There's a lot of things athletes will do to get an edge. And getting a few vials of blood drawn isn't close to one of the craziest tactics that can help shave a few seconds off of a PR, reach new gains in the weight room or dominate the leaderboard in a spin class. A blood test is like a reality check. Is what you're doing actually working for you or against you?
How Can Blood Testing Help Athletes?
Blood testing can measure biomarkers related to performance and recovery. Biomarkers are objective measures of substances in the blood (think cholesterol, blood sugar and even hormones). But certain markers can indicate...
- Whether or not you're primed and ready to perform at your best
- If you're overtraining and need more rest and recovery
- If you're at risk for fatigue, injury and muscle pain
For example, vitamin D is a biomarker that can be measured in a blood test, and it plays essential roles in the body. Vitamin D is tied to muscle mass, strength and bone health (with the help of calcium). Around half of the global population has insufficient vitamin D levels.
Athletes aren't immune to low vitamin D levels. In fact, a 2016 study found that 32% of professional basket players were deficient in the nutrient and 47% had low levels. Low vitamin D levels may indicate a stress fracture is on the horizon. So training hard with scary low levels of vitamin D is a recipe for disaster, whereas training with optimized vitamin D levels sets you up for success.
Not quite. Blood tests included in yearly physicals don't include all the biomarkers needed to give you a full picture of your athletic wellbeing. And the blood work you usually get back from those tests just tells you if you fall in the vast pit of normal. So you're either normal or clinically high or low. But athletes and people with lofty fitness goals don't operate at normal. They demand more from their bodies. Their bodies are finely tuned machines. And to bring their bodies to the highest level of performance, they need more granular data than what normal can offer.
With InsideTracker. InsideTracker is an ultra-personalized nutrition and performance system that analyzes up to 43 biomarkers in your blood. InsideTracker not only gathers the data on those biomarkers, but it's also a sophisticated algorithm that provides an optimal range for each one based on your age, sex, ethnicity and activity level. But the algorithm doesn't stop there. For any unoptimized biomarker, you receive personalized food, supplement and lifestyle recommendations to help optimize it.
InsideTracker also syncs with Garmin smartwatches and FitBits to integrate personalized recommendations based on heart rate and sleep.
What Biomarkers Does InsideTracker Measure That Relate to Athletic Performance and Recovery?
InsideTracker has identified five main blood biomarkers that relate to performance and recovery. And yes, one of them is vitamin D. All five of these biomarkers are measured as part of the Ultimate Plan. Follow this link to learn more about the biomarkers most closely tied to performance and recovery and the risk of unoptimized levels.
Ready to Get Tested?
It's super simple. InsideTracker plans can be purchased online. To get your blood drawn you can make an appointment at a local Quest Diagnostics center or have a mobile phlebotomist come to your house. No doctors offices, no hassle with insurance, and oh yeah, 25% off your purchase.