Sport Plus: Direct Performance

For serious nutrition and sporting health at all levels. We’ve created a specific series of tests for athletes who want to optimise performance and fully understand their training intensity, energy levels and underlying health.

Your blood is vital at delivering nutrients and oxygen to your muscles so we measure your general blood health, immunity status and haemoglobin levels. Crucially we also measure your glycaemic control – how well your body is managing blood sugar levels.

Essential vitamins and minerals are analysed, to evaluate your general energy levels and ability to efficiently use and rebuild your blood & musculoskeletal system.

Finally your general stress and inflammation levels are evaluated – this helps ensure you are not overtraining and get the most from your program.

The Sport PLUS: Direct Performance test helps fully understand your lifestyle risks and where they can be improved. The test includes:

  1. Diabetes test
  2. Full blood count test
  3. Inflammation test
  4. Vitamin & minerals test

1. Diabetes

Diabetes is a metabolic disease that causes high blood sugar. The hormone insulin moves sugar from the blood into your cells to be stored or used for energy. With diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t effectively use the insulin it does make.

Untreated high blood sugar from diabetes can damage your nerves, eyes, kidneys, and other organs.

There are a few different types of diabetes:

  • Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. The immune system attacks and destroys cells in the pancreas, where insulin is made. It’s unclear what causes this attack. About 10 percent of people with diabetes have this type.
  • Type 2 diabetes occurs when your body becomes resistant to insulin, and sugar builds up in your blood.
  • Prediabetes occurs when your blood sugar is higher than normal, but it’s not high enough for a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes.
  • Gestational diabetes is high blood sugar during pregnancy. Insulin-blocking hormones produced by the placenta cause this type of diabetes.

Each type of diabetes has unique symptoms, causes, and treatments. We will only be looking at Type 2 Diabetes here. 

Learn about diabetes

General diabetes symptoms

Diabetes symptoms are caused by rising blood sugar. The general symptoms of diabetes include:

  • increased hunger
  • increased thirst
  • weight loss
  • frequent urination
  • blurry vision
  • extreme fatigue
  • sores that don’t heal/recurring infections. (This is because elevated glucose levels make it harder for the body to heal.)
  • Additional symptoms in men: decreased sex drive, erectile dysfunction (ED), and poor muscle strength
  • Additional symptoms in women: urinary tract infections, yeast infections, and dry, itchy skin

Diabetes symptoms can be so mild that they’re hard to spot at firs which is why testing is important.

2. Full blood count

Blood tests can help doctors:

  • Evaluate how well organs—such as the kidneys, liver, thyroid, and heart—are working
  • Diagnose diseases and conditions such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, anaemia, inflammation, infection and coronary heart disease
  • Find out whether you have risk factors for heart disease
  • Check whether medicines you’re taking are working
  • Assess how well your blood is clotting

The test we offer is the Full Blood Count (FBC – also known as a Complete Blood Count). An FBC is an easy and very common blood test that screens for certain disorders that can affect your health.

The FBC can help detect blood diseases and disorders, such as anaemia, infections, clotting problems, blood cancers, and immune system disorders. This test measures many different parts of your blood.

An FBC measures a variety of the blood’s components and their sub-components, i.e:

  • red blood cells
  • white blood cells
  • platelets

Learn more about the full blood test

3. Inflammation (CRP – C-Reactive Protein)

Our Inflammation home blood test kit assesses low levels of inflammation in your body using hs-CRP, a highly sensitive clinical marker. This allows you to indicate your risk from cardiovascular diseases including stroke, heart attack and death in apparently healthy individuals. It can also be used to monitor sporting performance, since levels of inflammation can be elevated following over-training.

Inflammation happens when your body responds to threats like microbial invaders, poisonous chemicals, and physical injuries. Signs of acute (short-term) inflammation include redness and swelling at the affected part of your body.

The inflammatory response (inflammation) occurs when tissues are injured by bacteria, trauma, toxins, heat, or any other cause. The damaged cells release chemicals including histamine, bradykinin, and prostaglandins. These chemicals cause blood vessels to leak fluid into the tissues, causing swelling. This helps isolate the foreign substance from further contact with body tissues.

The chemicals also attract white blood cells called phagocytes that “eat” germs and dead or damaged cells. This process is called phagocytosis. Phagocytes eventually die. Pus is formed from a collection of dead tissue, dead bacteria, and live and dead phagocytes.

Inflammation can be short-term (a few days) but when it persists for months or years, it’s called chronic inflammation.

Signs of chronic inflammation

  • Pain and soreness in your joints or muscles
  • High blood pressure
  • Feeling of lethargy that just doesn’t seem to go away

Learn more about inflammation

4. Vitamins & minerals

Our Full Vitamins & Minerals home blood test kit checks several biomarkers including Vitamin D so you can identify crucial vitamin & mineral deficiencies and optimise your nutritional intake.

Deficiencies can produce few or vague symptoms so it’s often difficult to identify them without testing and monitoring your progress.

Learn more about vitamins & minerals

Order a Sport Plus Direct Performance Test Kit

Order a Sport Plus Direct Performance Test Kit. Monitor the big three lifestyle risk factors – heart disease, liver disease and diabetes – with this test kit.

Get the convenience of home testing with the reassurance of professional clinical analysis. Your results are delivered quickly and securely online.

This Sport Plus Direct Performance Test is advised if you:

  • are aged over 40
  • are anorexic or bulimic or suffer from another eating disorder
  • are at risk from osteoporosis
  • are currently menopausal, which can lead to deficiencies
  • are currently pregnant or wish to have a baby
  • are of South Asian, African-Caribbean or Black African descent
  • are on any restrictive diet (vegans & vegetarian especially)
  • are overweight or obese (have a high BMI)
  • are taking medications that cause toxic liver disease, which includes too much paracetamol, ibuprofen & aspirin
  • are, or have been, a smoker
  • don’t do much exercise or lead a sedentary lifestyle
  • drink alcohol regularly or are a binge drinker
  • have an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism)
  • have Crohn’s or Coeliac disease (which can lead to malnutrition)
  • have diabetes, or impaired glucose tolerance
  • have kidney disease, diabetes or liver disease or a family history of these
  • have immediate family who have had a heart attack, stroke or heart bypass surgery
  • have had gallstones
  • have had gastrointestinal disease (e.g. IBS)
  • have polycystic ovary syndrome
  • have symptoms of anaemia (often including fatigue, paleness, difficulty exercising)
  • have, or have had, high blood pressure
  • suffer from chronic fatigue & tiredness
  • take performance enhancing drugs, including steroids and creatine
  • think you may have a bacterial or viral infection
  • want to check the general health of your blood
  • want to understand & improve your general health
  • want the convenience of home testing without waiting for a GP appointment
  • need a high quality, clinically accredited test done in a professional clinical laboratory

What’s included in the test?

  1. Gentle fingerprick blood testing kit
  2. FREE post & packaging
  3. Results usually within 24 Hours
  4. Accredited laboratory testing by clinical professionals
  5. Personalised report with detailed guidance in your online, secure dashboard
  6. The same accuracy and quality as your GP or hospital

What is tested?

  1. Diabetes: glycated Haemoglobin (HbA1c)
  2. Full blood count test: red cell count, white cell count, platelets
  3. Inflammation test: high-sensitivity C-reactive protein
  4. Vitamin & minerals test: vitamin B9, B12, D, ferritin, calcium

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SIGNIFICANCE: For serious nutrition and sporting health at all levels. We’ve created a specific series of tests for athletes who want to optimise performance and fully understand their training intensity, energy levels and underlying health.

May 8, 2020