InsideTracker claims to help users get a better handle on 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. For some people these two numbers are the same, but for others they may be different.
Many factors can affect your biological age, such as genetics and stress. In addition, biological age can be a risk factor for the development of many chronic diseases, such as diabetes, cancer and dementia. Although biological versus chronological age is an accepted concept, the use of biomarkers to determine biological age still needs more robust research.
The first step when using InsideTracker is to select your plan (we outline the options and costs in detail below) and go through the checkout process. You will then complete a short questionnaire where you will be asked about your exercise, diet, sleep and other lifestyle habits. You will also be asked to provide some body measurements.
From there, you will either schedule your blood test or simply print out your lab slip and bring it to a Quest Diagnostics location. You should get 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. Blood tests for InnerAge 2.0 show 17 biomarkers for men and 13 for women.
It should take about five to seven days to receive your blood test results, according to the company, after which you’ll receive an email when your results and recommendations are ready for review. Those who upload their own blood test results can expect to wait 10 to 14 days to receive the results.
Once your results are ready, you can view them either through InsideTracker’s website or its app. You’ll be able to see your biomarker levels and how they compare to optimal ranges, as well as the recommendations InsideTracker has 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 produced in the liver) for both.
You will then create an action plan that can range from improving your overall health to focusing on a specific goal such as gut health, energy levels, metabolism, inner age, endurance, heart health, fat loss, sleep, strength and power, injury prevention and recovery, stress, cognition or endurance. Choosing a specific action plan allows you to prioritize the suggested recommendations so that you can focus on achieving your specific goal. Recommendations range from trying a new type of nut this week to continuing to get more sunlight to progressing through resistance training.
From there, you can check in regularly through the InsideTracker app and access a variety of informative articles and podcast episodes. You’ll also have a Wellness Score that will update as you log your daily progress. Each day you will be prompted to rate your stress level the previous day. If you have a wearable device, such as an Apple Watch or Fitbit, you can also sync it with the app so that it feeds all the data into InsideTracker.
Your plan will last approximately three months, after which InsideTracker recommends getting an updated blood test (although this is not included in the initial price). This will allow you to see if any improvements have occurred. InsideTracker also explains that retesting is necessary because any changes – whether in your diet, lifestyle, activity level or environment – will affect the test results and it’s important to calibrate an action plan to the relevant results.