What is a DEXA Body Composition scan?

The DEXA scan is the clinical gold standard for measuring fat, muscle, and bone density. A DEXA scan (Dual-Energy X-ray Absorptiometry) uses two different types of waves that are reflected by lean muscle, and bone differently. The scanner uses this information to create a detailed map of your body provides a “map” of bone, lean and fat mass to determine your body composition.

What is a DEXA scan used for?

The DEXA scan is used to assess your bone density and body mass. Results show your overall body fat, lean tissue, and bone density, where your body fat and muscle is distributed, and the presence of visceral fat, the dangerous fat around organs including your liver.

The primary advantage of DEXA scan over using a fat estimate device (bioimpedance scales, calipers, tape measure –think In-Body), or displacement estimate device (hydrostatic dunk tank, Bod Pod) is that the DEXA scan is a full scan of your body that measures and determines the weight of bones, fat and muscle giving you precise measurements for these things rather than estimates.

Who should have a DEXA scan?

DEXA scans are great for providing a general health assessment. They are also helpful for anyone looking to optimize their workout and nutrition plan with precise measurement and tracking, such as dieters, athletes and fitness enthusiasts, or bodybuilders. 

A DEXA scan will give you a highly accurate report to help you achieve your goals. By knowing your body fat and lean tissue percentage, you can make lifestyle changes to improve your health and reduce your risk for chronic diseases. Along with Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) and VO2 testing, DEXA scan results can be used to recommend specific information on ideal caloric intake and energy expenditure, helping to achieve fat loss or muscle gain goals.

An initial baseline scan lets you see exactly where you are when you start, then track how much body fat you’re losing, and how much muscle you’re gaining. Scans help you learn what works for your body, and you can make adjustments if your plan isn’t delivering the right results. 

DEXA is one of the quickest and most practical methods of body composition available, and is an important investment in your health. Find a DEXA testing location near you.


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