Omega-3 Fatty Acids, also known as alpha-linolenic acid, are an essential amino acid meaning they are not made by the human body, so you must get them from an additional source.
Omega-3s are commonly known for their benefits on brain health, but one benefit that is hidden is its effects on joint health. This is important as a dancer in that you are constantly stretching and putting pressure on your joints.
Omega-3s assist in the mobility of your joints helping decrease joint pain. Omega-3s are a fat, which is the main contributor to the restoring and supplementing joint tissues. The fat provides lubrication to the joints. By consuming Omega-3s on a daily basis can further reduce morning stiffness, tenderness, swelling, and discomfort. These are all symptoms that many dancers feel after a day of stretching.
Omega-3s can be consumed via supplementation or food. The best place to consume your nutrients is through what you eat versus a supplement. Omega-3s can best be absorbed from your diet from the following:
- Cold water fish: salmon, anchovies, and sardines
- Chia seeds and flaxseeds
If you are not going to consume Omega-3s through your diet then taking a supplement would be beneficial. Omega-3 fish oil capsules can be found at any major drug store. Instructions for consumption can be found on each bottle as well and should be followed as age may be a factor.