Vitamin D Sbrools/Wikimedia Commons
New technology is making it easier than ever for athletes to fine-tune their nutrition through blood analysis. Prepare to send in the vials.
For more on the science of blood analysis, read our story on blood testing.
WHAT IT IS: A substance that helps boost bone mass and immunity. WHY IT MATTER: Low vitamin D, along with deficient calcium, can lead to stress fractures, breaks, and osteoporosis.
Creatine Kinase A2-33/Wikimedia Commons
WHAT IT IS: An enzyme produced during exercise. WHY IT MATTERS: High levels can indicate overtraining, leading to fatigue, muscle damage, and risk of injury.
Testosterone Public Domain
WHAT IT IS: A hormone that plays a key role in muscle mass, bone density, cholesterol levels, and VO2 max. WHY IT MATTERS: Low levels can lead to increased body fat and decreased skeletal and cardiovascular health.
C-Reactive Protein Public Domain
WHAT IT IS: A protein that correlates with muscle inflammation. WHY IT MATTERS: High levels can indicate heart disease or overtraining, compromising the immune system and impeding recovery.
Vitamin B12 Public Domain
WHAT IT IS: A substance that helps synthesize new cells, repair damaged cells, and deliver oxygen to muscles. WHY IT MATTERS: Low B12 can decrease endurance and impede exercise intensity.
Ferritin Public Domain
WHAT IT IS: A protein that indicated blood iron levels. WHY IT MATTERS: Low iron levels can lead to injury, elevated heart rate, and weakened immunity. High levels can increase inflammation and cholesterol and decrease cardiovascular health.
They Want Your Blood: New technology is making it easier than ever for athletes to fine-tune their nutrition through blood analysis. Prepare to send in the vials.
The Best Places to Get Your Blood Analyzed: Three blood-analysis companies to help maximize performance.