The Best Fish Oils For Athletes, Sustainable Sourcing, Omega-3s, and More

Check out the best fish oil supplements on the market today.

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If you’re trying to increase your intake of fish oil and omega-3 fatty acids, we don’t blame you. Often used as a “natural” remedy that could potentially reduce inflammation, prevent heart disease, and boost brain health, fish oil is one of the most popular wellness supplements on the market, with the industry valued at an astounding $30 billion. In fact, it’s so popular that countless brands have produced their own takes on the product.

Some people value sustainability, others affordability, and others just want to make sure their product doesn’t cause fishy burps. When it comes to fish oils, the dosage of EPA and DHA fats is vital in choosing the right supplement — though these numbers vary in fish oil supplements, people should be consuming at least around 250 to 500mg of EPA and DHA fats combined daily. We took a deep dive into dozens of the best fish oils on the market to help you land on the right one for your needs.

Best Fish Oil Supplements

Editor’s note: The content on BarBend is meant to be informative in nature, but it should not be taken as medical advice. The opinions and articles on this site are not intended for use as diagnosis, prevention, and/or treatment of health problems. It’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor before beginning a new fitness, nutritional, and/or supplement routine. Individual needs for vitamins and minerals will vary.

Best Fish Oil Supplements Video Review

Though we still recommend you read through our detailed picks below, we also put together a full video review — so if you’re more of a visual learner, we have you covered.

Best Fish Oil

This fish oil supplement is sustainably sourced, provides transparency in sourcing, and doesn’t come back up fishy. Most importantly, it packs a serious punch of omega-3s.

Legion Triton Fish Oil

Each serving of Legion Triton Fish Oil comes with 4,000 milligrams (mg) of fish oil and contains 1,440mg of EPA fats and 960mg of DHA fats, as well as vitamin E and lemon oil to prevent oxidation, rancidity, and fish oil burps some people want to avoid. The product is sustainably sourced from Peruvian anchovies and sardines from fisheries that have been approved by Friend of the Sea — a project of the World Sustainability Organization that verifies sustainable practices — and meets the stringent purity standards of the European Pharmacopoeia Reference Standards, Council for Responsible Nutrition, and Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3. This fish oil has also been molecularly distilled to reduce toxins and chemicals. It’s worth noting that each dose is four softgels though, which may be a lot for some to swallow. 

Legion Triton Fish Oil
Legion Triton Fish Oil
Legion Triton Fish Oil

A high-potency, molecularly distilled fish oil with additional vitamin E and lemon oil, this supplement from Legion meets stringent purity standards and is sourced from sustainable fisheries.

Who Should Buy Legion Triton Fish Oil

  • Customers who value products that have been sustainably sourced — this product has been approved by Friends of the Sea.
  • Folks who want a high dosage of omega-3 fatty acids — this product has 2,400mg of EPA and DHA combined. 
  • People who prefer a product that has been molecularly distilled to reduce toxins and chemicals. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy Legion Triton Fish Oil

  • Vegans and vegetarians — this product has been sourced from anchovies and sardines. 
  • Anyone who has trouble swallowing a lot of pills as each serving of this pick is four softgels. 

Legion’s formula is sustainably-sourced, meticulously tested for purity and quality, contains a high dose of omega-3 fatty acids, and is designed to minimize unwanted fish burps.

Best Omega-3 Fish Oil

All fish oils contain omega-3 fatty acids, but some contain more than others. This pick has a particularly high dose of omega-3’s.

Kaged Omega-3 Fish Oil

Within its 3,000mg dose of fish oil, Kaged Omega-3 Fish Oil contains 2,000mg of omega-3 fatty acids — 1,000mg of EPA fats and 900mg of DHA fats — which is much higher than many fish oils on the market. EPAs can potentially help decrease inflammation while DHAs may help with brain function. (1) While you can get these omega-3 fatty acids from food — like seafood and nuts — a fish oil supplement is an easy way to increase your intake. Kaged Omega-3 Fish Oil is sustainably sourced from wild-caught fish, and it’s purified, which may help prevent fish oil burps.

15% Off
Kaged Muscle Omega-3 Fish Oil
Kaged Muscle Omega-3 Fish Oil
Kaged Muscle Omega-3 Fish Oil

Kaged Muscle delivers 3,000 milligrams of omega-3 fats (1,100mg of EPA and 900mg of DHA), which is one of the highest doses across the market. Plus, it's quick-absorbing and doesn't produce fish burps. 

