Everything you need to know about biohacking

Biohacking. 

You may have heard of it. It may have crossed your mind. You may have shuttered it out, thinking it sounded way too complex and, to be honest, inhuman. 

After all, computers and machines are things to be "hacked", not humans — right?

But let's re-think the idea of "hacking" here. What if the definition of hacking really just means to interrupt a process and change behavior?

Does that sound like something your life could use more of?

This is exactly what biohacking does — but the results you gain are far greater than the work that you'll put in to find the right hacks for you.

This is transformation on a cellular level. Let's take a look. 

What is biohacking?

Biohacking your body is not just a trend — it's simply a term that is given to a diverse set of cutting-edge practices that incorporates ancient techniques with today's scientific advances to essentially "experiment" on yourself. 

Some of these methods are still to be thoroughly tested, while some of them have gained enough attention to be currently undergoing clinical trials. 

At the heart of biohacking your body, however, is curiosity, and a genuine desire to move from our ancestral, evolutionary mode of "survival", to a new age of the human race — focused on thriving.

What is biohacking

Dave Asprey, the founder of Bulletproof Coffee, explains: “The point of biohacking is not to count how many pushups you can do or the numbers on the scale. A true measurement of the success and effectiveness of biohacks are how sharply an individual's mind functions, or whether they perform effectively at the end of a long day as they do at the beginning.”

For Asprey, the "end goal" is all about empowering individuals to assess their own health and physical performance, "and then make the necessary tweaks to hack it. Call it the 'teach a man to fish' school of biohacking."

So, with that in mind, let's teach you how to fish in the sea of your own biology.

All the ways to biohack

Once you get into it, you'll see that it is truly a diverse discipline. And because it's all about testing and experimenting to see what works for you, it's incredibly data-driven. 

This means that all these little methods rely on your testing and input and their benefits add up.

Some of these practices are things you could already be doing. Have you made any changes to your diet, your sleep patterns, your health, physical fitness routines, or your emotional/mental health? If you have, and you're tracking the differences day-by-day, you're already hacking your body!

Biohacking techniques are easy to incorporate and are often hiding in plain sight. For example:

  • Meditating with specific kinds of breathing techniques

  • Using nootropics and natural supplements to boost body and brain performance

  • Cleaning up your "sleep hygiene" and using light therapy if you live in cold-climate countries

  • Switching between diets such as IIFYM, Paleo, and Keto, to keep your body from adapting to any one routine

  • Using intermittent fasting to promote body longevity

  • Practicing gratitude and affirmations to rewire the subconscious mind programming

  • Using Bulletproof coffee as part of your morning routine (coffee, MCT oil, and a spoonful of butter)

...and more. There are even more "extreme" practices such as ice-water workouts, injecting stem cells and hyperbaric oxygen tank therapy. 

Easy biohacks worth trying

There are so many different aspects of your biological health you could consider "hacking" that it could get overwhelming making all these changes at once. 

Instead, a more sustainable way to address this transformation is to take one or two areas you'd like to "test" and experiment on.

Hack Your Nutrition

There are several ways to "hack" your nutrition through specific dieting. There's the Paleo movement, the "If It Fits Your Macros" movement (especially useful for those looking to get into strength/weight and resistance training. 

The Ketogenic Diet, however, has proven to be one of the most popular techniques so far, definitely outstripping the Paleo Diet. It takes things one step further. Like Paleo, the Ketogenic diet cuts out carbs or maintains them on a very low basis. 

What it focuses on instead is consuming high amounts of healthy fats. 

That's right. Fats. The reduction in carbs, along with the substitution of fats causes the body to go into what is called a state of "ketosis". In a way, getting to this state gets your body to transition from burning carbs as a power/fuel source to burning fats instead.

In response, your body might even experience something called the "keto flu". 

So far, it's been shown to boost cognitive function, improve athletic performance, and maintain energy levels (and keep them going on high). To achieve a state of ketosis, begin with these rough proportions for your food consumption:

  • 75% fats

  • 15% proteins

  • 10% (or less) carbs

And don't worry — you don't need to eliminate your "fun" things, like coffee. In fact, caffeine is a welcome supplement for biohacking your body. And bulletproof coffee is a great recipe for turning your morning joe into a power-packed punch.

Hack Your Brain with Nootropics

You didn't think you could hack your biology without affecting your brain, did you? 

There are several ways to approach the optimization aspect of your mental and cognitive performance. 

Your cognitive abilities are affected by a mix of good sleep hygiene, diet/nutrition, supplementation, improved blood flow, and physical fitness. 

But a great way to "edge" your brain, bit by bit, is to consider incorporating and experimenting with nootropics. 

Nootropics are a mix of natural herbs, traditional and known "brain boosters", as well as a variety of "smart drugs" engineered to promote mental alertness, memory, focus, clarity of thought, and a more balanced connection between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nerve systems in the body.  

Biokacking with nootropics or smart drugs

Popular traditional nootropics include:

  • Ashwagandha

  • Gotu Kola

  • Lion's Mane

  • L-Theanine

Discover the right mix of supplements to achieve your biohacking goals with this short quiz.

Hack Your Total Health With Cold Therapy

Okay, so that's supplementation. What physical practices can you incorporate to boost your stamina, performance, and mental cognition?

Well, there's Wim Hoff Method, also known as Cold Therapy. 

Cold therapy has been scientifically proven to promote total body and brain health in several ways. It increases the resiliency of the blood-brain barrier, which keeps toxins and chemicals out. 

It shocks the body and mind into an instant state of energy

It boosts your immune system by reducing stress and forcing you to use breath techniques to breathe through the sensations.  

It calms, soothes, and heals aching, sore, and stiff muscles from overwork or a build-up of lactic acid

It boosts the life of individual cells.

And all you have to do is commit to a variation of hot and cold showers in the morning, for five minutes. That's right. Just five minutes. The point is to let the cold water hit your head for 20 seconds, then move on to hot water for 10 seconds. Alternate between these two extremes, 10 times over. 

Simple as that!

Conclusion

In his newest book, a New York Times bestseller, the creator of Mindvalley, Vishen Lakhiani, says: "Hack your past with forgiveness. Hack your present with mindfulness. Hack your future with, 'I AM ENOUGH'!"

At its core, the idea and practice of "hacking", especially biohacking, is all about shifting the needle in your direction. It's all about achieving a "breakthrough" that occurs, one step at a time — until you wake up one day and your life, body, health, and wealth are completely transformed.

Sources

Publishing, Harvard. "Should You Try The Keto Diet? - Harvard Health". Harvard Health, 2019. 

"Science Explains How The Iceman Resists Extreme Cold". Smithsonian, 2019,

Lakhiani, Vishen et al. "How I Reduced My Biological Age While Training With Ben Greenfield".

Wall, Kim. "Biohackers Push Life To The Limits With DIY Biology". The Guardian, 2019. 

Suliman, Noor Azuin et al. Establishing Natural Nootropics: Recent Molecular Enhancement Influenced By Natural Nootropic. 2019.

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