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Pro-Athlete Gene Report

Get deep insights from your 23andMe, AncestryDNA, FTDNA, Living DNA, MyHeritage DNA or WGS raw data and liken your fitness routine to elite-level athletes.

What's in the report? 

Traits covered in this report include:

Endurance, Aerobic Capacity or VO2 max, Muscle Power, Cardiac Output, Lung Function, Muscle Building, Lactate Accumulation during Training, HDL Cholesterol Levels with Exercise, Insulin Sensitivity with Exercise, Blood Pressure Response to Exercise, Resting Metabolic Rate or RMR, Achilles Tendinopathy, Exercise Induced Muscle Damage, Ligament Injury, Pain Tolerance, Fatigue, Handgrip Strength, Joint Strength and Flexibility, Performing Under Stress or Warrior vs Worrier, Exercise Motivation, Exercise Recovery, Response to Resistance Training, Lean Body Mass, Weight Loss with Exercise, Glucose Response to Exercise, Exercise Behaviour, Triglyceride Levels with Exercise
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*Valid till 23rd December, 2022
Xcode Life pro-athlete gene report

Report Walk-through


Endurance refers to the body's physical capacity to sustain exercises for a prolonged period of time. Endurance activities keep your heart, lungs, and circulatory system healthy and improve your overall fitness. A high endurance individual can perform physical activities for a prolonged duration with relatively less discomfort and fatigue than a low endurance individual. Genes that influence the fuel usage for energy production, distribution of muscle fibers (slow twitch and fast twitch), and oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood vessels, all directly affect the level of endurance. Individuals with certain genetic types are better at endurance-based activities than others.

Aerobic Capacity

Aerobic capacity (AC), also known as the VO2 max, is the body's maximum capacity to transport and utilize oxygen during exercises. Whatever your fitness goals may be, improving your AC can help you reach them faster. Around 4.8 calories are burnt for every liter of oxygen used. By improving the aerobic capacity, you essentially train your body to burn more calories for the same oxygen usage. The maximum oxygen uptake is determined partially by your genetic makeup. People with certain genetic types may require additional aerobic training to achieve the optimal VO2 max than others.

Heart Capacity

Cardiac output is the amount of blood the heart pumps out in a minute. At rest, the average cardiac output of a healthy individual is 1.3 gallons (5 liters). When you exercise, your body's muscles require more oxygen. So the blood flow, and hence the cardiac output increases. Heart capacity is defined as the ability of the heart to increase the cardiac output during exercise. Heart capacity is not just an important determinant of fitness levels but also clinically relevant for examining heart disease risk. People of certain genetic types have better heart capacity than others.

Lung Capacity

Total lung capacity, or TLC, refers to the total amount of air present in the lungs after taking the deepest breath possible. During exercise, your body uses up more oxygen and expels out more carbon-dioxide. In order to cope with this extra demand, your breathing has to increase (from about 15 times a minute during rest periods to about 40–60 times a minute). When your lung cannot increase this breathing rate, you'll tend to feel "short of breath" soon after you begin working out. People with certain genetic types may have a lower TLC than others. Such individuals may benefit from deep breathing exercises.

Muscle Power

Power is an important component of physical fitness. In power training, you apply the maximum amount of force as fast as possible. Certain muscle fibers contract quickly and powerfully and play an important role in power-based activities, like sprinting and weight lifting. These are known as fast-twitch muscle fibers. People of certain genetic types have a lesser distribution of these fast muscle fibers than others. Endurance-based training may be more suitable for such individuals. A workout regime combining high-strength and high-speed exercises may lead to an increased ability to apply power.

Hand Grip Strength

Handgrip strength is a vital force that is required to pull, push, or suspend objects. It is a part of hand strength or physical strength utilized by animals or humans, especially athletes such as rock climbers. Handgrip strength is associated with frailty and risk of fracture. It has also be used to measure the risk of the onset of cardiovascular disease in adults. 65% of a person's grip strength is genetically determined. People of certain genetic types have a lower handgrip strength than others and may benefit from focusing more on opening grip, closing grip, and hand stabilization exercises.

