TIP#3.11 - 5 Facts: Nutrition vs Genetics
The best thing one can do in fitness is to control the variables that are the most important: Nutrition, Training and Recovery. These three things control everything to do with achieving one's individual fitness goals. But in what form is the goal achieved? The one allowed by the genetics of the individual. As is common sense, all people are different and therefore will respond differently, look different and achieve different forms. No amount of control over Nutrition will change your genetics, the right Nutrition for you will just allow your genetics the potential of fulfilling your best shape.
1. Muscle Fibres
Glycolitic muscle fibres, Type 2a and Type 2b are the fibres that can grow larger, 30% larger for Type 2a and 100% larger for Type 2b. Everyone has different amounts, some more, some less. This means that of all the Type 2 muscles in your body you can only make them 130% larger in total, as long as your Nutrition, Training and Recovery are the very best. So it seems unlikely to be completely individually perfect with all three things all the time - so it therefore seems unlikely that anyone will fully achieve 130% increase of all their Type 2 muscle fibres - at least naturally. So we are fighting a losing battle from the start. Your Nutrition is what your body uses to grow, repair and maintain your muscle, so it is vital - however you can see already that Nutrition is not going to change the amount of natural Type 2 muscle you have genetically, and the people who have more Type 2 muscle will have more potential for muscle growth, and vice versa.
The efficiency of one's individual digestive system plays a big part in what nutrients are absorbed, how much is absorbed and how much energy it has taken to absorb it. As with Nutrition, it is not what you eat but what you absorb that counts, it is therefore obvious that absorbtion contributes greatly to one achieving a fitness goal. This comes down to again... genetics. Some absorb more than others, respond differently to foods than others and obtain different levels of health from the same food as others. You can help your body absorb more by living a cleaner healthier lifestyle, and eating more of the things you need - so you must experiment with different diets to find out what works best for you.
Insulin is the hormone in charge of nutrient transport in the body. It transports nutrients into muscles and organs but it also stores fat. Insulin is stimulated when we eat food, and stimulated moderately by protein but greatly by carbohydrate. Ideally we need Insulin to be stable and low as much as possible - high 'Insulin Sensitivity' describes an individual with controlled Insulin levels. This means that energy is less likely to be stored as Fat because Insulin levels return to normal quickly after eating. Low Insulin sensitivity can be helped hugely by a low carbohydrate diet but can take longer to repair and effect in different people. Insulin will react differently to food depending on the individual and those who have naturally high Insulin sensitivity will find it much easier to stay and get lean.
Metabolic rate is also genetic, some have a fast and active metabolism - meaning that their bodies consume a lot of energy and they must eat a lot. Others have a slower inactive metabolism and consume less energy and need less food. Which one of these people will find it easy to lose body fat, and which one will find it easier to gain body fat? A fast metabolism will burn more energy at rest than a slower one, and therefore that individual will get leaner very quickly and maintain it easier than someone with a slower metabolism - who will also gain fat easier due to their low energy requirements. Speeding up the metabolism takes time and effort, lots of muscular activity and clean eating can help greatly - however genetics still play a big role and some will still have an easier time getting lean no matter what.
Enzymes are used in every bodily process, loosely speaking they are basically the catalyst for every chemical reaction that occurs. With digestion of nutrients they are the things your body produces to prepare the food for use. Normally it becomes more of a factor when you get older, as young people are generally more efficient at producing an overload of enzymes than older people. However, if you don't produce enough enzymes (in the Liver) than enzymes might have to be leeched from elsewhere in the body, sometimes from the muscles. This can make it hard for muscle maintenance and nutrient asorption/ utilisation and comes down again to the individual's genetic efficiency. The best way to address this is to include lots of raw vegetables and some fruit in the diet and undercook things that can be eaten undercooked, like some fish, beef, pork, lamb, vegetables, some dairy - NOT chicken. This will preserve some of the natural enzymes still occuring in the food which will aid digestion.
Thanks so much for Reading!
Matt The Trainer
Personal Trainer London