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How Can I Improve My Athletic Performance Using Blood Biochemistry?

By Perrin Braun, October 14, 2014

Are you looking to improve your endurance, speed, or flexibility?

You’re not alone—in preparation for the 2012 Olympics, one of the US Olympic track cyclists spent hours training and building her endurance. But to reach the next level in training, she needed to know what was going on inside her own body.

An InsideTracker blood analysis revealed that she was very low in vitamin D, which is a nutrient that helps the body absorb calcium and maintain strong bones. InsideTracker gave this athlete and her coach a set of simple interventions to increase her vitamin D. That helped to make a measurable difference in her performance.

And it contributed to her success in London where she won two Olympic silver medals in track cycling! 


Many other professional athletes from the NHL, NFL, NBA, MLS and MLB are signing up for InsideTracker blood analysis to find out the status of their unique blood biochemistry and what they can do to optimize it. But you don’t have to be an elite athlete to get benefit from InsideTracker. All athletes, from beginners to Olympians, can use their InsideTracker blood biochemistry results to improve endurance and speed, and to reduce the risk of injury.

Your blood analysis provides a unique window to your body, using select biomarkers as an evaluation metric to recommend steps to achieve optimal health. Unlike genetics, the selected biomarkers can be improved with simple interventions such as diet, supplementation, exercise, and training modifications. From just a small blood sample, InsideTracker is able to generate uniquely personal recommendations to optimize your athletic performance and reduce injuries.

“Athletes are willing to inject their bodies with drugs to get an advantage, so why not withdraw information to improve performance naturally?” said founder Gil Blander at a Sloan Sports Analytics presentation. Blander emphasized that in order optimize your body’s physical capabilities, it’s necessary to have scientific evidence about your unique blood biochemistry.                            

The InsideTracker team spent four years analyzing over one thousand research papers to find the biomarkers that are the most critical to improving your physical performance, and to identify the nutrition, supplements, lifestyle, and exercise interventions to optimize them. Roughly 3,000 potential biomarkers were narrowed down to 20 of the most essential for injury prevention and athletic performance.

What makes InsideTracker unique is its integration of an “optimal zone” in the blood analysis—a number that is specific to each person and takes into account his or her own unique demographic information such as: age, gender, ethnicity, activity level, as well as lifestyle and performance goals.

InsideTracker’s sophisticated algorithm called B.R.I.A.N (Biomarker Research Integrative Analysis Network) determines the optimal zones for each marker based on the latest peer-reviewed research. For example, the generic normal range for a woman’s level of ferritin, a blood marker for iron, is between 12 and 150 units. But InsideTracker recommends that an active woman in her 20s should have blood levels of ferritin between 40 - 150 units for optimum performance. 

If you're not in your optimal zone, the sophisticated B.R.A.I.N. algorithm ecommends effective and simple  intervention involving diet, supplements and training modifications that are specific to your needs. For example, if you have low stores of iron, B.R.I.A.N might make a three-pronged recommendation: add more iron-rich foods to your diet, take an iron supplement, and change your training routine to include some lower-impact workouts. 

The benefits of following your customized InsideTracker recommendations may include:

  • Enhanced performance
  • Increased metabolism
  • Reduced pain and injury
  • Improved sleep
  • Increased energy

From amateur athletes like Meghan Johnson and Rob Montgomery to professionals like Jarrod Shoemaker and Sarah Haskins, InsideTracker has helped athletes improve their performance.

In addition to its personalized recommendations, InsideTracker sophisticated algorithm called B.R.I.A.N guides you through the various, and sometimes conflicting, nutrition and fitness information available on the internet and in the media. By segmenting the vast landscape of nutrition and fitness information, the service provides you with the information that is relevant to you.

The InsideTracker team created B.R.I.A.N to produce the most accurate nutrition, supplements, exercise, and life style recommendations for its clients, based on cutting-edge scientific research, all extracted from peer-reviewed scientific literature.


Sky Christopherson, U.S. Cycling Team

Sky Christopherson, an Olympic coach, and an Olympic cyclist himself, noted that “by quantifying and optimizing all of these components and understanding how they’re all inter-related, you can create breakthroughs in performance.”

Sky summed up perfectly what InsideTracker is all about—by combining the latest scientific research with information about the unique biochemistry of your body, B.R.I.A.N helps you to become more informed, more fit, and a better athlete!

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