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Are you interested in DNA fitness testing for your fitness and nutrition planning?  Then, you have come to the right spot. 

In the past few years, consumer DNA testing has seen a boom. As a result, people are becoming more curious about their family history and the secrets that their DNA contains.

Now, DNA tests help to find out more about our health. This includes whether or not we may pass certain conditions on to our children.  A DNA test can reveal more than your ancestry or health risks.

A new field in fitness and diet DNA testing uses DNA test results for personalized diet and exercise plans.

These tests are based upon the theory that DNA can help you determine your optimal diet and exercise needs.  It is essential to be clear that there has not been enough scientific research on whether or not you can tailor a diet and fitness program based on your DNA.

Therefore, the tests listed below include more than DNA results. No matter what test you choose, you should consult your doctor, nutritionist, and trainer before you take any actions solely based on the DNA test results.

Okay, now let’s get to the point. But, first, let’s look at what science can tell us.

What is a DNA Diet/Fitness Test?

A lab can trace your father’s and mother’s lines, match you with unknown relatives, and pinpoint your DNA.  Organizations like 23andMe can now use these genetic markers to assess your risk of getting various genetic diseases. The latest method of using genetic markers in your life to guide and inform is the Diet and Fitness DNA Test.

Instead of testing your DNA for health risks or ancestry information, DNA fitness and dieting tests examine different DNA markers to determine your metabolism and other medical conditions. This will help you to plan your training and nutrition. The exact process is used for DNA fitness testing as an ancestry test or health test.

First, send your DNA sample to a laboratory for testing.  DNAFit accepts raw data from DNA Testing Websites like 23andMe or MyHeritage.  The lab then tests your DNA for specific genetic variants.

The report will reveal if you have a variant that is associated with lactose intolerance. The report may recommend modifying your exercise routine if there is a variant that increases strength or endurance. If your DNA indicates that you can metabolize certain foods than others, the report will recommend a particular diet.

What Can You Learn From DNA Fitness or Diet Tests?

Things you can learn from DNA-based diet and fitness tests:

Best Foods and Diet: You might find out that your body is more suited to Mediterranean cuisine or that you respond better to low-fat foods.

What Your Body Reacts to Different Food Types. You can lose weight faster and become fitter by understanding how your body reacts to carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.

You may be at risk for lactose intolerance or gluten intolerance, food intolerances, or allergies.

Your fitness traits. This test could explain why it takes you longer to recover, how running is easier than weight training, and why you grow muscles slower than most people.

Best workout plan for your body. The test report will be based on your DNA and will recommend the best fitness plan for you.

The best workouts to prevent injury. You can also find out how genetically predisposed you are to specific injuries and modify your training to decrease the chance of getting hurt.

How to increase athletic performance. Some tests are designed for professional athletes. These reports provide detailed data and advice on improving speed, endurance, strength, and other essential aspects.

As I have said before, don’t base your decisions solely on these results.  Science is still in its infancy regarding the connection between DNA and diet/fitness.

While your report will provide a lot of information that you can use, it could also contain misleading or incorrect information.  Talk to an expert before you make drastic changes to your diet and workout routine.

Best DNA Tests to Plan Your Fitness and Diet

1. Helix Powered DNAFit DNA Test Kit (Fitness Diet Pro 360), price ranges $132 – $175

DNAFit is one of the leaders in DNA-based fitness and diet testing. It was founded in 2013 to offer personalized nutrition and fitness solutions based on DNA.

Diet Fitness Pro 360 Package is made possible in partnership with Helix, the app store for DNA services.

Helix is a company that tests your DNA once through a process called exome sequencing. This method is highly accurate and can be used to identify specific variants of DNA.

They allow you to use your sequenced DNA in multiple DNA tests. This means that one sample is all you need to gain a wealth of information. Helix’s DNA testing approach is more reliable than the cheaper genotyping used by most DNA testing companies.

After Helix receives your DNA data, they will only send the DNAFit parts it needs to run their Diet Fitness Pro 360 service.

What You Get

Fitness report: An explanation of how genetics can influence your workouts. Information on your genetic predisposition to injuries and recovery response.

We can customize a workout and diet program: These include DNA-based diet recommendations and a customized training program that considers your fitness traits to maximize your workouts.

