Can genes affect your athletic performance?

Thanks to the dawn of accessible science to map the human genome and the research that is poured into it genetics are playing a larger role in elite sport here in the UK. Genetics have a large influence over many attributes necessary for athletic excellence such as strength, muscle size and muscle fibre composition, anaerobic threshold, lung capacity, and flexibility.

Today there are now multiple athletes, teams and coaches using this science to create far more personalised training programmes and nutrition plansOne size doesn’t fit all!

What is in your genes?

Our genes are our foundations, they allow us advantages and unfortunately disadvantages, they are the potential and hindrance we all have bound to us. Most people will split sports into areas that they have predominate physical attributes, for example we have endurance, power, mixed and skill based sports. Due to this, genes in this field are usually split into these categories as well, with some genes having cross-over but different variants effecting differing aspects of performance. Each gene has many single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for each, these SNPs are coded by two nucleobase pairs (known as alleles), either:

ACTN3 and Sport Performance - What makes this gene so special?

The DADDY of DNA sport focused research is ACTN3 and in particular its single nucleotide polymorphism R577X (rs1815739). R577X directly determines the expression of the α-actinin-3 protein that contributes to the construction of the contractile component in power-generating fast twitch fibres of skeletal muscle. A number of association studies have demonstrated that ACTN3 is a strong candidate in the influence of elite athletic performance.

Sprinter vs Marathoner Genotype

R577X variation results in two versions of ACTN3 in humans, a functional R-allele and a null X-allele. The R allele is generally considered to be advantageous in power-oriented events, as the RR genotype is overrepresented in elite power athletes while the XX genotype is associated with lower sprinting ability and muscle strength. Hence why the ACTN3 gene has become known as the “gene for speed".

Marathoner likely has XX genotype and Sprinter likely has RR genotype.Marathoner likely has XX genotype and Sprinter likely has RR genotype

The ACTN3 R577X variant was recently studied across three groups of elite European athletes (633 athletes and 808 controls). In line with previous literature, power athletes were approximately 50% less likely to have the XX genotype and endurance athletes were approximately 1.88 times more likely to have the XX genotype vs. the RR genotype. 

Imagine if you could find out what variant you have?

You can…………and for only £5!!!

Yes just a fiver!
We will be selling the ACTN3 myInnerGo mini DNA test at the upcoming SFN expo in Glasgow on the 29
th and 30th of August!

If you’re going then get yourself down to stall C20 and find out if you’re made for POWER or ENDURANCE.

Need more info? Just find us on Facebook or head over to myInnerGo web site for more info on our  Sport Product