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Metabolism tests are one way to determine if your metabolism is working at its best. We break down why kits from Everlywell and myLAB Box are the most trusted metabolism tests to take at home.
Your body is at work, whether you’re sleeping, walking, or sitting quietly. Everything your body does, from breathing to keeping warm, requires energy. Energy is derived from your nutritional intake. Metabolism refers to the chemical processes that turn what you eat and drink into energy.
Multiple tests are available to analyze your metabolism. Most are done in medical settings, but you can order some of them online and do them at home.
In this roundup, we’ll go over the pros and cons, as well as the two best options for at-home metabolism tests.
Click a link to jump to that part of the article and learn more.
- Best budget-friendly at-home metabolism test: Everlywell Metabolism Test
- Best at-home metabolism test for medical input: myLAB Box At Home Metabolism Test
Metabolism tests, or metabolic tests, are done to measure the rate at which you burn calories or use oxygen. Tests can use your breath, blood, or saliva to analyze hormones, chemical byproducts, and other metabolic markers. Some measure your oxygen intake and carbon dioxide output.
At-home metabolism tests
At-home metabolism tests measure hormones or other markers that affect metabolism. They can be the first step in determining whether your metabolism is functioning properly.
These tests require you to give a saliva sample, blood sample, or both. Then, you send your samples to a laboratory to be processed.
What they measure
At-home metabolism tests use blood samples, saliva samples, or both. People primarily use these tests to help with their weight and fitness goals.
These tests measure hormones such as:
- Cortisol. Cortisol is known as the stress hormone. It helps to regulate blood glucose, which is used as fuel by the body.
- Free testosterone. Testosterone is produced by people of all genders. Free testosterone levels can be useful for diagnosing metabolic conditions in women, such as polycystic ovary syndrome. They can also indicate testosterone deficiency (low T) in men.
- Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). TSH controls thyroid hormone production. Thyroid hormones stimulate a wide range of the body’s metabolic activities. Your TSH level provides information about your basal metabolic rate.
They may also measure cholesterol and other significant markers that can affect your health.
Ordering and using a test
You can order at-home test kits online. Many accept health savings account (HSA) or flexible spending account (FSA) payments.
Once you receive your kit, you will register it with its specific identification number. This ensures that the laboratory will record your test results confidentially once they receive your samples.
Your test kit will contain all the instructions and materials you need for sample collection and shipping. It’s important to follow each step exactly.
The kits on this list come from vetted manufacturers. Each manufacturer has stated that they comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and use CLIA-certified laboratories for sample analysis.
We didn’t choose kits from manufacturers who make medical claims or give medical advice. Each manufacturer recommends that you discuss your test results with a doctor.
Each kit gets more positive than negative reviews for accuracy, customer service, and speed.
We’ve indicated the cost for each kit as follows:
- $ = under $50
- $$ = $50–$100
- $$$ = over $100
Best budget-friendly at-home metabolism test
Everlywell Metabolism Test
How it works: This test uses a saliva sample and finger prick blood sample to analyze cortisol, free testosterone, and TSH. You’ll need to do it within 30 minutes of waking up, before you rinse your mouth or brush your teeth.
The 10-piece test kit includes what you need to acquire samples, from the alcohol swab to the bandage. It also contains detailed instructions for giving both the blood and saliva samples. The test includes a prepaid shipping label and biohazard bag for returning your samples.
Samples are sent to a CLIA-certified laboratory for analysis. An independent, board certified physician also reviews test results.
How to get results: Your test results will be recorded in a report that is sent directly to your account. The report will include your hormone level readings, as well as information about the typical range for each reading.
Based on your results, your report will also contain health and lifestyle change recommendations.
According to Everlywell, you will receive your test results on their secure platform within days of receipt of your samples. Users mention receiving results within 9 days.
This kit receives many positive reviews, but it also has some negative ones that reference inaccurate results. Like all at-home tests, have your results analyzed by your doctor. If necessary, retest at a medical facility.
Use code “HEALTHLINE25” for 25% off.
Best at-home metabolism test for medical input
myLAB Box At Home Metabolism Test
How it works: This test requires a saliva and finger prick blood sample. It tests for cortisol, free testosterone, and TSH.
The kit contains the items you need to get your samples, plus a prepaid return envelope.
Only CLIA certified laboratories are used to acquire sample readings.
How to get results: According to the company, test results are available within 2 to 5 days. If your test results are not within the usual range, you can request a free physician consultation to discuss them.
While it’s natural to feel a sense of urgency about getting a test in your hands so you can get results asap, we want to stress the importance of not fast tracking the process.
Quick tips for use to keep in mind:
- Only purchase an at-home test that uses a
CLIA certified laboratory.
- Check the expiration date and only use a test that has not expired.
- Follow the test kit instructions for data collection exactly as indicated.
- Ship your samples back immediately in the containers mailed to you for shipping.