Who Should Buy Kaged Omega-3 Fish Oil

  • People who are looking for a high dose of omega-3 fatty acids in their fish oil supplement. 
  • Folks who prefer to take their omega-3 supplements in pill form. 
  • Anyone who wants to avoid a fishy aftertaste or fish oil burps with their fish oil supplement. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy Kaged Omega-3 Fish Oil

  • Folks who don’t prioritize higher doses of omega-3’s in their fish oil supplement. 
  • Vegans — this supp contains fish and gelatin, so you’ll want to opt for a plant-based alternative. 

If you’re looking for the potential anti-inflammatory benefits of EPA fats or the potential brain health benefits from DHA fats, Kaged Omega-3 Fish Oil is going to be one of the best sources of these fatty acids that you can find. 

Best Krill Oil

Krill oil supplements — which come from krill instead of fish — are loaded with omega-3s, are thought to be more easily absorbed, and are packed with antioxidants. 

Transparent Labs Core Series Krill Oil

Extracted from Antarctic krill, Transparent Labs CoreSeries Krill Oil contains no mercury, includes Omega-3 fatty acids — 120mg EPAs and 55mg DHAs to be exact — and is made to be easier on the stomach when compared to most fish oils due to krill oil’s easier-to-digest phospholipid form. Transparent Labs foregoes the use of any artificial sweeteners, colorings, and preservatives. They are compatible with gluten-free diets and are non-GMO.

Transparent Labs CoreSeries Krill Oil
Transparent Labs CoreSeries Krill Oil
Transparent Labs CoreSeries Krill Oil

This oil is extracted from Antarctic krill, which is rich in the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. It is designed to avoid any fishy aftertaste, contains no mercury, and 80 micrograms of the antioxidant astaxanthin.

Who Should Buy Transparent Labs Core Series Krill Oil

  • Anyone looking to supplement their Omega-3 intake with a solid krill oil.
  • Those averse to fishy flavors — this product does not have a fishy aftertaste or cause fishy burps. 
  • People aiming to avoid any artificial additives will like that this product is free of artificial colorings, sweeteners, and preservatives. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy Transparent Labs Core Series Krill Oil

  • Consumers who are concerned about sustainability (this product is not certified).
  • People with a limited budget for supplements — this product is not the most affordable option on this list. 

Despite not being certified, this krill oil is still tested for heavy metals. The purity of the product combined with the content of Omega-3 earns it a place atop our list and is likely the best option for consumers looking specifically for krill oil.

[Related: The Best Types Of Supplements For Performance, Weight Loss, And Health]

Best Fish Oil for Athletes

Since fish oil may be linked to anti-inflammatory properties, many athletes implement it into their supplement regimen. This pick is a solid choice for anyone with a consistent workout routine. 

Legion Triton Fish Oil

Fish oil’s potential anti-inflammatory properties may also help with strength and range of motion — for those who are exercising frequently, reducing inflammation may stop your body from decreasing its range of motion and may help you increase your strength. Legion Triton Fish Oil has one of the highest doses of omega-3 fatty acids — each four-softgel dose contains 4,000mg of fish oil, which includes 1,440mg of EPA fats and 960mg of DHA fats. In addition to these potential benefits, this product is also sustainably sourced from Peruvian anchovies and sardines caught by fisheries approved by Friend of the Sea — a project that ensures sustainability. 

Legion Triton Fish Oil
Legion Triton Fish Oil
Legion Triton Fish Oil

A high-potency, molecularly distilled fish oil with additional vitamin E and lemon oil, this supplement from Legion meets stringent purity standards and is sourced from sustainable fisheries.

Who Should Buy Legion Triton Fish Oil

  • Athletes who want a high dose of fish oil to potentially help reduce inflammation. 
  • Anyone who’s concerned with sustainability — the fisheries from which this product sources their fish is approved by Friend of the Sea. 
  • People who prefer a product that has been molecularly distilled to reduce toxins and chemicals. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy Legion Triton Fish Oil

  • Anyone who wants a supplement with fewer pills per dose — you’ll have to take four per dose with this product. 
  • Athletes who prefer to take a fish oil that is made from plant-based ingredients

If you’re an athlete looking for a high dose of fish oil and a sustainably sourced product, Legion’s Triton Fish Oil cannot be beat. 

