What You Need To Know
- Bluetooth-enabled breathalyzer
- Offers recommendations to boost your metabolism
- The more you use it, the more data you get
- Available now for $249, save 10% with code BINTHERUN
MEAGHAN: I first heard of the Lumen in 2020 when an ad for the device popped up in my news feed. It claims to be the first hand-held device that enables you to “hack” your metabolism. I had just started working with a sports dietician (Meghann Featherstun) and asked her if I should try and get a unit for review. She did some research and suggested we hold out while I was in the middle of training for a marathon PR. Fast forward to October of 2021, and the company reached out to see if we wanted to try it. I figured why not. So, what exactly does this vape-looking device do? Let’s dive in.
Hear more from Meghann: Fuel for the Sole podcast
Lumen is a small breathalyzer equipped with Bluetooth that syncs to an app on your phone. It measures CO2 levels to decipher whether you’re running on carbs or fat and aims to help improve ‘metabolic flexibility.’ Each time you breathe into it, the device analyzes your breath, giving you a score from 1 to 5 to tell you whether your body is running on fat (a 1 or 2), carbohydrates (a 4 or 5), or a combination of both (a 3). It follows with a recommended meal plan of approximately how many carbs, fat, and protein servings you should be eating that day, with the ultimate goal of making your metabolism more efficient.
MEAGHAN: Using the Lumen properly means you are starting your day with this thing every morning. Before you even have a sip of coffee, you need to breathe into the device to get an accurate reading. The biggest benefit here? Starting your day with a couple of nice, deep breaths. The worst part? If you don’t score a 1 or 2, you kinda feel like a failure. Since the overall goal is to help you become ‘metabolically flexible,’ the idea is that you want to start your day (after fasting) burning fat, then switch to burning carbs throughout the day. Why? According to Lumen, increasing our metabolic flexibility can have multiple positive effects, like a stronger immune system, sustained energy, fewer blood sugar roller coasters, and overall better health.
In addition to testing your breath every morning, you’re also encouraged to use the device before and after meals and exercise and right before bed. The more effort you put into using the device, the more data and information you’ll get in return. After a couple of weeks of using the device, you get a metabolic flexibility score. I scored somewhere right in the middle: not inflexible, but not super flexible. So how do they recommend you increase your metabolic flexibility? Mainly through nutrition, fasting, and exercise.Shop Lumen
MEAGHAN: While this all makes sense, I have to think back to all of the conversations I’ve had with my sports dietician. What is my #1 goal? Is it to be metabolically flexible? Or is it to perform at my best? As someone who is always pretty active, I rarely have ‘low carb’ days. If I were following the guidance of this device, I would be eating half, sometimes less than half, of the carbs that’s been recommended by my sports dietician. While this might help me wake up in a state of fat burning, it likely won’t help with performance.
On the flip side, I can see how this device might be helpful to someone deciding if they need to fuel before a run. A quick breath into Lumen pre-workout will let you know if you’re good to get you through your session or if a snack is in order.Shop Lumen
Lumen Nutrition Conclusion
MEAGHAN: As a pretty big data nerd, I’ve enjoyed testing out the Lumen. It’s been fun to find out if I’m burning fat or carbs in real-time, and there’s a wealth of information within the App, from nutrition basics to recipe suggestions broken down by macros.
The Lumen comes at varying prices depending upon the program you choose. On the lower end, the device with 6 months of use will cost $249. On the higher end, the device with 18 months of use will cost you $349.
Read more: PWURE Nutrition review
If you’re interested to learn more about your fat/carb burning state without going to see a professional for testing, this is an ideal device. While I would be hesitant to recommend this to an athlete in the middle of a hard training block, I think the information the device provides could be beneficial to just about anyone. If you’d like to try it, you can save 10% with code: BINTHERUN.Shop Lumen
Meaghan is the co-founder of Big Run Media and Believe in the Run. She’s often found tearing up the promenade on Baltimore’s waterfront early in the morning.