First Impressions is a series that introduces and reviews new brands to My Subscription Addiction, drawing from readers' requests for an insider's first look. Interested in seeing more reviews from this brand, or have another box in mind that you'd like to see reviewed? Let us know in the comments.
Lately, it seems as if everyone is trying to get into the health and wellness game. Everywhere you look there are advertisements for new vitamins, apps that promise to help you lose weight, gyms popping up on every corner, and a whole slew of MLM businesses that are all about making you happier and healthier. I don't know about you all, but honestly... I find it downright exhausting. I want to be able to mindlessly scroll through Facebook without being told what I have to do to be healthy or what I need to eat to sleep better at night. Do I want all of those things? Sure, absolutely! But, I'm pretty sure it's going to take more than an ad on Instagram that went out to 10,000 other people. I want more personalization. I want to know what my body needs and when it needs it, not what a company thinks I need.
Which is exactly why I wanted to try out Vessel Health's wellness card. Vessel Health's entire philosophy is about personalization and only giving you the information that comes direct from your body. The card basically assesses your body and spits the information back out through an app on your phone that makes it easily digestible. It's basically a translator for the complicated inner workings of well... you.
Sounds Great, But How Does It Work?
Vessel Health sends out what they call wellness cards to each subscriber. They actually reminded me of chlorine test strips for your pool, just much bigger, fancier looking... and obviously not for your pool. You have two options on how to use these cards. You can either 1. pee on the card directly or 2. pee into a cup and then dip the card into it.
After trying both ways, I highly, highly, recommend just peeing into a cup. Look, we have two kids, so I've peed on plenty of pregnancy tests in the past. I feel like I'm kind of a pro at it, but these tests are not pregnancy sticks. They are bigger and require more precise aim. If you miss, you have to clean it off, and honestly, that's the last thing I really want to be doing when I first wake up. Plus the larger surface area actually means that there is more splashback (sorry if that is TMI, but I really feel like I need to save you all from a messy morning that could be easily avoided).
Save yourself a ton of hassle, and just grab a throwaway cup, pee into it and stick the card in for 1-2 seconds. No mess and no cleanup. Done.
Then you wait. It takes 3.5 minutes for the Vessel Health wellness card to do its magic, but there is a nifty little timer in the app they have you download that tells you when it should be ready. You then scan the QR code through the app and within seconds you have a snapshot of your body's health.
So, what does it test for?
The wellness cards will test you for B7 (Biotin), Ketones, pH, Vitamin C, Cortisol, Magnesium, and your hydration levels. Don't know why those are important? That's ok! Once you have your results, you can click on each area and it will give you a more accurate result of it as well as how being too high or too low in that specific area can be affecting you.
For example, I found out I was high in cortisol. Once I clicked on the cortisol tab, it showed me that my levels should be between 50-150, and yet mine were around 200. Why does this matter? Well, cortisol is a hormone that gets released during times of stress, but it can also be an indication of overall health as it helps to control blood sugar, blood pressure, metabolism, memory, fatigue, etc. Basically, it's pretty important, and having too much of it can be a problem if you don't get it down over time.
As well as giving you your levels, the app also has additional peer-reviewed scientific studies that you can read that show how your levels can be affecting you personally. For my high cortisol levels, I had the option of reading up to 91! different studies. And that was just for cortisol! Obviously, I didn't read all 91, but I've been low on energy and haven't felt as calm as I know I can be, so I read a few of the ones offered within those sections. I found one or two of them to be very interesting and immediately knew I needed to get my cortisol down.
Thankfully, the app also has a way to help you do that. It gives you options that allow you to set alarms on your phone for reminders to do certain things throughout the day. Two of the ways the app told me that you can try and get cortisol levels down naturally is by cardio and breathing exercises. So, I had the app send me reminders throughout the week to do both of those. While I wasn't able to get in as much cardio as I had hoped, I did stop, slow down, and do the breathing exercises each and every time I got the reminder. I wouldn't say they helped me long-term, but I definitely felt more relaxed after each time I did them.
Subscription Box: Vessel Health
Once Per Week - boxes will include 4 wellness cards per month.