Joint Strength & Flexibility

Joint strength and flexibility is the ability of your joints to move through their full range of motion without pain. Flexible muscles and tendons allow for a vast range of motion during activities. Joint mobility can have multiple benefits on function for people at all stages of life, like a workout for athletes or gym-goers, and also be beneficial for older adults with arthritis or joint pain. A desirable joint strength and flexibility can increase muscle strength, maintain bone density, improve balance, and reduce joint pain. People with variants of certain genes like COL5A1 tend to have differences in this trait.

Tendon Strength

Tendons are fibrous tissues that connect bones to muscles. They are found throughout the body, the Achilles tendon (connects the back of the calf to the heel bone) being the largest of them. Tendons have great strength, which is necessary to withstand any stress that is caused by muscle contraction. Tendinitis and Achilles tendon tear are some of the common tendon injuries. A particular class of collagen (produced by the COL5A1 gene) has been associated with tendon injuries. People with certain types of the COL5A1 gene have weaker tendons than others. Such individuals may benefit from focusing more on tendon-strengthening exercises.

Ligament Injury

A ligament is a band of tough fibrous connective tissue that holds together bones and facilitates the movement of the joints. It can be strained when the joint is stressed beyond its normal range. Ligament injuries are most commonly caused by sports injuries, either from landing a jump the wrong way that causes a sharp change in direction from the knee or a blunt force hit on the knee, such as a football tackles. People with certain genetic types are prone to more severe ligament injuries than others. Variants in genes like IL6, VEGFA can influence the risk of ligament injury.

Exercise Motivation

Are you the kind of person who is hardwired to exercise, or do you look for excuses to skip your workouts? Your genes influence the answer to this. In response to exercise, the brain releases neurochemicals. The production of neurochemicals increases as you get habituated to exercises and motivate you to work out more. However, inactivity results in lesser production of these chemicals, making you feel sluggish. This explains why exercise is difficult when starting out and why it becomes less challenging over time. People with certain genetic types may have lower levels of these chemicals and may require some extra motivation to exercise.

Likelihood Of Injury

A growing body of research suggests that genetic makeup may play an important role in injury risk. These studies focus on how the difference in the structure of collagen protein can contribute to injury risk. For example, the COL1A1 (collagen producing) gene has been linked to soft-tissue injuries, like Achilles-tendon ruptures and shoulder dislocations. Some genes that affect the bone mineral density (amount of bone mineral in bone tissues) also contribute to injury risk. People with certain genetic types are more prone to injury than others. Including more muscle and bone-strengthening foods and adequate physical training can benefit these people.


Fatigue is a feeling of tiredness or lack of energy. In exercise, fatigue can affect your ability to continue working out with the same intensity. Fatigue onset during workouts depends on several factors, including the intensity and duration of exercise, fitness level of the individual, and other environmental conditions like heat and humidity. It also depends on the genetics of an individual. People with certain genetic types may be able to do high-intensity workouts for longer. These differences can be attributed to variations in genes like IL6R and AMPD1, both of which are associated with physical performance.

HDL Cholesterol Levels With Exercise

HDL or the high-density lipoprotein cholesterol is what is called the 'good cholesterol.' It is rightly called so, as it transports the extra cholesterol from the walls of the arteries to the liver, which is then used for digestion or excreted. If the HDL levels are low, the build-up of cholesterol can lead to diseases like atherosclerosis. Research indicates that regular exercise increases the level of this good cholesterol in the body. Even activities like brisk walking were seen to boost HDL levels. People with certain genetic types respond to exercises better in terms of an increase in HDL cholesterol levels than the others.

Insulin Sensitivity

Insulin is a hormone made in the pancreas that plays an important role in controlling blood sugar levels. When the blood sugar levels are high, the pancreas secretes more insulin. Insulin sensitivity describes how responsive your cells are to insulin. Improving insulin sensitivity can lower your risk for conditions like type 2 diabetes and obesity. Research indicates that physical activity has a beneficial effect on insulin sensitivity. The LIPC gene regulates the fat stored in the liver, which, in turn, influences insulin resistance. People with certain types of the LIPC gene experience greater improvements in insulin sensitivity than others.

