Omega-3s are some of the most researched nutrients in the world and the team at Aker BioMarine is embarking on a new type of research with krill oil¾sports performance and recovery. Can krill oil improve the performance of the world’s toughest triathletes? Visit Aker BioMarine Booth 3211 to learn more.
The Isklar Norseman Xtreme Triathlon is considered the ultimate triathlon in the world. Racing through some of the most beautiful landscapes in Norway, those who are able to finish at the rocky peak of Gaustatoppen (located at 1,850m above sea level) can say that they traveled one of the toughest full distance triathlon on planet earth. And in addition to the grueling physical aspect of the race, the weather can range from beautiful and sunny to a blasting wind and blizzards, sometimes all in one day.
Unmatched by other extreme events due to its difficult and punishing severity, the annual “fjord to peak” Norseman Xtreme Triathlon provides the ideal test with which to gauge just how important a role omega-3s can play in ultimate performance.
Omega-3s are some of the most important nutrients that bodies need. They are essential for maintaining and supporting cardiovascular, brain, eye, and joint health. They are also important for sports endurance and recovery, which is why Aker BioMarine has set out to explore the effects that krill oil has on Norseman athletes and Team Pure Science.
Part professionally run triathlon team, part clinical field study, Team Pure Science is made-up of a diverse group. Elite level professionals, such as 2016 Norseman winner Kari Flottorp Lingsom and former World Ironman Champion under 24 Hans Christian Tungesvik are paired up for this study in addition to dedicated amateurs.
Study leader, Dr. Andreas Berg Storsve, director R&D at Aker BioMarine, explained the background behind this unique research project.
“We know that high-intensity training has an impact on immune function and inflammation, making athletes especially vulnerable to illness and infections. This has a direct impact on the athletes’ physical recovery and performance.”
“In order to thoroughly research the effects of omega-3 DHA and EPA in regards to maximal exercise, we didn’t have to look far. Norseman athletes are some of the strongest competitors in the world. The fact that these incredible athletes are meticulous in their training, routines and diet, makes them the perfect research subjects.”
Conducting a pilot during Norseman 2017, Dr. Storsve and his team used Omega-3 Index testing before and after the race, finding that in general, the athletes experienced a severe drop in DHA levels in the five weeks after completing the contest. The good news, however, was that supplementation with a high dose (4 grams a day) of krill oil restored the DHA drop and significantly increased the athletes’ Omega-3 Index.
“Pilot data from the 2017 Norseman study clearly shows a drop in omega-3 levels following high-intensity exercise. This is important because we found that higher omega-3 levels were associated with less illness during training and better performance during the race, especially during the cycling leg. We also found that athletes with higher omega-3 levels recovered faster after the race,” Dr. Storsve explains.
“During 2018 Norseman we will be testing for specific biomarkers of inflammation and immune responses as well as the effects of choline, which is a central component of krill oil, on performance and recovery,” said Dr. Storsve. “By doing so, we will get a more complete understanding of the nutritional factors that help athletes optimize their performance. However, the results so far suggest that krill oil can have a real impact in the world of sports.”