Recently companies have started to look beyond traditional DNA testing and how to apply this science to enhance fitness. It works similarly to traditional DNA testing as an individual will swab the inside of their checks to get a sample. This sample is then sent off to be analzyed. The company analyzing the sample will look at individuals health risk factors (e.g. cancer) as well as what diet and exercise program is ideal. In regards to exercise here are some of the most common areas that are analyzed:
- Ability to recover from workouts
- Muscle fiber type
- Steady state vs. HIIT training
- Testosterone production
- Ideal speed of muscle contractions
- Soft tissue injury risk
Once armed with these results a fitness professional can more accurately design a program that is ideal for you and your specific genetic make up. Knowing these factors could significantly help with program design and yield greater/faster results.
So are the tests reliable? While it is a relatively new field it does appear to hold promise, make sense, and many individuals have sworn by it’s effectiveness.
In addition to DNA fitness testing there are tests that can look at nutrition and what foods are ideal for you and your specific body type. When doing this test a swab of the inside of the cheek is also necessary. Some of the information the nutrition DNA test looks is as follows:
- Salt sensitivity
- Carbohydrate metabolism (more or less carbs for you)
- Fatty acid metabolism
- Folate metabolism
- Anti oxidant requirements
- Lactose intolerance risk
Once you have this information and more exact nutrition regimine can be followed. Having this information can be vital for maximizing health, decreasing risk of disease, and making weight loss easier. There are several companies online that provide these services.
While the idea of being able to use your DNA to individualize your exercise and diet routine is interesting, the jury is still out on it’s effectiveness. Many experts feel it holds the potential to be helpful but aren’t willing to give it a 100% endorsement. While the jury is still out on it’s complete reliability – it does appear an effective tool that can be used in conjuction with your lifestyle and interests. For those who are serious about their health and fitness and/or those who have been discouraged with their results it could be the missing piece to the puzzle.
Glen Carrigan is co-owner and operator of Freedom 4 Life Fitness with his wife Yvette. Glen & Yvette are dedicated and experienced personal trainers providing residents of Leawood, Overland Park KS, and greater Kansas City with an outstanding fitness experience