Athletigen review – A discovery of your perfect diet?

Athletigen Review Summary

Athletigen is a DNA testing company that promises to help improve your athletic performance. Learn more in our Athletigen review!

Nebula Genomics

Reports
Price
Personalized for athletes

Summary

Athletigen is a genetics testing company that seeks to help active people improve their health and nutrition through DNA. The report contains valuable information for athlete training programs, but does not focus on other health aspects.

4.3

7 Facts from our Athletigen Review

  1. Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
  2. Product: DNA genotyping test and raw DNA data upload
  3. Reports: Focused on optimizing athletic performance and nutrition
  4. Userbase: Users include Olympians, professional athletes, and university athletic teams
  5. Data access: Users can download their DNA raw data
  6. Cost: one basic free DNA report for users who upload DNA data; other test and reports cost $20 – $175
  7. Alternatives: Nebula Genomics (free reporting for data uploads, whole genome sequencing)

This review is written with the intent to be as unbiased as possible. However, it represents the opinion of an individual reviewer and is therefore subjective. Furthermore, at Nebula Genomics we seek to educate the public about the benefits of Whole Genome Sequencing. Information about our Whole Genome Sequencing DNA test is therefore incorporated into the review.

August 29, 2022

Edited by Christina Swords, Ph.D.

DISCLAIMER: As of 2022, Athletigen is no longer operating and its tests are not available. The below review is based on historical information.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Personalized nutrition and fitness recommendations based on your genetic profile
  • Range of price points
  • You can upload DNA raw data (from 23andMe or AncestryDNA)
  • One free raw DNA report available for users who upload their raw genetic data 

Cons

  • Less reviewed than other companies with no recent reviews 
  • Have to buy different reports to receive complete results

Introduction

Athletigen is a Nova Scotia-based sports genetics company that offers genetic testing for athletes. Dr. Jeremy Koenig (Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Dalhousie University) founded the company in 2014.

It is unclear how many users Athletigen has. However, it has testimonials from Olympians, professional athletes, and well-known coaches. In addition, it offers DNA testing and upload for users who have purchased tests from other companies, such as 23andMe or Ancestry.com. Users can choose between seven different reports.

The free “Fuel. Perform. Restore.” report offers samples of the information from the paid reports. Read more in out Athletigen review!

Nebula Genomics decodes 100% of your DNA through an affordable Whole Genome Sequencing. Athletigen decodes only 0.02% of your DNA. Learn more about your fitness and wellness with our complete DNA test! Click for more information!

Athletigen Reports Overview

Before we dive into reporting, let’s briefly review Athletigen technologies and products.

Fuel. Perform. Restore. (free): This report is free and requires users to upload existing DNA AncestryDNA or 23andMe data.

It is relatively short and gives you a taste of the full reports.

Welcome-$20 (Free with purchase of Athletigen DNA Collection Kit): The Welcome report is meant as a broad overview of the services provided in the other Athletigen reports. It analyzes 40 genetic markers to provide insight into 19 different traits.

ALTIS Sports Performance Report ($80): This report is produced in collaboration with ALTIS, a sports-centered company that provides education to athletes and those that coach athletes. It looks at 50 genetic markers and gives you insights into 22 traits such as response to caffeine and muscle growth. The ALTIS sports performance report was developed with Dan Pfaff, the former director of the United States Olympic Training Center. 

Optimum Movement and Recovery Report ($80): This report is produced in collaboration with Dr. Kelly Starrett, a physical therapist and co-founder of MobilityWOD, rebranded as “The Ready State.” MobilityWOD is an acclaimed fitness website focused on helping athletes resolve pain and perform better with customized mobility routines.

This report analyzes 70 genetic markers to provide insights into 25 traits such as injury risk and bone health. This report also includes over 40 hours of video content from MobilityWOD and explains how to use training to prevent injury.

Nutrition Report ($70): This report looks at over 100 genetic markers. It includes details on how efficiently your body absorbs different vitamins and minerals. Included are possible food sensitivities, such as lactose intolerance, which often have a genetic component. You can also find recommendations on how to increase your nutritional intake. 

Athletic Report ($65): This is the one that contains the most information. It analyzes over 100 genetic markers to provide insight into 40 traits.

