DNA testing for personalised diet and exercise plans (Part 1)
DNA testing kits are becoming more and more popular and I get weekly affiliate offers suggesting I encourage my clients to buy these tests.. in return I’d get some money for referring them. Is this the new mushroom coffee/unnecessary supplement/ MLM scheme that PTs can use to make extra cash off their clients?
The geek in me loves the idea of DNA testing. However, the realist has a few questions..primarily: Will these test be able to tell me the best training and nutrition plan for me?
In short the answer is no.
These tests claim to give you information on everything from your sensitivity to caffeine to how you should train to the best diet choice for you. The problem is it isn’t quite that simple.. a certain genetic variant can’t definitively tell you how you should train or whether you should adopt a certain diet. It merely suggests what these genes may indicate.
Even if it these claims were true I am unconvinced acting on the results offers any benefit. Most of the findings are pretty useless (although cool) for example if you’ve been training for a while you’ll likely know if you are better suited to endurance or power and if you are sensitive to caffeine you’ve likely worked this out too.
Ask yourself this: If your test came back saying you have the genetics to be good at a power based sport yet you’ve always enjoyed and excelled in endurance sports would you sack in the triathlons and go take up Olympic lifting?.. I’m going to assume not.
An even bigger issue is the reliability of these tests.. different results and interpretations of the same results have been reported from the same user sending a sample of DNA to a number of companies.