioritized products that offered a substantial amount of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) per dose, ensuring that bodybuilders receive the optimal amount to support their rigorous training and recovery needs.

Ingredients

Beyond just the omega-3 content, we delved deep into the ingredient lists of each product. Our focus was on the purity and quality of the fish oil, ensuring it's sourced sustainably and free from harmful contaminants. Additionally, we looked for any beneficial additives, such as vitamin D, and ensured the absence of artificial fillers or preservatives that could compromise the supplement's integrity.

Price

Understanding that bodybuilders often juggle multiple supplements and expenses, affordability was a key consideration. We compared the cost per serving, the overall quantity provided in each bottle, and the value derived from the supplement's quality and effectiveness. This ensured that our recommendations offer not just top-notch quality but also great value for money.

Fish Oil for Bodybuilding Buyer’s Guide

A man holding his smartphone and credit cards to buy the best fish oil for body building

1 - Get The Dosage Right

As with all sports and fitness supplements, men and women will have different requirements when it comes to nutrition, a fact that should be considered when choosing supplements.

But how much fish oil should you aim for?

For adult women, the recommended dose is 1,100mg, and for men, it’s 1,600mg [4]. However, that doesn’t factor in the added needs for nutrition if you’re bodybuilding.

Especially on the heavy exercise days, you may want to double that amount, and there are a few options above that would support that kind of intake.

2 - Aim For Organic Sources

In general, you could improve your diet and overall health by always choosing an organic dietary supplement.

Some believe it’s because of higher nutrition values.

But that’s not really the reason.

With any kind of processed and refined food that your body takes in, the processing could lead to a higher concentration of toxins. Pesticides and herbicides are very common, but when it comes to essential fatty acids, there’s usually an additional problem.

Heavy metals are commonly found in all types of marine food sources. By choosing an organic option that is independently certified and tested, you could significantly reduce your exposure.

The risks from mercury in fish and shellfish depend on the amount of fish and shellfish eaten and the levels of mercury in the fish and shellfish.

- WebMD.com

3 - Different Types Of Fish Oil

OK, this is going to get just a little bit technical, but it’s important to understand that there are different types of fatty acids:

Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA)

Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA)

Don’t ask me; I have no idea how to pronounce these correctly.

For bodybuilding and o health benefits, the body would ideally get these fatty acids in a 3 to 1 ratio [5]. This happens to be the most common ratio in the supplements we recommend above.
I’ll save you from all the boring details of how lab nerds came to that ratio. But for ideal muscle growth, function, and recovery from tough workout routines, studies have shown that your body would benefit from both these fatty acids [6].

4 - Omega-3 vs. Omega-6 Fatty Acids

Fish oil supplements on a spoon

This is another important thing to keep in mind and a reason you shouldn’t just pick the first item you find in store in the hope it’ll improve your muscle building.

Now, your body does require both, but from a fitness and bodybuilding perspective, it’s the 3s that seem to be more important.

The reason is that they have been claimed to improve protein synthesis for both muscle growth and recovery.

The 6s are important as well, but they mainly benefit your immunity and gene regulation. And there is some evidence that the typical Western diet is deficient in the 3s while possibly having too much of the 6s [7].

5 - Look for Added Vitamin Boosts

Overall, vitamin intake is important for everyone, but the more sports you play or fitness classes you take, the more nutrition your body needs on both the macro and micro nutrition side.

That’s why I always like to see added vitamin boosts.

One thing many folks misunderstand is that they automatically assume that omega-3 fatty acids equals vitamin boost.

In reality, though, these types of fatty acids are often combined with added vitamin and mineral content to give the body an overall boost. 

Krill oil is good for your cardiovascular health as well as brain function. It has been shown to improve cardiovascular health and blood pressure by reducing the effects of harmful cholesterol levels in the blood.

In many of the above options, there is no added vitamin boost as they are aimed at providing a pure source of fish oil.

6 - Up the Dosage if Your Training Plan Requires It

A close up shot of fish oil supplements on a woman's palm

I mentioned above that the recommended dose for omega-3 fatty acids is 1,100mg for women and 1,600mg for men.

Those would be for days where you’re resting or just doing some light cardio exercise.

For the high-intensity and maximum performance days, you would increase the amounts by 2 to 2.5 times to try and improve muscle building and recovery.

During bulking phases, this would require a larger supply, which is why I always suggest buying one of the bulk-order bottles.

You can also check the best supplement stack maximizing your gains.

