Inside Tracker: Review + Results
My time training around elite athletes has taught me that NO TWO people are the same. This applies to every aspect of training: workouts, mentality, lifestyles...and what we need to focus on in our diets.
Its common knowledge that nutrition is important, but we may think that refraining from too many sweets or not over eating = nutrition. I know I have. While these aren't bad habits, as someone who not only puts my body through taxing physical activities, but asks it for peak performance again and again, good nutrition reaches another level of importance. I am prone to chose healthier options (most of the time), but I want to do more than just make sure I'm eating vegetables: I want to fuel and refuel with all of the important nutrients- before, during, and after hard training sessions.
A few years ago I took an iron test which showed me I needed to start prioritizing iron-rich foods and even take a supplement. Because I knew optimizing iron levels was important for running, I made the changes and am glad that I found out.
With my re-inspired commitment to running this year, I decided to test even further and use Inside Tracker . This tool requires information about your lifestyle/goals, a blood test, and a post-test commitment to making the recommended changes. I briefly reviewed my experience in 3 sections- the process, getting results, and value!
tldr; Very easy process because your account walks you through step by step in a user-friendly interface.
Right on the Insidetracker.com homepage you can read about the test: what you'll get, reasons to do the test, and testimonials. Easily click "Get started" to see a list of the many options, their prices, and which plans might be ideal for you.
After buying a plan and making an account, the receipt comes right to your email with step by step instructions. The website helps you find and schedule an appointment at the nearest blood testing facility. (There is a mobile blood draw option)
Helpful in the email: Dos and don'ts for having blood work done, a link to the lab slip that you must print and bring with you.
Simply bring the lab slip to your test, pay nothing, and wait about a week for an email from Inside Tracker letting you know your results are available. Easy!
Getting your Results
tldr; Information overload! But in this case, that's a good thing. The test is thorough and explains the big words with detailed recommendations for making changes. I was able to make immediate changes to my diet.
An email from Inside Tracker lets you know your results are in, explains you can now create an action plan, and provides a link directly to your results. It lets you know right in the email that the results will show ranges in green (optimal), yellow (needs work), and red (at risk). Simple. Helpful.
The data shows a lot of information. Initially overwhelming (lots of info & lots of big words), but with some focus I figured it out. For example, I saw I had elevated "ALT Liver Enzymes"...what?! But it explains in simpler words what this is and what this means for the body. It also said those with elevated liver enzymes tend to have lower levels of vitamin D, which was exactly the case for me!
I love that it makes recommendations right in each section for how to reach optimal levels and explains reasons why someone might have certain deficiencies. I knew nothing about Vitamin D before this test, and now have ideas for how to improve my levels. Screenshot below for the example:
This screenshot is from the raw data. You also have the option to "review your results," which prompts you to pick a goal (injury prevention/speed recovery, etc ) and then review the test results that most effect this area of your health. It shows your levels, makes recommendations, and even gives the option to set reminders to your email/phone. The reminders can be action items like "do hamstring strength exercises" and "take vitamin d supplement." Within this action plan I also found a personalized food list showing the food groups I need to focus on and a huge list of food options WITH RECIPES. That might be my favorite part.
Price + Value
tldr; It's not a cheap test, but with multiple levels with various prices, you can pick the one you need. You get deep level results and recommendations worth every cent!
The most thorough test, measuring 43 markers (the next highest is 13) is $589 which can be pretty pricey, but for a blood draw, test, and analysis for lifestyle and diet solutions, the value is really good. They recommend repeat testing 3-4x a year in general, although your personalized action plan may give different specifics. Either way, you could spend a lot of money on this in a year, which easily could affect your decision to take the test. I actually found a promotional code online (Instagram) for a 200$ discount. So I would also look out for those.
Final Review- I would never know what markers to test without Inside Tracker, and even then I wouldn't know what most of the results really meant. At least not without a lot of research and effort. I love that this account makes everything easy from the start. The work it does for you is incredibly valuable. I would definitely recommend to elite athletes and those who want to reach their utmost potential for competition. That being said, anyone who wants to work on their health could also benefit. Lower plan options also help make it worthwhile for just about anyone.
I'm now working on my plan constantly to hopefully see big changes. I'm happy to talk about my experience with the program more!!
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