Weight Loss Or Weight Gain With Exercise

The amount of physical activity or exercise required for weight management varies greatly between individuals. Exercising improves metabolism, which is vital for both weight loss and weight management. How your body responds to exercise is mediated by several genes like FTO, ADRB2, and INSIG2. These genes influence factors like fat metabolism, energy expenditure, hormonal changes, metabolic rate, and even stress levels, all of which can contribute to weight fluctuations. Exercising, gradually spins the effects of these genes in our favor. People with certain genetic types experience a better response to exercises than others.

Exercise Recovery

Exercising muscles cause microscopic tears, hormonal changes, and inflammation. While they all sound negative, these are undoubtedly positive effects on the body. During rest periods, the body heals and recovers from this damage. Muscles do not grow as you work them but grow as you actively rest. Like several fitness traits, the average time of recovery you would need post-intense workout is determined by your genes. Individuals with certain genetic types recover quickly, while others require more extended periods, which influences the frequency of exercise, rehab intensity, and supplementation needs to aid in timely recovery.

Cardiac Output

Cardiac output refers to the amount of blood pumped out per ventricle each minute. It is the product of heart rate and stroke volume. An optimal cardiac output is needed for a continuous supply of oxygen and nutrients to all the organs. The cardiac output may rise to 3 to 4 times than normal when the intensity of physical exercise increases, and as a result, the oxygen requirement by your muscles increases. Some genes like ADRB2 play a key role in the regulation of the cardiac, pulmonary, vascular, endocrine, and central nervous systems. People with certain genetic types may have better cardiac output than others.

Lung Function

The main function of the lungs is to transfer oxygen from the air you breathe to blood. Shortness of breath during working out is because of the extra demand for oxygen. The lungs can only increase the breathing rate up to a certain extent, beyond which it leads to shortness of breath. Lung function can vary based on several factors, including the amount of physical activity and genetics. Certain genes like ADRB2, which modulate airway smooth muscle tone and lung fluid clearance, influence lung capacity. People with certain genetic types may have a lower lung function than others.

Muscle Building

Muscle building needs a combination of structured, progressive strength-based training and a balanced, protein-rich diet. When people talk about building muscle, it is usually referred to the skeletal muscles. Not everyone can build muscles the same way. Genetics determines, up to a certain extent, how much muscle you can build and how fast you can gain muscle mass. Variations in the IGF-1 (Insulin-like growth factor) gene have been shown to influence body composition and muscle building. People with certain genetic types are better at muscle building than others.

Lactate Accumulation during Training

Lactate accumulation occurs when the body produces more lactate than it can burn and use as energy. This usually occurs after strenuous exercise. This can lead to exercise-induced or exercise-related hyperlactatemia. This can be beneficial in cases where people adopt lactate threshold training. The lactate threshold is a predictor of endurance performance. Genes like MCT1 are involved in lactate transport and can influence the risk of lactate accumulation. People with certain genetic types are at a higher risk of lactate accumulation during high-intensity training than others.

Achilles Tendinopathy

Achilles tendinopathy is a condition that causes swelling, pain, and stiffness of the Achilles tendon that joins the heel bone to the calf muscles. It is thought to be caused by repeated small injuries to the Achilles tendon. The lack of flexibility or a stiff Achilles tendon can increase the risk of injuries. It can affect a range of individuals, from athletes to people with sedentary lifestyles. It can affect your ability to exercise or do other physical activities if it’s not treated. Genetics is partly responsible for this condition. Variants in genes like TNC, MMP3 can increase your risk of this condition.

Blood Pressure Response to Exercise

Blood Pressure (BP) normally rises with exercise as the heart rate and cardiac output increase during physical activity in response to oxygen demand from working muscles. However, some individuals present with an abnormal rise in blood pressure during exercise due to impaired exercise-induced endothelial vasodilation. This results in a limited opening of blood vessels in response to increased shear stress from exercise. This may lead to exercise hypertension. Certain genes like GNAS, involved in regulating cardiac output and vascular resistance, can interfere with vasodilation. People with certain genetic types show a poor response in blood pressure to exercise.

Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR)

The rate at which various metabolic processes occur in the body is termed metabolic rate. Resting metabolic rate (RMR) is an indicator of the energy needed to perform basic life-sustaining functions. RMR can vary from person to person depending on several factors. Exercises that increase muscle mass can also help increase the metabolic rate. This effect increases with the intensity of training. Certain genes like LEPR (leptin receptor) associated with body weight regulation play a role in determining the metabolic rate. People with certain gene types have a higher RMR compared to others.

Exercise Induced Muscle Damage

Exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD) affects the muscle fibers when an extremely strenuous physical activity is done for an extended period of time. It is especially seen in cases of new/unaccustomed training routines. When the muscles are overburdened with these damages, the connection between the contractile filaments gets disrupted. This results in an increase in white blood cell count, which triggers an inflammatory response. The main consequence is the loss of skeletal muscle function and soreness. Genetics is partly responsible for exercise-induced muscle damage. Variants in several genes, including ACE, CCR2 can increase your risk of this condition.

Pain Tolerance

Pain tolerance is a physiological phenomenon that allows an individual to experience a sensation when the body experiences a physical impact. It is an important phenomenon as it protects the body from further damage by alerting the brain that something bad is happening and to initiate protective and repair measures. Pain tolerance and threshold vary from person to person depending on complex interactions between your nerves and brain. Overall, men have a higher pain tolerance than women. This difference in pain tolerance levels is partly dependent on the presence of genetic variants in the pathways that process pain signals. The COMT gene has been reported to influence pain tolerance.

Performing Under Stress

Stress is a transactional state, which is neither something entirely external nor a purely internal response. It is the result of the interaction between the individual and their environment. Research has shown that certain enzymes are associated with response to stressful events. People born with fast-acting enzymes (Warriors) tend to respond favorably to stress as it increases their catecholamine levels, which improves their focus. But they can quickly break these down and return to a state of low activation. Worriers, on the other hand, see a reduction in performance in times of high stress. Variants in the COMT gene can influence your warrior/worrier personality, and in turn, your response to stress.

Response to Resistance Training

Resistance training, also called strength training or weight lifting, aims to improve muscle strength and endurance. Response to resistance training includes an increase in the cross-sectional area of muscles, muscle fiber power, voluntary activation of muscles, muscle fiber type conversion, discharge, and torque development rate. It also has an effect on neuromuscular responses. This type of training improves your performance, builds muscle, and burns more calories. People with certain genetic types adapt better to resistance training than others. Variations in genes like MSTN that encodes the myostatin protein can influence the response to resistance training.

Lean Body Mass

Lean body mass, which is the difference between total body weight and body fat weight, can help maintain a healthy weight and boost your metabolism. It includes the weight of the organs, bones, body water, muscle mass, and skin. Research suggests that a high proportion of lean body mass can reduce inflammation and risk of certain chronic diseases. Lean body mass percentage can be controlled by several environmental factors. Certain genes like FTO play a role in maintaining a lean body mass. People with certain genetic types can gain a higher lean mass percentage compared to others.

Weight Loss with Exercise

Regular exercise aids in weight management via improved metabolism. People with certain genetic types may benefit more than others in terms of weight loss in response to exercise.

Glucose Response to Exercise

Glucose is a simple sugar, a form of carbohydrates present in fruits and honey. It is a major sugar found within the blood and also a source for energy production in the cells. Hence, optimizing the glucose level in the blood is crucial. Higher blood glucose levels result in a condition called hyperglycemia and risk of diabetes. Some studies have shown that physical activity can help improve glucose metabolism by modulating glucose intake by cells. However, the glucose response to exercise is influenced in part by genetics. People with certain genetic types show better insulin sensitivity upon exercising than others.

Exercise Behaviour

A sedentary lifestyle is one of the important causes for developing various diseases such as cancer, obesity, CVD, etc. Although people are aware of the benefits of physical activity, only a few meet the required physical activity recommendation. Studies have shown that this behavior towards exercise lies in the genetic makeup of the individuals. ACE is one such gene that modulates exercise behavior.

