At the end of last summer, Dr. Richard Cohen of Core 4 Nutrition suggested that I assess my omega 3 fatty acid level to an effort to gauge my body’s physiological performance potential. I agreed, using one of the company’s at-home assessment kits and sure enough. My results came back low. I consider myself a healthy eater and knew about the importance of omega 3 fatty acids, especially for athletes. I never thought that my essential fatty acid level could possibly be a problem. Nor did I think that that my athletic performance was being limited by such a deficiency.
Dr. Cohen then introduced me the Core 4 Nutrition fish oil formula as a dietary supplement to bring my levels in check. The first thought that entered my mind was the strong-smelling cod liver oil that my Mom made me take when I was younger, and the unpleasant fish burps I’d experience later in the morning at school.
But Core 4’s Just Peachy product was entirely different. I was surprised by the yummy peach taste and shocked that I never experienced any burping. I found out this is due to the way this particular product is processed, which is also entirely different than all the others. After a daily tablespoon in the morning for 3 months, I re-checked my omega 3 levels which were now within an optimal range...
As I've continued taking Just Peachy on a regular basis, there have been two clear changes to my athletic engine over the past year: my ability to hold higher heart rates for longer periods of time; and reduced pain and inflammation in my joints.
High-intensity interval training is a critical part of my race-prep regimen, the challenge of which is to get my heart rate elevated and then to hold it there for varying lengths of time in order to develop its capacity and efficiency for similar race conditions. Doing 4 or 5 repetitions of 4 or 5 minute hard-effort intervals is common. After restoring my omega 3 level, I noticed that I could increase my reps of intervals to 6, 7, or even 8 and more effectively hold the desired high-intensity heart rate for longer periods of time. My heart has grown stronger because it has been fueled by omega 3 fats.
Inflammation is probably an athlete’s greatest limiting factor when it comes to making training and performance improvements. Inflammation frequently shows up in the form of sore joints or sore muscles. And the longer the inflammation lasts, the slower the recovery from it seems to take. Athletes use ice, massage, and other therapeutic strategies to reduce inflammation. I, too, fell into the trap of suffering from chronic aches and pains in my lower back, hips, and ankles. After getting my omega 3 level back within a healthy range, however, I noticed a lot less soreness and inflammation in all of these areas. Less post-workout recovery time meant that I could attack my next workout sooner and harder. Less post-race pain meant that I could continue to build up my training intensity and progression.
Jason Adams is a competitive Nordic skier and multi-sport, endurance athlete living in Bend, Oregon. As a professional real estate agent, the Core 4 Foundations Program has allowed him to successfully balance his demanding career with a year-round training and racing schedule.