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Posted 260 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics


3473 Posted 308 Days Ago in: Genetics, Nutrition

Is Low-Sodium Diet Good For Everyone?

Sodium is a key component of many foods regularly consumed by people on a daily basis and although health recommendations often advise otherwise, there is still not enough done to stop people from adding excessive amount of salt to their foods. A major problem with this is that sodium is contained in many regular food products, added to increase the flavor and taste of foods that would otherwise possibly be too bland. But although we all regularly consume sodium every single day, the question is whether or not turning to a low sodium diet is healthy for people. Research has shown that 1.65 million deaths from cardiovascular causes that occurred in 2010 were attributed to sodium consumption above a reference level of 2.0 g per day.

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3438 Posted 361 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics, Nutrition

How can we tell you about your DNA from one little swab?

The 20,000+ genes that make up your genome hold countless clues to understanding the fundamental processes of human life. Ever since the completion of the Human Genome Project, our knowledge of how we are made has developed at an unprecedented rate. In our case, it opened a new realm of information about your individual fitness and nutrition needs, easily accessible from one little mouth swab.

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3432 Posted 384 Days Ago in: Genetics

Can genes affect your taste?

We all have people who we know: friends, family, acquaintances, and work colleagues who all have distinctly different tastes when it comes to food. Some like it hot, while others…not so much. Others devour sugary treats in the blink of an eye, and without flinching, while other people wince at the sight of a rich quadruple chocolate dessert; politely declining the offer. The list goes on, but other than getting a “taste” for certain foods, are there other factors at play?

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3418 Posted 424 Days Ago in: Training, Nutrition

The Ultimate Guide To Supplements: Part 1

When you’ve finally settled into your routine and are training regularly, you’ll start hearing about supplements you can take to increase your performance, recovery, and response to various types of exercise. The industry has exploded to the point where it is worth billions, and companies are constantly marketing products in new ways that promise to activate new muscles and make you bigger and stronger than ever before. But do these supplements actually work?

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3405 Posted 456 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics, Industry News, Nutrition

Sport Science Review 2016 Part 2

As part of my job role at DNAFit, I read a lot of different scientific papers from a wide range of disciplines within sports science. At the end of 2015, I reviewed the best bits of research I had come across in 2015 (click for Part One and Part Two), and in this two-part article I will share with you the papers that had the biggest impact on me in 2016.

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3391 Posted 503 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics, Nutrition

Am I Normal? A review of over 17,000 DNAFit Results

When running customers through their DNAFit reports, a common question I am asked is “Are my results normal?” This is a tough question to answer, because it’s hard to define what normal actually is. For all the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) we test for, each individual genotype is quite common; the least common genotype occurs in about one in twenty people, which means that in the UK over three million people who have that specific version.

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3387 Posted 512 Days Ago in: Genetics, Nutrition

Gene in Focus - Part 30: ADRB3

This week we are investigating ADRB3, a gene which appears in our fat sensitivity panel. This gene encodes for beta-3-adrenergic receptors, which are located mainly is fat tissue. They play a role in breaking down fat for use as energy, and a small change in this gene, known as a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), is thought to determine how well we can tolerate saturated fats.

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3382 Posted 526 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

Gene in Focus: Part 28 - PPARGC1A

This week to turn our attention to PPARGC1A, or as we call it at DNAFit, “the one with the long name”. This gene encodes for a protein called peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator 1-alpha (PGC-1a), which causes some of the positive changes that occur in our body following exercise. One of the ways that exercise can lead to improvements is through something called mitochondrial biogenesis, which is the production of new mitochondria within the muscle itself.

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3377 Posted 540 Days Ago in: Genetics, Nutrition

Gene in Focus: Part 26: FABP2

This week we turn our attention to FABP2, a gene that appears in both the carbohydrate and saturated fat parts of our reports. This gene creates a protein called Fatty Acid Binding Protein-2, which is found in our small intestines. FABP2 binds to the various different fatty acids, and allows them to be absorbed into the body.

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3375 Posted 546 Days Ago in: Training

The Guide To Training Over 40: Starting Out

We know how you feel… You’re older and have never really committed to training, or you may feel as though the prospect of getting in the gym or running on the road is too daunting – that’s it too late. It’s not. Although it may seem as though starting now may do more harm than good, it’s actually pretty much the opposite.

