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Can Coffee Rev Up Your Workout? It May Depend on Your Genes
Whether athletes can enhance their performance with caffeine may depend on their genes.
According to a new study of the genetics of caffeine metabolism, athletes with a particular variant of one gene show notable improvements in their endurance performance after swallowing caffeine.
But those with a different variant of that gene may perform worse if they first have caffeine, raising questions about who should be using the drug to bump up performance and about the broader interplay of nutrition, genetics and exercise.
DNA and Diet: the emerging field of nutrigenomics
While it has long been suspected that genetics play an important role in determining how we respond to foods and nutrients, only recently has research in the emerging field of nutrigenomics been able to demonstrate this scientifically. As a result, there has been an interest in using genetic testing to gain a better understanding of how we can feed our body exactly what it needs for optimal health and fitness.
Trying to Find a Healthy Diet? Look to Your Genes
I Got My DNA Analyzed, and I Changed 4 Eating Habits Based on the Results
As a registered dietitian, I often talk about how to make healthy eating more realistic. There's a lot that's within your control, like focusing on eating whole, healthy foods instead of counting calories, and organizing your kitchen to make it harder to accidentally overindulge. But I also know that eating well isn't just about choosing to do so—genetics determine a lot, too.
Should athletes use caffeine to boost performance?
Caffeine provides a life-affirming jolt in cubicles the world over.
But could it also give athletes an edge?
That’s the question being answered by Toronto scientists, who are closer to defining the relationship between caffeine and genetics when it comes to improving athletic performance. Their research, which will be published in an unnamed science journal next month, could have ramifications in the sporting world.
Down to the Wiring
Is caffeine slowing you down?
Recently, Nanci Guest, a registered sports dietitian and PhD candidate at the University of Toronto, recruited 100 athletes for a test. They all rode a 10-km time trial. Before each test ride, an athlete was given a caffeine supplement: either 4 mg/kg of body weight, 2 mg/kg of body weight or a placebo. Guest wanted to see who exactly got a benefit from the caffeine and who didn’t. She figured the results were connected to an athlete’s genes.
Read more: cyclingmagazine.ca