Whether you’re a professional athlete, marathoner, workout warrior, or someone who enjoys being active, we all have one thing in common: achieving a better version of ourselves. While a professional athlete has a greater physical demand than someone who goes to the gym a few times a week, athletes and non-athletes still experience feeling sluggish and are looking for solutions.
One powerful way to help identify the source of exhaustion and optimize performance is a simple blood test that only needs a few drops to measure specific biomarkers. A biomarker is a measurable indicator of a biological process or condition used to diagnose or predict disease or determine the effectiveness of treatment. In simpler terms: biomarkers are characteristics of the body which have a direct influence on our health. The insights gleaned from this test benefit those who want to maximize their time on the field or in the gym. Regardless of your commitment level, measuring key biomarkers is one of the most reliable ways to ensure you optimize your performance so you can crush the leaderboard in spin class.
Important Biomarkers Athletes Should Monitor
Iron deficiency is one of the most common nutritional deficiencies worldwide, especially in women. Ferritin is a protein that stores iron and is the best indicator of iron. Female athletes, in particular, face a greater risk of low iron, as iron is lost during heavy training, running, and sweating. Some common symptoms of low iron are muscle cramps, headaches, irritability, and a weakened immune system.
Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH)
The pituitary gland produces TSH and regulates thyroid hormone production by the thyroid gland. TSH levels are affected by a number of factors, including stress, diet, and certain medications. High TSH levels may indicate an underactive thyroid, which can cause fatigue and diminish your ability to exercise effectively. If you have a thyroid condition, regular testing can help you keep an eye on your TSH levels and put your mind at ease that exercise isn’t impacting your health further.
Cortisol affects several aspects of the body and mainly helps regulate your body’s response to stress, which is why it’s often referred to as the ‘stress hormone’. Cortisol breaks down fats, proteins, and sugars for fuel you need to push through that CrossFit met-con or run that last mile. However, when you put your body under too much pressure for too long, Cortisol remains elevated in your system, putting a greater risk of injury or sickness. Knowing what Cortisol is doing to you is important to allow your body to recover and perform better.
Testosterone is a hormone primarily produced in the testicles for men and the ovaries and adrenal glands for women. This hormone plays several critical roles for an athlete. It can increase muscle mass, sharpen memory, boost energy, and stronger bones. It’s important for athletes to know after early adulthood, testosterone levels drop each year, approximately 1% per year, throughout a male’s life. This may lead to physical changes such as increased body fat and decreased bone density, which is not ideal for any athlete.
We need vitamin B12 to produce and maintain red blood cells and DNA and in the function of brain and nerve cells. When we don’t absorb enough B12 to make red blood cells, our body’s oxygen capacity and endurance for athletic performance decrease. Low vitamin B12 or a deficiency can lead to fatigue, anemia, and neurological problems. Luckily, vitamin B12 is relatively easy to correct and only needs a simple blood test to measure your level.
This ‘sunshine vitamin’ plays a significant role in our body. Vitamin D is linked to muscle strength, mass, and bone health, and low levels can lead to decreased testosterone, especially in men. However, most of us don’t get enough from food and sunshine to produce adequate levels of vitamin D. While everyone should meet the recommended daily amounts, it’s even more important for athletes to monitor their levels to boost performance and reduce the risk of injury.
Benefits of Healthyr's Athletic Performance Test
Utilizing Healthyr’s at-home blood test, athletes and active individuals can look at different biomarkers, like hormonal imbalances, that are important to overall performance. Knowing your biomarkers gives you insights into how your body responds to training and exercise and helps you make data-driven decisions to improve your performance that prevents injury and fights fatigue.
Accessible and Affordable
Some biomarkers like glucose and cholesterol are typically in standard blood tests when you have your yearly physical. But many other vital ones, such as testosterone and vitamin D, are not making it difficult to have these tested. Our tests are equivalent to clinical checkups, and you can skip the waiting room. When you receive your results, you can book a virtual appointment for as little as $15 – no insurance or leaving the house required.
Share Your Results
When you purchase our Athletic Performance Test, you will be given access to a secure online portal to view your results. You also can download your health screening results and share them with your healthcare provider or coach to help guide you in making informed decisions about your health and training methods.
Monitor and Track
Healthyr provides a breakdown of your results so you can easily track changes in your biomarkers over time. Remember that biomarkers are dynamic so they can change for various reasons. We recommend testing three to four times a year to show a bigger picture of what is happening inside your body.
We all strive to do better each day in the gym, whether we’re pro athletes or someone who enjoys being active. Measuring key biomarkers is one of the best ways to optimize your health and athletic performance. No matter your commitment level, you can dial in your nutrition, recovery, training, and performance with Healthyr’s Athletic Performance Test.
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