Genetic testing is big business. Whether you are researching your ancestry or hoping for an edge in your chosen sport you might have considered a DNA test.
For those unfamiliar, it might sound expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. Some coaches now specialise using systems such as Fitness Genes, the system we use at Spokes. You get a kit in the mail, put some saliva in it and return it, and within a couple of weeks you have a whole mass of data which gives you potential markers for certain depositions.
Aren’t there some risks? Well, not really. If you’re concerned that your spit sample might be highjacked, you’d probably better stop blowing snot all over the road too… of course the raw results (what you do not see) could be intercepted, but these testing companies spend millions to ensure your data is secure, after all, it is in their interest to have zero lost data. What about the results you do see? As I mention above, you don’t see the raw results, but a presented version of what your DNA suggests. In this manner, the only application of the data you receive would be a positive one. In short don’t worry, you’re not going to get cloned…
What you’ll find out is factors such as whether your body runs better on carbohydrates or fats, if there are any likely intolerances, whether you are sensitive to certain foods, alcohol or caffeine. From a performance perspective; how fast your body will recover, whether your genes suggest you are suited to intense power training or steadier aerobic training. The better testing companies constantly update their ‘traits’ (markers that suggest you fall into a certain category), so you’ll always find out more info about yourself, long after you’ve received your initial results.
Armed with all this info you can really tailor your training to your exact needs. If anything, I recommend this type of test solely to find out what nutritional strategy you should employ (based on whether your DNA suggests you run better on fats or carbohydrates). The tests are relatively inexpensive too, up to a couple of hundred pounds/dollars at most for what could be some impressive performance benefits. At minimum, it cuts a lot of the guesswork out and will save you valuable time.
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