We have published a new study. Click here to read de paper.

#52 Optimizing the Performance of a swimmer through a unique blood test


In professional swimming, a detailed focus on metabolic pathways can be crucial for maximizing performance and optimizing recovery. This case study examines the challenges and interventions in the metabolic pathways of a 26-year-old swimmer who, despite intensive training and adequate diet, was facing a decline in her performance and difficulties in post-training recovery.


The athlete, an experienced professional, began noticing a deterioration in her performance accompanied by fatigue and extended muscle recovery time, suggesting possible specific metabolic imbalances.

Challenges Identified:

  • Decrease in Competitive Performance: Despite adequate training, her competition times were increasing.
  • Prolonged Recovery: She reported increased fatigue and extended time needed to recover after training sessions.

Diagnostic Approach:

An extensive metabolic analysis was conducted, evaluating specific pathways using biomarkers and metabolic performance tests.

Detected Metabolic Alterations:

  • Alteration in the Urea Cycle Pathway (KEGG: map00330):
    • Detail: This pathway, crucial for the elimination of ammonia and metabolism of amino acids, showed dysfunction, which could contribute to the accumulation of toxic metabolites and affect muscle recovery.
    • Impact: Dysfunction in this pathway can result in increased fatigue and a decrease in muscle recovery efficiency.
  • Imbalance in Fatty Acid Metabolism Pathway (KEGG: map00071):
    • Detail: There was observed inefficiency in the beta-oxidation of fatty acids, essential for energy production during prolonged exercise.
    • Impact: Inefficiency in this pathway limits energy availability, affecting performance and increasing the perception of fatigue.

Intervention Strategy:

  • Specific Nutritional Modification:
    • Implementation of a diet rich in specific nutrients to support the urea cycle and fatty acid beta-oxidation, including essential amino acids and medium-chain fatty acids.
  • Targeted Supplementation:
    • Supplementation with ornithine and citrulline to support the urea cycle, and with carnitine to improve fatty acid beta-oxidation.
  • Adjustment in Training Program:
    • Introduction of lower intensity, longer-duration training to promote metabolic efficiency in fatty acid utilization, along with increased rest periods to facilitate recovery.


During a 16-week follow-up period, significant improvements were observed:

  • Increased efficiency in muscle recovery and reduced fatigue.
  • Improvement in competition times and the ability to sustain prolonged efforts.


This study highlights the importance of identifying and managing specific alterations in KEGG metabolic pathways to address performance and recovery issues in elite athletes. The combination of dietary adjustments, specific supplementation, and training modifications resulted in noticeable improvements in performance and recovery.

Follow us: