Blood panels are commonly associated with visits to a primary care physician, or something that only comes into play when you are sick. Doctors have long turned to blood testing when diagnosing medical problems. But today, an Athletic Blood Profile can be used to ensure you have what you need to maximize your performance.
If you have members that are becoming discouraged with their progress, consider recommending them to take an Athletic Blood Profile to help them understand what might be holding them back, and how they might change things up for improvement.
What do Athletic Blood Profiles say? There are a few companies that offer these panels. Three are Wellness FX, Blueprint for Athletes and Inside Tracker. These companies’ blood profiles are tailored to athletes. While they do collect measurements on important aspects of our general health such as cholesterol, triglycerides and glucose, their focus is on providing you with information to help improve metabolism and cognition, optimize mood, build muscle, and reduce inflammation.
The information is digestible and actionable. What good is the information if it is only understandable to a doctor? Though a doctor can, and in many cases, should be consulted to review your results — if you have areas that cause you concern for example — these companies provide you with meaningful insights on where you rank against the normative population, and how you can improve the readings through dietary changes and other means.
You will be provided with information on your vitamin and mineral levels. The information can show deficiencies or even areas where you may have higher than desired results — possibly through over supplementation. Further, you will receive hormone panels. I personally believe these to be the most valuable.
Hormone panels will inform an athlete whether their hormone balance is optimized for athletic training and performance. If your markers come back with abnormal readings, these companies provide valuable insights into steps you can take to bring them to appropriate levels. Of course, you can also take the results to your doctor and receive their professional advice.
Retesting is important. Once you have your results, you will likely find that one or more markers are out of range — meaning somewhat abnormal. That was the case for me; my wife’s results, however, came back pretty perfect.
I visited my doctor with my results and the recommendations provided by my profile vendor. He reviewed the results and helped me set up a strategy for addressing the issues.
How do you know that things have improved? Retesting them is key. By retesting on a periodic basis, you can ensure your markers remain balanced as you age. And if you are like me, you may need to know if you’ve finally got things right.
Of course, the best test is to test in the gym. In my case, after taking steps to address the issues, I began to see WOD times improve and lifting PR’s, something that had evaded me for the previous 12 months.
Help your members maximize their results. If you have members that are approaching you disappointed in their performance, recommend they get an athletic blood profile completed. Don’t play doctor; let their test identify deficiencies for them, and let them develop a strategy with their doctor. You and I, we should simply continue to work with them as a Coach and encourager.
By Todd Seabaugh, an Affiliate holder for CrossFit St. Louis and a blogger at mylifecovered.net. For more information, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit mylifecovered.com.