DNA fitness testing takes the guesswork out of diet, exercise and other lifestyle choices in one simple swab test. DOSE writer Charlotte gets the lowdown…
Alyssia Foster is a personal trainer – with an unconventional background. The economics graduate worked in operations and customer experience for years, before being offered a a DNA fitness test by her own personal trainer. When she found that the results confirmed her suspicions, she was sold.
Her optimal lifestyle, the test found, was a low carb, high good fat diet, with a low sensitivity to caffeine and a tendency towards endurance training. She tweaked her fitness and diet choices accordingly. “I felt like it worked for me and is not a ‘diet’ where you eliminate or restrict whole food groups but a maintainable lifestyle,” she says. She has since left her job and did a PT and DNA fitness and nutrition testing qualification, so she can offer the test to her own clients.
How it works
So how does DNA fitness testing work? “It looks at a number of genetic markers which have an impact on how each individual responds to different exercise styles and diets. The fitness markers determine your optimal power versus endurance split, your recovery speed, injury risk and capacity to get oxygen to your cells when working out. The diet part can also reveal your sensitivities to caffeine, requirement for certain vitamins and minerals, as well as your tolerance of lactose and potential for issues surrounding gluten.
You just do a 60-second saliva swab and then two weeks later, after laboratory analysis results come back, I study them and put together a bespoke plan for the client, so he or she trains and eats according to their optimal responses. It stops the guessing work. After all, one size does not fit all,” Alyssia says.
Putting it into practice
When put into practice, the results are fantastic. “If someone is heavily swayed towards endurance we do longer runs and higher repetitions with lower to moderate weights, whereas if someone has a high power split we focus on interval training, plyometrics and higher intensity workouts,” she says.
“I offer the test to people who aren’t clients, too – you don’t need a PT to apply this knowledge to your own life. It enables you to make informed decisions when deciding which exercise class to book or which meal you should go for so you eliminate the fad diet guessing game approach. Live a life that works for you and is genetically matched and not generically matched according to something that someone says worked for them.”
Contact @alyssiasfitness for more information.
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Charlotte is a London girl through and through. She sweats through spin and puffs through Pilates to justify trying the latest restaurants and devouring copious amounts of sweet potato fries, burrata and bread – preferably on holiday. Her favourite destinations include Italy, the Maldives and anywhere where the sun’s shining and there’s a strong breakfast buffet. She’s obsessed with walking, visiting farmers’ markets and reading. She’s also learning to cook. Wish her (and her husband) luck.