7 - Avoid Unnecessary Additives

I mentioned before that a vitamin boost is generally a positive thing. But you sometimes find additives in nutrition boosters that are not just unnecessary, but possibly harmful.

In many cases, fish oil for bodybuilding includes fillers and preservatives, which may have a negative impact on your gut flora and digestive system [8].

Increasing attention is being paid to food additives used nowadays, with growing concerns about their safety and potential health risks.

- Dr. Liji Thomas, MD

One thing we did encounter during our research is companies that add flavors. The aim apparently is to suppress fishy taste and burps, but they often rely on artificial additives to achieve this.

Related Articles:

  • ONNIT Krill Oil - Should You Try It?

The Science Behind Omega-3s and Muscle Growth

Omega-3 fatty acids, particularly EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), play a pivotal role in muscle protein synthesis. Research has shown that these fatty acids can enhance the anabolic response of muscles to amino acids, potentially leading to increased muscle mass.

This is especially beneficial for bodybuilders and athletes, as omega-3s not only aid in muscle growth but also help reduce exercise-induced muscle soreness and inflammation.

By understanding the science behind it, one can truly appreciate the importance of incorporating fish oil supplements into a bodybuilding regimen.

FAQs

Fish oil supplements in a white background

Does fish oil help muscle growth?

Yes, fish oil helps muscle growth because it plays a role in muscle protein synthesis. During fitness and sports activities, the strain on your muscle fibers will trigger processes that rely on protein and are supported by the fatty acids to repair and rebuild the muscle fibers.

Should you take fish oil before or after a workout?

You should take fish oil before a workout. Some new scientific studies suggest that having an increased amount of fish oil available in muscle cells during a workout may prime muscles for faster recovery.

Why do bodybuilders take fish oil?

Bodybuilders take fish oil to increase muscle energy, reduce soreness, and aid with the recovery and rebuilding process. It’s a relatively new dietary supplement in the bodybuilding industry, but results from research and our clients show promising effects.

Do fish oil supplements make you gain weight?

No, fish oil supplements don't make you gain weight because their fat and calorie amounts are very low.

In most cases, you wouldn't be consuming more than 20 or 30 calories in one go. Fish oil fat has also been linked to aiding weight loss, which is one of the reasons it's recommended in the fitness and weight management industry.

What Are Environmental and Ethical Considerations Regarding Fish Oil?

Environmental and ethical considerations regarding fish oil are mainly tied to overfishing and bycatch of non-target species. Overfishing poses a significant threat to marine ecosystems, and obtaining fish oil can contribute to this problem. Additionally, the bycatch of non-target species during fishing operations raises ethical concerns.

How Does Fish Oil Compare With Plant-Based Omega-3s?

Fish oil primarily contains EPA and DHA, types of omega-3s that are readily used by the body. In contrast, plant-based sources like flaxseed provide ALA, which the body must convert to EPA and DHA, often with limited efficiency.

Are There Any Potential Drug Interactions?

Yes, there are potential drug interactions. Fish oil can thin the blood, so there's a potential interaction when taken with anticoagulant or antiplatelet medications. Always consult with a healthcare professional before combining fish oil with other medications.

What Is the Role of Vitamin D in Fish Oil Supplements?

The role of vitamin D in fish oil supplements is to enhance bone and immune health, capitalizing on the synergy of combined benefits. It's not inherent in fish oil but is a valuable addition due to its importance in various body functions.

Our Verdict on Best Fish Oils for Bodybuilders

In my journey to find the best fish oil for bodybuilders, Nutrigold Double Strength Omega-3 Fish Oil stood out. Based on my testes, Its potent dose of Omega-3s, derived from Alaskan fatty fish delivered optimal muscle recovery and joint health.

While the unique processing technique's scientific backing is yet to be established, the sheer purity and quality of the product are undeniable. Yes, there's a distinct fishy aroma and taste, but taken before a meal, it's a small trade-off for the immense benefits.

Proudly sourced and made in the USA, this is my top recommendation for those serious about their bodybuilding journey.

Our #1 Recommendation

Nutrigold Double Strength Omega-3 Fish Oil (Best Overall)

CTA of Nutrigold Double Strength Omega-3 Fish Oil (Best Overall)
Omega-3 / Serving
2000mg
Ingredients
4.8
Price
5.0
Overall Score 4.9
4.9
Pros
  • IFOS 5-star rating for purity, potency, and freshness
  • Positive reviews about it being fast to absorb
  • Free of the most common allergens for fewer chances of reactions
  • Get the BEST PRICE until the end of February
Cons
  • They seem to be one of the stronger-smelling fish oil supplement options
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