For decades, many people who take Omega-3 have opted to take the supplements first thing in the morning. Do you do that?
Is that the best time to take them?
What do you eat for breakfast? Eggs, bacon, sausage, something substantial like that, or maybe cereal or muffins, some crackers, maybe even skip breakfast altogether.
Omega-3 fatty acids need to be consumed with food and preferably high-fat foods in order to be well absorbed. If you have been taking fish oil and haven’t seen improvement in your labs, then you might need to optimize timing. The trend towards low-fat breakfast and skipping breakfast entirely could explain why some supplement users don’t see that sizable increase in their Omega-3 index levels in their blood work. So what do you do?
Well, if you skip breakfast or have a low-fat breakfast, consider taking your fish oil later in the day.
Do that for two to four months and then ask your doctor to redo the blood test to see if your values improved.
Here’s where dose and timing are interesting:
In a pilot study that was done in the UK, researchers found that children who were supplemented with Omega-3s at lunchtime increased their sleep time by an average of 58 minutes while reducing the number of waking up during the night. Now, these children were not children with autism. They were mainstream children who had trouble sleeping. The researchers didn’t compare breakfast to lunch or dinner. That would be really interesting and also provide great insight into specific timing. But it’s important to note that the researchers had the study set up so that the children have the generalized lecture time and they still saw some great benefits.
What does other research say?
Several studies have now shown that Aspirin and some cholesterol-lowering drugs, blood pressure medication, and even anti-reflux medication may work better in the evening. And this has to do with the natural cycles that our bodies go through during sleep, including detox of the brain by cerebral spinal fluid. There’s some great new research about autism and cerebral spinal fluid.
So when is the best time to take fish oil?
Some parents stress about not being able to give fish oil in the morning, and science shows it’s more important to take fish oil with a high-fat meal. Fish oil can be given later in the day while still seeing benefits. Don’t be afraid to experiment and see what works best for yourself or your child. Some parents give fish oil with like an early dinner and it doesn’t impact the child’s sleep. But some kids get more energetic in the evening and then have trouble sleeping.
So you want to experiment and optimize. So when’s the most optimal time to take the fish oil? It’s when you can actually take it while still having a smile on your face.
Fish oil is certainly important for many children with autism. So if there is a battle going on with you and your child on fish oil, you want to figure things out?
Optimize it so that everyone is smiling.