Health Testing Reviews for Muhdo

At a Glance

Editor's Rating:
4.5 out of 5 stars
Customer Service:
5 out of 5 stars
Clarity of Results:
4 out of 5 stars
References Cited:
3 out of 5 stars
Value for Money:
5 out of 5 stars

Summary

The genetic fitness report from Muhdo allowed me to switch between modes depending on my health and fitness goals, and provided diet and exercise recommendations based on my fitness goals as well as my DNA.

For me, the most useful parts of Muhdo’s service were the meal and workout plans, which were highly customisable, as well as flexible to my routine. I could view recipes and nutritional information for the different meal ideas, and watch videos showing me how to do my recommended exercises.

The information in the dashboard contained a lot of gym jargon, which I felt could have been presented in a more engaging way. I would also have liked to know what my individual genetic results were for the genes tested, which would be helpful to anyone interested in researching their genetic fitness.

Overall, I felt the test would be suitable for anyone looking to improve their fitness; whether they’re looking to become a bodybuilder, or simply get in shape.

Full Review

Muhdo is a genomic applications company specialising in personalised wellness, fitness and nutrition. The company was founded in 2016 by CEO Nathan Berkley, and is based in Ipswich, Suffolk.

Muhdo’s aim is provide an online platform for health, fitness, nutrition and wellbeing information to inspire and support their users to achieve a life that is healthier, happier and longer.

Product Expectations

From the Muhdo website, I saw that their genetic health test would provide health, fitness and nutrition recommendations personalised to my genetic needs. My results would be accessible via the ‘Muhdo You’ dashboard, which came with four different modes: Fit for Life, Fat Loss, Fitness & Endurance, and Muscle Building.

The “Fit for Life” mode was for those who aren’t gym rats, and would recommend health and nutritional changes to increase energy, focus and wellbeing.

The “Fat Loss” mode seemed pretty much does-what-it-says-on-the-tin, providing a range of health, fitness and nutritional recommendations to both help reduce body fat and maintain a healthy weight.

“Fitness & Endurance” would help improve endurance performance, while “Muscle Building” would help to build muscle, improve strength and get lean.

I could view a demo of the health dashboard that would be generated using my genetic data. The dashboard would cover five main areas: Sport, Diet, Vitamins & Supplements, Health & Lifestyle, and Psychology. There was also a “Key Data” page, which would provide an overview of my genetic results.

An update to the service would allow me to use my DNA data, goals and preferences to generate meal and workout plans, which sounded exciting.

Ordering Experience

Ordering through the Muhdo website was simple enough. I could pay all at once, or in monthly instalments. I was required to sign up using an email and password, and had to give my phone number and street address to submit my order. I could pay using a credit or debit card.

I had a look through the Terms and Conditions, which had nothing very alarming in them. In their Privacy Policy, I saw they had taken pains to ensure they were GDPR compliant. This was pleasing, though the policy was filled with so much lawyerly jargon that it was difficult to discover if they would share my data (particularly genetic data) with third parties. I couldn’t find anything definitive on the subject, and so although they neve said they would share my data, they also never said they wouldn’t.

Muhdo dispatched my DNA kit using first-class post, and it arrived within a couple of days. The kit resembled the one pictured on the site, and contained a cheek swab with clear instructions for taking a sample, which was quick and painless.

I returned my sample using the prepaid, pre-labelled envelope. About a week later, I received an email confirming that they had received my sample and that it had been sent to the lab. They estimated that it would take about six weeks to process.

The Results

My results were ready in about five weeks, which was pleasing! I received an email with a link to the Muhdo portal, where I signed in.

From here, I had four different dashboard modes: Fitness, Muscle Building, Fat Loss, and Fit for Life. Clicking on each gave me the same genetic results, but different recommendations depending on what my goals were.

Results Section: Fitness – Key Data

The first dashboard mode I looked at was “Fitness”, which would reveal how I could optimise my genetic potential to get fit.

The opening page was “Key Data”, which was dominated by a nutrition wheel breaking down my ideal diet into macronutrient percentages (shown below).

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My daily diet wheel for optimising fitness.

My daily diet wheel for optimising fitness.

My diet wheel was broken into four main macronutrients: carbs, saturated fats, unsaturated fats, and protein. To optimise my fitness, it was recommended that slightly more than half of my diet should consist of carbohydrates, with saturated fats forming about 7% , unsaturated fats forming about 11.6%, and protein forming a bit over a quarter (27%).

To the right of the wheel, they had also picked out some of my more fitness-relevant genetic results, such as “O2 Usage” (probably something to do with respiration), “Muscle Stamina” and “Anaerobic Threshold”.