Best Fish Oil Pills

Fish oil can come in liquid or pill form. This particular pill has a high dose of fish oil without causing fishy burps, which is why it’s one of our favorites.

Kaged Omega-3 Fish Oil

Pills are one of the most convenient ways to consume fish oil since you can easily throw a bottle in your gym bag or take it with you when you travel. Some fish oil pills, however, may come with a fishy aftertaste or even fishy burps, which some people may not enjoy. Kaged Omega-3 Fish Oil contains a high dose of fish oil — 3,000mg of fish oil to be exact, which includes 1,100mg EPA fats and 900mg DHA fats — and no fishy aftertaste or burps thanks to Kaged’s purification process. Though it is worth noting that these softgels are fairly large, so those who have a hard time swallowing larger pills may want to opt for a different product with smaller capsules. 

15% Off
Kaged Muscle Omega-3 Fish Oil
Kaged Muscle Omega-3 Fish Oil
Kaged Muscle Omega-3 Fish Oil

Kaged Muscle delivers 3,000 milligrams of omega-3 fats (1,100mg of EPA and 900mg of DHA), which is one of the highest doses across the market. Plus, it's quick-absorbing and doesn't produce fish burps. 

Who Should Buy Kaged Omega-3 Fish Oil

  • People who value a fish oil they can consume in pill form for convenience. 
  • Folks who want a high dose of fish oil — this product contains 3,000mg. 
  • Anyone who values a fish oil supplement that doesn’t cause fishy burps or have a fishy aftertaste.

Who Shouldn’t Buy Kaged Omega-3 Fish Oil

  • Vegans or vegetarians who want a fish oil supplement that’s sourced from algae or another plant-based source. 
  • Anyone who prefers small pills will want to look elsewhere. These softgels are pretty large. 

If you’re often on the go or just prefer a quick and easy way to take your fish oil, pills are more convenient, and Kaged’s softgels provide one of the higher doses of fish oil in pill form.  

Best Supplement Stack with Fish Oil

For many people, fish oil is not the only supplement in their regimen. If you’re an athlete looking to buy all your supplements — including one with omega-3 fatty acids, like krill oil — in one go, this pick is for you. 

Transparent Labs Muscle Building Essentials Stack

Supplement stacks are packages of supplements that work together that you can buy in one go. This supplement stack contains Transparent Labs Preseries Bulk, which is a pre-workout supplement that may help athletes build muscle. The stack also contains Transparent Labs Proteinseries 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate, which contains 88 percent protein-by-weight — one of the industry’s highest — along with Transparent Labs Strengthseries Creapure HMB, which is a creatine monohydrate that may help increase strength and endurance. And lastly, this stack contains Transparent Labs Coreseries Krill Oil, which contains long-chain omega-3 fatty acids (120mg EPAs and 55mg DHAs), phospholipids, and astaxanthin. It may be easier to digest than fish oil and comes with no fishy aftertaste. 

Transparent Labs Muscle Building Essentials Stack
Transparent Labs Muscle Building Essentials Stack
Transparent Labs Muscle Building Essentials Stack

This stack contains Transparent Labs Preseries Bulk, Transparent Labs 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate, Transparent Labs Strengthseries Creapure HMB, and Transparent Labs Coreseries Krill Oil.

Who Should Buy Transparent Labs Muscle Building Essentials Stack

  • Athletes who want to purchase their supplements in a stack that contains krill oil, as well as other supplements in their regimen. 
  • People who prefer krill oil to fish oil, as it may be more easily digested. 
  • Anyone who values a fish oil supplement that doesn’t have a fishy aftertaste. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy Transparent Labs Muscle Building Essentials Stack

  • Folks who are just looking for a fish (or krill) oil, and don’t need the additional supplements in this stack. 
  • Vegans or vegetarians who need a fish oil supplement that’s plant-based. 

If you have a lot of supplements in your regimen and are looking for a way to consolidate your purchases, a supplement stack may be the way to go. This stack in particular includes a solid krill oil you can add to your stash. 

Best Liquid Fish Oil

While the most common form of fish oil supplements is pills, liquid fish oil is also an option that may appeal to consumers as well. For those who want a fish oil that absorbs quickly upon consumption, liquid fish oil is the way to go, and this pick is one of the best. 

