DNA | Sport



Are you an athlete wanting to take your performance to the next level? The DNA | Sport test can help you do that.

A recent explosion in sports genomics research has revealed multiple connections between genetic variants and performance success. If you want to fulfill your athletic potential, it's important to make appropriate choices that best match your unique genetic makeup.

The benefit of ordering this test from MY DNA CHOICES.

The feedback session is included in the cost of the test.

9 Key areas

  • The structural integrity of soft tissues
  • Inflammation & oxidative stress
  • Blood flow & respiration
  • Energy during exercise
  • Fuel during exercise
  • Caffeine metabolism
  • Muscle & bone composition
  • Aerobic capacity
  • Power/strength potential

Once you have this information, you can personalise your training programme. This can help you to gain as much as possible from sessions by exploiting potential advantages, as well as to identify weaknesses that need to be worked on. This insight can also be used to make appropriate training and nutrition choices to prevent injury as well as optimize recovery. 

Benefits | Features

This test is a great choice if you are a recreational athlete or an elite performance athlete.

It provides information to optimise:

  • Power and endurance – physiological factors
  • Structural integrity – tendon pathology and injury risk
  • Recovery – training patterns and nutrition


DNA Sport unlocks the genetic basis for performance potential in both the elite and the recreational athlete. The focus is on maximum return from training. Genes are tested from 2 key categories: 1. Injury and recovery 2. Performance. The result is a specific profile for selection for what type of exercise suits you best, your potential recovery time, and injury avoidance. Armed with this information, you’ll be able to make more personalised nutritional and lifestyle decisions that will super-charge your power, endurance and athletic potential. You’ll also be able to implement key training principles to help prevent injury and speed your recovery.


Genes Analysed | INJURY & RECOVERY

We only need to look around at other individuals that we exercise with to realise that some individuals seem to be ‘injury prone’, while others are never forced to skip a day of training. 

Additionally, some individuals are able to recover quickly from exercise and are ready to train hard again after just a day’s rest whereas some individuals don’t seem to ‘bounce back’ from hard sessions quite so quickly and need a longer break between intense training sessions. Research has revealed that certain genetic variations infer a delayed recovery from hard exercise training, while other variants put some individuals at a significantly increased risk of certain injuries. 

Injury and recovery are very much intertwined because being slow at recovering from heavy exercise are likely to place you at a greater risk of injury, and this increased injury risk means that you will need to incorporate appropriate recovery strategies into your training programme. 

Delayed recovery or increased susceptibility to injury means that a balanced, well-managed training program is required, with a strong emphasis on recovery strategies, conditioning exercises and nutrition. 

With regards to injury and recovery, three important biological systems have been well researched and are examined in the DNA | Sports test: injury susceptibility (connective tissue remodelling), inflammation and oxidative stress. The table below gives your genetic results for these three categories, with gene explanations following thereafter.

Injury susceptibility

    Multiple stimuli, including exercise and mechanical load, can lead to connective tissue remodelling. Although remodelling may lead to physical gains, alterations in the structural properties of tissues may also lead to increased injury susceptibility. The variations examined in the DNA | Sport test are linked to the ability of soft tissues to repair and remodel following tissue degradation, thus being implicated in injury risk.

    • GDF5: Plays a role in the development and healing of the skeletal system and soft tissues.
    • COL1A1: A collagen protein found in tendons, ligaments and cartilage.
    • COL5A1: Forms one of the minor fibrillar collagens of tendons and ligaments.
    The inflammatory response

      Inflammation is a normal immune response and an essential part of tissue healing following exercise. The release of inflammatory cytokines is controlled by various genes, however, when there is a greater than normal increase in inflammatory cytokines following exercise or a prolonged increase in these cytokines, increased recovery time is required between hard sessions in order to avoid tissue damage. 

