Sunday, May 22, 2016

The Banana

I bet you think I am going to take this blog and explain the "good" or "bad" benefits of a banana, huh?  Nope. I was honored to attend a Sports Genomics clinic this past week in Boulder and not only did I expand my knowledge base of a very fast growing segment of the sports nutrition field, but I also had the opportunity to give a presentation to the 10 Sport Dietitians in attendance.

As I was intensely learning the first two days from three experts in the field (1 PhD, 1 MD and 1 RD who specializes in culinary genomics), I began thinking about where Metabolic Efficiency fits in. It is fairly obvious (to me at least) how my Metabolic Efficiency concept matches with sports genomics (more on that in a future blog) but I really began thinking of the testing similarities.

Genomic testing is fairly easy to have done but does require a trained eye to interpret and make recommendations. The same holds true for Metabolic Efficiency Testing. Blood work, same thing. So, I began thinking of the three tests and how they are related and if they could support one another. As my brain was filling up each day with unbelievable information regarding genomics, athletes, and nutrition, an analogy of the testing started to form. Enter the banana.

Blood work testing is certainly beneficial but what if you do not pick the right tests to measure? The interpretation may miss something. The opposite is the case with genomic and Metabolic Efficiency testing. There is almost too much data (if there is such a thing) where the nutrition practitioner must decide what is relevant for that athlete at that particular time.

Here is where the banana comes in. I have crafted the analogy of these three tests (blood work, Metabolic Efficiency and genomic) into a banana. The peel of the banana is blood work testing. Somewhat beneficial but may not provide you measurable action items and may be discarded.  In fact, many individuals do not know what to do with the blood work results that they receive from their doctor.  The fruit of the banana is Metabolic Efficiency testing. It is tangible information that will dig deeper into the fruit (body) to yield very specific information regarding substrate (carbohydrate and fat) usage. Finally, the seeds of a banana, the deepest layer of information in the fruit itself is genomic testing. It is highly individual to that particular fruit (body) and will provide information on the most microscopic level.

All three layers are important and will provide a well rounded knowledge base for any athlete but one without the other may not be as beneficial as all three together.

And there you have it.  The banana. As I digest (pun intended) the information I learned at the Sports Genomics clinic and begin to put it into practice at eNRG Performance, you will no doubt here more and more of how the testing can benefit you but also how the topic of "feeding your genes" will become part of your nutrition behavior system.

Until next week!


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