Triglyceride Levels with Exercise

Triglycerides are a type of fat present in the body. Extra calories are stored in the form of fat in adipose cells. Energy is produced from metabolizing this fat apart from carbohydrates. However, higher levels of triglycerides in the blood can pose a risk of developing CVD, diabetes, kidney diseases, etc. Research has shown that exercise can reduce triglyceride levels. People with certain genetic variations show a poor reduction in triglycerides levels during training compared to others.

Vitamin D Levels

Vitamin D, also called calciferol, is essential for the absorption of calcium from the intestine and enhanced immunity. Our body can synthesize sufficient vitamin D from cholesterol when the skin is exposed to adequate amounts of sunlight. Optimal levels of vitamin D can increase muscle protein, strength, and performance. Genes like VDR (vitamin D receptor) can influence the amount of vitamin D absorbed by the body. People with certain genetic types need more vitamin D in their diet due to inefficient absorption in the body.

Vitamin C Levels

Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant and is essential for enhanced immunity. Vitamin C helps in reducing pain and speeding up muscle strength recovery after high-intensity exercises. It also plays a role in building bones and maintaining strong muscles. Research shows that it is involved in a number of biochemical pathways needed for exercise metabolism. Genes like SLC23A1 can influence the amount of vitamin C absorbed by the body. People with certain genetic types need more vitamin C in their diet due to inefficient absorption in the body.

Vitamin A Levels

Vitamin A is required for clear vision, healthy skin, and enhanced immunity. Animal sources provide vitamin A in the form of retinol, while plant sources provide the precursor of vitamin A in the form of carotenes, which need to be converted into retinol. Research shows that vitamin A assists in the growth and repair of body tissues and muscles and is also needed for energy production. Variants in genes like BCMO1 play a role in the conversion of carotenes. People with certain genetic types need more vitamin A in their diet due to the less efficient conversion of carotenoids to retinol.

Vitamin B12 Levels

Vitamin B12 is actively involved in red blood cell maturity, and its deficiency can lead to pernicious anemia and general fatigue. It also helps in the removal of homocysteine from the cells. Vitamin B12 is essential for energy production, muscle growth, and coordination. It helps the body meet the oxygen demands of muscles during training. Genes like CUBN can influence the amount of vitamin B12 absorbed by the body. People with certain genetic types need more vitamin B12 in their diet due to lesser absorption in the body.

Vitamin E Levels

Vitamin E, an antioxidant, defends the body against free radical damage and protects polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) from oxidation. It has anti-inflammatory effects. Optimal levels of vitamin E are needed to prevent oxidative damage from aerobic exercises. It also helps build strong muscles. Variants of genes such as CD36 can influence the amount of vitamin E absorbed and utilized by the body. People with certain genetic types need more vitamin E in their diet due to inefficient transport and lower plasma levels of vitamin E.

Calcium Levels

Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body, essential for maintaining the strength and structure of bones and teeth and certain metabolic functions. It limits your risk of fracture. Both higher and lower calcium levels can have important consequences for health. Calcium plays an important role in muscle contraction, nervous system function, stabilization of blood pressure, and hormone secretion. The CASR gene variants can influence calcium levels in the body. People with certain genetic types tend to have higher serum calcium levels and may need to restrict their calcium intake.

Zinc Levels

Zinc is the second most abundant trace mineral in the body. It plays an important role in the proper functioning of the immune system, cell division and growth, and the breakdown of carbohydrates. Zinc is also important for the senses of taste and smell. Research shows that zinc helps repair muscles after exercise, increases protein synthesis, and helps you work out effectively. It also helps increase blood flow to the muscles during exercise. Variants of genes such as CA1 influence the amount of zinc in the body. People with certain genetic types need more zinc in their diet due to its inefficient transport & utilization.

Choline Levels

Choline is a micronutrient that plays an important role in liver function, nerve function, normal brain development, muscle movement, and regulating heartbeat. Choline regulates fat metabolism as well. Research shows that optimal levels of choline improve stamina and muscle performance during exercise and maintains muscle health. Even though the body makes choline, it needs to be supplemented through diet. People with variants in certain genes like the PEMT are likely to experience adverse health consequences when fed a low choline diet. Hence supplementation is recommended for such individuals.

