Recently, Andrew Gordon, a right winger with the Linköpings Hockey Club of the Swedish Hockey League, spoke with Athletigen before starting his 11th season of professional hockey.
Andrew has been an Athletigen customer for three years and recently purchased the new premium Athletic and Nutrition reports. Already he has seen significant improvements in how he prepares his body for the rigors of elite sports. Following is a Q&A that delved into the specifics of what Andrew experienced as an Athletigen user.
What have you learned about yourself that you never knew before?
Since receiving my latest Athletigen profile, I have learned a ton about my diet. My best example is that I am prone to dehydration and cramping during extended periods of exercise (almost every game), and since I got my profile I have been able to see what I lack and why this happens to me, make a couple small daily dietary changes to my magnesium, potassium and salt intakes and my problems almost immediately vanished. This is 11 years into my pro career, and I wish every day I had this knowledge all those years ago.
What makes DNA insights special to you and your preparation as a professional hockey player?
Knowledge specifics to my DNA means everything to my preparation. As team athletes, we are kind of like a herd of animals going from practice to game, to team meal, to the hotel, and without knowing the specifics of my own DNA I would be doing nothing to prepare and recover aside from what is in front of me. Most athletes are forced into a cookie cutter routine, but with this new knowledge, I am able to tailor my preparation and recovery around my needs to make me my best. As a team athlete it’s my job to be my best every night, and with Athletigen I am able to make my daily routine more than that of a member of a group, I am able to bring myself as an individual closer to my potential.
Describe how some trait information validated what you thought about your body, whereas other information told you something you didn't know and has since become super valuable.
After reading through my DNA profile, I learned that I am more susceptible to a ligament injury, more specifically in my knees (MCL). Now, as I read that, I had already suffered four MCL sprains and as I viewed that section it was like a lightbulb went off. I had a deep feeling of “how didn’t I know this years ago”. It was a frustrating feeling knowing that these injuries can possibly shorten my career, have already cost me playing time, and could have been prevented if I had the proper information earlier in my career. Staying healthy is the most important aspect of being a professional athlete. With knowledge of your body’s possible weaknesses in front of you, an athlete can take measures to ensure they don’t occur, keeping you in the game, as I will be moving forward in my career.
How have you adjusted your training, game-day preparation, and recovery since learning about your unique DNA profile?
Since learning about my DNA, I have changed my diet considerably. Knowing that I have a slower reaction to complex carbohydrates, and a much better reaction to carbs found in vegetables, I have altered my pregame nutrition to more plant-based meals as opposed to heavier pasta or potato. The old “carb up” mantra that I have been following since I was 6 years old was flipped on its head in a day. I have also added more antioxidants and amino acids to my pre- and post-game routines. My body clears waste at a slower rate than others, so adding those supplements allows me to recover faster and make me feel more energized the next day.
Would you recommend Athletigen DNA reports to other athletes?
I would recommend Athletigen to any athlete who takes themselves seriously. All my life I have taken pride in being on top of my training and my diet, and always strived to be the hardest working guy in the room. Athletigen allows me to take that desire and give it direction. Now that I know what to eat, and how to train specific to me, I feel like all my efforts are pointed in a direction of me being in my best physical condition. Athletigen takes the guessing out of my preparation. It allows me to put science behind why I do what I do and with that comes confidence. I no longer read an article and have a trial-and-error phase where I see if this new food or that new exercise are good for me. I know what’s best for my body and I can apply it to my day every day. The more I dig into Athletigen, the more I learn about myself and the more I realize there is to learn. Being a competitive professional athlete is an endless pursuit of my best, and Athletigen just opened the doors to a new world of what I can become.