European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 117, Issue 3, pp 575–582 | Cite as

Effect of an acute dose of omega-3 fish oil following exercise-induced muscle damage

  • J. R. JakemanEmail author
  • D. M. Lambrick
  • B. Wooley
  • J. A. Babraj
  • J. A. Faulkner
Original Article



The purpose of this double-blind, placebo-controlled study was to examine the effect of two fish oil supplements, one high in EPA (750 mg EPA, 50 mg DHA) and one low in EPA (150 mg EPA, 100 mg DHA), taken acutely as a recovery strategy following EIMD.


Twenty-seven physically active males (26 ± 4 year, 1.77 ± 0.07 m, 80 ± 10 kg) completed 100 plyometric drop jumps to induce muscle damage. Perceptual (perceived soreness) and functional (isokinetic muscle strength at 60° and 180° s−1, squat jump performance and countermovement jump performance) indices of EIMD were recorded before, and 1, 24, 48, 72, and 96h after the damaging protocol. Immediately after the damaging protocol, volunteers ingested either a placebo (Con), a low-EPA fish oil (Low EPA) or a high-EPA fish oil (High EPA) at a dose of 1 g per 10 kg body mass.


A significant group main effect was observed for squat jump, with the High EPA group performing better than Con and Low EPA groups (average performance decrement, 2.1, 8.3 and 9.8%, respectively), and similar findings were observed for countermovement jump performance, (average performance decrement, 1.7, 6.8 and 6.8%, respectively, p = 0.07). Significant time, but no interaction main effects were observed for all functional and perceptual indices measured, although large effect sizes demonstrate a possible ameliorating effect of high dose of EPA fish supplementation (effect sizes ≥0.14).


This study indicates that an acute dose of high-EPA fish oil may ameliorate the functional changes following EIMD.


Omega-3 Recovery Athlete Training Nutrition 



Creatine kinase


Countermovement jump


Docosahexaenoic acid


Exercise-induced muscle damage


Eicosapentaenoic acid




Squat jump



We are grateful to Take Omega 3 for providing the fish oil and placebo supplementation.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors note no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. R. Jakeman
    • 1
    Email author
  • D. M. Lambrick
    • 2
  • B. Wooley
    • 3
  • J. A. Babraj
    • 4
  • J. A. Faulkner
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Sport and Health SciencesOxford Brookes UniversityOxfordUK
  2. 2.Faculty of Health SciencesUniversity of SouthamptonSouthamptonUK
  3. 3.School of Sport and ExerciseMassey UniversityWellingtonNew Zealand
  4. 4.Division of Sport and Exercise ScienceUniversity of AbertayDundeeUK
  5. 5.Department of Sport and ExerciseUniversity of WinchesterWinchesterUK

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