Nutrition report: This is a more detailed look at how your body interacts and reacts to various macro and micronutrients such as proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, saturated fats, caffeine, alcohol, etc.

Phone consultation: Experts give a complimentary half-hour consultation to help you review your results.

Pros

  • Offers useful information on diet and exercise
  • Exome sequencing is an exact process that yields accurate results. This improves their reliability.
  • Each result is explained clearly and concisely, not with jargon and meaningless charts.
  • Includes a free phone consultation

Cons

  • Long turnaround time (4-6 weeks).
  • It’s expensive.

2. Vitagene Health + Ancestry Personal Genetic Test kit, price range $99 – $250

Vitagene’s health and ancestry test sound very similar to the 23andMe test. The similarities stop there.

The ancestry portion is similar to 23andMe’s ancestry test, but the health part is quite different.

Vitagene is a tool that helps you understand your genetic makeup and how it affects your diet and fitness.

The company uses genotyping, which is quicker and more affordable. However, the results are less reliable than those obtained from sequencing.

If you are looking for a budget diet and fitness DNA test, Vitagene is a good choice. A nice bonus is the ancestry report.

What you get

Genetic traits in diet: Over 30 nutritional traits, including fat metabolism, carbohydrate metabolism, and cholesterol. These traits will help you to improve your diet to lose weight, and improve your overall health.

DNA Diet Menu: Select from more than 700 recipes to create personalized meals. Your DNA profile help to determine the calorie count and ingredients.

Exercise Report: This report provides insight into how your body reacts to various exercises. It also includes information about your body type (power and endurance), blood pressure, exercise, and muscle cramps. In addition, this report will recommend the best exercises to suit your body type and fitness characteristics. You can also receive personalized exercise plans.

Ancestry reports A map that shows your ethnic composition and a breakdown of your ancestral areas.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Exercise and recipe suggestions
  • Download your raw DNA data
  • Includes an ancestry report

Cons

  • Long turnaround (4-6 weeks).
  • Ancestry reports are very basic. 23andMe, as well as many other companies, offer a more detailed ancestry analysis.

3. Pathway Genomics FiT IQ(TM) Weight Loss + Diet DNA Test, price ranges $99 – $150 depending on which test

Pathway Genomics (formally known as Pathway OME) is a company that focuses on advanced personalized precision medicine.  The company offers genetic testing for metabolism, weight loss, and diet.

FiTiQ is designed to improve customers’ overall health and well-being.  This report provides insights into your body’s response to various nutrients and exercises, as well as recommendations on how to optimize your diet.

It works in the same way that any DNA testing company does. The company will send you a kit to swab, which you can then send back along with a sample.

Results can take up to 4-6 weeks.

Pathway Genomics, unlike other DNA tests, is more confident about promising weight loss.  Be careful when making bold claims, as I said. Before you make any drastic changes to your diet, consult a doctor.

What you get

Behavioral eating traits: Explanations of features such as a sweet tooth, snacking, and food desire

Food reactions are your body’s reactions to various types of food, including carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and caffeine. This information helps to improve your diet, increase energy levels, improve sleep quality, and overall well-being.

Weight loss: Your DNA’s effect on your metabolism and weight loss.

Personalized diet: This report will help you create a diet plan that suits your unique genetic profile.

Follow these guidelines: DNA-based workouts to maximize weight loss, muscle building, athletic performance, and recovery. You will also find insights that can help you with endurance training and the loss of body fat.

Pros

  • A detailed report contains valuable information about diet and exercise.
  • Clear explanations of the different results
  • This section includes diet and exercise suggestions that may help you lose weight.
  • Although the turnaround time for results is usually between 4-6 weeks and a few weeks, customers report getting their results much quicker.

Cons

* This report contains some general information you likely already know about yourself.

4. Azumio DNA Test Kit powered with Helix

You also need to buy the Helix sequencing test to get your diet and workout report from Azumio.  You don’t need to purchase another Helix Kit if you have already purchased one.

Azumio’s product focuses on improving nutrition and fitness. This report will help you determine which foods to eat and which exercises will work best for you.

Azumiois an Azumio health and fitness company that uses machine learning and computer vision technology to assist its customers in improving their diets and fitness.

