Is Krill Oil Better Than Fish Oil? Swolverine

Omega 3. It’s no surprise that most athletes and health-conscious consumers supplement with some type of Omega 3. Whether it’s Fish Oil, Krill Oil, Flax, Algae, or Cod Liver Oil research has shown that Omega 3 fatty acids have a myriad of health benefits on your heart, joints, brain, and can even provide healthy glowing skin. 

As an athlete, you’re constantly looking to improve your training and performance through increasing metabolic capacity, delaying the onset of fatigue, and improving muscle hypertrophy by enhancing recovery, improving immune function, and decreasing oxidative stress.

Fish oil has long been the preferred and recommend source of Omega-3. However, recent evidence suggests that Krill Oil is a far superior choice for athletes and health-conscious consumer alike. We’re going to find the facts and see what the research and scientific studies reveal, so you can find out which is better: krill oil vs. fish oil when it comes to bodybuilding/athletic performance and recovery.  

Why Should I Supplement With Omega-3?

Omega-3s are essential fatty acids, also known as EFAs. The body requires EFAs for optimal health, but cannot make these essential fatty acids on its own. EFAs are ‘essential’ meaning, these types of fats must be consumed in the diet or by a dietary supplement, such as Krill Oil. The human body requires both groups of EFAs (omega-3 and omega-6) to survive, however the typical modern day diet, is much higher in Omega-6 fatty acids than Omega-3, making supplementation critical to your overall health.

What Is Krill Oil? 

Krill Oil comes from tiny shrimp-like crustaceans, which are found deep in the cold waters of the Antarctic Ocean. Krill oil is rich in long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which have been found to have positive effects on inflammation, decreasing oxidative stress, and enhancing recovery [R] 

What’s oxidative stress? The process of oxidation happens as our bodies metabolize (or process) the oxygen that we breathe and our cells produce energy from it. This process also produces free radicals –which interact with the molecules within our cells resulting in damage (or stress) to nearby cells, MITOCHONDRIA, and DNA (our genes).

Free radicals are normal and necessary to some degree. In addition to causing some damage, they also stimulate repair. It is only when the amount of free radicals produced overwhelms the repair processes that it becomes an issue. That is what we call oxidative stress.

Why Krill Oil Is Better Than Fish Oil?

Krill Oil Has Better Bioavailability (Absorption Rate)

One of the key differences between krill oil and fish oil is the bioavailability, or how quickly your body can absorb it. Absorption rate is a hot topic amongst athletes, due to the bodies demand for nutrients after high physical stress, in order to recover faster and reduce post workout inflammation. If you don’t have fast nutrient delivery, you can’t effectively and efficiently recover, meaning your training will suffer, since you will have prolonged recovery times [R].

Why does Krill Oil have a faster absorption rate, than fish oil? The Omega-3s found in krill oil are packaged as phospholipids, (the same structure found in your cellular membranes) which can be utilized immediately by your body, due to an added phosphate group [R]. The Omega 3’s found in fish oil, are bound in triglycerides, which have to undergo additional conditions and processes in order for them to become bioavailable [R]

Krill oil has been shown to be absorbed 68% better within 2-3 hours, as opposed to fish oil, which can take anywhere from 48-72 hours [R] This suggests that the Omega-3 polyunsaturated fats in Krill Oil can be absorbed much faster than Fish Oil [R] Faster absorption, will help with faster recovery, more workouts, and better athletic performance.

Greater bioavailability of Omega-3s found in Krill Oil, also means that lower doses of krill oil are needed to result in a similar bloodstream level of EPA and/or DHA than fish oil [R]. So, you can take less and have the same effect.