In addition, it covers a variety of measures of athletic abilities and performance. These include factors that influence muscle growth, endurance capacity, and other training influences. The report also includes recommendations to optimize your performance based on the test results. 

Wellness Report ($60): The Wellness report analyzes approximately 40 genetic markers to identify 32 different traits. These traits include an increased risk of hearing loss, bone health, and metabolic health. Food sensitivity information is also included.

This report is intended to address the customer’s overall health, not just their athletic performance.

Getting Started

To get started with Athletigen, you have two options. You can buy the DNA testing kit at $174.99, which includes the Welcome report. The other option is to upload raw DNA data from 23andMe or AncestryDNA and pay only for DNA analysis.

If you purchase the Athletigen test, you’ll receive a DNA kit in the mail. This kit contains, among other things, a cheek swab to collect a saliva sample. After collecting, you will ship your kit to a US-based lab. Results take 6-8 weeks to arrive after the lab receives the swab.  

The Welcome Report is generated when your results come in. You must register your kit’s barcode using Athletigen’s website to link the results to your account.

After your DNA sample has been processed, you can purchase additional reports. The prices range from $19.99 to $69.99. The reports became available for download as a PDF after purchase.

If you want to upload existing DNA data, take a look at our step-by-step guide on how to download raw DNA data files from 23andMe and AncestryDNA. Data from other DNA testing providers do not appear to be supported.

Review of Athletigen Athletic Report

You can see an example of a page from the “Athletic” report below. Each page describes a particular health-related trait. Here is a breakdown of what is included.

  • Trait: The heading of each page describes an athletic trait, in this case, “Ligament injury.”
  • Gene: Underneath the heading, the report’s genes examined are listed. In this case, a specific single nucleotide polymorphism is listed as well.
  • Outcome: This section contains several pieces of information. The main one is the athletic outcome your genotype is associated with. 
    • Your Genotype: This section is not included for all traits. When it is, it lists your determined genotype for the tested genetic variant. 
    • Scientific Confidence Grade: This is a grade for how much scientific evidence connects your genotypes to the described outcome. It is unclear how this grade is calculated, and there are no scientific references available.
    • Percentage: This is the percentage of the population that shares your genotype.
  • Recommendation: This section includes recommendations to help you stay healthy or improve your athletic performance, based on your genotype. These can be warm-up recommendations or nutrition advice.
  • Summary: This is a short paragraph on how the analyzed gene relates to the described trait. This section also explains why variation in this gene may affect your health or athletic performance.
Athletigen report sheet for ligament injury with thorough descriptions of DNA outcome, recommendations, and gene summary
Example results from the Athletigen Athletic report

Review of Athletigen “Fuel. Perform. Restore.” Report

This free personalized health report is only six pages long and its format is slightly different from other Athletigen reports.

It is divided into three different sections: Fuel, Perform and Restore. Each section contains two test results and recommendations. Below is an example of the Fuel and Performance sections.

The Athletigen Fuel report includes details of Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D levels whereas the Perform report includes details on response to endurance training and ligament injury
Example of the Fuel and Perform sections

The Fuel section has a report on vitamin B12 and vitamin D levels. Let’s break down the summary for vitamin B12.

  • Topic: The header for the section. This tells you what health topic will be the focus. In this example, the spotlight is on vitamin B12.
  • Genes examined: In the upper right hand corner, the report tells the names of the genes examined. In this case, the listed genes influence how your body metabolizes vitamin B12. 
  • Results: This is directly underneath the topic and genes examined sections. The results tell you how your body metabolizes vitamin B12. In our example, this person takes longer to absorb vitamin B12. It is unclear what standard absorption level is being used for a baseline. Information on analyzed genetic variants and user genotype is not provided either.
  • Recommendation: This section explains why vitamin B12 is vital for optimal body function. It also gives advice based on your results. In our example, adding a high-quality vitamin B12 supplement is recommended due to genetic predisposition to lower vitamin B12 absorption.

On the left side of the report you notice a world map. This section relates your genetic makeup to your DNA ancestry. Specifically, where in the world your genotype frequently occurs. 

Each page contains an advertisement for a full Athletigen report that would include similar information. In this example, the “Nutrition” report is advertised. 

Did you know you can test for Vitamin D levels at home? Learn more in our article about vitamin D tests.