Nordic Naturals Omega-3

Since Nordic Naturals Omega-3 comes in a liquid, your body does not need to digest a capsule to get to the fish oil — in other words, you are able to absorb it faster. On top of that, this product’s omega-3 fish oils come in the triglyceride molecular form (the form naturally found in fish), which may also help with absorption. If you’re concerned about taste, don’t be — this liquid comes in a great lemon taste. It contains 1,560mg of omega-3’s, which includes 745mg EPAs, 500mg DHAs, and 315mg of other unlisted omega-3’s. This liquid product is also one of the more budget-friendly options on the market, making it a great pick for penny-pinchers. 

Nordic Naturals Omega-3
Nordic Naturals Omega-3
Nordic Naturals Omega-3

Nordic Naturals Omega-3 comes in a liquid, which may help with absorption. Plus, this product’s omega-3 fish oils come in the triglyceride molecular form (the form naturally found in fish), which can also help it digest better.

Who Should Buy Nordic Naturals Omega-3

  • People who prefer to take their fish oil supplement in liquid form, rather than pill form. 
  • Folks who want a product that may absorb better than your average capsule fish oil. 
  • Those who are concerned about taste — this product is lemon flavored to mask any fishy flavors. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy Nordic Naturals Omega-3

  • Anyone who prefers to consume their fish oil supplement in pill form for speed and convenience.
  • People looking for a higher dose of omega-3 fatty acids will be able to find options with higher doses out there. 
  • Folks who want a name for every ingredient in their supplement — this product has 315mg of unspecified omega-3’s. 

For anyone who would prefer to pour their liquid fish oil into a tea or a glass of water over taking a pill, Nordic Naturals Omega-3 offers a solid dose and a great lemon flavor.

Best Fish Oil for Women

Omega-3’s are a great supplement to decrease inflammation, but for women in particular, they may also help fight the symptoms of menstrual pain, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoporosis. This product gets its omega-3’s straight from the same source as fish: algae. 

Performance Lab Omega-3

While omega-3’s are good for both men and women, women may benefit for different reasons. For example, the potential anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3’s can help reduce inflammation during menstrual cramps or for those who battle with rheumatoid arthritis (which is more common in women). (2) Performance Lab Omega-3 contains 1,100mg of omega-3 fatty acids, which includes 600mg EPA fats and 300mg DHA fats, along with 200mg of additional omega-3’s that aren’t specified. Performance Lab sources their omega-3’s from algae, which means they are vegan, and, according to the manufacturer, contain no mercury or heavy metals — a concern some have when it comes to fish oils.

Performance Lab Omega-3
Performance Lab Omega-3
Performance Lab Omega-3

An algae-sourced alternative to traditional fish-based omega-3. Provides a 2:1 ratio of DHA to EPA and is designed to reduce the likelihood of unpleasant aftertaste or "fish burps" that some omega-3 supplements can cause.

Who Should Buy Performance Lab Omega-3

  • Women who are looking for a solid dose of omega-3’s that may potentially help with inflammation or symptoms like menstrual cramps. 
  • Folks who prefer to consume their fish oil in pill form will appreciate that this fish oil comes in softgels. 
  • Those who are concerned about having heavy metals and mercury in their fish oil — according to the manufacturer, since this product is sourced from algae, it contains neither. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy Performance Lab Omega-3

  • Anyone who prefers to get their omega-3’s from fish or krill, rather than from algae. 
  • People who prefer to take their fish oil in liquid form over pill form. 
  • Folks who want to know all their omega-3 ingredients as this product contains 200mg of omega-3’s that aren’t specified on the label. 

While fish oil and omega-3’s may be beneficial to both men and women, for women who are particularly trying to fight off symptoms of menstrual cramps or osteoporosis, omega-3’s can play a big role. This pick provides a solid dose of omega-3’s that come straight from algae — the main source of aquatic ecosystems.

Best Cheap Fish Oil

If you’re on a budget but still want to incorporate a high-quality fish oil supplement into your supplement regimen, this pick is one of the least expensive fish oils you’ll find. 