Krill Oil Contains The Worlds Most Powerful Antioxidant (Astaxanthin)

Krill oil contains an extremely potent antioxidant, Astaxanthin a red carotenoid pigment that naturally occurs in salmon, shrimp, krill, crustaceans, or certain types of algae, giving krill its reddish color. Several studies have shown that Astaxanthin has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, which can reduce systemic inflammation promoting a healthier heart, reduce muscle damage, and improve recovery[RR]

Antioxidants help fight free radical damage and oxidative stress, which helps promote a stronger immune system. Oxidative stress contributes to the aging, process through the formation of wrinkles, degradation of skin elasticity, and systemic inflammation. Considering the fact that Krill oil naturally contains this antioxidant naturally makes it a better choice than fish oil [R, R]

In addition to reducing free radical damage and oxidative stress, studies have shown that Astaxanthin administration has significant benefits for athletes and neuroprotective effects [R, R]. Recent evidence also suggests that astaxanthin helps reduce muscle damage [RR], increases time trial performance and power output in competitive cyclists [R], and has been shown to increases strength and endurance [R].

Krill oil contains approximately 0.5 mg of astaxanthin per 3 g of krill oil, which is below the currently established effective dose of 4 mg for athletes. However, the absorption of astaxanthin can be greatly enhanced in the presence of fats, surfactants, or phospholipids. The phospholipid content in krill oil increases the absorption of astaxanthin closing the gap between the actual content and effective dose [R]. Therefore, taking a normal dose of Krill oil will give you the normal clinical dose of Astaxanthin. 

RELATED ARTICLE The Benefits Of Astaxanthin

Krill Oil Increases Muscle Protein Synthesis And Lean Body Mass

A pilot study conducted by the Department of Comparative Biosciences at the University of Wisconsin in Madison investigated the effects of Krill Oil on mTOR signaling and resistance training on muscle protein synthesis. 

mTOR functions as a serine/threonine protein kinase that regulates cell growth, cell proliferation, cell motility, cell survival, protein synthesis, autophagy, and transcription. Signaling through the mammalian target of rapamycin [mTOR] is activated by amino acids, insulin, and growth factors, and impaired by nutrient or energy deficiency. mTOR regulates numerous components involved in protein synthesis [R] and can lead to greater gains in lean muscle mass.

In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, resistance trained subjects consumed either 3g of krill oil daily or placebo, and each took part in an 8-week period resistance training program. Body composition, maximal strength, peak power, and rate of perceived recovery were assessed collectively at the end of weeks 0 and 8. In addition, safety parameters (comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP), complete blood count (CBC), and urine analysis (UA)) and cognitive performance were measured pre-and post testing [R]. 

Is Krill Oil Better Than Fish Oil?

Is Krill Oil Better Than Fish Oil?

The results indicated that Krill oil significantly stimulated mTOR signaling in comparison to the control. No differences for markers on the CMP, CBC, or UA were observed, however Krill oil significantly increased lean body mass from baseline (p=0.021, 1.4 kg, +2.1%) [R].

Is Krill Oil Better Than Fish Oil? The Takeaway 

Overwhelming evidence suggests that Krill Oil is a far superior choice than Fish Oil when it comes to supplementing with Omega-3. With greater enhancements in bioavailability, the added antioxidants properties, and the ability to influence the process of protein synthesis, you should definitely consider switching to Krill Oil, as your Omega-3 supplement of choice. It not only helps improve performance but also increases overall health and well being, through reducing oxidative stress, improving hearth health, brain health, all while supporting healthy joints and mobility. It’s basically a fountain of youth, in one small red pill. Beats fish burps and gulping down those huge monstrous pills any day.

Switch Your Omega-3 Supplement To Krill Oil Now

SWOLVERINE's KRILL OIL contains 500mg of Omega 3 phospholipids and Astaxanthin to help protect your heart, reduce post-workout inflammation for joints, improve immune system function, lower your blood pressure, reverse the effects and signs of aging, and increase brain function. 


SWOLVERINE is an endurance athlete and active lifestyle brand. Made for the elite athlete, and the strong-willed our products were designed to fuel your athletic performance. We perform when you perform. 