Review of Athletigen Privacy Policy

Third-parties may access the “Aggregated Genetic and Self-Reported Information.” This is data from your genetic and self-reported information combined with other users’ data. Nothing that would identify you is included. Your data can also be used for conducting “Athletigen Research.” 

Athletigen states that “except for de-identified and/or anonymized information as described in this section, we will never release your Genetic and/or Self-Reported Information to a third party without asking and getting explicit consent from you to do so unless we are required to by law.”

According to Athletigen’s privacy policy, self-reported information consists of medical conditions, sports information, ethnicity, and family history. Any information entered into Athletigen surveys or forms is considered self-reported data. 

If a written request is provided to the customer service team, Athletigen will close your account and delete your genetic information.  

DNA Data Download

Athletigen does allow users to download their raw DNA data. However, this cannot be used on other websites. As the company explains, the file is a simple text format. Users must ask the third-party provider if it is willing to reformat the file.

Other Athletigen Reviews

Athletigen has been featured in Sports Illustrated several times, as well as Men’s Journal and STAT. Some of the news coverage has been critical, suggesting “there is little science to back up the claims that genetic analysis could identify if a particular athlete is…wired to have trouble recovering from tough workouts.”

A 2016 Athletigen review written by STAT questions the value of genetic testing in sports. Specifically, the article cautions against the marketing schemes being used by companies in locker rooms and stadiums. It also cites the fact that studies that associate genetics with sports performance at the time were limited in size and scope. Yet, companies chose to market them heavily anyway. 

Men’s Journal Athletigen review asks, “Can DNA testing find a better workout?” The article, like the STAT review, is hesitant about the lack of data, but it suggests that personalized genetics will gain ground in future years.

There have been no news articles about Athletigen since 2018.

Trustpilot gives Athletigen a 3.8 out of 5 stars with 3 reviews. The last review was posted in 2020.

Although Athletigen is no longer available, past customers or other interested individuals can read discussions facilitated on Reddit.

Bloggers have written about their experience with Athletigen, including Garage Gym blogger, who found the product underwhelming.

Nebula Genomics

We culminate our Athletigen review with a comparison to Nebula Genomics and other DNA testing companies.

Nebula Expand

With the Nebula Genomics expanded report, you can upload raw DNA files from 23andMe or AncestryDNA to discover more about your genome. Using statistical models, we fill in the blanks from microarray-based DNA genotyping tests. This report will give you access to hundreds of traits not explored by any other service, including Athletigen. We also provide updates based on new scientific discoveries. 

Whole Genome Sequencing 

Our goal is to empower our customers to have the option to go beyond genetic tests offered by companies like Athletigen. Nebula Genomics provides the most comprehensive genetic testing. With our 30x Whole Genome Sequencing service, you have access to 100% of your DNA. 

We believe that you should have the power to explore your genome on your terms. Our genome exploration tools provide you with a dynamic genome exploration experience. You can examine genes of interest, identify relevant mutations, and search for genetic variants. You can even view your sequencing data from your computer. 


Athletigen23andMeAncestryDNANebula Genomics
DNA testing methodDNA genotyping; third-party DNA data uploadDNA genotypingDNA genotyping30x Whole Genome Sequencing 
Can third-parties access data?Yes, de-identified and aggregated Yes, aggregatedYes, anonymized Only with your permission
Regular updates based on the latest discoveriesUnclearNoNoYes (learn more
Tools to explore dataNoLimitedLimitedYes
Ancestry ReportingNoYesYesDeep ancestry reporting with full Y chromosome and mtDNA sequencing
Data accessYes (TXT or CSV files)Yes (23andMe format file)Yes (Ancestry format file)Yes (FASTQ, BAM and VCF files)
Focus on privacyNoNoNoYes (learn more)
Cost$20 – $175$99 or $199$99 or $149$0, $99, $299

If you are interested in genetic testing that will help you achieve your health and fitness goals, there are a lot of products to choose from. You can learn more about your options on our website including:

Diet:

Fitness:

General Wellness:

There are a lot of great supplement companies out there that may help you lose weight and get healthy (you can read about many of them on our blog!) But be careful! There are also dangerous experimental compounds like SR9009 and RAD 140 that are not approved for human consumption.

Did you like our Athletigen review? If so, please also take a look at our other reviews and check out our complete guide to the best DNA test kit and other home tests. Or, if you need more information, you can read more about DNA diet tests!