BulkSupplements Fish Oil

BulkSupplements packs 1,000mg of fish oil into one softgel, which also includes 300mg of combined EPA and DHA fats. You can take one softgel up to three times daily to increase your intake. While this product is third-party tested, there isn’t a lot of information listed about their sustainability practices, so if that’s something you prioritize, this may not be the pick for you. This product may also leave you with some fishy burps, but its biggest perk is that you can buy BulkSupplements Fish Oil in (you guessed it) bulk. You can choose from 100-softgel bags to 6,000-softgel bags, so you won’t have to think about replenishing your stock for years. 

BulkSupplements Fish Oil
BulkSupplements Fish Oil
BulkSupplements Fish Oil

 This supplement contains 1,000mg of fish oil in one softgel, which also includes 300mg of combined EPA and DHA fats. You can take one softgel up to three times daily to increase your intake.

Who Should Buy BulkSupplements Fish Oil

  • Buyers who are looking for a more affordable fish oil supplement will like the price tag on this product. 
  • Folks who prefer to take their fish oil supplement in pill form over liquid form. 
  • Anyone who wants to buy their fish oil in bulk — you can buy this product in bags of up to 6,000 softgels at once. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy BulkSupplements Fish Oil

  • Those who value sustainability practices — BulkSupplements does not specify any sustainable practices on their website. 
  • People who don’t like dealing with fish oil burps — some have experienced these with this product.

Though you may have to deal with a fishy burp here and there, this product is one of the most budget-friendly fish oil supplements on the market — which, for some, can make or break their decision to add the supplement to their regimen. 

Best Sustainably Sourced Fish Oil

If you’re environmentally conscious, you want to pick a supplement that meets rigorous testing standards and sources its oil from fish that aren’t endangered. 

SR Omega-3 Fish Oil

Sports Research Triple Strength Omega-3 Fish Oil has certifications from the International Fish Oil Standards, the Marine Stewardship Council, and NSF International. This supplement is also tested to make sure there are no genetically modified organisms. Each single-softgel serving provides 1250 milligrams of wild Alaska pollock fish oil concentrate, which includes 690mg of EPAs and 260mg of DHAs.

The fish oil is extracted from pollock trimmings immediately after a catch to better ensure freshness. That freshness and all of those certifications bump up the price tag, and the pills are a little large (which is a minor detail, but one that’s important to some folks). 

SR Omega-3 Fish Oil
SR Omega-3 Fish Oil
SR Omega-3 Fish Oil

Each single-softgel serving of this supplement provides 1250 milligrams of wild Alaska pollock fish oil concentrate, which includes 690mg of EPAs and 260mg of DHAs.

Who Should Buy SR Omega-3 Fish Oil

  • Those who value transparency; it’s certified by IFOS, Marine Stewardship Council, and NSF International.
  • People who avoid farmed fish will appreciate that this product is sourced from wild Alaskan pollock.
  • Anyone who values freshness — the fish oil is harvested from the pollock immediately after each catch.

Who Shouldn’t Buy SR Omega-3 Fish Oil

  • Folks who have issues swallowing large pills may want to avoid this product.
  • People who aren’t necessarily concerned about sustainability and therefore won’t want to pay more.

This fish oil is sourced from wild caught Alaskan pollock and extracted from the fish immediately after the catch to ensure freshness. Its sustainable sourcing may jack up the price a little, but for some, the high quality is worth dishing out the extra cash. 

[Related: Best Macros Calculator For Tracking Muscle Gain And Fat Loss]

Best Bulk Fish Oil

Replenishing your fish oil supplement every month can get tiring for some. For those who want to buy years’ worth of fish oil softgels in one go, this is a solid pick for you. 

BulkSupplements Fish Oil

BulkSupplements is known for their bulk-buy products, and their fish oil is no different. You can buy this fish oil in bags of 100, 300, or 6,000 softgels. You can take one softgel as much as three times daily, which means the 6,000-softgel bag could last you five or more years. You can even subscribe to save even further on your bulk buys. One of these softgels contains 1,000mg of fish oil and 300mg of EPA and DHA fats combined. While you may experience a fishy burp or two here and there, this is a solid purchase if you don’t want to think about a fish oil restock for a while.

BulkSupplements Fish Oil
BulkSupplements Fish Oil
BulkSupplements Fish Oil

 This supplement contains 1,000mg of fish oil in one softgel, which also includes 300mg of combined EPA and DHA fats. You can take one softgel up to three times daily to increase your intake.