      • Il-6: Influences cytokine-induced inflammation.
      • IL-6: Plays a crucial role in inflammation and regulates expression of C-reactive protein (CRP).
      • CRP: Raises the inflammatory response in the body.
      • TNF-A: A pro-inflammatory cytokine, secreted by both macrophages and adipocytes, which has been shown to alter whole-body glucose homoeostasis.
      Oxidative stress

        Free radicals are a normal by-product of the biological processes that generate energy, such as those that occur during exercise. They are highly reactive with other molecules and can damage DNA, proteins and cellular membranes. Antioxidants are free radical scavengers that interact with the free radical to ensure that it is no longer a reactive molecule. Long term regular light and moderate intensity exercise lead to an increase in antioxidant enzymes, as well as a decrease in baseline inflammatory cytokines: beneficial to exercise training, performance and optimal health. 

        • SOD2: Superoxide dismutase a potent antioxidant enzyme.
        • eNOS: Encodes the endothelium-derived nitric oxide synthase enzyme, which catalyses (or uncouples) nitric oxide, and plays a key role in the regulation of vascular tone and peripheral resistance. It also has vasoprotective effects by suppressing platelet aggregation, leukocyte adhesion and smooth muscle cell proliferation. 
        Your injury risk

          Multiple stimuli, including exercise and mechanical load, can lead to connective tissue remodelling. Although remodelling may lead to physical gains, alterations in the structural properties of tissues may also lead to increased injury susceptibility. The variations examined in the DNA | Sport test are linked to the ability of soft tissues to repair and remodel following tissue degradation, thus being implicated in injury risk. 

          Your recovery speed

            Your athletic potential - power vs. endurance

            Genes Analysed | PERFORMANCE

            Blood flow and Respiration 

              Sporting performance is largely dependent on oxygen diffusion, and thus the vascular and pulmonary systems. Oxygen transport to the musculature is the key determinant of aerobic capacity and resistance to fatigue.

              • AGT: An essential component of the renin-angiotensin system. It influences exercise and training methods for best results. This gene is important in the regulation of electrolyte and body fluid balance, as well as blood pressure. Upregulation of AGT potentially leads to vasoconstriction and increased blood pressure. This gene contributes to the development of power.
              • ACE: ACE is a potent vasoconstrictor in the renin-angiotensin system. This enzyme is key in blood pressure regulation. ACE impacts aerobic capacity, muscular strength and lean body mass.
              • BDKRB2 C>T: Bradykinin is a vasodilator that acts via the bradykinin B2 receptor. BDKRB2 is involved in blood pressure regulation, having the opposite effect to ACE.
              • VEGF C>G: VEGF is involved in the formation and growth of new blood vessels. The levels of VEGF, therefore, impact blood flow and oxygenation - these factors influence muscle efficiency and aerobic capacity.
              Energy during exercise

                In order to avoid fatigue during exercise, the rate of energy production needs to match the rate of energy consumption. The mitochondria are the key sites of energy production (in the form of ATP) for muscle fibres, and the oxidative capacity of muscle fibres is directly linked to the formation of new mitochondria. 

                • NRF2 A>G: NRF2 improves respiratory capacity and the rate of energy production during exercise. This protein is also important in the formation of new mitochondria: the ‘powerhouse’ of the cell where energy is produced.
                • PPARGC1A G>A: PPARGC1A plays an essential role in energy regulation. This gene is expressed in tissues that have high energy demands and is, therefore, abundant in mitochondria and associated with aerobic capacity. PPARGC1A is also involved in the exercise-induced increase in mitochondria.
                • PPARA G>C: PPARA is involved in the uptake, utilisation and breakdown of fatty acids to ‘ATP’ - the main source of energy during prolonged exercise.
                Fuel during exercise 

                  Carbohydrates and fats are the main contributors to the fuel supply that is necessary to perform an exercise. These sources are converted to energy, in the form of ATP, when required. Protein is generally involved in the maintenance and remodelling of tissues rather than an energy source to fuel muscles.