Antioxidant Levels

Antioxidants are natural substances that protect the body against the unstable molecules (reactive oxygen species or ROS) generated inside the body either as a by-product of cellular metabolism or certain environmental stresses. Increased ROS or reduced antioxidants activity in the body results in a state of oxidative stress. This leads to an increased requirement of antioxidants to protect the body from the detrimental effects of ROS. Exercise can help decrease oxidative stress as well as induce it. Certain genes like CAT (catalase) have an influence on oxidative stress. People with certain genetic types are more prone to oxidative stress than others.

Coenzyme Q10 Levels

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a type of coenzyme and natural antioxidant found in all cells of the body. It aids enzymes in various body functions, from food digestion to muscle repair and more. It plays a major role in mitochondrial bioenergetics and is responsible for generating more than 95% of the body's energy. Research shows that CoQ10 supplementation can improve power, recovery after exercise, reduce oxidative damage, and increase energy. Variants in the NQO1 gene influence the amount of CoQ10 produced and utilized by the body.

Caffeine Metabolism

Caffeine is a natural alkaloid substance known for its stimulating properties. It has the ability to delay fatigue temporarily and improve reflexes. It can lead to increased heart rate and blood circulation to the muscles and the release of glucose from the liver. Caffeine can improve performance in endurance athletes. It also benefits in high-intensity activities. Some people are more sensitive, and consuming even a small amount of caffeine may create undesireable effects, while others are less sensitive and do not show any adverse effects. Genes like CYP1A2 play a role in influencing these habits by affecting the way our body processes caffeine.

Response To Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are the main sources of energy, and they provide the kilocalories for weight maintenance. The Dietary Reference Intake suggests that carbohydrates make up 45 to 65 percent of your total daily calories. Corn, rice, potatoes, pasta, and bread are sources of starch. Fruits and fruit juices have natural sugars, while desserts, candies, and soft drinks have added sugar. Carbs are considered weight-increasing foods, but that may not true for everyone. People with certain genetic types tend to gain more weight upon consuming carbohydrate-rich foods than others. These individuals can better maintain weight by reducing the amount of carbs in their diet.

Response To Proteins

Protein is an important building block for bones, cartilage, muscles, skin, and blood. It is known for supporting the building and repairing of muscle tissue and maintaining strength. Research has shown that a protein-rich diet may be effective for weight loss. Protein also plays an important role in increasing the impact of your training. High protein intake boosts metabolism, reduces food cravings, appetite, improves satiety, and control several weight-regulating hormones. Individuals with variations in certain genes like FTO tend to benefit more in terms of weight maintenance with high protein intake.

Response To Fat

Saturated fat is a type of fat that is largely solid at room temperature as it is saturated with hydrogen molecules. Meat and dairy products are rich sources of saturated fats. A high intake of saturated fats is associated with an increase in LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) levels in the body. The American Heart Association recommends limiting saturated fats intake to 5-6% of your total daily calories. People with certain genetic types tend to gain more weight upon consuming saturated fat-rich foods than others. These individuals can maintain weight better by reducing the amount of saturated fats in their diets.

Lactose Intolerance

Lactose is a naturally-occurring sugar found in dairy products. It must be split into glucose and galactose in order to be absorbed from the intestine and into the body. An enzyme called lactase is needed for the breakdown of lactose. Individuals with lactose intolerance do not make enough lactase as adults and hence do not respond well to lactose. Undigested lactose leads to several gastrointestinal symptoms. Lactose intolerant people can switch to other sources of protein instead of dairy to build and strengthen muscles and bones. Variations in the MCM6 gene, which is needed for lactase production, can increase one's risk of lactose intolerance.

Gluten Sensitivity

Gluten is a form of storage protein stored together with starch in the seeds of various cereals such as wheat, barley, rye, and oats. Gluten sensitivity is triggered by eating gluten, which leads to intestinal symptoms and sometimes rashes. Celiac disease is the most severe form of gluten intolerance. Good sources of carbohydrates may also contain gluten. When adopting a gluten-free diet, you need to make sure it contains enough carbohydrates to fuel your training sessions. Variants in genes related to the immune system like HLA-DQB1 can increase the risk of gluten intolerance.
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