Who Should Buy BulkSupplements Fish Oil

  • Buyers who want to purchase years’ worth of fish oil all at once for convenience. 
  • Folks who are committed to taking fish oil for years to come, and don’t plan on switching to a different fish oil supplement. 
  • Anyone who’s looking for an affordable fish oil supplement as this is one of the least expensive fish oils on the market. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy BulkSupplements Fish Oil

  • Those who are just starting out, and may decide they prefer a different fish oil after trying this one. If you’re buying in bulk, you want to make sure you like the product first. 
  • People who are trying to avoid fish oil burps — some people do experience fish oil burps with these softgels. 

For anyone who’s committed to their fish oil supplementation regimen, this is a solid bulk buy. You can buy up to 6,000 softgels at once, and even if you take three a day, this product will last you years. 

What Are the Benefits of Fish Oil?

Fish oil supplements are primarily intended to help increase your intake of Omega-3 fatty acids. A relatively high intake of Omega-3s and a low intake of Omega-6 — which is very high in processed seed oils and fried foods — is associated with a range of benefits like reduced inflammation and joint pain, heart health, mental health, and more.

Reduced Inflammation and Joint Pain

Perhaps the most celebrated and research-backed benefit of fish oil, a range of studies have associated fish oil supplements and/or a high intake of omega-3s with reduced joint pain from arthritis, as well as exercise-induced inflammation from strength training. (3)(4)(5)(6)

Omega-3 inflammation
Torwaistudio / Shutterstock

Inflammation is linked to scores of maladies, from heart disease to diabetes, so reducing inflammation is likely a good idea even for those who aren’t in pain. (Plenty of fruits, vegetables, and sleep also appear to help. You should always chat with a doctor if you’re concerned.)

Heart Health

Evidence is mixed, but some research has shown that the kinds of omega-3s found in fish may reduce triglycerides (which when high may contribute to the hardening of arteries in the body) and high blood pressure. (7)(8)(9)(10)(11)(12)(13)(14)(15)

[Related: Nutrition For Bulking: 10 Tips For Intelligent Muscle Gain]

Mental Health

Possibly because of the effects on inflammation, keeping your omega-3s relatively high might reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and potentially even play a role in treating depression and anxiety. (16)(17)(18)(19)(20)(21) This research is still light, however, so more is definitely necessary.

When Should I Take Fish Oil Supplements?

You can take your fish oil supplement at any time of day, but you should do so with a meal if possible. The fats in fish oil can absorb more effectively when consumed with other fats. If you don’t eat a lot of fats at breakfast or lunch, wait until dinner — and vice versa. Overall, the time of day doesn’t matter as much as the foods that you’re eating with your fish oil do. (22)

It’s worth noting that if you consume fish oil on an empty stomach, it’s not only possible that your fish oil won’t absorb as well, but it’s also possible that you’ll experience heartburn or other gastric issues.

How Much Do Fish Oil Supplements Cost?

Fish oil supplements can be fairly inexpensive depending on the source and brand you decide to purchase. You’ll want to look at the overall cost of the container measured against the total number of servings to know exactly what you’re getting for your money. Typically, this number should be anywhere from $0.10 per serving to $2.00 per serving.

fish oil
Farion_O/Shutterstock

Fish oil products you can buy in bulk tend to be less expensive, but these products also may not be as high quality as others — in particular, they may be more likely to cause fishy burps. When it comes to fish oil, the higher priced products likely won’t come with a fishy aftertaste, and they may be more sustainably sourced, or provide a higher dosage. 

Can I Take Vegan Omega-3 Supplements?

There are three kinds of omega-3s: EPA, DHA, and ALA. (More correctly, they’re eicosapentaenoic acid, docosahexaenoic acid, and alpha-linolenic acid.)

Fish and animals contain the first two, while the third is found in seeds, nuts, some eggs, and some other plant fats.

When people say things like walnuts or flaxseed are high in omega-3, they’re talking about ALA. But the body needs to convert ALA to EPA and DHA to use it, and the majority of it is lost in that process — some studies suggest as much as 90 percent of it. (23)(24)

A solution might be to just eat ten times more ALA than EPA or DHA, but another option is to get algae-based omega-3 supplements. These supplements contain EPA and DHA (it’s where the fish get it from), but they do wind up being pretty pricey since they are one of the only viable vegan alternatives to fish oil. 