Below the wheel was a table of fitness recommendations. These weren’t very easy for me to understand. My first recommendations were for building power, intended for a “Sprinter/Power Lifter”, which seemed like very different pursuits to me. The recommendations were “Muscle Time Under Tension (TUT)”, which was 12-18s, “Rest Between Maximal Efforts”, which was 3-5 minutes, and “Sessions per week”, which was 4 to 6.

I wasn’t sure what “Muscle Time Under Tension” was, though I guessed it was the time spent exercising. I gathered that “Rest Between Maximal Efforts” was something to do with interval training and the time I should rest between high-intensity workouts. “Sessions per week” was pretty self-evident, though I had expected more specific recommendations of what these sessions should be.

There were also results for “Build Muscle Stamina/Muscle Endurance” (which were in a similar format), and “Build CV Fitness”. I didn’t know what “CV” was (maybe “cardiovascular”?). The recommendations for this were a training time of “50 – 70m (45-65%MHR)”, and four to six sessions per week. I had no idea what “MHR” was, or what this percentage was meant to signify.

I expected there would be some information to explain all this, but there wasn’t. It seemed that if I was to understand and implement my training recommendations, I would need to consult with a personal trainer, or possibly contact Muhdo’s customer support. They hadn’t advertised any sort of complimentary consultation as part of their product, and so it was a bit disappointing that I was unable to make much of my fitness results by myself.

Results Section: Fitness – Sport

In the “Sport” section of my Fitness dashboard, there was a series of genetic results related to sport performance. My “Muscle Power” result was given as “Gifted”, which I was pretty pleased with, before I realised that this was actually pretty middling, and the lowest result was “Normal”! (See below.)

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My genetic results for Sport, beginning with “Muscle Power”.

My genetic results for Sport, beginning with “Muscle Power”.

Still, I was told that this result put me in the top 21% of the people tested by Muhdo so far. This was nice to know (sort of surprising, too), and I wondered which parts of my genome had given this result.

I discovered that I could flip the result box, which revealed which genes had been tested (though not the SNPs/genetic variants within them, or my individual genetic results), along with some more scientific information.

Scrolling down, I found I had been recommended certain fitness articles based on my DNA. The pictures for almost all of these articles featured heavily muscled men: aspirational sorts of pictures for men taking the test, but not exactly relevant for me.

I found I also had another set of fitness recommendations, this time also involving things like “Types of training protocols (positive)” and “Agonist/Agonist Supersets”.

Results Section: Fitness – Diet

The “Diet” section of the report was much easier for me to understand.

This broke down my genetic responses to different sorts of foods (carbs, sugar, fats, etc.) and also gave information on my diet traits, like “Likelihood to Snack”, “Metabolic Rate” and “Fat Distribution” (shown below).

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My genetic result for “Likelihood to Snack” in the Diet section.

My genetic result for “Likelihood to Snack” in the Diet section.

Some of these results didn’t seem very accurate for me. For instance, there was one for “Bitter Taste”, which said I was less likely to taste bitter. This isn’t the case, since I’m very sensitive to bitterness in things like tonic water, and other DNA results have corroborated this.

I was also said to be predisposed to a normal metabolic rate and was likely to yo-yo diet and have a normal likelihood to snack. I actually have a very fast metabolism and snack all the time. I wasn’t sure about the yo-yo diet result, since I’ve never been on a weight-loss diet. But even though these results didn’t ring true, they were consistent with other DNA health results I’ve had – which suggests that my environment or epigenetics (where certain genes are switched on or off) have something to do with my fast metabolism (or that many DNA health test companies use the same research!).

Other results were also consistent with other tests I’ve taken, like being at high risk of negative effects from saturated fats and sugar, and not being at risk of lactose intolerance – which I am not!

There were also recipe recommendations based on my genetic profile. The pictures for these didn’t look that appetising (they reminded me of the sorts of restaurant menus that have pictures in, which are never very appealing).

Results Section: Fitness – Vitamins & Supplements

The “Vitamins & Supplements” section was pretty useful, though not entirely clear. Again, many of my results were presented in terms of risks, with high risk indicating a risk of deficiency.

Other results, such as my one for omega-3, showed how much benefit I was likely to gain from these supplements. Omega-3 was considered a “Beneficial Supplement” for me, while I was likely to gain “No Benefit” from choline supplements (a mineral found in eggs, chicken, salmon, etc.).

Again, there was a series of Muhdo article recommendations based on my DNA.

Results Section: Fitness – Health and Lifestyle

The “Health & Lifestyle” section was something of a catch-all, containing “Caffeine Sensitivity”, “Genetic Bone Mineral Density” and genetic risks of obesity, type-2 diabetes, hypertension, and colds and flu.

