What are cancer biomarkers?
Biomarkers are genes, proteins, and other substances that can help doctors diagnose or treat a disease. They can also be used to track a person's progress after treatment, and they may be helpful in deciding if a certain medicine is right for them.
Hormonal biomarkers, such as testosterone and oestrogen levels, can be used to determine an athlete's overall health. A drop in these levels can be an indicator of chronic under-fuelling, which can affect other aspects of their performance.
Amino acid biomarkers, such as glutamine and lysine, can be used to assess muscle quality/status. These amino acids are involved in protein synthesis and are important for training and recovery. A decrease in these amino acids can be an indication of reduced performance, fatigue, or injury, and monitoring these biomarkers over a period of time can provide insight into an athlete's health and performance.
Blood hydration biomarkers can be used to assess an individual's hydration state before and after a training session or competition. They can also be used to define fluid consumption recommendations for optimal training benefit or recovery.
Other important biomarkers include heart rate derived metrics such as RHR and HRV. These measurements can be used to assess stress, recovery, or readiness more directly than aerobic capacity and can identify acute anomalies such as a drop in RHR by 20 or 30 bpm after an event.
When assessing the impact of biomarkers on an athlete's health and performance, many factors need to be considered. This includes the timing and intent of testing, sensitivity and precision, and accuracy of the results.