Muscular Hypoxic Adaptation and Your DNA

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As your body adapts to the requirements of endurance training, a variety of physiological changes start to happen that facilitate prolonged performance and O2 delivery to your working tissues.

Your red blood cell concentration increases, the O2 carrying capacity of your blood cells increases, and new blood vessels begin to form in and around your muscle tissues. People living at high altitudes, where O2 levels are lower, experience similar physiological adaptation.

But your DNA also plays a role.

HIF1A helps your body to respond to increased and prolonged O2 needs, such as during anaerobic exercise, artificial blood flow restriction training, or when at high altitudes. It does this by regulating many systems that improve O2 delivery and metabolic efficiency.

These include increased red blood cell production, improved red blood cell O2 carrying capacity, and increased blood vessel concentration in muscle tissues.

This increased O2 carrying capacity may benefit athletic performance, whether endurance- or power-oriented, and variants of HIF1A may influence how efficient these adaptations are.

Find out what variant of the HIF1A gene you have and get expert recommendations from the Olympic-level coaches at ALTIS with the ALTIS Sport Performance Report.

 

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