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3373 Posted 550 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

The Guide To Training Over 40: What Happens To Your Body When You Get Older?

There are pros and cons as you get older, and a little more decline if you’re into training, but there are also interventions that you can make to adapt to changes and maintain a lifestyle of efficiency long into what is perceived as old age. First, we’ll take you through the changes that occur when you get older:

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3367 Posted 568 Days Ago in: Genetics

Gene in Focus: Part 22 - BDKRB2

Our attention this week is on another gene that is found as part of our Peak Performance algorithm, which has been shown to enhance response to a resistance training programme. The gene we are focusing on this week is BDKRB2, which encodes for the bradykinin B2 receptor, which comprises one of the pathways through which bradykinin can exert its influence. Bradykinin itself is a protein that causes dilation (widening) of blood vessels, making it easier for blood to move to certain areas of the body. The effects of this gene are closely linked to the of ACE, which is a gene we met earlier in this series. Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme, which is produced by the ACE gene, also breaks down bradykinin, such that ACE II genotypes (who have lower levels of ACE) should theoretically have higher levels of bradykinin.

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3359 Posted 589 Days Ago in: Genetics

Gene in Focus: Part 19: AD1HC

If you’ve ever heard that a glass of red wine per day is good for your heart, this is truer for some people than others. Plenty of research has shown that moderate amounts of alcohol consumption can protect against risks of heart disease. For example, a study published in 1997 found that alcohol intake was associated with a protective effect against coronary heart disease in a sample of almost 130,000 people – this effect was present for both beer and wine. A second study, again from 1997, found that in both men and women, rates of cardiovascular disease were 30-40% lower in those consuming at least one drink per day compared to abstainers.

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3358 Posted 592 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

Genetics or training - what is the secret to becoming a star athlete?

Amongst all the records, achievements and scandals at Rio 2016, a small piece of history was written. Leila, Liina and Lily Luik from Estonia became the first identical triplets to compete against each other in a single event – the marathon. If this wasn’t proof enough that athletic talent runs in the family, there were at least 36 sets of siblings competing in the Rio Olympics, showcasing family dominance at the Summer Games.

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3356 Posted 596 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

Gene in Focus - Part 18: PPARA

In this week's edition of our blog, we look at PPARA, a gene that affects how well we can respond to different types of training, and as a result appears in our power-endurance algorithm. PPARA creates peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha, a protein which activates other genes, as well as being a regulator of fatty acid oxidation during exercise. The gene is activated when our cells aren’t getting enough energy, such as when we fast, or when we take part in exercise that uses up our energy stores, such as endurance exercise.

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3354 Posted 601 Days Ago in: Genetics

Is this the end of calorie counting?

When we think of calorie counting we think of reducing the amount of food you eat every single meal, carefully measuring it on a mental scale and extending lunch breaks spent analysing how many calories every single item of food you aim to consume. When you look at it this way, it’s a very stressful experience. But it doesn’t have to be. There’s always more than one way to skin a cat, or, in this case, trim the fat.

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3353 Posted 603 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

Gene in Focus - Part 17: VEGF

This week, we look at a gene that plays a role in both the power/endurance and aerobic trainability aspect of our report. This gene is VEGF, and it creates Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor, which plays a role in the creation of new blood vessels. This is a useful adaptation to aerobic training, because more blood vessels around the muscle mean better, more efficient transport of oxygen, as well as fuel sources such as carbohydrates and fats, to the muscle; this in turn improves how well a person can use oxygen and exercise aerobically. When we exercise, our muscle cells quite often don’t get as much oxygen as they need. This causes the VEGF gene to be “turned on”, with transcription upregulated and more VEGF formed – leading to this increased growth of new blood vessels.

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3349 Posted 613 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

8 biggest mistakes you can make if you want bigger muscles

Whatever your fitness goal is, we all get discouraged when a heavy training regime brings us no or very little effect, especially if we can’t figure out why. Well, fear no more because DNAFit are here to bring you some mistakes that you may be making in the gym that are the reasons why your muscle building exercises aren’t working at their optimum level.

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3341 Posted 621 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

Professional athletes and stress- how do they cope?

