Why are genes key factors in sports performance?

Why are genes key factors in sports performance?

Many dream of being next Lionel Messi or the future Paula Pareto, but the physical abilities required to achieve this goal depend not only on the effort and constant work to become an elite athlete, but also genetic In this case, it is a decisive factor in achieving the goal.

“The body uses carbohydrates and fats as the main energy source along with the use of oxygen. genetic influence Scientist Marcelo Martí, who holds a BS and PhD in Biological Sciences from the Faculty of Exact and Natural Sciences at UBA, said, “It is in the efficiency of processing nutrients and obtaining energy, and this capacity is called energy efficiency.”

Genetic composition influences being an elite athlete like Lionel Messi. (Photo: EFE)

Our genes can then influence how we get energy from food and directly affect our athletic ability. Marti pointed out: “Muscles form three main types of fiber, slow twitch, moderate and fast twitch. The type of muscle fiber is determined by our genes, and knowing that fiber dominates in each person gives us a relative advantage when doing certain sports.”

People with a high percentage of slow twitches may perform better in endurance-related activities such as running. triathlon, jogging or open water swimming.

Meanwhile, those with greater mastery of the intermediate fibers will have enough aerobic capacity to resist fatigue for a few minutes, making it more suitable for interval or group effort sports. hockey, rugby, football and basketball. On the other hand, fibers with a greater predominance of fast fibers are ideal, for example, for performing short and explosive activities related to speed. racing, track and field events, and weight lifting.

Sports injuries, a genetic disease

The most common injuries, both in daily life and during physical activity, ligaments and tendons (anterior cruciate ligament, Achilles tendon or rotator cuff tendons).

read also Metabolism offers more information than genes about the risk of developing the disease.

“The risk of exposure to these injuries is caused by environmental factors (such as activity, level of training, nutrition) and genetic factors It is associated with differences in the composition and flexibility of ligaments and tendons. There are genetic variants that increase the risk of ligament rupture, especially the anterior cruciate ligament in the knee, the scientist said.

Knowing this information is important because it allows you to customize the workout to: genetic makeupand implement preventive behaviors to reduce the risk of injury. Knowing more about our bodily strengths and weaknesses allows us to anticipate diseases and prevent injuries to achieve a full and healthy life.

genes and tendons

The COL1A1 gene is involved in production. collagen type 1It is the most abundant form in the human body. Collagen is a family of proteins that strengthen and support various tissues in the body, including bone, cartilage, tendons and skin.

Variations in the COL1A1 gene risk of tendon rupture and therefore through DNA analysis we can understand whether we are at risk, anticipate injuries and prevent them with appropriate exercises. “It is very important to avoid repetitive and sudden movements and to stretch each muscle group for at least 30 seconds after training,” Martí said.

Knowing our genetic makeup helps improve sports performance

Another very common injury is a tear. achilles tendon It is one of the longest and strongest tendons in the body, as it connects the calf muscle to the heel bone of the foot, allowing plantar flexion. This pathology is usually caused by overuse and is a relatively common injury in sports that require running and jumping.

“Repeated stress on the tendon causes microscopic damage. However, there are genetic variants that predispose us to this lesion. Matrix metalloproteinase 3 (MMP3) is a mediator of extracellular matrix remodeling and is a proposed susceptibility site in the genetic profiling of soft tissue musculoskeletal injuries. Bitgenia’s Director of Research, Martí, noted that variants in the MMP3 gene are associated with Achilles tendon injuries.

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