Diagnostics for Endurance Athletes
Endurance sports depend on the ability to transport and consume oxygen. Oxygen is transported by Red Blood Cells (RBCs). Endurance athletes should be evaluated regularly to ensure they can supply their muscles with enough oxygen to fuel their activities.
Dr Halldorson has developed a screening package for endurance athletes that will assess the ability to supply muscles with oxygen. It can also screen for underlying causes of fatigue and diminished performance.
Oxygen Carrying Capacity
Oxygen Carrying Proteins
Athletic performance depends on your body’s ability to supply working muscles with oxygen. Low levels of proteins that transport oxygen can cause fatigue and reduce your capacity to supply your muscles with oxygen. Testing for these proteins can help to identify, and correct, underlying causes of fatigue that may affect your training and performance.
Indicators of Healthy Red Blood Cell Function
Red blood cells carry oxygen throughout our body. They last for 120 days before they are broken down and replaced with new ones. Certain nutrients are required for healthy RBC production. Screening your red blood cells can help support your ability to send oxygen to your muscles while you train or race.
Markers of Muscle repair
Muscles provide the power for athletic performance, but poor nutrition or over training can lead to muscle breakdown. Screening for signs of muscle breakdown is important for athletic training.
Markers of Liver and Kidney Health
Both the liver and kidneys support athletic performance. They help provide energy sources, as well as filter metabolic waste from the blood. These markers help to evaluate the health of your liver and kidneys.
Glucose (sugar), is the main energy source for most sports. The ability to maintain an appropriate level of glucose is a factor in supplying your muscles with energy to support your athletic performance.
Proper hydration plays a factor in both performance and safety. Poor hydration can impair physical performance and disrupt many physiological processes in the body. Proper hydration and electrolyte levels are an important factor in athletic performances.
When the body is low on fuel, it starts to break down proteins for energy. These proteins come from muscle tissue, and if left unchecked, can lead to decreased performance. Identifying low protein levels can be an indicator for a need to increase dietary protein consumption.
Vitamins and minerals are used for many biological processes. Certain micronutrients are required to generate energy, stimulate muscle contraction and replenish RBC. Evaluating your micronutrient status can influence your dietary needs.
Markers of Immune Function
High intensity training can impair your immune function, leading to infections and illnesses that can impede your performance. Low immune function can be a sign of overtraining.
Markers of Thyroid Function
The thyroid produces thyroid hormone, which is involved in energy and metabolism. Low thyroid function can leave athletes feeling tired and lethargic.