New Research Suggests a Blood Test Can Help Direct Our Workouts

July 15, 2021 by
Photo Credit: U.S. Blood Donations (
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Can’t decide if you should do Fran or row a 5k? If new research based out of Harvard University and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, MA holds any merit, then a blood test might be able to provide an answer.

The details: The research, published in Nature Metabolism in May, suggests a person’s blood protein signature — meaning all proteins made in the blood, other body fluids or tissues — might affect how we respond to different types of exercise. 

  • Currently, a protein signature can be used to diagnose a disease and determine how well that person might respond to a particular treatment, but until now, it has not been researched in terms of how it might affect our response to various workouts.
  • The study’s researchers sought to look at how exercise alters the molecular environment in the body, how those changes might impact health, and the range of those changes. To do so, they examined the blood profiles of 654 men and women and looked at their aerobic fitness at the start and end of five months of cardiovascular exercise. 
  • They also measured maximum oxygen intake via a VO2-max test before and after the five month program.

The result: Of the five thousand blood proteins identified, 147 proteins were associated with a person’s baseline level of fitness. Further, another 102 proteins were found to be associated with how fast a person’s body responds to exercise (they were linked with improvements in oxygen intake after following an exercise program). These proteins include ones that break down sugar and build bone. 

  • “Baseline levels of several proteins predicted who would respond to the exercise training protocol far better than any of our established patient factors,” said the conductor of the study, Dr. Robert Gerszten, the Chief of Cardiovascular Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts, in Science Daily.
  • Further, he told Times Now that the research suggests “molecular profiling tools might help to tailor” exercise plans. For example, someone with a specific bloodstream protein signature might suggest that this individual will benefit more from high intensity workouts or strength training than from walking, cycling or swimming. 

Seriously smart of pseudo science? We’re not the scientists here, but needs no introduction Rich Froning and the Mayhem crew recently started working with Inside Tracker, testing their blood to make micro training and nutrition adjustments so take that for what it’s worth. 

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