Their Calorie Mama app is their most well-known. It requires you to take a picture of your food to calculate the calories.  Calorie Mama subscription for a whole year is included with this kit.

Helix will send you the sample collection kit once you have placed your order. Then, send the tube back to Helix, and you will receive full Exome Sequencing.

The results will be available within 4-6 weeks.

What you get

We can create custom fitness and nutrition programs: Based on your DNA profile, personalized plans. This includes recommendations for the amount of carb, saturated fats, and sugar as well as Omega-3.

Genetic predisposition to intolerance to food: This includes tolerance to caffeine, lactose and sugary drinks, alcohol, gluten, and caffeine.

Genetic risk of injury: Find out your risk factors for Achilles injury, arthritis, and ACL injuries.

To see the results of your test, you will need to download Calorie Mama. Only the Calorie Mama app can access the test report.

All app features are available with your 1-year subscription.

Pros

  • Get personalized nutrition and fitness advice.
  • Includes 1 Year Subscription to Calorie Mama
  • Helix’s high-accuracy sequencing process is used.

Cons

  • Only Calorie Mama can access your report and insights.
  • It takes 6-8 weeks for a turnaround.

5. ORIG3N Genetic Home DNA Kit for Fitness, price $50

Orig3n is a biotechnology company that focuses on regenerative medicine to treat rare genetically inherited conditions affecting the liver, heart, and neural system.

Image: Amazon

Customers can also get DNA tests. In addition, there are packages available for child development, performance, behavior, nutrition, and beauty.  This one is specifically for fitness.

Twenty-seven genes are tested for that influence muscle strength, cardiac output, and training response.  It takes only a simple swab to conduct DNA fitness testing. After you place your order, they will send you the kit.

Once you send the sample back, it takes about three weeks to get your results back. After that, you can access your results via a link included in the notification email.  You can also access your results using their free app.

What you get

This test is fitness-only and will not provide insight into your DNA’s effect on your fitness.  The report explains the specific areas they analyzed, including muscle recovery, metabolism and strength, endurance, joint health, overall performance, and joint health.

They reported on 27 genes, including SOD2 (cell repair), TRHR(lean body mass), and ADRB3 (3rd generation energy output).  The report doesn’t make any recommendations on which workouts would be best for your DNA profile. It only makes general suggestions.

Based on the report, you will need to develop your complete workout plan.  The report does not include recommendations for what foods to eat. You will need to purchase a separate nutrition package.

Pros

  • Comprehensive reporting on all aspects of fitness.
  • Very quick turnaround.
  • It is simple to read the report on any device.

Cons

  • It is expensive considering that it is a fitness-only test.
  • There are no detailed workout plans or recommendations.

6. FitnessGenes, price range $49 – $199

Diet and Exercise Plans

Image: fitnessgenes.com

FitnessGenes is a company that uses DNA to help people get fitter and healthier.  The basic package includes DNA testing and a weeklong plan for genetic fitness. You can also purchase their other packages if you need longer workouts or nutrition plans.

You can choose from various packages for getting fit, losing weight, building muscle, and fitness.  The company will send you a kit to collect saliva samples. You can send it back in the prepaid envelope and wait for 2-3 weeks to receive your results.

You can access your report in the members’ section of their website.

The 42 genes tested include endurance, speed and power, recovery, alcohol metabolism, and sleep.

What you get

Twenty-two personal insights: Your DNA can reveal important information about your health and nutrition.

Three-two personalized actions: Actionable recommendations to help you get fitter and eat better.

In-depth gene analysis: An analysis of each gene can be accessed.

One-week genetic workout plan: Complete workout plans to help you reach your fitness goals. Premium plans with longer durations are also available.

Recipes and nutrition guide: Learn how your body reacts to different foods and nutrients. You will also find recommended recipes based on your DNA nutrition analysis.

Pros

  • Analysis of your fitness and nutrition DNA.
  • Get personalized diet and workout recommendations
  • One-week free workout plan
  • Get free recipes

Cons

  • Expensive.
  • To get a longer training program, you will need to pay more.

Upload Your Raw DNA Data

Many companies require you to provide a DNA sample for them to test your results. But a few allow you to upload raw DNA data if you have already tested with another company like 23andMe or AncestryDNA.

