Tennis Burnout? Here's How To Fix It

By Katie Mark Aug 03, 2016

The professional tennis season is 11 months long, and physical demand forces players to push their body to the limit for an entire year. Consequently, headlines announcing players pulling out of tournaments often cite fatigue as the culprit. Some players have opted to withdraw from tournaments leading up to the Rio Olympic games on August 6th in order to give their bodies some much needed rest. However, those participating in the Olympics may then experience fatigue leading into the U.S. Open, which follows just a few weeks after.

Pro tennis players' fatigue, for the most part, results from the season’s demands of training, matches, and traveling – with minimal recovery time. But, you don't have to be a pro to feel the effects of fatigue in sport; some InsideTracker users lament feeling a "lack of energy" during their own tennis matches. Here are some biomarkers that might be to blame for tennis burn-out.

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Beetroot Juice: Can It Really Boost Your Blood & Performance?

By Katie Mark Feb 09, 2016

Mom always told you to eat your beets. As usual, her instruction was on point. The health benefits of beets are well documented, but there’s a new trend on the performance-enhancing block in the form of juice — and not the illegal kind. Beetroot juice is all the rage these days, and it turns out it could be the key to unlocking increased speed and endurance in everyone from weekend warriors to seasoned pros.

Beetroot juice also packs a powerful cardiovascular health punch. That makes it the perfect topic for February’s theme of red: there's Valentine's Day, National Heart Health Month, and of course, February 5th was National Wear Red Day, the American Heart Association’s annual initiative to raise awareness about heart disease and stroke in women. Whether you decide to wear red or drink it, there’s more than one reason to try beetroot juice. We've even created a recipe so you can make your own!

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How Blood Sugar Can Change Your Body & Brain

By Katie Mark Dec 01, 2015

Fasting glucose is linked with mood, sleep and cognition. Optimizing your blood glucose (better than having a "normal" level) may be the best bet for maintaining sharpness throughout the day and feeling better overall. The misconception about fasting glucose is that many believe it's a measure used to prevent diabetes only, rather than something measured in the process of improving your mind and body. In this blog we explain why fasting glucose is important, why you should get tested, and provide an argument for why you should pay attention to this vital part of your metabolism every day.

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Cardio Training: Beyond Calories and Intervals

By Katie Mark Nov 19, 2015

HIIT_and_Cardio

Sprint, rest, repeat? Or a 45-minute jog on the treadmill? Intense bursts of movement in high intensity interval training (HIIT) do more than give you bang for your workout-buck in terms of calorie burning. But which is the prescription for better health? The mantra that HIIT workouts are more effective for fat loss does not mean that we should throw steady state cardio (SSC) – working at a lower intensity for extended periods – at the bottom of our training schedule.

In this blog, we’ll investigate HIIT and SSC and their effect on biomarkers such as glucose, testosterone, and creatine kinase. We’ll also discuss the physiological adaptations that result from both. Ultimately, a blended approach of HIIT and SSC may be the winning combo.

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Meal and Recovery Drink Timing: Does it Matter?

By Katie Mark Oct 19, 2015

Some who pursue low body fat and chiseled muscle bellies may demonstrate carbophobia at night or frantically calculate the optimal ratio of carbs to protein in their shake following a workout. This dietary approach focuses on nutrient timing, a strategy of when to consume protein, carbohydrate and fat – whether it is pre-, peri- or post-exercise – to successfully nutrient partition, or direct calories to muscle instead of fat.

Yet, is the lack of dietary flexibility and popular behavior of post-workout nutrition backed by science?

In this blog, we will explore nutrient timing and the studies that challenge the dogma. Then we will help you evaluate whether or not timing your nutrients is worth the stress or if you should simply focus on the bigger picture: the quality of calories and total daily caloric intake.  

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Body Fat Measurement: The Options that are Best for You

By Katie Mark Sep 22, 2015

Measuring our body fat and pinpointing its location on our body is one of the best ways to assess our health status and health risks. Fortunately, there are options to measure body fat – from body calipers, to the gold standard of DXA scans. In this blog we review the best options in total body fat measurements that the general public can do on their own, including information on how fat distribution within that percentage matters for health.

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The Lean Machine: How Your Body Fat Affects Your Health and Biochemistry

By Katie Mark Sep 14, 2015

Visible fat people fear, yet, this fat might not be the only villain with health and human performance.  There is a more dangerous factor than just body fat percentage, the distribution of fat, linked to numerous health risks. In this blog, we will explore the importance of body fat distribution, and, how it affects our health. We will evaluate the research on waist circumference (WC) – not weight – and how it affects biomarkers such as fasting glucose, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, testosterone and sex hormone binding globulin.

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Are Recovery Drinks helping You Fuel Up or Fatten Up?

By Katie Mark Mar 17, 2015

The key to getting bigger and stronger may not involve calculating the right ratio of carbs to protein for muscle growth post-workout. And forget the immediate anabolic window for replenishing muscle glycogen stores following a workout. We found research that challenges the exercise science dogma of an immediate carb-centric post-workout fueling. In this blog, we will explore better strategies to optimize muscle protein synthesis and muscle glycogen. Read below to see how InsideTracker data and recommendations can help you reevaluate your post-workout food no matter your dietary lifestyle choice or exercise regime by monitoring key biomarkers.

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From Muscle Fiber to Dietary Fiber: New Connections with Muscle Gain and Fat Loss

By Katie Mark Feb 05, 2015

When we read the words “dietary fiber” on cereal box labels and in trendy fitness articles, we first think about how it affects our digestive health.  However, we found new research demonstrating how increasing your dietary fiber intake can help you increase muscle mass and decrease body fat. In this article, we will explain the differences between fiber’s two forms and look at research investigating fiber’s impact on four biomarkers InsideTracker improves: cholesterol, blood glucose, sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) and testosterone. Learn how InsideTracker can help you maximize your health by tracking your biomarkers during a research-based dietary intervention such as increased fiber intake.

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Low Carb Diets: Key Biomarkers to Monitor

By Katie Mark Dec 30, 2014

 

 

The concern for safety is a common theme in diets that reduce dietary carbohydrate intake. The ketogenic diet is a very low-carbohydrate diet requiring less than 50 grams of carbohydrates per day to reach ketosis, a metabolic state in which fat is utilized for energy instead of carbohydrates.

In the first part of a two-part series on the ketogenic diet, we looked at the molecular basis of energy generation, ketosis, and the physiological response when the body starts using ketones and fats as its primary energy source. We compared the ketogenic diet to other popular diets and acknowledged the controversies surrounding a very low-carbohydrate diet. Now, we will look at research investigating the effects of the ketogenic diet on critical biomarkers that InsideTracker can help you monitor, such as glucose, testosterone, cortisol and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP).

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