Resilience: Uncovering Risk Metrics Through Bloodwork
By Dan Garner
It is EXTREMELY helpful for any high-performance coach to use resilience metrics in bloodwork analysis as it can help identify your biologically unique adaptations to stressors by measuring various biomarkers and analyzing how they change in response to diet, training, and recovery practices.
Here are a few examples I use with my athletes:
1. Inflammation: Inflammation is a natural response to physical stress, but prolonged or excessive inflammation can negatively impact performance and recovery. By analyzing bloodwork for markers like C-reactive protein and interleukin-6 you can monitor your inflammation levels and adjust training/diet accordingly.
2. Hormones: Hormones like cortisol, testosterone, and IGF-1 play significant roles in performance, recovery, and adaptation. Hormone analysis can reveal imbalances or insufficiencies in these hormones, providing valuable information for optimizing an athlete's long-term periodization.
3. Nutrient Status: Proper nutrition is essential for athletic performance and resilience. Bloodwork can help assess nutrient levels, including essential vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes. Identifying deficiencies or imbalances allows for targeted supplementation (this video is a good example).
4. Metabolic Markers: Energy production markers such as glucose, lactate, and a thyroid panel can help identify energy system efficiency and recovery status.
5. Immune system markers: Intense training can impact an athlete's immune system, making them more susceptible to illness, injury, or infection. Bloodwork immediately reveals current immune status (WBC, globulins, lymphocyte subsets, etc.) so you can prevent a problem before it even happens.
In short, physiologic resilience is as important as anything else as it in itself is what allows you to survive the journey you're on to maximum health and performance. Understanding these relationships is understanding your road to success.