When is The Best Time To Take Fish Oil? (From a Dietitian)

Dr. Harshi Dhingra, MBBS, MD
Published by Dr. Harshi Dhingra, MBBS, MD | Medical Doctor
Last updated: June 21, 2024
FACT CHECKED by Dr. Kristy Dayanan, BS, MD
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When is the best time to take fish oil supplements? The best time to take it was yesterday!

Whether you take fish oil in the early morning, at noon, or night is really up to you; some will argue it’s debatable. There is no specific time to take it, but the best time to take it is during your lifetime.

Many people don’t take fish oil at all, but my research for this article points out that it is one of the most remarkable supplements you can take.

Quick Summary

  • The best time to take fish oil supplements is with a meal, but there is no specific time that is universally recommended.
  • Fish oil supplements offer numerous health benefits, including cardiovascular protection, improved brain function, regulation of blood pressure, and support for physical performance in older adults.
  • According to WebMD, it's advisable to take 3 grams or less of fish oil daily, more of which can cause side effects.
  • Based on my experience as a doctor, the effectiveness of fish oil is less about timing and more about regular intake.

The Benefits of Fish Oil Supplements

fish oil capsules in stack

In my experience as a medical doctor, I've seen firsthand how fish oil supplements, derived from natural foods, can make a significant difference.

Fish oil, packed with omega-3s like EPA and DHA, offers a bunch of perks, like guarding your heart, boosting brainpower, and keeping blood pressure in check.

It's a real game-changer, especially for folks with a family history of heart troubles. These omega-3s are the building blocks for some crucial eicosanoids.

Other Health Benefits of Taking Fish Oil Supplements

animated heart with a stethoscope and a person showing a capsule

Fish oil is a big deal for various health issues. It can stabilize blood pressure, maybe even ditching the need for meds. Plus, it's a solid swap for typical cholesterol drugs.

Research in clinical sleep medicine as shown by Sleep Doctor shows it even boosts sleep quality, key to a successful life [1].

It betters heart health too, reducing risks of heart attacks, strokes, and clots - a real win for frequent flyers. It also helps balance cholesterol and hormones.

Physical Performance in Older Adults

old couple doing yoga together

In my medical experience, I've seen fish oil work wonders for seniors.

Take my patients in their 60s, for instance. Adding fish oil to their daily routine noticeably upped their physical and mental game.

This is even backed by a French study; NutraIngridients Europe, which links omega-3s to better physical performance in older adults. Those with higher omega-3 levels just did better, physically speaking [2].

And get this: fish oil isn't just for us humans. It's great for pets too, keeping their joints and brains sharp as they age.

How Do You Take Fish Oil?

female placing a fish oil pill in her mouth

I suggest kicking off with a daily 1000-mg fish oil capsule. Give it a shot for 2-3 months. Best taken with your main meal, and hold off on other supplements for a while.

For the plant-based crowd, stacking up fish oil against options like flaxseed oil might reveal some interesting health perks. Consider trying fish oil with breakfast for a few weeks, if your stomach's okay with it.

Since fish oil is fatty, watch out for acid reflux signs like belching or heartburn. If heartburn hits, a quick walk might help. But usually, it's all good.

If you want to stop “fishy” burps, keep your fish oil in the refrigerator! If you pop it in your mouth and swallow it when it is cold, it eliminates this unpleasant situation.

As an experienced medical doctor, I recommend trying it with lunch, then dinner, and maybe before bed. Folks taking it at night report better sleep.

Bumping up to two 1000-mg capsules daily in winter can be a good move. Just remember: quality matters with fish oil.

Which Fish Oil To Choose?

bottle of capsule on table and a hand holding a capsule

I prefer cod liver oil for its top-notch omega-3s and bonus vitamins D and A.

But a heads-up: some omega-3 supplements pack a lot of vitamin A, which can be overkill in high doses.

Stick to the safe side with the right dose – WebMD suggests no more than 3 grams of fish oil daily to dodge side effects [3].

Lastly, consider sourcing from sustainable sources to ensure minimal impact on marine ecosystems and promote environmental sustainability.

What Are The First Changes To Expect?

couple wearing gym clothes

Based on my observations with some of my patients, the first changes after starting Omega 3 fatty acids can be quite remarkable.

Patients often report better skin and hair, more chill vibes, and an energy surge in just weeks.

You'll likely feel stronger, sharper, and more upbeat. Plus, it's a brain booster.

And, it's worth noting, Omega 3s might be a key player for older guys battling prostate issues.

Fish oil has been found to decrease the chances of developing prostate cancer too.


References:

  1. https://sleepdoctor.com/nutrition/can-omega-3-fatty-acids-help-sleep/
  2. https://www.nutraingredients.com/Article/2018/08/16/French-study-links-omega-3-status-to-physical-performance-in-older-adults
  3. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-993/fish-oil
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About The Author

Dr. Harshi Dhingra, MBBS, MD is a published peer-reviewed author and renowned physician from India with over a decade of experience. With her MBBS from Bharati Vidyapeeth and an MD from Rajiv Gandhi University, she actively ensures the accuracy of online dietary supplement and medical information by reviewing and fact-checking health publications.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Kristy June Dayanan, BS, MD is an author with a BS degree from University of the Philippines and an MD from University of Perpetual Help System. Her ability to simplify medical science complexities and dietary supplement jargon for the average reader makes her a valued medical fact checker and reviewer.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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