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What Are the Benefits of Flaxseed Oil for Bodybuilders?

author image David Benjamin
Based in the Greater New York area, David Benjamin is a veteran of the fitness industry of over 15 years. He is coauthor of "The Business and Practice of Personal Training" and has lectured to countless fitness professionals. Benjamin holds a degree in physical education from the State University of New York, Cortland.
What Are the Benefits of Flaxseed Oil for Bodybuilders?
Flaxseed oil is a valuable addition to the bodybuilder's nutritional program. Photo Credit olive oil in bottle image by jimcox40 from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>

Flax is a plant that has been cultivated for numerous products including materials, dyes soaps and medicine. In recent years, flax seeds have come into favor for their high concentration of fiber and healthy fats. Flaxseed oil is sold as a dietary supplement in most vitamin and health food stores. High in omega-3 fatty acids, flaxseed oil, either in capsule or liquid form can be particularly useful for bodybuilders.

Improved Insulin Sensitivity

Insulin is a hormone that plays an essential role in glucose metabolism. When glucose enters the bloodstream, insulin is secreted by the pancreas and shuttles the glucose into cells, including muscle and fat cells. With the large amounts of food bodybuilders typically eat, there is a risk of developing poor insulin sensitivity, which hinders cell's ability to recognize insulin and accept the glucose. The New York Academy of Sciences notes that omega-3 fatty acids, such as those contained in flaxseed oil may improve insulin sensitivity. For bodybuilders, supplementing with flaxseed oil may improve glucose metabolism and decrease their likelihood of developing type-two diabetes.

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Body Fat Loss

The omega-3 fatty acids in flaxseed oil seem to trigger increased fat burning, notes bodybuilding nutrition expert Mauro Di Pasquale M.D. Bodybuilders, according to Dr. Di Pasquale are often reluctant to consume dietary fat, especially during the weeks before a competition. Supplementing with flaxseed oil is a convenient way for bodybuilders to consume healthy fats without having to significantly raise their caloric intake.

Reducing Inflammation

Serious bodybuilders endure punishing training sessions, often training through illness and injury. Soreness is a common side effect of this strenuous training. Over time, this physical abuse can lead to chronic pain and inflammation. Flaxseed oil seems to have a anti-inflammatory effect, which can reduce muscle and joint pain. Flaxseed may even reduce the symptoms of long term conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. The omega-3 fatty acids in flaxseed oil may also prevent injury by promoting long-term bone health.

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