I had my first experience of using an InDurance Pico kit the other day as a tester of what the whole set-up was like. With a very impressive set-up, here is a quick review of what the product is:
Firstly ‘Pico’. Well ‘Pico’ is the metric prefix to mean 10(-12), or trillionth, and also means ‘peak’ in Spanish; so I figure they’ve used the term for measuring tiny amounts to attain peak performance. Neat.
With a range of ‘Pico kits’ to choose from, you can measure all sorts of blood biomarkers to get an idea of what is going on inside the engine. After deciding what you want to measure, the whole process is efficient and pain-free. I chose the ‘Osteo-Energy’ kit measuring vitamin D for a variety of reasons, but more on this in a later post.
A small pack arrived in the post containing full instructions of how to go about getting my finger-prick blood sample, and how best to get my finger to bleed properly – which sounds silly, but was actually very useful as the labs need enough blood to accurately measure the biomarker you are after. Don’t skip this bit as its pretty important.
After watching the ‘how to‘ video and setting up the collection bottle ready, I gave my hands a good scrub and warmed them up (more blood flow = easier bleeding), pricked my finger with the provided lance and started ‘milking’ my finger into the bottle.
Pretty soon the bottle was filled, packaged with the reply form and paid envelope, and stuck in the post.
What surprised me was the speed at which the lab turned around the result and InDurance sent me my report. Within two days I had a full report on my vitamin D levels, which were borderline low (pretty typical for a Brit basking in the English winter). The report was laid out in an easy-to-interpret layout, had no geeky medical jargon, described the what vitamin D is, why measure it, and how to improve it. This was a great opportunity to enjoy some well deserved sun in Portugal for medical reasons… Maybe more importantly, the report also contained a solid bunch of references at the end, which back up all the information contained, so you know you’re not being blagged.
Tests like this are rarely available to everyday athletes, but the biomarkers being measured could have big effects on your health and performance. This seems a pretty neat way to keep your eye on your engine, look after it and keep it in good nick.
Overall I was impressed at the InDurance product, enjoyed sunbathing in Portugal, and will definitely be asked them to take a look under my bonnet again.