I saw I had a “Slight Sensitivity” to caffeine, which I guess is true, since if I drink enough coffee I will eventually feel it! My bone mineral density result was average, which may be the case, since I have no idea how dense my bones are. I had an increased risk of being obese, which was consistent with the results of other tests I’ve taken (though not with my actual life), a slight genetic risk of type-2 diabetes, a normal risk of hypertension, and a slight risk of catching colds and flu. (Possible risk levels for this result were “Normal” and “Slight” – perhaps they meant “Slightly higher”?)

Results Section: Psychology

The final section was psychology, for which there was only one result (unsurprising, since we know very little about the genetics of personality). The trait was “Warrior vs Worrier”, which looked at a single gene (COMT).

Warriors, I read, were more likely to be aggressive, have a higher pain threshold, and make rash decisions (I must confess, I didn’t find this description very complimentary!). Worriers, on the other hand, had a tendency to overthink, have a lower pain threshold, and make better decisions.

I was neither Warrior nor Worrier, but fell somewhere in between, having a copy of each variant. This was a result I’d had before in previous tests, and so I felt it was accurate.

Results Section: Muscle Building, Fat Loss, and Fit for Life

I had a look through the Muhdo platform using the three other modes: Muscle Building, Fat Loss, and Fit for Life. Obviously, the genetic results remained the same, though Muhdo’s recommendations varied depending on what my goals were, most especially in the diet wheel.

For instance, my diet wheel for Muscle Building looked very different to the version in Fitness mode. It was recommended that about a third of my diet should consist of protein (good for building muscle mass!) and for carbs to form a bit less than half of my diet. Again, there were tailored fitness recommendations.

Results Section: Meal Plans

I was curious to see how the meal plan generator would work. First, I was asked what my main goal was: whether to build muscle, lose or gain weight, get in premium shape for endurance sports, or simply to improve my general health.

I was then asked if there were any specific foods I omit, and whether I planned to stop drinking alcohol. I was asked how many meals I could eat in a day, with the options being between two and six. Next, I was asked for my height and weight measurements, and to rate my activity level between “Completely bed bound” and “Elite athlete where activity is very high consistently”.

Based on my answers, it was recommended I eat 1980 kcal each day, which didn’t sound like much! I saw I should consume a quarter of these calories for my morning and evening meals, and half for my main meal at midday (I opted for the traditional three meals per day).

I could then choose my meals out of the options I was given to produce my meal plan (shown below).

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A sample from my meal options.

A sample from my meal options.

I was able to scroll through the options to select the ones I wanted for each meal each day, which would generate a meal plan for the week. I could still change the meals I’d selected, and generate a new meal plan at the week’s end.

Once I had created my meal plan, I was able to click on each food option to view the recipe, serving size, and nutritional information like calories, protein and sugars. I could select the meals I liked best for my favourite meals folder.

Results Section: Workout Plan

I was impressed with the meal plan feature, and I decided to generate a workout plan next. Again, I was asked what my fitness goal was, and this time was given the choice between bodybuilding, fat loss, health, powerlifting, and combined bodybuilding and fat loss.

I was asked to confirm my date of birth, and my height and weight measurements. I could choose how many days I wanted to work out, or leave that up to Muhdo. I could also choose how long I wanted each workout session to last. I was then asked whether I had a fully equipped gym, which would affect what sort of exercises I was recommended. They asked my level of training experience, which ranged from “Novice” to “Elite”. Lastly, I was required to give a few medical details.

My workout plan consisted of several different exercises for each session, which were once a day for four days per week. There were videos showing how to do each exercise, as well as written instructions, and how many sets to do of each.

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Part of my recommended workout routine.

Part of my recommended workout routine.

The workouts I’d been provided with all looked pretty doable, and I was pleased by all the instructions had been given: what to do, how to do it, how much, and how often.

I could scroll through my workout plan for each day, and each of the four weeks of the plan. If I didn’t like the plan, or if I had completed it or had a different goal, I could go to my account section to regenerate it.

Summary

The genetic fitness report from Muhdo allowed me to switch between modes depending on my health and fitness goals, and provided diet and exercise recommendations based on my fitness goals as well as my DNA.

For me, the most useful parts of Muhdo’s service were the meal and workout plans, which were highly customisable, as well as flexible to my routine. I could view recipes and nutritional information for the different meal ideas, and watch videos showing me how to do my recommended exercises.

The information in the dashboard contained a lot of gym jargon, which I felt could have been presented in a more engaging way. I would also have liked to know what my individual genetic results were for the genes tested, which would be helpful to anyone interested in researching their genetic fitness.

Overall, I felt the test would be suitable for anyone looking to improve their fitness; whether they’re looking to become a bodybuilder, or simply get in shape.

Please note we were invited to take this test free of charge.

See a description of this DNA test from Muhdo >