Hormonal metabolism tests are the only type you can do at home. Other tests can provide more and different information based on a larger blood sample, but they require you to go to a lab or work with a doctor first.
Your doctor can prescribe a metabolism test and perform it in a medical setting. They may do a blood draw at the hospital or recommend a laboratory where your blood will be drawn. If you wish to choose your own lab, look for one that is
Many fitness centers and medical spas also provide some types of metabolic testing onsite.
Basic metabolic panel
The basic metabolic panel is a blood test. Your doctor may order a basic metabolic panel to analyze multiple bodily functions. It can test for multiple conditions, including diabetes, kidney problems, and lung problems.
This test provides information about your:
- blood sugar levels
- electrolyte and fluid balance
- kidney function
- liver function
Your doctor may require you to fast before taking this test.
Resting metabolic rate (RMR) test
An RMR test analyzes the amount of oxygen you breathe in and the amount of carbon dioxide you breathe out. This test helps determine the number of calories your body burns while you’re resting, rather than in motion. It’s done while you’re sitting or reclining.
To do this test, you will breathe into a tube connected to a computer. The computer will analyze the composition of your breath and produce a report on your oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide output.
Aerobic capacity (VO₂ max) test
VO₂ max is the maximum amount of oxygen that can be transported to working muscles per minute, during strenuous activity.
The VO₂ max test measures the amount of carbon dioxide you exhale while exercising. It provides information about your oxygen intake and caloric burn while engaging in aerobic activity.
Your doctor or coach may have you walk or run on a treadmill while breathing into a mask to do this test.
It is often used to analyze athletic performance and potential in people who participate in competitive or extreme sports.
Lactate threshold test
The lactate threshold test is a series of blood tests that measures your lactate threshold.
During athletic activity, your body uses oxygen to break down glucose, which it uses as energy. If there isn’t enough oxygen intake, lactate is produced instead. Your body converts lactate to energy without the aid of oxygen.
Your lactate threshold is the point at which lactate starts to accumulate in your blood at a faster rate than the rate at which your body can eliminate it.
Lactate threshold tests may be done while you undergo increasing levels of strenuous activity, such as running, cycling, or swimming. They’re usually used by endurance athletes and those who participate in competitive sports.
At-home metabolism tests can be a valuable tool. However, they don’t take the place of a doctor’s input. Some pros and cons are:
- You’re not required to go in to a medical office to give a sample.
- The tests that are ordered online don’t require a prescription.
- You might use the results to gain insights for your fitness goals.
- They can be expensive and aren’t covered by health insurance.
- Some people may find it challenging to take a blood sample at home.
- It can be difficult for some people to produce enough saliva to fill the sample tube.
- They provide limited information. These tests are most beneficial when combined with a physical examination and evaluation of your medical history.
- Faulty results can occur. These may be caused by many factors including human error, inaccurate testing, medications you take, or something you ate or drank prior to testing.
You may have ordered an at-home metabolism test because you’re not getting the results you want from a weight loss or exercise program. Visiting a doctor or nutritionist may be helpful if you want professional input about changes you can make.
If you took an at-home test and received atypical results, let your doctor know. It’s always important to discuss hormone levels outside the typical range with a medical professional. They may indicate underlying conditions, which you can treat with lifestyle changes or medication.
Things to consider for metabolism tests
Metabolism tests can provide information about multiple bodily processes, including lung capacity and blood sugar levels. Hormonal tests can help uncover underlying conditions, including insulin resistance, that you may not know you have.
If your doctor has recommended metabolic testing for you, they may use the results to determine if you have problems with kidney health, lung health, or other issues.
At-home testing can provide insight into specific hormones which may be affecting your energy level, libido, or weight.
A medical professional should always analyze the results of a metabolism test. At-home tests may provide information that will inform your doctor about your overall health or signify the need for additional testing.
Can I get an at-home metabolism test mailed to me, no matter where I live?
No. In certain areas, state laws may limit the sale and availability of direct-to-consumer, at-home tests. If you live in a state where tests are not available for sale, you will not be able to place an order online or have it shipped to you.
Are at-home tests reliable?
The only way to determine if an at-home test gives 100%-reliable results is to re-test through your doctor or in person at a laboratory. However, you can take certain steps to help ensure that your results are at least in the immediate ballpark, if not exact.
What information can I not get from the results of an at-home metabolism test?
While at-home metabolism tests can provide information about specific hormones or other markers, they can’t give information about your basal metabolic rate (BMR). Your BMR is the number of calories your body needs to function.
Based on your test results, you may wish to modify your diet or exercise habits. If your cortisol is high, you may wish to add stress-reduction activities, such as meditation, to your routine.
At-home metabolism tests analyze hormones and other markers that can affect metabolism, weight, libido, and energy level. At-home tests are convenient and private. They can be a beneficial first step toward getting information about your health and metabolism. However, do not use these tests in place of medical advice.