Empowering Human Performance | Athletigen Blog

Endurance Ability and Your DNA

Posted by Athletigen on Wed, Apr 29, 2020

Marathon RunnersThere are many factors that influence your endurance ability, including your mitochondrial health. Increased mitochondria efficiency has been linked to improved aerobic metabolism and your DNA could play an important role.

PPARGC1A is an important gene that influences your energy levels by controlling mitochondrial health, and the growth of new mitochondria in your cells. PPARGC1A directly impacts cellular energy, sugar metabolism, fat metabolism, weight loss, and circadian rhythm.

Increased PPARGC1A activity is linked to higher concentrations of mitochondria, improved aerobic capacity, and endurance-oriented strengths.

What are mitochondria?

Mitochondria are the power generators in your cells. When you focus on endurance training, your body responds to the higher demand for energy by increasing the number of mitochondria in your cells. You can stimulate mitochondrial generation in your cells with targeted training, post-exercise plans, and by modifying your diet.

Spending time in the Zone 2 heart rate (60%-70% of max heart rate) during at least one training session a week can promote mitochondrial growth.

After each training session, spend 10-15 minutes on tissue work to help relax your muscles and stimulate mitochondrial growth. This can include getting a massage, or using a self-massage tool like a foam roller, massage stick, or lacrosse ball.

Some athletes and trainers have found that a diet low in carbohydrates can improve the outcome of these training and post-exercise sessions. One example is the Ketogenic diet. But as always, consult with a nutritional expert before making any significant changes in your diet.

Learn which variant of the PPARGC1A gene you have and get more expert advice from the Olympic-level coaches at ALTIS with the ALTIS Sport Performance Report.

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