Caffeine’s Power to Up Your Game Is in Your Genes

by Matthew Kadey, MS, RD on Oct 11, 2018

Food for Thought

Your DNA decides whether you get the performance kick.

It has flummoxed sports nutrition researchers for years: Why do some athletes get turbo-charged with caffeine while others do not see the same performance boost after a latte? Researchers from the University of Toronto appear to have unlocked the mystery, at least in relation to men. An investigation published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise shows that male athletes with a specific variation in the CYP1A2 gene, which impacts caffeine metabolism, benefited from caffeine ingestion before a cycling time trial. Their counterparts with different CYP1A2 genotypes experienced either no boost or a downgrade in performance.

Now that we have this evidence, testing for an athlete’s CYP1A2 genotype might become de rigueur among sporting teams.

Fitness Journal, Volume 15, Issue 11

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About the Author

Matthew Kadey,  MS, RD

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD IDEA Author/Presenter

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD, is a James Beard Award-winning journalist, Canada-based dietitian, freelance nutrition writer and recipe developer. He has written for dozens of magazines including Runner’s World, Men’s Health, Shape, Vegetarian Times and Fitness.