While getting your blood drawn is generally quick and painless, it’s still often a stressful and sometimes confusing experience for many people. How you need to prepare, what you need to bring, and where you need to go can vary slightly from test to test. InsideTracker plans (besides Blood Results Upload and Home Kit) require a professional—called a phlebotomist—to draw your blood either at a lab or in your home.
Here’s what you need to know to prepare for your blood draw with InsideTracker.
8 things to know to prepare for your blood draw
1. Fast for 12 hours before the blood draw
To get the most accurate biomarker measurements from your blood draw, be sure to fast for at least 12 hours before your test. While all food and most beverages are off the table during this fast, black coffee is ok and drinking plenty of water is encouraged.
2. Schedule your blood draw for the morning
Fasting overnight is often the easiest choice for most people, and we recommend scheduling your test for the morning. In addition, many biomarkers are best measured in the morning.
3. Do not engage in strenuous exercise for two days before the blood test
Performing intense exercise the day before your draw may result in elevated levels of blood biomarkers like the liver enzymes ALT and AST, creatine kinase, and hsCRP—which are related to muscle breakdown and inflammation. While we recommend a 2-day rest period for most people, beginner weight-lifters should avoid weightlifting for at least 7 days before their InsideTracker blood test.
4. Do not drink any alcohol for at least 24 hours before the blood test
Drinking alcohol the night before your blood test can acutely raise blood sugar (glucose), fat (triglyceride), and the liver enzyme GGT. We recommend refraining from alcohol for 24 hours for the most accurate results.
5. Do not take supplements within 24 hours of your blood draw
Taking supplements can also acutely impact some of your biomarkers. Similar to our recommendation for alcohol, we suggest refraining from supplements for a full 24 hours so that nothing lingers in your blood and your levels reflect an accurate baseline for your body. For those who receive vitamin or mineral IV infusions, keep in mind that this will cause blood levels to remain elevated for a few months. If you're supplementing with Biotin supplement, refrain from taking it for at least 72 hours before your test.
6. Continue medication use as recommended by your physician
While it’s a good idea to refrain from taking supplements right before your blood draw, you should continue to follow your physician’s recommendations for medications—both over-the-counter and prescription. Please note that pain relievers like Ibuprofen and other NSAIDs may acutely impact the liver enzyme GGT. And for some people, platelets (which work to clot the blood) may appear slightly lower than normal as many of these medications work by thinning the blood.
7. Drink extra water before the blood test to ensure proper hydration
Drinking water before your blood draw is important, as more water increases your blood volume. Being sufficiently hydrated can make it easier for the phlebotomist to find veins and ultimately quicken your appointment.
8. Bring the required materials for...
If you’re getting your blood drawn at a Quest Diagnostics lab (click here to learn how to make an appointment) all you need to bring with you is a photo ID. That’s it! You've already paid for your test with InsideTracker, so no additional payment is required at the lab. And you don’t need any insurance information—the lab will already have the relevant information that tells the phlebotomist which tests to draw.
Mobile blood draw
If you live in the United States or Canada and you prefer to have a phlebotomist come to your house to draw blood, you can schedule your home blood draw by logging into your account, clicking “Use test” on the top right of the screen, and then selecting “Schedule my test”. From there, you’ll receive instructions on what to expect during the blood draw.
Time for your blood draw
Now, all that’s left is to get your blood drawn! Set an appointment reminder on your phone, and remember these key takeaways:
- Do not engage in strenuous exercise for two days before the blood test.
- Do not drink any alcohol for at least 24 hours before the InsideTracker blood test.
- Do not take supplements within 24 hours of your blood draw.
- Fast for at least 12 hours before your draw.
- Continue medication use as recommended by your physician.
- Drink extra water before the blood test to ensure proper hydration.
- Bring your printed lab slip and photo ID to any tests conducted at Quest Diagnostics.