Professional athletes know that eating well is just as important as training well.

Fish - especially oily fish like salmon - is a key part of any athlete’s diet, so much so that many call it a “superfood”. Here are five reasons why:

  1. Omega-3 fish oil is great for heart health and essential for getting that blood pumping. In fact, a major study on heart disease concluded that eating one to two servings of oil-rich fish every week appears to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by 25 per cent.
  2. Protein-rich foods like salmon help build muscle. Athletes love salmon because it is a great ‘recovery food’, which is beneficial in rebuilding muscles and repairing connective tissues.
  3. Eating well aids recovery from workouts and helps to avoid slumps in energy. Salmon has low levels of cholesterol, but it is rich in niacin, vitamin B6 and riboflavin. These characteristics help the body convert food into energy more easily and make it the ideal lunch food.
  4. Omega-3s are great for reducing stiffness in joints, ideal for athletes who suffer from aching knees and hips. Unsurprisingly, many doctors prescribe fish oil to reduce the discomfort caused by joint problems.
  5. Fish-oil consumption helps support levels of serotonin – the feel-good hormone. Without Omega-3s, your serotonin won’t work as it should. This is also why Omega-3s may improve depressive symptoms!

Experts say we should eat two portions of fish a week to stay healthy. This would deliver the ‘3 grams of long-chain Omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids which help maintain heart health’.