Understanding your personal Caffeine Responsivity and Building Muscle trait

Friday, June 10, 2022. Author Alex Auld

Woman getting ready to go for a workout with a coffee and apple

Our most recent trait release, Caffeine Responsivity and Building Muscle, aimed to answer three critical questions regarding the use of caffeine before exercise; when should you take it, how much should you take, and when should you avoid it?

To answer these questions, the trait analyses the variants of two genes that influence your response to caffeine: CYP1A2 and ADORA2A. 

 

DNA and caffeine response

CYP1A2 is involved in the metabolism of caffeine; how quickly it’s broken down once it has been consumed in order to exert its stimulant effect on the body. Variants of this gene classify individuals as being slow, intermediate, or fast metabolisers. The rate at which you metabolise caffeine influences how quickly, and for how long, you feel its effects. 

ADORA2A influences your caffeine sensitivity - how intensely you experience the effects of caffeine. This can be the desired increase in alertness and reaction time, or conversely, feelings of anxiety and insomnia. 

Through our understanding of how these genes function and relate to each other, four distinct trait bands were created, between which all FitnessGenes members are grouped:

  1. Average responder
  2. Average responder, high sensitivity  
  3. Increased responder
  4. Increased responder, high sensitivity  

Traits bands

1. Average responder

FitnessGenes members grouped within the first trait band are those who are slow or intermediate metabolisers of caffeine (CYP1A2) and have low sensitivity to its effects (ADORA2A). Research shows that while this group may experience less improvement in building muscle compared to fast metabolisers, they are less susceptible to anxiety and insomnia when consuming caffeine. 

2. Average responder, high sensitivity  

Like the above, FitnessGenes members in this trait band have been identified as being a slow or intermediate metabolisers of caffeine (CYP1A2), but also have a high sensitivity to its effects (ADORA2A). This means that in addition to experiencing less improvement in muscle building compared to fast metabolisers, they are also more susceptible to anxiety and insomnia when consuming caffeine. 

3. Increased responder

FitnessGenes members grouped within the ‘increased responder’ band are fast metabolisers of caffeine (CYP1A2) and have low sensitivity to its effects (ADORA2A). They have the double benefit of greater muscle-building response when consuming caffeine before a workout and lower susceptibility to anxiety and insomnia. 

4. Increased responder, high sensitivity

Members grouped within the final trait band are also identified as fast metabolisers of caffeine (CYP1A2), which is associated with a greater muscle-building response when caffeine is used before a workout. However, their ADORA2A gene indicates that they have a high sensitivity to its effects, which makes them more susceptible to anxiety and insomnia. 

 

Personalised recommendations

As you would expect, the recommended timing and dosage of caffeine before exercise varies between these four trait bands.

For example, average responders should consume caffeine earlier before a workout to maximise its performance-enhancing effects, while those with high sensitivity should consume lower amounts and focus it around morning and early afternoon workouts to ensure that it doesn't impact their sleep quality and recovery. 

 

Discover your personal Caffeine Responsivity and Building Muscle trait

Ready to find how much caffeine you should be using before exercise, and when, to accelerate your muscle-building goal?

Become a FitnessGenes member by purchasing your DNA analysis or DNA upload product today to unlock Caffeine Responsivity and Building Muscle alongside 120+ more health and fitness-related traits.

 

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