Everyone around the world is getting sport fever. The Olympics are back! Here at DNAFit we’ve done a little investigation into what role stress plays in athletic performance during the Olympics, and how the world’s top athletes deal with pressure to still go for the gold in their quest to be the best. We’ve drawn from a variety of theories to paint you a comprehensive picture of the complicated relationship between athletic performance and stress and the different ways in which it manifests.

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3339 Posted 623 Days Ago in: Genetics

Gene in Focus: Part 14 - SOD2

SOD2 is the gene that creates Manganese Superoxide Dismutase-2 (MnSOD2), an antioxidant found in the mitochondria – small “cells within our cells” which are where our body produces energy for both movement and everyday life. The enzyme helps to convert free radicals, which can cause damage to the mitochondria, into oxygen and hydrogen peroxide.

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3337 Posted 629 Days Ago in: Genetics

Food intolerance series: Lactose Intolerance

In this series, we’ll be providing insight into the limitations some of us have concerning food and what this means in terms of our genes. This will hopefully provide more clarity, aiding you to understand why, for instance, some people are predisposed to coeliac disease or are lactose intolerant, while giving you solutions to overcoming these issues and leading a healthy lifestyle. This week we’re investigating the history, prevalence, reasons and solutions to dealing with lactase non-persistence, popularly known as lactose intolerance, which affects about 65% of the population. The infographic concisely explains how it all started and the role it plays in the daily lives of people today; offering deep insight into a concept that at first seems simple but is dense with information and presents a compelling view of our history and evolution.

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3335 Posted 634 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

How to reach your peak performance?

We tasked our DNAFit sports scientist with giving us insight into what athletes do in terms of their fitness and nutrition in order to stay at the highest level and always be on top of their game. Below you’ll find helpful tips and tricks to implement into your own daily life regarding what you eat and how you exercise, so that you too can reach peak performance and fulfil your fitness potential.

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3334 Posted 637 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

Gene in Focus: Part 12 - FTO

Continuing our focus on specific genes, this week we place FTO under the microscope. This gene plays a role in determining how well we deal with fats, especially saturated fats, but it is also implicated in obesity risk – as such, FTO is called the fat mass and obesity-associated gene.

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3331 Posted 645 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

Gene in Focus - Part 11: CRP

The next gene to be put under our spotlight is CRP. This gene affects both the aerobic trainability and recovery aspects of our report, as well as playing a role in the DNAFit Peak Performance algorithm. Small changes within this gene cause changes in the amount of CRP we would expect each person to have, both at baseline and following exercise. CRP stands for C-Reactive Protein, which is a marker for inflammation.

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3329 Posted 655 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

Gene in Focus: Part 10 - GDF-5

GDF-5 is a gene which encodes for a protein called Growth Differentiation Factor-5. Whilst the specific role of this protein is currently unknown, we do know that a SNP contained within the gene is associated with an increased injury risk, especially with regards to tendons, ligaments, and bone.

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3327 Posted 663 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

Are Antioxidants Important For Training?

We’ve all heard the word “antioxidant” but what does it even mean? Antioxidants are the front line in defense when it comes to combating free radicals that contribute to cell damage. They neutralize the effects of these free radicals, which are produced by your body, and reduce oxidative damage, which has been linked to degenerative diseases. But are antioxidants important when training?

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3326 Posted 664 Days Ago in: Genetics

Dieting - There Is More Than One Way

At the end of last year a study was conducted on people by Eran Segal and Eran Elinav of the Weizmann Institute of Science that confirmed what we at DNAFit already know; there is no one-size-fits-all approach to dieting and weight loss.

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3324 Posted 671 Days Ago in: Genetics

Gene in Focus - Part 8: TCF7L2

The gene that we are going to be taking a closer look at this week is TCF7L2. This gene creates a protein called transcription factor 7-like 2, which in turn binds to other genes to alter their expression. It has been shown through research to have an impact on how well you tolerate carbohydrates, and how well you tolerate saturated fat, which is how we report on it in the DNAFit reports.

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3322 Posted 662 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

Are you a Power or Endurance responder?

Do you struggle too find the right training method for your goals? You've probably come across all sorts of different advice offering the new best workout that will change everything. Every fitness craze effectively prescribes a one-size-fits-all approach for you to achieve your #FitnessGoals. What works for one is often less effective for another - that's because we're all different, and so is the way we respond to training.

