Lessons from the World Cup: From the Pitch to the Boardroom

By Gil Blander, PhD Jul 30, 2014

 

The World Cup illustrated yet again that a small moment in time can mean the difference between winning and losing. Many elite athletes are using physiological data about their sleep, heart rate variability, and blood biomarkers to get the advantage. Like professional athletes, business executives face constant travel, high stake pressure, and extreme competition — all stressors that can create strain and breakdown to their bodies. As a result, many entrepreneurs and corporate leaders are now monitoring fatigue and well-being with the same services and devices one would see with national and professional sport teams. These corporate athletes have recognized the power of physiological data in helping them gain the advantage in their field.executives

One of the top stars of the World Cup was Lionel Messi, who in business terms is the CEO of his team. During the last game against Germany, several analysts hinted that arguably the greatest player in the world was tired, resulting in Argentina losing against a very deep Germany team. In business, every day a company competes and the careers of executives are not a short window like professional athletes, but 30 to 50 years with the top talents. Instead of a few months for an offseason, a high level executive has a few weeks at most. The similarities and differences make executives a special breed of athlete that needs to be optimized year round and for decades. With all of the stress and demand on executives, it is no wonder that they are pursuing the best trainers and nutritionists to keep them on the right track. More and more executives see the relationships between their personal fitness data and how those numbers can ensure they are prepared to help their companies’ own bottom line.

 

The InsideTracker Difference

While popular monitoring devices such as Fitbit and Jawbone Up provide some data about activity level and sleep, in order to truly understand how to reach peak performance, tracking what is happening inside the body is key. With blood analysis, athletes and executives can do a deep dive into their internal biochemistry and get information to help them perform at their best. Our service and software, InsideTracker, is seeing a surge of business leaders investing in quarterly blood testing to get key performance indicators of their physical performance and wellness. InsideTracker’s Performance Panel of 20 core biomarkers is already popular with NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, and MLS athletes; now many in the business world are selecting the test for their own advantages.

InsideTracker disrupts the typical approach to physiological monitoring with blood testing that focuses on prediction and prevention, the opposite of traditional medicine in which blood analysis is used to confirm health problems or diseases. In contrast, the InsideTracker service provides different blood test panels and options focused on helping customers to optimize their well-being and performance. InsideTracker blood tests are available at more than 1,800 partner labs across the U.S. or by arrangement at the customer’s home or office, allowing for easy and rapid testing.

Using InsideTracker empowers our customers by giving them their data, and exposing the science behind every one of their personalized recommendations. After a person’s results are collected, the data are analyzed and each biomarker score is uploaded to the user’s personal Dashboard. The InsideTracker dashboard displays far more than just the biomarker results. Detailed graphs show how each user’s results compare to their personal optimized zone, which is based on their age, gender, ethnicity, activity level and goals. In addition, the Dashboard provides evidence-based recommendations derived from peer-reviewed scientific research to help users optimize each marker for better health and performance. Finally and most importantly, precise nutrition and lifestyle recommendations are loaded onto an interactive decision support system for the user.

Actionable Results

Executives are already using InsideTracker analytics to make changes in exercise, recovery, and diet to gain a competitive edge over their rivals. One example is Steve, who at age 61 found himself feeling drained and missing his mental focus and sharpness. InsideTracker’s Ultimate panel revealed a staggeringly low score of Free Testosterone, the active form of testosterone responsible for many important functions. He was also deficient in two of the other 29 essential biomarkers measured by the Ultimate panel and started making dietary changes immediately. After reducing his social drinking slightly and adding an hour of sleep, the combination of lifestyle changes made a noticeable and measurable difference in his next blood test — and in his energy and mental acuity. 

You don’t have to be a Vice President or professional athlete to take advantage of InsideTracker’s testing and lifestyle guidance. The same standard of care used with optimizing elite athletes and business leaders should be available to anyone who is looking to make measurable improvements. InsideTracker’s convenient service with evidence-based guidance instead of guesswork is a no-brainer for many of our customers, and we think it should be a no-brainer for you as well.

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