Biohacker. Biohacking. Biohack.
You’ve heard it – or you’ve seen it – and you’ve also likely heard of the profound positive effects that people are experiencing from biohacking. (Note that my biggest, best and most highly recommended biohack is mentioned at the end of the article.) So you must be wondering:
“What the hell is biohacking?”
“Why should I care?”
“How is biohacking going to make my life better?”
Why should you care about biohacking?
To answer this question, I have even more questions:
What do you do when you want to improve the way you look and feel?
What do you do when you don’t look good or feel well?
Oftentimes, we turn first to “Dr. Google”. And we get back a slew of possible ailments. It can be confusing and overwhelming. Especially when you see things like cancer. And, in my experience, the solution is most often:
“Talk to or go see your doctor.”
This was frustrating because, first of all, I didn’t actually have a doctor! It seemed as though everyone assumed that everyone had a doctor you could just call up and talk to. As many of us have experienced, it’s not so simple. Especially when you’re mostly healthy and there’s simply no need to see a doctor on a regular basis. I spent time looking for doctors and always seemed to come up empty-handed. This is when it may benefit you to do what I did…which I’ll get to later. So before we dive into the solution, let’s ask:
What are the benefits to biohacking?
Let’s first start with some of the benefits you can get from biohacking. There are many but the key takeaway is that you’re going to live a healthier, happier, and longer life. More specifically, you will possibly:
- Have more energy and vitality
- Lose body fat
- Gain strength
- Sleep better
- Be more focused and productive
- Experience less stress
- Have better relationships with your family, friends and everyone
- Enjoy more career / business success and make more money
Sounds good, right? I personally have experienced many of these things from making overall lifestyle changes – many that would be considered biohacks to my life. In fact, I was just looking back at entries from my personal journal from about 3 years ago and see that I was getting sick a lot. And I was tired.
But I pushed through. I began biohacking, stopped looking to traditional medicine for answers, and took my health into my own hands. Now, at 40+ I have more energy, focus, less stress and better relationships with friends, family, customers, and pretty much everyone.
A quick disclaimer: I can’t guarantee that biohacking will make your life better. In fact, if you’re not careful, it can make your life worse. So make sure you do your research!
Let’s break down the word “biohack”.
We can break it down into two parts:
First, the word “bio”. What does “bio” mean? When I do a quick Google search, I see that there are several meanings. Here’s the one we’re after:
And you can also see the origin of the word “bio”:
In this case, we’re most interested in the source of the word “bio”. The greek word “bios” means human life.
That’s the easy part of the word “biohack”. But what about the “hack” part?
In this case, we can skip to the very bottom of the definition where we see that a “hack” is a strategy or technique for managing one’s time or activities more efficiently.
I really like this definition because I think it captures the essence of what biohacking tries to accomplish.
Thus a biohack might literally be considered a way to manage a (or your) human life more more efficiently.
However, I think that biohacking goes way above and beyond just managing time and I think this is what is added when you combine the words “bio” and “hack” together. The part that’s missing here from my perspective is the optimization piece.
To me a biohack is a strategy or technique for optimizing (your) human life.
On the Bulletproof website, Dave Asprey defines biohacking:
So what did I do…after I decided that standard modern medicine simply didn’t cut it? I did the following…and you can do the same:
Take matters into your own hands.
We can all improve our overall health and wellbeing in some way or another. Maybe you suffer from some chronic illness. On the other hand, maybe you feel mostly healthy but know that you can do more… to be more energetic, focused, productive – and successful.
Okay, this still all sounds great in theory, right? So you may be asking:
What are some examples of biohacking?
Good question. If we look back at our definition, we can use that as a guide:
biohack: a strategy or technique for optimizing (your) human life.
This definition is vague and broad – which is why I explained that it’s something you can’t often find in traditional western medicine. It’s a shortcut. And it’s often something that can be considered as a DIY activity; that is, you can do it in the convenience of your own home.
Here are a few categories of examples…
Things you take:
- Smart drugs and/or nootropics
- IVs / Injections
- Hallucinogens / psychedelics
- Healthy food
- Music / sound
Things you do (or not do!):
- Neurofeedback / brain training
- Mindfulness / meditation
- Movement / exercise / resistance training
- Sleep well
Perhaps one of the best examples and most widely used biohack is caffeine. Much of the world drinks coffee and/or tea and the reason is simple: Once you drink it, you go from sleep to wide awake! Keep reading to see more examples…
What can you do today to start down your path to biohacking?
First, ask yourself:
“What are my goals?”
“What problems do I want to solve?”
“What improvements do I want to see in myself?”
“What’s keeping me from getting there?”
Once you ask these questions, it’s easier to narrow down the solutions.
If for example, you want to lose 10-20 pounds, then you can focus on the biohacks that will quickly get you to this goal – ideally in a safe and healthy manner. This would certainly involve the foods you eat.
There are many recommendations for losing weight and the foods you should eat. My favorite is somewhat of an “anti-hack”. Why? Because you don’t do anything with food. You simply don’t eat it. Yes, you fast!
Here are a few of the more common and simpler biohacks that may be ways to get you past your problems and closer to your goals:
- Wear flat (or no) shoes
- Go outside
- Get some sun
- Drink Bulletproof coffee
- Take vitamin D supplements
- Take a cold shower
- Take breaks from “work”
- Move your body
- Track your steps
- Run and jump
- Lift heavy things
- Listen to music
- Be grateful
- Measure your HRV (heart rate variability)
- Follow a ketogenic diet
- Eat nothing / fast
- Take magnesium supplements
- Hang or stand upside-down
- Turn off (or at least dim) your lights after dark
- Sleep well – with good sleep hygiene
And the list could go on and on… And I could explain what the specific hack is for each one of these but, to keep this article from getting too long, I’ll let you do your own research if you want to dig deeper.
If you’re doing some of these things already, that’s great. But be sure to ask yourself if you’re doing them in a way that’s optimizing your mind and body. And also measure what you can so you can quantify your results – and yourself.
What’s the ultimate biohack?
You’ve seen the benefits of biohacking and all the problems it can solve. So what’s the one single biohack that trumps the rest? Which biohack is going to solve your problems the fastest? It’s simple:
Work with a coach.
Ideally you want a coach you get along with but challenges you. Someone who asks powerful questions and pushes you to the next level of a better – happy, energetic, fulfilling – life.
But don’t take my word for it, After all, I’m a bit biased because I am a certified Bulletproof Coach. Go ahead and ask others who have had amazing coaches guide them to more balance in their lives.
Just one more question for you (that you can answer in the comments below):
What’s your favorite (or most effective) biohack?