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3321 Posted 679 Days Ago in: Genetics

Gene in Focus - Part 7: LCT

This week we are going to be looking at a gene that affects how well we can tolerate lactose. Roughly 65% of the world’s population lose the ability to digest lactose, the sugar found in milk, after weaning. From an evolutionary perspective, this makes sense – humans typically need to digest milk when they are babies because their main source of nutrition is breast milk; however, once the child has stopped breast feeding, historically there was no need for them to continue to digest lactose, because milk wasn’t readily available. However, as humans migrated out of Africa into Asia, and eventually into Europe, a small polymorphism occurred which enabled some of them to continue to digest lactose into adulthood.

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3317 Posted 693 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

Gene in Focus: Part 6 - MTHFR

The next gene in our series is perhaps one of the more controversial ones; MTHFR. This gene creates an enzyme with an incredibly long name – Methylene tetrahydrofolate reductase. This enzyme is part of a complex chemical pathway known as the methyl cycle, which plays a role in the conversion of a potentially harmful compound called homocysteine, into a safe amino acid, called methionine.

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3313 Posted 701 Days Ago in: Genetics

Gene in Focus – Part 5: ApoA2

In this edition of Gene in Focus, we are going to look at a gene that effects our saturated fat sensitivity, called ApoA2. This gene creates Apolipoprotein A-II, which is part of high density lipoproteins (HDL). A small change in this gene can have an effect on how well you can transport cholesterol, and the research also indicates that it can have an impact on how well you can tolerate saturated fat.

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3310 Posted 708 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics, Industry News

A genetic based algorithm for personalized resistance training

The idea behind the research was to validate the algorithm DNAFit use to determine the best type of training for each person. We all know intuitively that we respond different to the same training; if you’ve ever had a training partner I’m sure its fair to say that you both did not see exactly the same improvements. The difference in improvements between individuals is partly genetic, and research in recent years has focused on identifying genes that can play a role in training response.

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3307 Posted 715 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

Gene in Focus - Part 3: ACTN3

The next gene we are going to discuss in the focus series is ACTN3. It’s one of the most well studied genes with regards to sporting performance. ACTN3 codes for a protein that is found exclusively in the fastest kind of muscle fibres, type IIx, called a-actinin-3. Fast twitch muscle fibers can contract quickly and powerfully, and as such are linked to sprinting or weightlifting. Generally, people who are quick or strong will have plenty of type-IIx muscle fibers, whilst people who are better at long distance running will have more type-I muscle fibers (often called slow twitch muscle fibers).

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3305 Posted 720 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

The DNAFit Blog Guide to Diet Types- Part 3: Low Fat Diet

For many years a diet that was low in fat was recommended as the perfect way to stay slim and maintain a healthy heart. Recently there has been a cultural move towards increasing healthy fats and cutting carbs but for many people their DNA may be better suited to keeping dietary fat low.

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3304 Posted 721 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

Gene In Focus - Part 2: COL5A1

The next gene in this series is another one that appears in two separate sections – COL5A1. This gene can have an effect on endurance performance and also injury risk; but the allele that increases injury risk also improves endurance performance; one of nature’s cruel jokes.

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3302 Posted 727 Days Ago in: Genetics

Micronutrients -What do they do?

We all need vital vitamins and minerals. But for some people, differences in their DNA means they are less able to absorb or use specific micronutrients. If that’s you, the good news is that by changing your diet, you can boost your levels, stay healthy and protect yourself from deficiency and disease.

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3301 Posted 729 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

Gene in Focus - Part 1: ACE

As part of a new series on the DNAFit blog, we are going to look at a specific gene in detail, see what the science says about it, and how it can affect you with regards to fitness and diet. The first gene to be put under the microscope in our series is ACE, or the angiotensin-converting enzyme gene. Did you know that knowing your ACE genotype can empower you to make better decisions regarding your training and also your diet?

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3298 Posted 734 Days Ago in: Genetics, Nutrition

The DNAFit Blog Guide to Diet Types - Part 1: Low Carb Diet

Examining your DNA can help you discover the diet plan that is perfect for your individual genetic structure. In studies, this personalized approach to nutrition was shown to be more effective than traditional diet methods. By eating for our unique dietary needs it’s easier to make long-term sustainable changes to improve our health and wellbeing. This week we're giving you an overview on different types on most-common recommended diets.

