InsideTracker claims to help users better manage their biological age, which is actually different from chronological age. While chronological age measures how long you have physically existed, biological age measures the age of your cells. In some people, these two numbers are the same, but in others they may be different.
Many factors can affect your biological age, such as genetics and stress. Additionally, biological age can be a risk factor for the development of many chronic diseases, such as diabetes, cancer and dementia. While biological age versus chronological age is an accepted concept, the use of biomarkers to indicate biological age still requires further research.
The first step in using InsideTracker is choosing your plan (we describe the options and costs in detail below) and going through the payment process. You will then complete a brief questionnaire, where you will be asked questions about your exercise, diet, sleep, and other lifestyle habits. You will also be asked to provide body measurements.
From there, you can schedule your blood test or simply print your lab slip and bring it to a Quest Diagnostics location. You should receive brief instructions on how to prepare for it. For example, you may need to stop taking supplements 24 hours before your blood test. All InsideTracker tests also require a 12-hour fast before blood tests. The blood tests for InnerAge 2.0 screen for 17 biomarkers for men and 13 for women.
According to the company, it should take around five to seven days to get your blood test results back, at which time you’ll receive an email when your results and recommendations are ready for viewing. Those uploading their own blood test results can expect to wait 10-14 days to receive the results.
Once you have your results ready, you can view them either on the InsideTracker website or on its app. You’ll be able to see your biomarker levels and how they compare to optimal ranges, as well as InsideTracker’s recommendations on how to improve biomarkers that are out of range. The biomarkers that the InnerAge 2.0 test analyzes vary for men versus women, but include glucose, LDL, triglycerides, HbA1c, GGT, and albumin (a protein made in the liver) for both.
You will then establish a plan of action, which could range from improving your overall health to focusing on a certain goal, such as your gut health, energy level, metabolism, inner age, stamina, heart health, your fat loss, your sleep, your strength. and power, injury prevention and recovery, stress, cognition or endurance. Selecting a specific action plan allows you to prioritize the recommendations offered, so you can focus on achieving your particular goal. Recommendations range from trying a new kind of nut that week to getting more sunshine and stepping up to resistance training.
From there, you can check in regularly through the InsideTracker app and access various news articles and podcast episodes. You’ll also have a Wellness Score, which will update as you record your daily progress. Each day, you are also asked to rate your stress level the day before. If you have a wearable device, such as an Apple Watch or Fitbit, you can also sync it to the app so it feeds all the data into InsideTracker.
Your plan will last about three months, after which InsideTracker recommends getting an updated blood test (although this isn’t included in the initial cost). This will allow you to see if any improvements have taken place. InsideTracker also explains that further testing is needed because any changes, whether to your diet, lifestyle, activity level or environment, will affect test results, and it is important to calibrate an action plan on relevant results.