What a DNA test can tell you about your body

Your individual genetic variances can deliver a huge amount of valuable insight – but how does a DNA test work, and what can it tell the average cyclist?

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Why is it that two riders who train with identical sessions can improve at different rates? Or that one person can stay healthy while eating poorly, while another loses shape quickly?

Many of the answers lie in our genetic code, and in particular the individual variances between one person and another. These variances can affect the body’s response to exercise, its ability to process certain vitamins and minerals, and even how you sleep.

Muhdo Health is one company pioneering the science of genomics, and they make it surprisingly easy to unlock valuable information about your body. Muhdo has worked with world-class athletes including national road race champion Connor Swift (Madison-Genesis) to help them understand their genes and improve their performance.

The process is simple, and it begins by ordering a testing kit which is sent to your home. Simply take a saliva sample using the swab provided, return the kit in the supplied pre-paid envelope (UK only), and Muhdo’s scientists will get to work analysing your sample.

The results of your test are then prepared into a dashboard that you can view on the Muhdo website.

The dashboard provides information across a range of genetic indicators. For example you could learn about your natural disposition towards certain kinds of activity, such as power/sprinting or endurance.

With your results in place, you can choose one of four modes – fit for life, fat loss, fitness & endurance, and muscle building – and this will allow Muhdo to generate advice personalised to you.

If your body is relatively inefficient at processing certain micronutrients then your Muhdo dashboard can advise you on foods that will alleviate the risk of deficiencies. Answer some simple questions about your dietary preferences, habits and activity level, and Muhdo will generate a personalized meal planner tailored to your body and your fitness goals.

Armed with information about your body’s likely responses to different types of exercise, as well as the answers to a few more questions, Muhdo can generate a workout planner to take advantage of your strengths and mitigate your weaknesses.

Each month you’ll receive an update with information about a specific aspect of your health, such as injury prevention, heart health, sleep management and stress. Once again, this combines insight about your body with personalised recommendations on how to be as happy and healthy as possible.

If you sign up to Muhdo’s epigenetics programme then you can go even further.

Your genetic profile never changes – it’s the essence of what makes you, you – but the way that these genes express themselves in your body varies with your diet, your environment, and your lifestyle. The study of these changes is called epigenetics, and it allows Muhdo to track your ongoing level of health and fitness, and provide advice on everything from preventative healthcare to athletic performance.

For more information, visit muhdo.com.

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