- Month-to-Month - $50 per month
- 6 Month Membership - $40 per month
- 12 Month Membership - $35 per month
Once Per Month - boxes will include 1 wellness card per month
- Month-to-Month - $30 per month
- 6 Month Membership - $25
- 12 Month Membership - $20
There is also a daily membership option, but I wanted to separate it because this one seems a bit unnecessary in my opinion. Not only is it extremely expensive, but by their own nutritionists' admission, it could take weeks to see a change in your levels once you start trying something new. Now, there very well could be people who want to do this and if they can afford it, then good on 'em! But I feel like if monitoring your levels every single day is something that you need to do, then there might be better options and tests through your doctor where *hopefully* insurance will be able to cover it.
Daily Membership - boxes will include 30 cards per month.
- Month-to-Month - $350 per month
- 6 Month Membership - $280 per month
- 12 Month Membership - $245 per month
Another pretty amazing feature of Vessel Health is their online nutritionists. I can attest that these are real people and they actually give you real feedback. Not just pre-planned blurbs that anybody with a computer at home can send to you. I got in touch with one after I took my second test a week after my first and asked her what else I could do to help get my cortisol levels as well as a few other areas down. After talking to her for a little bit, she recommended adding on a probiotic to my daily vitamin routine as those are not only helpful for your gut but also help to absorb other vitamins and nutrients into your body. In turn, my body should become healthier which hopefully would also help to reduce any stress on it and lower my cortisol.
She also reassured me that certain areas are ok to be a little high (my biotin was also high), as long as that is due to a healthy diet and not extreme supplement taking, as our body will eliminate any extra in our pee.
If you really want to take Vessel Health to the next level, then they also offer custom supplements based on your body's needs. The best part? They actually put it into a single capsule! I'm so tired of taking multiple vitamins and I don't feel like a generic multivitamin quite gives me what I need, so I absolutely love that this is an option. The vitamins are all non-GMO, vegan, and gluten-free so are a great option for someone with dietary restrictions. The approximate cost of adding on your personalized vitamins is $50/per month.
Check out our full directory of vitamin reviews if you are looking for something a bit different!
What do I wish they did differently?
Well, this should come as no surprise, but I really feel like they should send out some sort of compostable cup each month. Maybe it's just me, and you all will have no problem peeing on the card, but it just was not a pleasant experience.
Vessel Health is also not compatible with every phone. For the majority of people, this will not be an issue at all as most people have iPhones. However, I like to be difficult and actually have a phone that is not compatible. I have no idea why this is, as I was able to download the app just fine, but apparently, they are concerned about the readings. I did try it on my phone as well as on my husband's, who has an iPhone, and twice, the test results came out identical on both phones. So, I can't comment on what the issue is exactly since it worked fine on my OnePlus, however, if you have a phone that is not as common, be sure to check ahead of time and make sure it's compatible. Or just download it onto a spouse or family member's phone that isn't using the health strips.
Overall, I think Vessel Health is a pretty great at-home wellness tracker. I love that I can take a test once a week or every month and just keep an eye on how my body is functioning. So many times I've been exhausted or stressed out and would love to know why. Well, now I do! And honestly, never would I have imagined that my main stress hormone was high. I just assumed it was because I had two little kids (which to be fair is probably why my stress hormone was high in the first place!), but it's great to see the health reasons behind it.
The additional peer-reviewed studies really backed up their information in the app and made me feel confident that Vessel Heath had taken the time and energy to find qualified doctors to back up their information and hire nutritionists to help their members on their health journeys.
I ended up taking 3 tests before this review, and while my levels did not change dramatically, I did start to actually feel pretty good. I started sleeping better and had more energy throughout the day. Even though my levels stayed almost stagnant, their nutritionists did say it could take a month or so to show any improvement, so I'm not overly concerned they haven't improved... yet. What it did prove to me was that this is not an overnight fix. Using Vessel Health is for people who really want to see changes in their vitamin, nutrient, and hormone levels and are willing to put the time and energy into fixing them.
While I still don't see how daily tests could be necessary, I do think trying Vessel Health for at least 6 months would be beneficial in order to give your body and mind time to adjust to everything. I have one additional test that was given as a "gift" for someone else, but I've decided I'm going to be selfish and try the last test in a month after I've continued to take their advice on how to get my levels to a more normal level. Wish me luck!
Have you tried Vessel Health? What did you think?
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