We believe that everyone can optimize not only their athletic performance but their human potential. The way we believe we can optimize performance is through transparency, clinically effective doses, and clinically proven ingredients with evidence-based outcomes. We provide the nutrients you need to power your active lifestyle. 



  1. Tominaga, Kumi et al. “Protective Effects of Astaxanthin on Skin Deterioration.” Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition1 (2017): 33–39. PMC. Web. 3 Nov. 201
  2. Fassett, Robert G., and Jeff S. Coombes. “Astaxanthin: A Potential Therapeutic Agent in Cardiovascular Disease.” Marine Drugs3 (2011): 447–465. PMC. Web. 4 Nov. 2017.
  3. Grimmig, Bethany et al. “Neuroprotective Mechanisms of Astaxanthin: A Potential Therapeutic Role in Preserving Cognitive Function in Age and Neurodegeneration.” GeroScience1 (2017): 19–32. PMC. Web. 4 Nov. 2017.
  4. Grimmig B, Kim SH, Nash K, Bickford PC, Douglas shytle R. Neuroprotective mechanisms of astaxanthin: a potential therapeutic role in preserving cognitive function in age and neurodegeneration. Geroscience. 2017;39(1):19-32.
  5. Yook JS, Okamoto M, Rakwal R, et al. Astaxanthin supplementation enhances adult hippocampal neurogenesis and spatial memory in mice. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2016;60(3):589-99. [Pub Med]
  6. Ulven, Stine M, and Kirsten B Holven. “Comparison of Bioavailability of Krill Oil versus Fish Oil and Health Effect.” Vascular Health and Risk Management11 (2015): 511–524. PMC. Web. 20 Aug. 2017.
  7. Schuchardt, Jan, et al. “Incorporation of EPA and DHA into plasma phospholipids in response to different omega-3 fatty acid formulations - a comparative bioavailability study of fish oil vs. krill oil.” Lipids in Health and Disease, vol. 10, no. 1, 2011, p. 145., doi:10.1186/1476-511x-10-145.
  8. Ramprasath, V. R. et al. “Supplementation of Krill Oil with High Phospholipid Content Increases Sum of EPA and DHA in Erythrocytes Compared with Low Phospholipid Krill Oil.” Lipids in Health and Disease14 (2015): 142. PMC. Web. 21 Aug. 2017.
  9. Tillander, Veronika et al. “Fish Oil and Krill Oil Supplementations Differentially Regulate Lipid Catabolic and Synthetic Pathways in Mice.” Nutrition & Metabolism11 (2014): 20. PMC. Web. 21 Aug. 2017.
  10. Deutsch L. Evaluation of the effect of Neptune Krill Oil on chronic inflammation and arthritic symptoms. J Am Coll Nutr. 2007;26(1):39-48.
  11. Miyachi, Masashiro et al. “Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Astaxanthin in the Human Gingival Keratinocyte Line NDUSD-1.” Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition3 (2015): 171–178. PMC. Web. 21 Aug. 2017.
  12. Honold, P. J., Nouard, M.-L. and Jacobsen, C. (2016), Oxidative stability during storage of fish oil from filleting by-products of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) is largely independent of the processing and production temperature. Eur. J. Lipid Sci. Technol., 118: 967–973. doi:10.1002/ejlt.201500344
  13. Norwegian Health Authorities Raise Question about Rancid Fish Oil. (2012, March 01). Retrieved August 20, 2017, from
  14. Jackowski, Stefan A. et al. “Oxidation Levels of North American over-the-Counter n-3 (omega-3) Supplements and the Influence of Supplement Formulation and Delivery Form on Evaluating Oxidative Safety.” Journal of Nutritional Science4 (2015): e30. PMC. Web. 21 Aug. 2017.
  15. Georges, John et al. “The Effects of Krill Oil on mTOR Signaling and Resistance Exercise: A Pilot Study.” Journal of nutrition and metabolism 2018 7625981. 26 Apr. 2018, doi:10.1155/2018/7625981
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