Before you upload raw data, make sure to check the requirements of your company. For example, certain companies only accept raw data.

Another thing to remember when uploading raw data is that you must upload the correct file. Most likely, it will be in a format called .txt.

Another company should not upload your DNA report. This will most likely be in a.pdf format. This is just a summary. You need the raw, unfiltered data.

Mixed Results are Common

The idea of using DNA for recommendations on the best diet and exercise plans is far ahead of science.  DNA reports may not be 100% reliable or accurate. Some insights only include approximations, while others are generalized ideas that apply to all people.

It is crucial to consult a doctor before taking any significant actions based on your DNA fitness test results.

Test with at least two companies to get a better idea of how complicated the tests can be.  Several people have tried, and the results were baffling.

Each company provided very different images, with certain aspects contradicting each other.  You can be sure of this: This is not an issue with DNA testing in general.

The results of ancestry DNA testing with different companies will be roughly the same. The only thing that might differ is how they have divided the globe and their names to different regions.  However, DNA fitness testing can vary significantly from one company to another.

You might find that one report that speed-focused activities are more effective than strength-based ones.  It is possible to discover that you are a low-fat person, but another test will show that carbohydrate reduction is more beneficial for your metabolism.

Even DNA tests that find the same genes may interpret them differently.

The Main Issue: Research

It seems that the biggest problem is the research these companies rely upon.  There is much solid research available on variants associated with different populations when it comes to ancestry tests. This is why your ancestry reports don’t differ much between companies.

A lot of research has been done on genetically inherited disorders and the genes responsible.  If you take 23andMe’s health test, you’ll discover you are at risk of roughly the same conditions that another DNA health screening will find.

There is very little research on diet and fitness.

Numerous studies have shown a connection between DNA and fitness, and diet. However, we are still trying to determine if specific genes play a role in your favorite sport or ideal weight loss diet.

One reason for this is that other factors than genetics can influence weight loss, fitness, and overall health.  There is a lot of conflicting research available.

In most cases, it is not conclusive. This is why diet and fitness reports that rely on this research are often inconclusive.

You will find some valuable insights in your report. However, it could also contain unhelpful suggestions.

That is why we insist that you consult an expert, such as a dietician, nutritionist, or physical therapist, to modify your diet and workouts based upon the report.

What Science Says So Far…

Science can be confusing, even when it comes down to DNA-based diets and fitness tests. The problem lies in the conflicting and inconsistent results of studies.

Experts agree that DNA diet and fitness testing are still unproven. So although it has its benefits, it is not wise to rely on only a DNA test for your exercise and diet decisions.

These are the key takeaways of various studies and experts.

  • There is some evidence that genetics can influence how your body processes carbs, proteins, and fats. However, there is no evidence that this information can help you lose weight or improve your fitness.
  • Research suggests that genetic variations among individuals do not result in a significant difference in the effect of specific diets and exercises. Two groups following the same diet and exercising regimens have very similar results regarding the weight they lose. This indicates that lifestyle factors and genetic variants significantly impact your weight loss and fitness than your genetic variations.
  • The effects of genes on different populations are very different. Studies involving Caucasian subjects may not apply to Asians or black people. And since most studies include people with European origins, the little we know about DNA and diet/fitness may not apply to other races.
  • There are many other genes that labs don’t test for and whose effect we don’t know on our health and fitness. While one gene is known to cause people to store more fat than normal, we don’t know if any other genes could also influence their fat intake.
  • A couple of studies have shown that providing personalized dieting and fitness information makes individuals more likely to make positive changes to their lifestyle and stick to them.

In Summary

A DNA diet or fitness test can provide valuable information. If you want to lose weight or get ripped, don’t think you need to take a fitness or diet DNA test.

These tests will tell you most of what you already know: exercise more, eat more vegetables, and avoid caffeine at night. But, unfortunately, these are things you don’t know how to translate into real-life changes. You should know how the DNA results will affect your daily life if you decide to take a test.

Some suggestions, such as yoga for joint health and eating more Omega-3 food, are even beneficial. If you don’t pay attention, other recommendations, such as switching to a low-carb diet to lose weight, could be harmful to your health.

Before doing anything, consult your doctor if you have any questions.

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