I was so excited to hear that my DNA analysis was complete and could not believe how accurate my results were!
I learned so much about myself including details about my diet, exercise, genetics and even which sleep patterns that work best for me. It gave well-informed details about my endurance, speed, and even muscle strength based on my genes. I couldn’t believe that they actually provided information about my blood pressure based on my DNA, especially since high blood pressure runs in my family. It really caught my attention.
I do a lot of aerobic exercise, so it was good to learn that I have two copies of the ‘improved metabolic levels’ T allele. “Those with the TT genotype were found to generally have lower levels of % body fat than those who didn’t carry the T allele. In addition, the T allele is linked to greater increases in VO2 max in response to training, a factor beneficial to endurance performance.
I had no idea that there is a gene that can indicate your body’s response to saturated fat intake, but apparently I carry two copies of the allele associated with lower sensitivity to saturated fat intake and a lower BMI.
One of the most interesting pieces of information was about how my body responds to sleep. I have always loved my zzzz’s, and being a working mom doesn’t always allow me to sleep 8-9 hours and take naps at my leisure on the weekends like I used to. I found out the following about myself:
Sleep duration and quality can affect many things, including muscle recovery, muscle building, weight loss, athletic performance, learning and cognition. Many gene variants have been reported to affect the sleep cycle or the circadian clock. At FitnessGenes, we test for the Circadian Locomotor Output Cycles Kaput (Clock) gene. Your result tells you whether you do or don’t carry any genetic variants associated with a disturbed circadian rhythm and whether you are likely to be a night owl, morning lark or somewhere in between.
What this means for you:
Of the genotypes tested, you are the least likely to have a disturbed body clock, otherwise known as your circadian rhythm. However, as sleep is very important in muscle recovery, it is important to maintain a healthy, regular sleeping pattern. You may find the following advice useful in ensuring optimal sleep quality:
•Allow natural awakening to occur if at all possible i.e without the use of an alarm clock, and sleep should be taken in an optimal environment (dark, quiet, comfortable temperature).
•Napping in the middle of the day has been shown to be beneficial for performance in the subsequent afternoon. An afternoon power nap for 10-20 minutes is a good way to recharge after sleep restriction.
•Light is one of the most important external factors that can affect sleep. Since the invention of the electric light bulb in the late 19th century, humans have been exposed to more light at night time. Avoid light exposure at night time such as TV, mobile phone and computer screen.
•Background noises should be limited as increased frequency of awakening may prevent transitions to the deeper stages of non-rapid eye movement sleep (NREM).
•Maintaining a comfortable temperature in the room. Between 15.6 and 19.4 º C is generally considered optimal.
•Consuming caffeine within 6 hours of bedtime could potentially affect your sleep, so avoid any caffeinated beverages in the evening. Check your FitnessGenes caffeine (CYP1A2) result for more details.
•Smoking negatively affects sleep, which will impact your recovery and affect your muscle building goals.
Training & Exercise
Regular exercise may be a non-pharmaceutical way to improve sleep quality. Moderate intensity exercise 3 times a week has been linked to improved sleep.
Studies have shown that the peak performance of an early bird (those who, on average, spontaneously wake up around 7 am) occurs at around midday, and this is when you may have peak muscle performance. In comparison, those who are intermediate between early birds and night owls (waking up on average at around 8 am) peak at around 4 pm. Depending on your usual sleep patterns, aiming to train at your peak time may be beneficial. For many athletes, major matches are often in the late afternoon/evening time so training at a similar time may be beneficial.
If training in the early afternoon is not possible, then using caffeine (3 mg per kg body weight) before your early morning training can boost your performance to afternoon levels. This is not as advisable in the evening due to the effect caffeine can have on your sleep quality. Research has also shown that if you consistently train at a certain time of the day, your body will eventually adapt and perform best at that time. Training should fit in with your sleep routine, make sure you do not do intense training close to bedtime.
On average, your body takes about 1 day to adjust for every time zone you cross. If you have an event or a competition, it is worth noting that eastbound travel takes longer to adjust to compared to westbound travel, so it will be good to arrive days in advance of the event to allow your body to adjust.
Your equivalent to breakfast, lunch and dinner (light and heavy meals) should be adjusted to the time zone of the place you are travelling to.
For some individuals with a particular CLOCK genotype, it is particularly important to keep saturated fatty acid (SFA) intake under 11.8% of daily energy to avoid excess weight gain, although this is not applicable to those with your results. However, too much SFA in your diet can be harmful; we recommend that saturated fats do not make up more than 20% of your total calorie intake.
I learned so much about my diet and fitness through my genes and would absolutely recommend this to anyone trying to lose weight or just wanting to learn about how their DNA impacts their exercise, dietary, and overall health needs.
For more info, visit https://fitnessgenes.com/
Once your DNA test is complete you will be able to view your results in the members’ site, where you will be able to read detailed descriptions of the genetic variants you have. We use your genetic information, and your physiological data, to generate the personalized training and nutritional blueprints that are also found in the members’ site.
The Member Site
Use the members’ site to access your results on the go. The site allows for constant updates, new workouts to be accessed, and new gene releases to be added to your profile.