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3297 Posted 735 Days Ago in: Genetics

The beginner's guide to Nutrigenetics

The new and developing science of Nutrigenetics aims to identify genetic susceptibility to diseases and the ways in which very small difference in our genes can alter the effects that nutrient intake has on the body. By understanding and analysing these variations, specific dietary and disease prevention advice can be given based on personal genetic makeup.

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3295 Posted 741 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

Cortisol, stress and exercise

Cortisol is a steroid hormone that is released into the bloodstream by the adrenal glands in a natural rhythm with our body’s sleep cycle. It peaks in the early morning helping us bounce out of bed and gradually falls, reaching a trough at 3 or 4 am when we should be soundly asleep.

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3294 Posted 743 Days Ago in: Genetics

Genetics and stress response

We all get stressed out once in a while but not everyone responds to pressure in the same way. Our lives, upbringing and experiences can all have an impact but research has shown that certain genes can make us more sensitive to life’s stresses and strains.

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3292 Posted 833 Days Ago in: Genetics, Industry News

Is There A Gene For Obesity?

It's not uncommon for people to search for external reasons as to why they have gained fat, or why they struggle to lose fat. Some of the reasons given for this include “I just have a weak spot for chocolate”, or “I’m big boned”. When I’m delivering the DNAFit education programme to personal trainers and nutritionists, I ask if people believe there is a gene, or genes, which cause obesity. A fair percentage of people on these courses say that there is. But is this true?

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3288 Posted 845 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics, Industry News

Craig Pickering's Sports Science Review 2015 - Part 2

Welcome back to my Sports Science Review of 2015, yesterday we looked at some of my favourite findings in sports science from this year. If you missed it, take a look here. Today we're rounding up, looking at the latest findings in these areas: The ACTN3 Gene, Ice Baths, Stretching and Can You Outrun a Bad Diet?

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3287 Posted 846 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics, Industry News

Craig Pickering's Sports Science Review 2015 - Part 1

Welcome to Part 1 of my review of the best sports science research in 2015. Note – by best, obviously I mean most interesting to me. Sports science is a large field, and can creep over into other disciplines also. Conducting a review on all the sports science-based research conducted in 2015 would be very time consuming, so just take this as it is. That said, hopefully this provides a nice overview of some contemporary issues in sports science at the moment.

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3286 Posted 813 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

Alcohol and Exercise – Will you jeopardise your training by drinking?

in medium to large amounts and in close proximity to training, yes more than likely! As always there is slightly more to consider. Alcohol (ethanol) is both a drug and a nutrient (providing 7 kcal per gram), however it is not an essential part of the diet. Alcohol has effects across a wide variety of systems within the body, but for the context of this article I will focus on the effects of alcohol on training and recovery.

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3285 Posted 747 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

Can exercise alter your DNA?

Whether or not we ride a bike, go running or hiking does not cause changes in the DNA sequence of our cells. But what does exercising do to our body so we grow more muscles and loose extra weight? Recent studies have even showed that exercising positively affects our cognitive abilities. What is happening inside our body and inside our cells when we exercise?

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3282 Posted 767 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

Does Caffeine Improve Performance?

Coffee is one of the most widely consumed drinks in the world, mostly because of one ingredient – caffeine. When we’re feeling tired, we often reach for the coffee pot, and that’s because caffeine has the ability to wake us up, making Monday morning slightly more tolerable. This fact has not been lost on sports people, who for years have been using caffeine in the hope that it can improve their sporting performance.

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3281 Posted 770 Days Ago in: Genetics

Is coffee really the best way to wake up?

That morning coffee – many of us can’t really live without. We get cranky without our daily caffeine fix. It’s a habit a lot of us have. In fact, British Coffee Association recently stated that in the UK we drink a whopping 70 million cups of coffee a day. It’s more or less the equivalent of 7 Olympic size pools. We consume a lot of that black miracle-worker. It wakes us up, makes us feel human in the morning and tastes pretty good too. But what effect does caffeine actually have on our body?

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3278 Posted 764 Days Ago in: Genetics

Genetics vs Environment - infographic

What makes you who you are? We know that your DNA has a lot to do to with it but can your environment affect your genes as well? Have a look at our infographic to find out!

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