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Gear Review: How Lumen uses your breath to optimize your training

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The Six Minute Mile team has witnessed the advent of innovative devices geared toward enhancing the reader’s training and recovery. It seems like yesterday, household products like percussion therapy and sleep-tracking bands were niche and new to the market. The latest addition to cutting-edge fit tech comes from Lumen. Lumen has created the world's first portable device validated to measure metabolic health with a single breath. The Six Minute Mile staff is a couple of months into our Lumen journey and is impressed at the results of this powerful all-in-one health tool. Yes, Lumen is simply a breathalyzer that accurately tells you about your metabolic health in just a breath! For a short time, SMM readers receive an exclusive 15% discount on their Lumen with code "SMM". We break down our experience as Lumen users below. 


When taking notice of Lumen we had trouble believing that such a tracking tool was even out there. The ability to measure your metabolic health takes out the guesswork athletes go through when determining what they need to fuel their workout. Metabolic health is essentially how efficiently your body is turning food into fuel. A healthy metabolism includes a plethora of benefits, including easier weight management, improved energy levels, better fitness results, better sleep, etc. Every athlete has faced the enigma of whether to eat or not eat before getting active. We were eager to see how much runners could benefit from knowing the specifics of their energy supplies before deciding to fuel up or not before hitting a long training run. 


First things first. Getting set up on your Lumen device is quite simple. Downloading the app, connecting to Bluetooth, and creating your profile takes less than 10 minutes. The app is where you will see all of your readings, and recommendations, and where you’ll log nutrition. It takes a little practice to get a perfect reading 


After two weeks of initial readings, Lumen generates a baseline number based on what they gather from detection in your breath (more on that below). My score was 13.6 indicating a medium flexibility score. Recommended is a solid amount of journal entry needed on the user end so that Lumen can develop a proper understanding of your nutrition habits and biometrics. Once the Lumen app has the time to sync up your score with habits, your readings will give you practical insights into how you should fuel your body. Lumen factors in diet, sleep, and stress, and tailors a plan based on your personal wellness goals. While it’s not a magic solution for weight loss or health improvement it's proven to be a valuable asset for endurance athletes. 

Here is a more scientific explanation of how Lumen scores your metabolic health with only a breath. Each detection measures your RER (Respiratory Exchange Ratio) or the amount of CO2 in you. That CO2 ratio is what they use to determine your glucose levels which is your metabolic fuel utilization. You can learn more about the specifics in this recently peer-reviewed validation study. 

Lumen’s key performance metric is Metabolic flexibility and the goal of using Lumen is to be more aware of and ultimately improve that score. Your body’s ability to efficiently switch between using different fuel sources, mainly carbs and fats is the key to where they place you on the metabolic flexibility spectrum. The more flexible, the better your health and well-being, and the less likely you are to end up with chronic issues like Type 2 Diabetes or Cardiovascular disease. From there Lumen gives you nutritional recommendations that are science-backed and personalized to your measurements, so you know you’re doing what’s best for your body.


Overall our team has loved adding this device to our toolbox. It surely turns some heads when getting a reading at the gym or track (No we're not vaping). The biggest benefit has been staying aware of carbohydrate intake and monitoring that based on our factors. We still use it daily to get a feel for tracking our flex score and inputting our diet information. If you are ready to take the next step in tracking your metabolic health then look no further than Lumen.


We are excited to share that Six Minute Mile readers can now access the same technology once available only to professional athletes in hospitals and clinics. Six Minute Mile readers will also receive an exclusive 15% discount on their Lumen with code "SMM". Click to try it out here!

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