There are a host of high-tech gadgets on the market that capture metrics to help monitor your health, from smart watches to step counters. It’s all about data. But what they miss is what’s going on inside, with your health and how best to quantify that. InsideTracker has a solution for this and takes into consideration who you are and how you live, which includes what you eat/drink, your mental health, your height, weight, age, gender, and ethnicity, what your exercise regime is, the intensity of your workouts and how you sleep. All this empirical data is then combined with an optional DNA tests which measures 261 genetic markers and a blood test that measures 48 biomarkers to enable InsideTracker to make precise recommendations for optimizing your health.
From all this data a personalized platform is created which includes a customized dashboard full of recommendations and information. This includes online tools for setting goals, maximizing your nutrition, and fine-tuning your lifestyle choices in order to better your health over time. Our bodies are all unique as are our lifestyles, so there is no cookie-cutter solution to good health. It’s a unique solution tailored specifically for you based on your genetic and physiological makeup.
InsideTracker was founded in 2009 by experts in aging, genetic, and biometrics from Harvard and MIT. Their platform uses a questionnaire, DNA, and blood tests to better understand you, then uses a sophisticated algorithm to compare your results with up-to-date research and an extensive database to generate personalized recommendations and a wealth of actionable insights to better your overall health and performance. The recommendations you’ll find on the InsideTracker platform are very detailed with an explanation of the science behind each result in easy-to-understand language. They provide guidance on the proper supplement and foods to eat in order to achieve the results you are after and they even go so far as to provide recipes that include the nutrients you may be lacking in your diet. It’s a complete system tailored for you on multiple levels which makes improving your health a part of your daily routine and pretty darn simple if you ask me.
In order to get a blood sample, you can either find the nearest blood testing facility since there are over 2,000 of them in the US or if you are not close to one (like I was) then InsideTracker will arrange for a licensed phlebotomist to come out and perform the blood draw for you. Once that is done InsideTracker analyses it and creates your results by classifying the 48 biomarkers into three categories: At Risk, Needs Improvement, and Optimized. You’ll be able to see these three categories at a glance since the 'At Risk' results use a red icon, the 'Needs Improvement' icons are yellow and the 'Optimized' biomarkers use green icons. In order to further break down each result, InsideTracker shows you a vertical graph of each biomarker and divides the data points into six categories: high, borderline high, normal zone, optimized zone, borderline low, and low. The optimized zones for each biomarker are also personalized for you and based on your age, gender, ethnicity, activity levels, and goals—so it truly is unique to you. Ideally, you want things to be in the optimized green zone but this may take some work and that’s why InsideTracker provides recommendations from their nutrition database of over 7,500 foods that are scientifically proven to improve specific biomarker levels. You’ll also receive advice on which supplements to consider, as well as lifestyle and exercise suggestions to help you reach your optimal zones. This scientific analysis is based on the data which you provide to InsideTracker to evaluate and their recommendations are linked directly to published, peer-reviewed scientific research publications. If you want to track your progress over time InsideTracker provides the ability to upload future blood sample results so you can monitor how you are improving.
The optional DNA Kit includes a home kit that will analyze up to 261 genetic markers to reveal 29 different wellness traits and risks. Once you order the kit you simply swab your cheek and mail off the sample. The detailed results which appear in your InsideTracker account will explain how your genes can have an effect on your weight, how you age, your athletic performance, food sensitivities, and of course sleep. The results include Body mass index (BMI), Low far diet, Saturated fat, Bone strength, Mental activity, Athletic predisposition, Active performance hormone, Muscle oxygen supply, Gluten intolerance, Lactose intolerance, Peanut allergy, sleep duration, sleep depth, caffeine consumptions and other potential insights. Since the DNA kit is only available in the US at this time, I did not add it into my overall program so I cannot go into more detail on the results and analysis provided.
InsideTracker’s InnerAge 2.0 is an add-on that you can purchase in addition to your base plan and it focuses on longevity and provides you information about your biological age and not your physical age. InnerAge 2.0 takes into consideration your lifestyle traits along with the analysis of 14 biomarkers for males and 18 for females. These include:
From this InsideTracker provides you with a personalized nutrition and an activity plan to help improve your biological age. Since your biological age is naturally linked to your overall health and lifestyle it is something that is highly actionable and can easily change over time.
In order to effectively test InsideTracker I signed up for the Ultimate Plan which is the most comprehensive plan offered by InsideTracker and as they put it ”The Ultimate plan allows customers to enhance their athletic performance, improve cognition and mood, raise metabolism and boost energy, reduce inflammation, and aid liver function”. The Ultimate Plan analyzes 43 markers within the following categories:
I then completed the survey that is required when you sign up to InsideTracker which covers questions about what you eat/drink, your mental health, your height, weight, age, gender, and ethnicity, what your exercise regime is, the intensity of your workouts and how you sleep. I then chose my goal as “Overall Health” which is one of many options such as Lose Fat, Metabolism, Strength & Power, Heart Health, InnerAge, Gut Health Injury Prevention/recovery, Stress and also Sleep.
I had a mobile blood draw taken on May 3rd 2021 and then again on September 20th of the same year. I wanted to get retested after four or five months to provide enough time to follow InsideTrackers recommendations and then see if would have any impact on my results. I also made sure after my first blood draw to not do any strenuous activity or exercise a few days prior to the second blood draw to ensure that my inflammation results were more accurate. After the first blood draw, I realized that working out the day before may have provided some elevated results in the inflammation biomarkers.
For the duration between tests, I followed InsideTracker’s recommendations as best I could concerning my diet, exercise, supplements, and sleep patterns. I didn’t however go overboard and try and skew my results by doing more of what they recommended than what I could sustain after this test period. There is no point in my mind in trying to achieve a level of lifestyle that is not sustainable over the long run, instead, I more or less maintained my normal diet, sleep, and exercise routines and added to them as InsideTracker recommended. The most significant recommendation I did include in my day-to-day routine was the addition of vitamins.
I also included the Inner Age 2.0 analysis to my base plan but not the DNA Kit as it was not available in Canada at the time of this review.
Overall I am really happy with the results I was able to achieve and how the InsideTracker platform worked to help me improve my overall health in such a short timeframe. The biggest benefit of InsideTracker for me is how I could get a glimpse of what is really going on with my health from the inside. This provided piece of mind that my lifestyle, diet, and exercise regime were working for the most part and I just needed to make slight adjustments here and there. The depth of information that’s available with InsideTracker is extensive and the science that backs up the recommendations and information that is provided is reassuring. The fact that InsideTracker now has Garmin synchronization also really adds to the program. If you are an athlete, a weekend warrior, or simply a couch potato that wants to make a change then InsideTrack is worth investigating. Your health is worth it!
We've arranged a special discount for all Backcountry Skiing Canada users, simply click the link below the Specs labelled "Get A Great Deal - BUY NOW" and then enter BACKCOUNTRY into the coupon section at check out to save a full 25% off on anything on the InsideTracker site.
(blood test included, 43 total biomarkers): $740CAN / $589US
(blood test included, measures 12 total biomarkers): $237CAN / $189US
Blood Results Upload
(Upload results from past blood tests, up to 43 total biomarkers): $150CAN / $119US
Inner Age 2.0
(Calculate your real age from the inside, blood test included, 14 -18 total biomarkers): $225CAN / $179US
(Easy at-home DNA test kit, up to 261 genetic markers analyzed, DNA report reveals wellness traits and risks): $312CAN / $249US
Mobile Blood Draw
$120CAN / $96US
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