Today you can take a DNA test that can help you personalise your diet and exercise and highlight potential health threats.
The DNA test can be done at home, by taking saliva with a swab and posting it back to DNAFIt. DNAFit then email you to give you access to your results online. You can download the reports onto your phone or tablet.
Who Can Benefit From A DNA Test And Report
If you are an athlete, or take your exercise or health seriously you’ll immediately see the value in the report following the DNA test. Also if you’ve tried various weight-loss programmes and struggled or are often feeling tired and don’t know why this report would also be useful. It may highlight were your exercise should be different or what nutrition should be avoided or included to boost your energy and recovery. Also, if you are concerned about genetic conditions in your family such as cancer or heart-disease you could also benefit.
What Do DNA Test Results Look Like In a Report?
The DNAFit, DNA test looks at 45 genetic variants. The reports I received included:
- A fitness report.
- A diet report.
- An info graphic (so I could see my results in a snapshot).
- 90 day diet plan.
I also booked a consultation with a DNAFit coach so they could explain the results and their application more deeply.
Here is my video review of the DNAFit process
You can see DNAFit reviews here. Also, if you have used DNAFit please also leave a review so others can learn from your experience.
What The DNA Test Results Show You About Your Diet
The saliva swab is tested and the results show that a gen is either active or inactive.
The diet report showed:
My personal diet report told me:
What the Mediterranean diet plan I was prescribed keep the amount of carbohydrates to a maximum of 10% per day, because my body does not metabolise carbs well and will store them as fat.
If you have ever tried losing weight you’ll know there are a lot of diets available and they often have conflicting advice. Also, these diets are often don’t work or aren’t sustainable. What DNAFIt claim is that: ‘Our genetics play an important role in identifying the most effective diet and weight-loss plan for our own bodies. The reality is, there is no ‘one size fits all’ nutrition plan, so using genetics we hope to help light the correct path for your body to identify the diet type that works best for you.’
What DNAFit say can be seen in an ancient system like Ayurveda. Ayurveda has what they call three “Doshas” – Pitta, Vata and Kapha. Your body could be any one type of dosha, or a mixture of two. In Ayurveda there are certain foods that may cause one dosha to gain weight. For example, if you are a Kapha you would want to avoid cooling stodgy foods and eat more warming spicy foods like ginger.
The results also show that my body needs more folic acid, B6, B12, Antioxidants, Vitamin D, Calcium and cruciferous vegetables. I have since begun taking more supplements and supplementing my diet and making sure I get out in the sun for 15-30 minutes each day when the sun is out.
The Fitness Report Shows:
What My Personal DNA Test Fitness Report Showed
What my results say is that I should include a 60/40 split of power and endurance exercise. They show that my body is slow to remove free-radicals from my system after training and can cause inflammation and a raised need for antioxidants. It also shows that I have an increased likelihood of soft-tissue injury.
Pin-pointing Exact Requirements From DNA My DNA Test
What I liked about the report was that it told me exactly what my daily need for nutrients are.
Here are the recommendations based on my personal DNA.
The DNAFit Consultation
In addition to the report I also had a consultation with two times Olympian, Craig Pickering who is now head of Sports Science at DNAFit. Craig was able to explain the results in more detail and help me understand the report in more depth.
In the consultation with Craig he pointed out that DNA makes up about 50% of the picture. He said that environment can also play a large part too i.e. where you are in the world and what training you have done or are doing.
One example of this is that I have salt sensitivity, which can lead to hypertension. What Craig explained is that this would be more of a concern if I was over-weight and not sweating through exercise. He also said that if I lived in say Africa it may also be less of a problem and might in fact need more salt due to the climate.
Craig also explained how some people are more effected by alcohol and caffeine because of how their bodies metabolise.
Another example he gave was in my exercise. He said that although I may be susceptible to injury, there are things that could be done or I may be doing that mean I have less injury.
One notable distinction from the consultation was when Craig talked about his own exercise as an athelete. He said, his DNA was similar to mind in power and endurance and that he used to train hard everyday. He went on to add that if he knew then what he knows now he would have trained differently and potentially.
My Big Take Away: My Energy Soared
What stood out for me was the 60/40 split in exercise and the need to supplement my diet with folic acid, B and D vitamins.
In the 2 weeks immediately after getting the DNA results and the consultation with Craig Pickering I began to make adjustments to my diet and exercise. I moved my power exercises to Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. This involved weight training and High Intensity Interval training on the week days. On the Saturday I ran for about 40-45 minutes really pushing myself and adding in short 20 second sprints. I moved my endurance work to Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.
To be frank my energy soared. I felt better than I had in years. It was awesome! I felt very strong and very capable and there was like a new power in my body I hadn’t felt since teenage.
I didn’t know if the change was as a result of the vitamins or the fact I had felt the endurance days were like a day off. On my power days I could also do more and push myself more than ever before.
One downside was that after a few weeks I put on a few pounds. This may have been muscle, but as my trousers tightened around the waist I have to admit it probably wasn’t muscle! I also changed my vitamin B supplement around the same time and at this point my energy dropped.
Why did this happen?
I must admit I hadn’t at this time embraced the diet plan and became aware I was actually consuming more that the recommended 10% of carbohydrates for my DNA type. Also, on the endurance days I’d got into exercises that were more stretching based, like yoga and they didn’t really elevate my heart-rate enough. I believe this is why I then started to feel less energised than before.
In the video below I talk about how I turn what I learn into what I do. It’s a process of accumulating knowledge, taking action, creating a routine and then measuring the results. You can then keep making adjustments to the action and routine until you get the results you want.
Watch the video here:
When I reviewed where I was I made adjustments:
- I made the endurance work more challenging something with an elevated my heart-rate to a nice steady level
- I cut down my carbs
- I reduced my portion size at mealtimes
Two weeks after making the above adjustments the weight I had gained had fallen off. I went out for a 3 mile run on one evening and I could immediately tell something was different – in a good way. I felt quicker and lighter. After about a mile I knew if I maintained this pace I would beat my personal best for this distance and I did. I knocked 25 seconds off!
Best of all, when I finished the run I felt good. I felt that runners high.
As someone who values their health I found the results from the DNA test enlightening and very useful. Personally, I want to make the most out of every moment I spend doing exercise and DNAFit have given me a plan that works for me. This means when I look at marketing blurb for any programmes I can immediately judge if it will work for me. It cuts through the confusion – which is what TotalWellnessClub is all about – helping you see clearly what works and what doesn’t.
If you are a sports person, or care about your well-being, or have concerns about your long term-health, or have previously struggled with yo-yo dieting, then I’d recommend looking at DNAFit DNA test.
I found the consultation with Craig Pickering a very useful experience. He took the report to another level, sharing his own experiences as well as a depth of knowledge on DNA in diet and fitness. This consultation that enabled me to make some very useful distinctions.