Our unique DNA profile is the main idea behind DNA testing for sports performance. It is also responsible for the difference in our health and fitness. Studies show that certain traits tied to genetics can affect athletic performance. The question is, how?
There's evidence that two genes—ACE and ACTN3—are associated with power and endurance. By harnessing the power in these genes, you can improve your athletic performance. However, only a few people have the working variant of these genes.
This article explains how DNA testing can improve sports performance with genetically matched training. We also outline factors that influence athletic performance.
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Genetic Factors That Influence Athletic Performance
As mentioned earlier, studies on genetics show that two genes are responsible for athletic attributes: the ACE and ACTN3 genes. Your endurance level differs from the next individual because of variations in these genes. Other genetic factors influencing athletic performance include the following:
Biomechanics is the study of the structure and function of your body at a cellular level. It relates to the difference in the muscle fiber type due to variant ACE genes and affects your cardiovascular endurance.
Injury risk is a genetic factor that explains your susceptibility to injuries during sports and other physical activities. Reports show there’s a relationship between your genes and injury risks.
For example, the presence of injury-associated genes like the GDF5 gene or the IGF2 gene in your cells shows you’re at risk for sports injuries.
Ethnicity plays a crucial role in your sports performance. This explains why Kenyans and Ethiopians do better during long-distance runs than other athletes. They carry specific genes that help them endure these sports and run for extended periods.
» Learn more about how your ethnicity affects your health.
The genetic and hormonal differences in males and females affect sports performance. An example is the differences in testosterone levels responsible for muscle repair and strength in males.
How DNA Testing Can Help
DNA health tests can reveal exact details about your genes and how your body works—for example, your body's ability to heal after a sports injury. You can also learn what injuries to avoid by taking a genetic test. DNA testing also determines how muscles respond to different training intensities.
For example, people with slow twitch muscles have higher II/DD ACE gene expressions. They are best suited for endurance training, unlike others with fast twitch muscles. By identifying these genes early, you can train using optimal exercises based on your genetic information.
You can also use DNA testing to measure your training responses and recovery speed after hard training sessions. It can help boost your sports performance and harness the abilities present in your genes. Genetic testing also checks your response to carbohydrates, micronutrients, vitamins, and fats. With this information, you can create a personalized diet plan to improve your sports performance.
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What Is Genetically Matched Training?
Genetically matched training is a personalized training routine created using your genetic information. For this, your trainer compiles results from your DNA tests and fits them with a sequence of exercises that will boost your performance.
The best way to determine the proper training is by monitoring the effects of genetic variants on exercise and nutrition. For example, DNA test kits like TeloYears test cell vitality and health to check if you can handle high-endurance exercises.
Aside from getting a tailored exercise program, other benefits of matched training include the following:
Improved Fat Burning Capacities
Suppose you’re a regular person who wants to lose weight. DNA testing checks your fat-burning capacities. It shows how the expression of specific genes can affect your ability to lose weight fast.
Some people use stored fats slower than others. If you belong to this category, you are less likely to lose weight faster than those with higher metabolism. In this case, high-intensity cardio would help you reach your fitness goal faster than the average person.
Increased Performance and Strength
Studies show that your genetic composition affects your performance level and strength. You can build muscle mass and improve your coordination with the proper training.
One of the genes best known for speed is the ACTN3 gene, which is found in most fast-paced athletes. Through strength training, those with the ACTN3 gene can lose weight and build their body fat. However, people with normal genes need higher training sessions with balanced nutrition to produce similar results.
Higher Chance of Producing the Best Results
Your genetic makeup forms the basis for genetically matched training, making for a more targeted and precise approach. So, there’s a higher chance of getting the best results and repeating this success.
For guaranteed accuracy, you can take a DNA test from AncestryDNA to determine what works according to your ancestry. These results can help boost exercise and healthy living for your family.
» Try these accurate at-home DNA testing kits.
How Does Genetically Matched Training Improve Athletic Performance?
Genetically matching training helps trainers communicate with athletes based on their strengths. It can also improve a sports team’s performance.
For example, people with the ACTN3 gene respond to sprints and resistance exercises better than others. With this knowledge, you can deviate from the average routine to a more personalized one for team members without the ACTN3 gene. This way, everyone gets the specific exercise they need to improve their athletic performance.
» What about your eating habits? Here are 10 things DNA tests can tell you about your nutrition.
DNA testing has become an accepted way to measure an individual’s functions from the genetic point of view. Fitness coaches can create the best training for you using your DNA test results. Plus, you’ll understand your body better and know what results are realistic for you.
» Don't get caught off-guard: Check out these tips before getting a DNA test.