Can our DNA tell us what we should eat and how we should workout?

A few months ago a little kit arrived in our office – sent over by the Fitness Genes team. This little box would show me how I should be eating and how I can improve my health by following a fitness programme specifically based upon my DNA. With some intrigue I followed the instructions and spat into a plastic bottle and returned for a full analysis.

3 weeks later I received an email – your results are ready! This was just a little exciting as being adopted and with very vague actual history of my birth lineage, what would I discover? I know that I am half Iranian and the remaining half Irish (Southern – Cork to be precise) but what had my little spit sample discovered about how I should be training? If you are wondering the wedding relevance at this point – we are all about healthy body, healthy mind here at UWD and whilst we will never feature a diet we are always happy to work with our couples on a longer sustainable healthy lifestyle.

Accessing my private members area, I find a full analysis plus diet and workout programme just for me based upon my DNA.

I am just going to pick out a few interesting facts from the analysis as the full report is long, and I mean long! This is a very comprehensive report (rather impressive it must be said). Things I had no idea about myself:

ACE (endurance gene) – With one copy of each allele, you are likely to have a good balance of endurance and strength. Those with the ID genotype show better endurance trainability over DD individuals and greater improvements in ‘strength endurance’ compared with II genotypes. This could be the optimal genotype for middle-distance runners, cyclists, and rowers. (Makes sense as I have done a couple of half marathons in my younger form, love cycling and rowing).

CYP1A2 (gene for caffeine metabolism) – You are fast caffeine metabolizer! (Thank God considering how much I drink of it).

ALDH2 (gene for alcohol metabolism) – It is the A allele that is associated with impaired alcohol metabolism leading to Asian Flush and worse hangovers. You won’t experience these effects from moderate alcohol consumption so won’t likely need to strictly limit consumption. As you have two of the G alleles, you have normal alcohol metabolism limiting the severity of the side effects of it. (Rather excellent news and yes it is rare that I suffer the morning after a sociable evening).

MC4R (gene associated with overeating) – The AA genotype is not associated with overeating and higher BMI. You are at reduced risk of overeating and becoming overweight. (Really? I don’t overeat but am certainly packing a few extra pounds at the moment – time to shift them using the plan Fitness Genes suggests would work for me).

So these are just a few results, the report covers many, many areas from Vitamin D to metabolism, sleep cycle to vascular function (interestingly enough the latter shows I could be prone to high blood pressure which for the first time in my life, I have just been diagnosed with!).

So what about my fitness regime? What do the Fitness Genes team suggest I should be doing?

Workout – I have a slow rate of recover so do not over train (yep sounds good!), you are best suited to perform exercises at a fast paced tempo (easy on that one eh?). Resistance training combined with cardio is best for me (this makes perfect sense based on anything I have done to date)!

Nutrition – I can skip a meal without the risk of over eating later (having started my career working for an airline I must admit I never eat breakfast so this is good news). I need to keep my salt intake low and spread my proteins throughout the day. I need to include wholegrain foods into my diet (must investigate this further and see what I can do).

Lifestyle – Reduce my saturated fat intake, I don’t crave sweet things (100% right – not my thing at all!!!), I need to increase my B12 and zinc intake. I would benefit from adopting a Mediterranean diet (this is fab news as I am often saying how much I LOVE their food and would like to eat more like this – bring me the olives!).

Summary: I have only shown you a snapshot of what this DNA analysis revealed but I am totally blown away but it’s accuracy and would definitely encourage you to take this test! I am about to embark on a whole new fitness regime having just celebrated my 50th birthday and being able to understand the fundamentals of my body will help me structure my workouts so I know I am maximising the results I get. The whole science of this just fascinates me – over 600,000 gene variants were tested and I know understand far more about how I should be eating and training.

Costs vary depending on what kit you buy but this DNA analysis kit is £129 and gives you access to…

  • Workout Action Blueprint
  • Nutrition Action Blueprint
  • Nutrition Calculator based on your goal
  • FitnessGenes eBooks
  • Exercise library
  • Glossary
  • Ongoing gene and scientific updates

We are what we eat people! Find out what your DNA says about you and how this analysis can change the way you think about yourself, your diet, your health!