Your Blood Type and Fitness

From my recently published book Reboot Your Bod, this is an excerpt on the section about blood types and how they influence your diet, lifestyle and activity levels. By Gavin Watterson

Your blood type whether it is A, B, O or AB can give us a picture of a variety of influential traits that can identify you; as surely as DNA analysis can.

According to Dr. Peter D’Adamo, who is regarded as one of the major pioneers of the blood-type diet revolution, your type is very important and needs to be considered when thinking about food, fitness and rest.

Often we live in a one-size-fits-all type of situation with our families: same dinner together, similar sleeping schedules and other things. However, if you are type O and your wife is type A, you will both need to customize your routines for optimal health, wellbeing and fitness.

Incorporating the characteristics of specific blood types into your diet can and does influence positive physiological and psychological change. Your body, it is understood, responds to specific or favorable foods directly attributed to blood-type recommendations. It must be pointed that blood type is just one of many factors that may determine which foods or nutritional plans that may be optimal for you or a family member.

Below are the blood types and the recommended foods.

Type O

This is by far the oldest blood type, dating back to at least 40,000 B.C. People that are O blood types are universal donors for all blood groups. Ancestrally, this comes from hunters/gatherers, which is why this blood type thrives on high-protein and high-purine (heavier/oilier proteins) foods. O-types do very well on higher purine (red meats, organ meats, mackerel, salmon, anchovies, lamb or darker game meats) foods.

This blood group does not do well on grains, particularly wheat (gluten), as they cannot digest them properly. Ideally, grains should be removed entirely from the diet of O-types. People with this blood type do well performing and engaging in lots of vigorous exercise such as weight training, aerobics, running and swimming.

Type B

This blood type emerged from the Himalayan highlands between 10,000 and 15,000 B.C. It is typically descended from nomads and tribes who dominated the Eurasian continent. B-types should eat a balanced and varied diet containing meats and vegetables. B-types respond well to moderate exercise such as swimming, Pilates and walking.

Type A

This blood group emerged from Neolithic farmers and cultivators. “Extreme” A blood- type people are the only ones out of all the blood groups that do well on vegetarian diets. Carbohydrates need to make up the majority of the macronutrient intake for this particular blood type. A-types typically do very well on those complementary or second-class vegetarian protein sources such as soy, beans, pulses and lentils. They also do well on most, if not all, grains.

The A-type people will naturally prefer whiter or leaner sources of meats and fish that are typically lower in purines. An optimal ratio for A-types is 70 percent carbohydrates, 20 percent protein and 10 percent fat.

Activities for A-types should be gentle, such as yoga, golf or meditation.

Type AB

This blood group is the rarest type, with only around five percent of the world’s population being part of it. AB-types emerged from A-types and B-types mixing as recently as 1,000 years ago. They obviously inherit characteristics from both groups.

These types must determine their body type and physicality, as this will determine whether they should eat like an A-type or B-type. AB-types are best suited to engaging in forms of relaxation and exercises that shift their nervous system into a parasympathetic (calming) state like A-types.

The Rhesus Factor

This comes from observations made by studying rhesus monkeys. It is defined as the positive (+) or negative (-) aspect that follows anyone’s blood type.

It also has to do with certain proteins, the most important being the D antigen that is missing in rhesus (-) negative blood. It may be useful in determining compatibility of males and females for conception and procreation.

Exercise for your Type

Dr. Adamo adds that “many factors interact to determine your envelope of tolerance for exercise. Factors like proper nutrition, hydration, rest, prior training, level of fitness, overall levels of stress in other parts of your life, and many other factors can influence your envelope … including blood type.”

He adds that, “In a simplified sense, physical activity, even when it is not exhaustive, usually leads to elevated blood levels of stress hormones like catecholamines and cortisol. However, following a period of training, most people will produce less stress hormones in response to exercise. This process could be described by the term conditioning. Generally speaking, elite or experienced athletes do not experience exercise internally as a stressful event, even if they slightly push past their normal training routine. They have conditioned their physiology, their nervous system and their endocrine system, and so are not experiencing even a high level of exercise as a stress.

“The key factor in exercise is to train within the envelope so exercise can act as an anti-stress mechanism. Exercise past the envelope and you might actually be adding more stress into the equation. The key is moderation, and blood type helps set some of the limits to the envelope and can act as a guide to allow you to use exercise to improve your health.”

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Gavin Watterson is a “Lifestyle Consultant,” a new breed of advanced personal trainer. Look for his highly anticipated new book entitled Reboot Your Bod, which will be available on his website at Ultimate Fitness Singapore.