How Do We Decided On the Best Fish Oils

When building out this list of our favorite fish oil products, we highly considered sourcing, taste, and dosage — plus, it was important to weigh the needs of different kinds of consumers. Here’s a look into how we picked the best.

Dosage

Many fish oil supplements provide higher numbers than the recommended daily intake of omega-3 fatty acids, which is 250 to 500mg of EPA and DHA fats combined. However, it’s not harmful to consume more, and some doses even contain upwards of two grams of omega-3 fatty acids. These higher doses are particularly helpful for those with preexisting heart problems. Most of the products we’ve included in this list have doses in the one- to two-gram range. (25)

Sourcing and Sustainability

Many customers value sustainability practices when it comes to picking their fish oil products, looking for fish oil that’s sourced from wild caught fish and has had little to no impact on the surrounding environment. People also vary on what kind of source they want their fish oil to be from — fish, krill, and algae are all common options. 

fishing boat
Tomasz Kozal/Shutterstock

We were sure to include sustainably sourced products on here for those who value that, as well as some products that don’t list sustainable sourcing, but may be a little less expensive for those who are more concerned about budget. We’ve also included a wide range of sources, so you’ll find both animal- and plant-based products to choose from on this list. 

Taste

When it comes to fish oil, typically one of the biggest concerns is a fishy aftertaste. Fish burps or a fishy aftertaste following consumption may be what keeps many people from taking fish oil, so we prioritized finding products that don’t actually taste like fish. 

It’s worth noting that we have included one or two products that do have this fish taste solely because they are less expensive, and some customers on a budget may prefer the low cost to the absence of the fishy aftertaste.

What To Consider Before Buying Fish Oil

Customers have varying goals when it comes to implementing fish oil into their diets. Maybe you’re trying to be proactive when it comes to heart diseases, or maybe you just aren’t getting enough fatty acids in your normal diet. It’s important to consider your personal needs before deciding which fish oil supplement to buy. 

Dosage

There’s no official recommendation for dosage, but the World Health Organization (WHO) suggests at least 250 to 500 milligrams of omega-3 per day. That said, many of the previously cited studies were using daily doses of two to four grams.

It seems just as important to keep omega-6 low as it is to keep omega-3 high. Some research suggests a ratio of one gram of omega-3 for every four grams of Omega-6 is ideal, but the average person eats closer to 1:10 or even 1:25 in some studies. (26) You can lower your omega-6 intake by avoiding fried foods and limiting nuts and seeds.

It’s important to complement this supplement with a healthy diet of whole foods for the best results. And when it comes to choosing the proper dosage for your needs, consulting a doctor or nutrition expert first is ideal.

Source

The best food sources of omega-3s are, in this order, mackerel (5.1 grams of omega-3 per 100 grams), salmon (2.3 grams), anchovies (2.1 grams), herring (1.7 grams), sardines (1.4 grams), and oysters (0.7 grams). You can also get omega-3 fatty acids from the source these fish get theirs from — algae. Make sure you speak to your physician before embarking on a new supplement regimen.

Price

Prices vary based on aspects like taste, dosage, and sustainability practices. If sticking to a low budget is your number one priority, you may have to opt for a product that tastes a little fishy, or has a lower dosage. If you’re flexible on budget, you’ll have more opportunity to land on a higher quality product that may not taste as fishy, or may be more sustainably sourced. Be sure to consider how tight your budget is before shopping as this may be a deciding factor for a lot of customers when it comes to the type of product they end up buying. 

[Related: The Lifter’s Guide To Magnesium: What This Nutrient Does For Strength]

Final Word

With this much information taken into consideration, you should be armed with all you need to pick the best fish oil supplement for your needs. Just be sure to weigh your dosage options, decide if you want a vegan-friendly product or not, find the right price point, and always chat with your physician before making any changes to your diet or supplement regimen.

FAQs

How much fish oil should I take?

First, check with your doctor to determine if you should be taking fish oil and, if so, what dose is right for you. You should look for a supplement that offers at least one gram, but there’s no specific dosage you “should” take.

Can I take fish oil if I'm vegan?

No, not specifically fish oil. But a great alternative to fish oil is omega-3s sourced from algae, which are a great choice for vegans.

When should I take fish oil?

While there is no specific time of day you should be taking your fish oil, it’s best consumed with a meal. This way, it can absorb better and shouldn’t cause any heartburn.

References

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