(Originally appeared on Trail Sisters.)
As a registered dietitian, I pride myself in taking care that my nutritional needs are met through my diet. I eat fish twice a week, dairy three times a day and a rainbow at every meal. I am confident that I am eating in a way that supports the physical demands of training, while still enjoying my love of good food.
In the past, this thinking has kept me from getting my blood tested regularly to be sure that all of my biomarkers are on par. But after several months of feeling fatigued and slow to recover, it was time that I heed my own advice and get tested. When clients tell me that they think they are tired because they have low iron or think they are getting stress fractures because of low bone density, I always encourage them to ‘test and not guess.’
It is hard to address a problem or to prevent future ones from occurring without first knowing yourself inside and out. Assuming you have low iron or weak bones and then taking a supplement without talking with your healthcare provider and getting tested is potentially dangerous. Excess of any one nutrient can lead to toxicities which can have serious consequences on your health.
Because I wanted more detailed testing than the tests I have received from my primary healthcare physician, I decided to use InsideTracker’s High-Performance Plan. The High-Performance Plan is a test that looks at markers that are especially important for endurance athletes such as inflammation, oxygen transfer and blood function, bone health and energy, muscle health, stress and sexual function. For each blood biomarker, InsideTracker generates optimal zones that are personalized to your gender, age, ethnicity and lifestyle to help you reach an optimal level of health and performance.
Despite running outside, drinking milk and eating yogurt every day for my vitamin D, and dark leafy greens, seafood and beans for adequate iron, my test results showed that I have low vitamin D and a less than optimal ferritin level. This goes to show that even though I am deliberate in my eating habits, I am still falling short of my needs. Moreover, it is hard to get adequate sun exposure for vitamin D synthesis during the winter months in the Pacific Northwest. Because I am now aware, I can take the precautions needed to increase my levels to my body’s optimal zone.
As the racing season winds down and winter creeps in, now is a perfect time to check in with your body. And good news, Trail Sisters: InsideTracker is giving all Trail Sisters 10% off any test! Just enter code TRAILSISTERS at checkout or use the following link: https://www.insidetracker.com/qr/onboarding/TRAILSISTERS/.