I never thought I'd have anything in common with an NFL linebacker.
But it turns out, with the New York Giants' Mark Herzlich, I have at least two: We both love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (but who doesn't?) and we've both taken Quest Diagnostics' Blueprint for Athletes blood test.
"It's based on four checkups through the season," Herzlich told CNBC, "to see where our blood levels are, what the changes are, and to correlate them on the schedule."
For me, it was for a story (this story). Quest, the lab-testing giant, has offered the Blueprint for Athletes tests since 2013. The test examines dozens of markers in the blood, from glucose levels to blood cell counts to "muscle status" markers, like creatine kinase. It also measures food sensitivities, which is where PB&J's come in.
"I had been eating PB&J sandwiches before every game since I was 10 years old," Herzlich said. His first Blueprint test, though, revealed a sensitivity to peanuts. "I cut peanuts out of my diet and I noticed a real surge in energy later in the games."
Beyond a partnership with the Giants, Quest also works with college sports teams. And increasingly, it's seeking to market the Blueprint test to amateur athletes in a movement beyond wearable fitness trackers.
"Athletes spend a tremendous amount of time and money to pursue their sport," said Richard Schwabacher, Quest's executive director of sports science and human performance diagnostics. "Ironman athletes can spend up to $12,000 in any given season between their bike, pool and coaching."