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Monitor your body composition to build lean muscle mass

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You’ve chosen a specific sport or athletic activity in your journey toward optimal health and longevity. You’ve done the research on how that particular regimen will improve your body. By now, you already know the importance of the revolutionary DEXA (Dual X-Ray absorptiometry) scan to learn about your unique body composition.

Incorporating body composition data is more than just knowing about your body fat percentage and lean muscle levels. It’s your first step on a roadmap to wellness and performance. It’s an individualized schematic of the parts of your body that require your focus, whether your goal is to lose fat, build lean muscle mass or – equally as critical – avoid injury.

Create a reference point in case of an injury

An injury may result in a short-term change in body composition. Knowing your starting body composition from your first DEXA scan provides a benchmark for comparison when recuperating. A knee injury, for example, could lead to muscle atrophy. You may be able to avoid further injuries by having a baseline scan done after you've been injured, which can help get you back on track to regain lean mass.

Assess the efficiency of your training program

Multiple reviews of body composition data over time help determine how training impacts the body. A person's body composition will vary if they make nutritional changes like going on a diet. Is the diet working as it ought to? Is it lean mass or fat mass that's being lost while you work out? How well-trained and prepared is the body for an upcoming activity? Like dieting, a DEXA scan is an effective tool for tracking the results of a new fitness regimen by looking at the distribution of fat and lean tissue over the body as a whole.  

Tailor your training to your sport

The sort of body and composition required for a particular activity or sport will vary.  

For example, endurance athletes such as long-distance runners require maintaining a different body composition than strength athletes like weight lifters. The data provided by DEXA scanning over time allows precise tailoring of body composition for a specific sport.


Athletes are competitive by nature, and body composition can help motivate them to follow a healthy diet and exercise regimen. Athletes can keep tabs on their own progress and see how they stack up against other competitors. Furthermore, amateur athletes may be motivated by comparisons to other athletes or actual professionals. Or more simply, any individual interested in remaining in peak physical condition for better longevity can be motivated by positive changes in the data.

How to prepare and what to expect

The DEXA is a compact, inconspicuous device with a table-top “arm”. The open design helps patients relax and enjoy the test. It works by sending out a low-energy x-ray beam that measures soft tissue and bone.

The DEXA analyzes your body's fat, muscle, and bone composition. It prints out percentages, mass, and images of the data after the scan.

“For years, I've said that DEXA is the most powerful piece of equipment that I have in my office.” Said Dr. Lars Boman, Medical Director of Because Health. “It's very simple, it’s painless and the results are are immediate,.”

The DEXA scan is great since it requires almost no preparation. Keep hydrated and avoid eating for better accuracy (at least 3 hours since your last meal). Take calcium supplements 24 hours before your test to ensure reliable findings. Avoid metal in or on your clothing (zippers, buttons, etc). The test only takes a few minutes and the results are immediate.

You then meet with the doctor shortly after to review the findings, and recommendations will be made how to improve body composition based on your individual goals (i.e., lose fat, build lean muscle mass, increase bone density).

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