The Benefits of Running: What Elite Runners’ Blood and DNA Data Reveal

Running just once a week has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of death from cancer and cardiovascular diseases, and aerobic exercise is known to be beneficial for improving certain blood biomarkers including cholesterol and blood glucose. [1,2,3] But not everyone enjoys running, and some people just naturally seem to be better at it. Why is that, and how does running specifically impact those values? InsideTracker scientists took a closer look at both DNA and blood biomarker data ...

Are Plant-Based Diets Beneficial for Athletes?

It’s no surprise: Eating plants is good for health. Multiple studies have demonstrated that following a vegetarian or vegan diet not only promotes healthy aging, but is also protective against certain chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. [1-4] And there is an increasing sector of the population focused on simply reducing their consumption of animal foods. This shift towards a more plant-focused diet can specifically benefit amateur and elite athletes, as such an eating ...

How Gut Health Affects Athletic Performance

Research shows that a healthy gut microbiome can be beneficial for many aspects of overall health, wellness, and longevity. Optimizing gut health can promote immune system health, reduce inflammation, balance hormones, and improve the digestion and absorption of food—all actions that are also important components of being a healthy athlete. So, is there a connection between gut health and performance? Here's a synopsis of what the science says about the connection between a healthy gut and ...

The Effects of Inadequate Sleep and Poor Sleep Quality in Athletes

Athletes are always looking for ways to improve performance and take goals to the next level. Efforts for doing just that are often limited to waking hours: nutrition, hydration, recovery protocols, supplement routine and, of course, training itself. And despite all this, research shows that, on average, athletes neglect a critical performance tool: sleep. So how does inadequate sleep affect athletic performance? Interestingly, the oversight of sleep can impact performance, both directly and ...

The Impact of LDL Cholesterol Particle Size and ApoB on Heart Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 80% of cardiovascular disease—which includes heart disease and stroke—are preventable.[1] As such, InsideTracker has always measured key blood biomarkers associated with heart health, like various cholesterol particles. But since the research is always being updated, we're always looking to do the same to our system and the biomarkers we test. So, we sought out to evaluate two components of cholesterol particles ...

How Food Can Improve Mental Health and Symptoms of Seasonal Depression

It’s the time of the year again where the days grow shorter as the seasons change. As daylight fades from fall through winter, we’re more susceptible to suffer from seasonal depression, also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder, or S.A.D. According to Mental Health America, up to 5% of the population in the U.S. experiences seasonal depression.[1] But until more recently, the link between nutrition and mental health has been significantly overlooked. Here, we will take a closer look at how our ...

How Your Menstrual Cycle Can Affect Blood Test Results

We know that sex hormones fluctuate substantially throughout the menstrual cycle, but are other blood biomarkers influenced by your period, too? Yes—research shows that many blood biomarkers (including those in your iron, lipid, and inflammation groups) can vary substantially according to menstrual cycle phase. And these fluctuations can have important implications when interpreting blood test results. In general, it's best practice to get blood tests done at the same point in your menstrual ...

How Underfueling Impacts Performance—And How to Prevent It

It’s no secret that many athletes or active individuals feel pressure to look a certain way or hit a specific number on the scale. But this mindset can often lead to overtraining or underfueling, both of which are harmful to an individual's mental and physical health. And though the occasional skipped snack or gel won't substantially affect long-term physical health, consistent underfueling, particularly during bouts of intense training, can impact performance, recovery, and overall health in ...
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