                  • ADRB2 Arg16Gly (A>G): ADRB2 regulates cardiac, pulmonary, vascular, endocrine and central nervous system functions. Adrenaline acts via ADRB2 to maintain blood glucose levels during prolonged exercise by promoting glycogenolysis. Arg16Gly is involved in the modulation of cardiac output during exercise through vasodilation.
                  • ADRB2 Gln27Glu (C>G): Gln27Glu within ABRB2 is associated with aerobic capacity and the ability to lose weight as a result of exercise.
                  • TRHR T>G: TRHR stimulates the release of thyroid hormones T3 and T4 leading to an increased metabolic rate which is required to mobilise fuels during exercise. The TRHR gene has been linked to lean body mass.
                  • CYP1A2 C>A: Caffeine is a central nervous system and metabolic stimulant that is used to reduce physical fatigue. In athletics, moderate doses of caffeine have been known to improve both sprint and endurance performance. CYP1A2 is one of the main enzymes that catalyse the oxidation of caffeine in humans.
                  Muscle and bone composition

                    The properties of the musculoskeletal system, including bones, muscles, cartilage, tendons, ligaments and joints, greatly affect our ability to perform. Although these tissues can be potentially altered with training, our genetics forms the base of the structural properties of these tissues.

                    • ACTN3 R>X: ACTN3 is only present in Type II (fast twitch) muscle fibres and greatly influences power development. ACTN3 also plays a role in muscle fibre type specialisation, diameter and metabolism.
                    • VDR T>C: Activation of VDR leads to the maintenance of calcium and phosphorus levels in the blood and bones, which is necessary for bone formation and replacement, and the preservation of bone mineral density. VDR has been linked to muscle strength.
                    Your athletic potential

                      The performance potential graph gives you an indication of your genetic “score” as a potential of the total “aerobic” and “power” points available.

                      Key training principles   

                        Your report will list personalised, key trianing principles for you to incorporate into your training. 

                        Test Type 

                        DNA test

                        Tests For

                        DNA | Sport: Genetic markers for athletic fitness, performance and injury risk

                        Sample Required

                        Buccal (cheek) lining swab

                        Average Processing Time

                        18-21 days 

                        Test Sample Report

                        Understanding genetics

                        It may sound like something out of a sci-fi movie, but genetic testing is a powerful health tool that can give you a deep understanding of how your body works.

                        At the heart of it is the molecule DNA. Every single cell in our bodies – from our heart to skin, blood and bone – contains a complete set of our DNA. This powerful molecule carries our genetic code and determines all manner of traits, from our eye colour to aspects of our personalities and, of course, our health. Interestingly, 99.9% of the DNA from two people is identical. It’s the other 0.1% of DNA code sequences that make us unique.

                        What are Genes?

                        Genes are segments of DNA that contain the instructions your body needs to make each of the many thousands of proteins required for life. Each gene is comprised of thousands of combinations of ‘letters’ which make up your genetic code. The code gives the instructions to make the proteins required for proper development and function.

                        What are Gene Variations?

                        An example of a genetic variation is that one ‘letter’ may be replaced by another. These variations can lead to changes in the resulting proteins being made. For example, a ‘C’ may be changed to a ‘G’ at a point in the genetic code. When the variation affects only one genetic ‘letter’ it is called a Single Nucleotide Polymorphism, or SNP (pronounced “snip”). Variations can however also affect more than one ‘letter’. Genetic tests look at specific chromosomes, genes or proteins, and the variations that occur within them, to make observations about disease or disease risk, body processes or physical traits. 

                        Are Gene Variations Bad?

                        In general, variations should not be considered good or bad. Rather, genetic variations are simply slight differences in the genetic code. The key is to know which form of the variation you carry so that you can make appropriate lifestyle choices. And that is the beauty of genetic testing. It can tell you more about the way you're built so that you can tailor your lifestyle to fit your biology.