Jan 21, 2016
Drawing Blood, Getting Results

Gaining a competitive edge may seem elusive to some athletes, but for players on the New York Giants, it may be as simple as having a blood test. Starting in the 2014 season, the football team partnered with Quest Diagnostics to carry out comprehensive blood tests for its players.

According to an article posted by the Wall Street Journal, the tests include about 200 biomarkers that help players see deficiencies or allergies. Players get the results about a week after the blood is drawn and the company offers them consultations to help them train and eat for optimal performance.

The way the results are shown has been updated to reflect players’ preferences. In the first year, the results were given as a block of text, but the players wanted something more visual. To meet this request, the results are now delivered with images similar to speedometers to go along with individual recommendations for each player.

“You can actually physically see what you’re deficient in,” tight end Jerome Cunningham told the Wall Street Journal. “It’s like: ‘Oh, I’m really tired.’ Well, you need more iron or calcium or something like that to incorporate into your diet.”

The testing is required for players during the off-season, but optional during the season due to a collective-bargaining agreement between the players’ union and the league. About half of the players opt to continue the testing throughout the season.

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