Biohacking: A Guide to Better Health
“Biohacking” is a buzzword which refers to the practice of using science and technology to optimize and improve human performance, often through one’s own experiments.
Biohacking covers a wide spectrum, and hacks can range from simple changes in your diet, including fasting, to advanced technologies such as gene editing and implantable devices. Yoga may even fall under the umbrella of biohacking.
The movement has gained popularity since the 1990s as more and more people use biohacking to improve their health and well-being through personalized approaches that go beyond conventional medicine. The term was even added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary in 2018.
“Biohacking” refers to the practice of using science and technology to optimize and improve human performance.
One of the most common examples of biohacking is the use of wearable electronics to track various health indicators. Devices like Fitbit or Apple Watch can track your steps, heart rate, and sleep quality, giving you quantifiable data to improve your health.
Another popular example of biohacking is the use of supplements and nootropics to improve cognitive abilities and brain function.
Nootropics are substances believed to improve cognitive functions such as memory, concentration and creativity. Nootropics include caffeine, omega-3 fatty acids, and ginkgo biloba. Bulletproof Coffee is one of the most popular expendable biohacks.
Exciting stuff, right? Read the background and origins of biohacking, examples and five key ways it can improve your health. We’ve even included our favorite biohacker influencers to follow. Let’s dive in!
Origins of biohacking
Although the term biohacking is relatively new, the practice of modifying one’s own biology to improve health has been around for centuries. Early examples of biohacking can be traced back to ancient China, where people used medicinal herbs and acupuncture for self-healing.
The term biohacking has its roots in the DIY biology movement that emerged in the late 1990s. This movement was the driving force behind a group of scientists, engineers and enthusiasts who wanted to democratize science and make it accessible to all. They believed that science should not be limited to academia or industry, and that everyone should be able to experiment with biological systems.
Some biohackers came to the movement out of necessity because they had health problems that conventional medicine couldn’t solve and turned to the biohacker community for support.
Dave Asprey is often credited with popularizing the term biohacking and remains a prominent figure in the community. Asprey, an entrepreneur from Silicon Valley, became interested in using technology and independent experiments to optimize his own productivity and health.
He created the concept of “bulletproof coffee,” a drink made from coffee, herbal butter, and medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil, claiming it improves mental clarity and energy levels. Asprey’s approach gained traction, and soon a community of like-minded people began to form around the idea of using science and technology to optimize human performance.
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4 typical examples of biohacking:
Biohacking can take many forms, from simple dietary interventions to more advanced techniques such as genetic engineering and the implantation of electronic devices.
Nutrigenomics is the study of how the nutrients we consume interact with our genes. Biohackers who practice nutrigenomics use genetic testing to determine which nutrients their bodies need more of and then alter their diets accordingly.
2. Use of electronic devices and programs
Some biohackers use electronic devices to monitor their health or improve their performance, including devices that track their heart rate, sleep patterns, and other biometric data.
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In some cases, such as a continuous glucose monitor (CGM), these devices are implanted in their bodies. CGM, originally developed to help treat diabetes, is being used by biohackers looking to improve blood sugar levels and is a growing trend, albeit a controversial one, in the biohacking community.
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Fasting is a common biohacking technique that involves abstaining from food for a certain period of time. Biohackers use fasting to improve their metabolism, reduce inflammation and increase energy.
Nootropics, or brain drugs, are cognitive-enhancing supplements used to improve concentration, memory, and mental clarity. They can be natural, semi-synthetic or synthetic. Biohackers use nootropics to enhance their cognitive performance, and examples of nootropics include caffeine, creatine, and blends like Noocube.
5 Ways Biohacking Can Improve Your Health:
Biohacking can improve your health by allowing you to take a more personalized approach to your health and well-being. Traditional medicine often uses a one-size-fits-all approach that may not work for everyone.
Biohacking allows you to experiment with different techniques and interventions to find what works best for your individual needs.
Here are five important ways biohacking can improve your health.
1. Improved physical performance
Biohacking can help you improve your physical performance by optimizing your diet, exercise and sleep patterns. By making small adjustments in these areas, you can improve your athletic performance, reduce your risk of injury, and improve your overall health.
2. Improvement of physical health
By experimenting with different diets, fasting protocols, and tracking stats like steps taken, calories burned, and sleep patterns, people can improve their metabolism and overall health. Biohacking techniques such as fasting, diet and exercise can help reduce inflammation and improve overall health.
3. Increased energy
Biohacking can help you boost your energy levels by optimizing your diet, exercise and sleep patterns. By making small adjustments in these areas, you can increase your energy levels and reduce fatigue.
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4. Improvement of cognitive abilities and mental health
Biohacking can help you improve your cognitive performance through techniques like nootropics and cognitive training. By improving mental clarity, concentration, and memory, you can improve your productivity, creativity, and overall quality of life.
5. Prevention of diseases
Biohacking techniques such as dietary intervention, exercise and genetic testing can help us identify diseases that may be at risk.
Influential biohackers to watch
- With his approach to functional medicine, Dr. Mark Hyman offers many biohacks for longevity and overall health
- Jessie Inhauspe, aka The Glucose Goddess, offers tons of biohacks for controlling blood sugar
- From morning routines to ice baths, Stanford neurology professor Andrew Huberman shares great tips
- Dave Asprey, sometimes called the originator of the term biohacking, shares his advice based on his years of experimentation
- Cynthia Thurlow offers expertise in intermittent fasting
Biohacking is here to stay, and if you use this industry correctly, you can dramatically improve your health and well-being. It’s a brave new world we’ve entered, and the technology we have access to today promises the possibility of radical transformation, both internally and externally.
Did you like any of these ideas? Or better yet, what are your favorite biohacking methodologies? Please share with us in the comments below – we’d love to hear from you!
All information included is not intended for treatment or diagnosis. The views expressed are those of the author and should be attributed solely to the author. For medical issues, please consult your doctor.