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The importance of blood testing for bodybuilders

Blood testing can take the guesswork out and support you on your quest to a better physique, but how does it do this?

Bodybuilding is not an easy feat. A bigger, more efficient body is the ultimate goal, but it can take a long-time to feel as though your devotion and dedication are working in your favour. Plus, knowing whether you are doing the right things can seem like a minefield.

Blood testing can take the guesswork out and support you on your quest for a better physique, but how does it do this?

Enhance your nutrition.

Alongside training, nutrition is the most crucial component to optimise your body. There is so much to consider: optimal dosage, optimal timing, composition, and frequency of the nutrients you choose.

The quality of your nutrition is also essential. Although required in small amounts, many micronutrients play huge roles in your quest for an enhanced physique. Becoming deficient in essential vitamins and minerals can break down the metabolic pathway which produces gains in strength and muscle. For example, vitamin D plays huge roles in muscle function and synthesis [1], and optimal iron levels can fend off mental and physical fatigue, so ensures you have the power needed to push further and harder [2].

Does your nutrition provide all the crucial nutrients to best support your body and your muscle gain? With so many nutrients to optimise, it is challenging to be sure.

Testing your blood can reveal this and provide the confidence you need by measuring nutritional biomarkers. Blood testing with a specially created, Ultimate Performance Blood Test, measures your levels of essential nutritional biomarkers, alongside other essential markers such as measuring your kidney health and cholesterol profile.

Stay motivated.

Self-monitoring your progress through real, meaningful data is a scientifically proven way to keep your momentum going [3].

Biomarkers are biological indicators that can reveal valuable information about your health and fitness. Many aspects of your progress may not be visible on the outside, so it is crucial to gather as much information as possible to create the bigger picture.

With blood testing, you can test at multiple time points throughout your training and track changes in your essential biomarkers over time. This allows you to watch your vital stats improve which will give you a strong boost of motivation to carry on.

You can then rest with reassurance that you’re making the progress you need and reward your hard work as you reach each milestone.

Avoid overdoing it.

Overtraining is a real risk for bodybuilders. Your passion, commitment and enthusiasm for training may sometimes be the thing that prevents your progress. This is because there is a fine balance between training optimally and overtraining, which can hamper your muscle gain. It may even lead to burnout which is a nightmare for any bodybuilder and could prevent you from training altogether.

In between bouts of intense training, it is important to give you and your body time to rest and rebuild. This ensures you have recovered on the inside before you attempt to push harder or further which can risk overtraining. But how can you be sure when you are fully recovered?

Blood testing can reveal what is really happening on the inside of your body on a biochemical level. For example, the biomarkers creatine kinase (a muscle enzyme) and CRP-HS (an inflammatory marker) are likely to be elevated in the short term after a bout of exercise, but if they remain elevated in the long-term you may be overtraining.

Measuring these biomarkers is an essential way to uncover whether you may want to bring your training down a notch in order to gain the most from your training.

Optimise your hormones.

Hormones play a crucial role in strength training, in particular testosterone which not only plays a role in muscle mass and body composition, but also in mood and motivation. Natural ways to increase testosterone include avoiding alcohol, managing stress effectively, training optimally and optimising your nutrition.

There are also ways to improve your testosterone through artificial means. Some bodybuilders choose to use image and performance enhancing drugs (IPEDs) because they perceive this helpful to gain muscle. However artificially increasing testosterone comes with many risks and pitfalls, for example by producing liver inflammation, increasing bad cholesterol levels(and reducing good HDL cholesterol)and potentially damaging your cardiovascular health.

Regular blood testing is especially important for anyone taking hormones to increase their muscle mass. Damage to internal body systems can be revealed through a thorough blood test which checks your red blood cells, liver and kidney function as well as your hormone levels.

Fine-tune your technique.

Hormones play a crucial role in strength training, in particular testosterone which not only plays a role in muscle mass and body composition, but also in mood and motivation. Natural ways to increase testosterone include avoiding alcohol, managing stress effectively, training optimally and optimising your nutrition.

There are also ways to improve your testosterone through artificial means. Some bodybuilders choose to use image and performance enhancing drugs (IPEDs) because they perceive this helpful to gain muscle. However artificially increasing testosterone comes with many risks and pitfalls, for example by producing liver inflammation, increasing bad cholesterol levels (and reducing good HDL cholesterol) and potentially damaging your cardiovascular health.

Regular blood testing is especially important for anyone taking hormones to increase their muscle mass. Damage to internal body systems can be revealed through a thorough blood test which checks your red blood cells, liver and kidney function as well as your hormone levels.

The takeaway

Blood testing is a powerful tool that can give you a cut above the rest. Try your first sports performance blood test today and see how far it can take you and your progress.

References

1. Shuler, F.D., Wingate, M.K., Moore, G.H. and Giangarra, C., 2012. Sports health benefits of vitamin D. Sports health, 4(6), pp.496-501.

2. Tardy, A.L., Pouteau, E., Marquez, D., Yilmaz, C. and Scholey, A., 2020. Vitamins and minerals for energy, fatigue and cognition: a narrative review of the biochemical and clinical evidence. Nutrients, 12(1), p.228.

3. Van Achterberg, T., Huisman-de Waal, G.G., Ketelaar, N.A., Oostendorp, R.A., Jacobs, J.E. and Wollersheim, H.C., 2011. How to promote healthy behaviours in patients? An overview of evidence for behaviour change techniques. Health promotion international, 26(2), pp.148-162