Can amateur cyclists benefit from blood analysis?

If you are training hard and feeling abnormally fatigued, you may have an underlying mineral or vitamin deficiency identifiable via blood test. New home-test kits make blood analysis more accessible than ever — but is this form of self-assessment really helpful or necessary? Lexie Williamson investigates

Photo: Christopher Catchpole

Once reserved for pro cyclists, blood analysis to identify imbalances and deficiencies is now available to recreational riders, through home-testing kits offered by companies such as InDurance.

These pinprick tests can check for anaemia through iron storage levels; testosterone, which affects stamina and motivation; vitamins B12 and D3, essential for bone strength and muscle performance; and the stress hormone cortisol, a high level of which can indicate overtraining. Does a regular amateur cyclist really need to consider investing in blood testing?

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