You eat healthily, exercise regularly, and have mastered the art of stress management.
Yet, for some reason, your athletic performance isn’t improving, and you aren’t recovering as quickly as you have in the past.
You almost feel like your endurance and strength are declining.
As a person who considers themselves physically fit, this can be aggravating.
You want to feel like the time and effort you put in at the gym, on the field, or wherever else you train is productive, effective, and leading to positive results.
The last thing you want is to feel like your hard work is for nothing.
If you’re like most athletes, you’ve probably tried changing up your workouts and tweaking your diet. Maybe you’re even going to bed earlier.
I mean, these changes have always worked for you in the past. Why wouldn’t they work now?
But for some reason, they aren’t.
The reality is...
You can make all the changes in the world, but if your hormones are imbalanced, you probably aren’t going to see the progress you’re looking for.
Hormones are chemical messengers that significantly affect your metabolism and energy levels.
They can affect not only your endurance and strength but also your ability to recover after a tough workout.
What causes hormonal imbalances?
Hormonal imbalances can occur for several reasons.
Medications are one possible explanation for hormonal imbalances. Examples of drugs that can disrupt your hormonal balance include opioids, steroids, oral isotretinoin, and contraceptives.
Medical conditions can also affect your hormones. Diabetes, hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, Addison’s disease, and pancreatitis are a few conditions that can disrupt hormone balance.
Overtraining, which occurs when you train too much without adequate rest and recovery, is another common reason athletes experience hormonal imbalances. Hormones like cortisol, the hormone that regulates the stress response and recovery in the body, can increase. And high cortisol can decrease DHEA, which is linked to an increased risk of illness and recovery.
What does hormonal imbalance look like?
In addition to reduced performance and recovery, other signs you may have a hormonal imbalance include:
- Mood swings
- Reduced libido
- Unexplainable weight and energy fluctuations
- Irregular menstrual cycle in women
- Erectile dysfunction in men
"I think my hormones might be imbalanced.
How do I know for sure?"
Lab-based blood and saliva tests are an effective way to screen for hormonal imbalances.
In the old days, taking a lab test was incredibly time-consuming.
First, you had to make an appointment with your doctor. You could have to wait weeks before they could see you.
Next, you need to commute to the doctor’s office, where you probably had a copay before you sat in the waiting room. If the doctor thought it was necessary, they would write you a lab order.
Then, you could go to the lab for sample collection.
Pay another fee.
Spend more time in the waiting room.
Today, lab testing is easier than ever.
The At-Home Comprehensive Fitness Test
A lab-based fitness test you can take from the comfort & privacy of your home
The Home Test Box At-Home Comprehensive Fitness Test measures five hormones essential to optimal performance, endurance, and strength.
Here’s what’s included:
- Vitamin D
This test is for fit adults who want to optimize their physical performance.
Your test results will provide insight into why you may not be performing or recovering as well as you should be.
With the Home Test Box At-Home Fitness Test, you may be able to...
- Finally, get to the bottom of why you aren’t progressing as quickly as you should.
- Get an idea about why you aren’t recovering as quickly.
- Test your hormones without disrupting your routine.
- Test privately if you feel uncomfortable discussing your concerns with your provider.
How can the hormones measured in the at-home fitness test affect your athletic performance?
Cortisol is a hormone that can wreak havoc on your overall health when it remains high for a prolonged period. While healthy amounts of exercise can reduce cortisol, too much (overtraining) can have the opposite effect.
Chronically elevated cortisol is associated with cardiovascular disease and can cause weight gain, particularly in the belly.
Researchers have found a correlation between low levels of DHEA and a number of fitness-related symptoms, including decreased muscle mass, increased body fat, and reduced exercise performance.
High-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) is produced in response to inflammation. Elevated levels of hs-CRP are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and other health conditions such as type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer.
Regarding fitness, hs-CRP levels can be an indicator of overall health and can affect athletic performance. High levels of hs-CRP are associated with a higher risk of injury, which can impact athletic performance.
Additionally, inflammation in the body can cause fatigue and decreased energy levels, further impacting the ability to train and perform at a high level.
Low testosterone can have the opposite effect.
Testosterone directly impacts athletic performance by increasing muscle mass, strength, and power. Higher testosterone levels are associated with increased muscle size and strength, making it easier for athletes to perform at their best. The hormone also helps reduce body fat and increase bone density, which is crucial for athletes looking to maintain a lean and muscular physique.
In addition, testosterone also affects energy levels and motivation, which is vital for athletes who need to push themselves. Higher testosterone levels can increase energy and motivation, allowing athletes to train harder and for extended periods.
Thyroid hormones are metabolic regulators that affect muscular and cardiorespiratory functions. Hypothyroidism is associated with musculoskeletal weakness, and severe thyroid excess is related to myopathy, a disorder of the skeletal muscles.
Thyroid function affects several systems that can change physical capacity (i.e., strength, balance, range of motion, etc.) and physical activity, which relates to skeletal muscle movement and its resulting energy expenditure.
BONUS: Vitamin D Level Screening ($74 Value)
In addition to five hormones, this test also measures vitamin D, an often forgotten marker associated with fitness health.
Commonly regarded as “the sunshine vitamin,” vitamin D is essential to peak physical performance. Adequate vitamin D levels have been linked to improved muscle strength, power, and overall physical function.
Low vitamin D levels, on the other hand, have been associated with decreased energy levels, fatigue, and decreased motivation to exercise, which can impact fitness levels.
How does the at-home fitness test work?
Order Your Kit.
When your kit arrives, follow the instructions to collect your sample.
Return your sample to one of our CLIA-certified lab partners using the prepaid shipping bag included in your kit.
We will notify you when your results are ready. You can access them in our secure online portal.
You may be wondering...
"How do I collect my samples?"
The Home Test Box Comprehensive Fitness Test requires you to self-collect a blood sample and a saliva sample.
To collect the saliva sample, you will spit inside a saliva collection tube in the morning.
The blood sample requires you to prick your finger and drop five blood spots on the card.
You can find detailed sample collection instructions here.
You will also receive instructions inside your kit.
"What comes in my kit?"
Your kit will include the following:
- Blood collection card
- Saliva tube
- Alcohol pad
- Sterile gauze
- Two lancets
- Two biohazard bags
- Adhesive bandage
- Prepaid return shipping label
- Return envelope
"What will my results tell me?"
Your results will tell you if your cortisol, DHEA, hs-CRP, testosterone, TSH, and vitamin D levels are within the normal ranges for your age and gender. Levels that are out of range may help explain physical fitness and recovery challenges.
"Is an at-home fitness test for me?"
An at-home fitness test may be for you if want to screen for hormonal imbalances, but you:
- Can’t easily find transportation
- Need to make caretaking arrangements
- Have a disability, injury, or mobility challenges that make it difficult or unsafe for you to leave your house
- Are busy and don’t want to interrupt your schedule
"Is at-home testing as accurate as testing in the lab?"
At-home testing is accurate as long as you follow the instructions.
Home Test Box only partners with CLIA-certified labs, which possess the highest levels of accreditation. These are the same labs used by primary care providers.
Would you rather...
- Take time off work to go to the doctor for a lab order they may or may not give you. Take more time off work to go to the lab.
- Wait until you have the time to address your health, or forgo it altogether. These scenarios can lead to worse, and possibly preventable, health outcomes than screening for imbalances sooner.
- Order a lab test from hometestbox.com, collect your sample, and mail it back to the lab without disrupting your daily routine.
The choice is yours.