DEXA Scan (DXA)

A DEXA scan (DXA) is the most reliable way to measure body fat, bone, and lean muscle throughout your body. It’s a simple and quick non-invasive procedure that provides a quantitative measure of your body composition. This allows you to optimize your program to suit your body’s needs.
DEXA (DXA) provides significant advantages over traditional body composition analysis methods including:

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Highest Accuracy

Only 1-2% error rate, whereas most methods have between 5-15% margin of error.

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Three Component Model

DEXA (DXA) distinguishes between body fat mass, lean mass, AND bone mineral content within the body. All other methods are two components: body fat mass and lean mass only.

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Regional Analysis

You’ll receive a breakdown of body fat mass & lean mass in 5 key regions of the body: arms, legs, trunk, android (belly), and gynoid (hips) regions so that you can see exactly where your changes are happening. No other method can provide this much detail.

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Muscle Imbalances

We will compare left and right side lean muscle in the arms, legs, and trunk region to determine if there are any muscular imbalances due to overuse or injury.

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Bone Density

You will receive a total body bone density analysis to assess risk for Osteopenia and Osteoporosis.

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No Restrictions

There is no need to remove or wear minimal clothing. There are also no dietary restrictions such as fasting or elimination of water or caffeine intake.

Dexa Scan (DXA) vs other Body Fat Testing Methods

Sample Analysis Report

View a sample DEXA scan (DXA) report.

FAQs

Do I need an appointment to get a DEXA scan?

Yes. Please make your appointment in advance. We can serve walk-ups if there is room in the schedule, but our appointments receive first priority. Additionally, Composition ID location in Washington D.C. is by appointment only, and our technician staff may not be present if there are no reserved appointments. Finally, many of our appointment dates do sell out, so there is no guarantee that we’ll have room for walk-ups. If your plans change, you can always change your appointment up to 24 hours beforehand.

How long does a DXA scan take?

On average, your appointment will take around 20-25 minutes. The dxa scan itself will take approximately 10 minutes, then you’ll get your results right after your scan, and briefly discuss results. To ensure an efficient appointment, please be sure to fill out your paperwork beforehand!

How often should I get a DXA scan?

When you are entering into a new fitness or nutrition program that’s a drastic change from what you’ve previously been doing, it can be extremely beneficial to rescan around 30 days after your baseline (first dxa scan). Measuring the impact of well controlled nutrition and training allows you to determine if the changes are producing the desired results. If you’re making smaller tweaks to your fitness and nutrition, stop in for a scan every 3-4 months to make sure you’re achieving your personal goals.

Will working out have an impact on my DXA scan results?

Nope! Working out before a DEXA scan (DXA) typically decreases your level of hydration. The accuracy of other methods of body fat testing, such as bioelectrical impedance, would be impacted by this, but the accuracy of the DEXA scanner is not. Keep in mind that there may be changes on your body composition due to hydration differences that will be reflected in your scan, so you should try to scan under similar circumstances each time.

How should I prepare for my DXA scan?

Just come in your workout clothes (but avoid clothing with metal, such as zippers or bra underwires) and lay down on our scanner bed for 10 minutes. Remember that for best accuracy, you’ll want to do the scan under the same circumstances each time. So if you you came first thing in the morning, prior to food/drink for your first scan, consider doing the same for subsequent scans. This will ensure that changes in your body composition are a reflection of actual change, rather than the presence of food.

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