Curious how to do biohacking? Picture this scenario. You go to your general practitioner and ask him, “how can I be better?” No, it’s not a rhetorical question; it’s a sincere one.
He then asks back, “why? Is there something wrong with you?”
“Nothing, I just want to be better,” you answer.
“So, you don’t need me then,” he says.
And there lies the dilemma. If everything’s good, it seems counterintuitive to worry, right? Why fix it if it ain’t broke?
You see, most people will only react to something that has already presented itself instead of taking a proactive stance. After all, medicine is generally focused on treatment; it’s not preventive, which biohacking is at its core. Until something goes wrong, we don’t want to do anything.
Biohacking would make a lot of sense not only in preventing but also improving. Some people tend to limit themselves to certainties and accept their current situation.
If you only knew things you could do to level up, wouldn’t you do them? Why join a 20-km marathon when you can go as far as 80 kilometers? In other words, you may be good, but you can be great.
Biohacking = Do-It-Yourself Biology
Biohacking is a rapidly growing lifestyle that has become a buzzword, especially among those who like the idea of being in charge of their personal health. So, what is it?
It may be a broad term covering a wide range of categories and pursuits, but in a nutshell, it is a self-help approach to health optimization.
As Dave Asprey, the father of biohacking puts it, biohacking is about taking control of your own biology by changing your internal and external environments.
At the same time, you do not only figure out what’s wrong or what could be better but also the “why”. You get preventive, targeted, and quantified results based on available data, not guesswork.
Basic Tenets Of How To Do Biohacking
1. To optimize health, prioritize mimicking the power of nature and ancestral wisdom; technology should be a secondary option.
2. The goal is more preventive care and self-improvement.
3. You are experimenting on your body using novel or tried modalities. Either way, proceed with caution.
When you think about it, biohacking is not so fringe after all. In fact, many people are doing biohacks unconsciously, starting with the most basic biohacking examples such as sleep, exercise, diet, social contact, and stress management.
But biohacking is not a one-size-fits-all; instead, it is personalized. For instance, sleeping for 6 hours with soothing background music makes you feel more energized and mentally alert based on self-experimentation, while others prefer longer hours and quiet surroundings.
The beauty of biohacking is exploring how your body operates as an individual. As such, you will only adopt practices and methodologies that keep you at peak performance in as many life aspects as you can.
These would include achieving a stabler weight loss, enhancing memory, improving air quality intake, or setting a gratitude mindset even. Thus, biohacking does tackle not only changes to one’s body but also the mind and environment.
What Is Not Biohacking
- Microchip implants
- Gene modification
- Forcing your body to change in unnatural ways
- Using health tech just because
- Random supplements
- Health gimmicks and fad diets
How to do biohacking? It is about optimizing, if not upgrading, your default health system, it can easily be misconstrued as any of the above ideas.
Although microchip implantation (grinder biohacking) is a biohacking application, its use to “overclock” the body is not what biohacking is about.
Instead, such technology should be supplemental, not as an alternative replacement of a normally functioning body part or organ.
For instance, in your quest to avoid the odds of developing a debilitating heart disease, you decide to replace your perfect normal heart with a highly advanced artificial version. That may be wild and unnecessary and somewhat bordering on insanity, right?
In the meantime, biohacking is often used interchangeably with biotechnology. Although it employs the latter, biohacking can be done even without it. And besides, it is more underground than biotechnology, which is more regulated and mainstream.
Although biohacking can easily be abused, it is highly beneficial when done right and for the right reasons. You should not use it to manipulate your mechanisms that they’re not meant to do or force your body and mind into an unnatural state.
Optimized health will help your body ward off life-threatening illnesses while allowing you to live the best life possible.
Why Resort To Biohacking
There are varied reasons people would want to biohack themselves. The underlying philosophy is that we can be better; we don’t have to accept our flaws and shortcomings that can limit our capacities and abilities. It also includes the following objectives:
Improve The Quality Of Life
It’s normal to want to feel better and do better. We have this desire to push our bodies a little further beyond because we don’t want to be sick and be able to do more. This would involve incremental changes to the body through nutrition, lifestyle, and environment adjustments that enhance wellness and productivity.
Whether it’s a biohacking diet of drinking bullet coffee or a grounding practice, the key here is to use more natural albeit unconventional approaches that you can test on yourself.
By now, you are probably aware that humans utilizing 10% of their brains is a myth. It stemmed from others attributing Einstein’s intelligence to his ability to harness his brain well beyond that number.
This, along with neurosurgeon Wilder Penfield’s discovery of the silent cortex, referring to areas in the brain that seemed to have no function when stimulated with electricity, fanned this concept. However, many continue to believe we are not maximizing our brain power.
While technically there is no “smart pill”, the idea of which has inspired several Hollywood sci-fi movies, there are ways to biohack our brains, so they operate at a higher capacity. As an example, Bacopa has memory-enhancing properties which can be useful for students preparing for their final exams.
But it’s not only about leveraging the right nootropics (more on this later). You can also biohack the brain through functional music. A consistent sound wave may change the brainwaves that could help you focus during a crucial task. Doing meditation is another way which can lower anxiety, supporting brain health.
Democratize Cutting-Edge Science
Some biohackers tend to be anti-establishment. They would rather take matters into their own hands and not be subjected to the medical industry’s healthcare monopoly.
After all, government bureaucrats can be too slow in approving innovative treatments and medicines, which can be frustrating. And people have literally died waiting for a solution because it was the only acceptable option for them at the time.
With biohacking, you get to test unconventional ideas outside the hierarchical setting. There are online communities dedicated to biohacking where members get to share their experiences and engage in experimentations and biohacking conferences in the name of potentially life-changing discoveries.
Our reasons and goals for biohacking can escalate along the way. When you want to improve the quality of life, longevity is a possible byproduct. Because once you start getting results from your biohacking, you would then think, why stop there?
Why not try to add a few more years to your life? Or maybe, try to live forever? Ambitious as it is, simple health goals of not getting sick can easily turn into bigger objectives, such as slowing your aging process.
You then begin to realize that being healthy is just the norm, and want to be above it. For the biohacker, people are not limited by their abilities, only by their vision.
How To Do Biohacking
DIY biohacking is where individuals perform experiments outside a controlled lab environment. They usually apply scientific principles and shared knowledge within their community alongside their own spin, which creates a new field of possibilities.
While many biohackers are regular people who happen to be science enthusiasts, others are actual scientists themselves.
Over 50 DIY biohacking lab spaces are working on innovative life science solutions and attracting more like-minded persons to this endeavor. Biohacking has espoused citizen science by producing homegrown biologists who learned practically on their own.
Although considered controversial, their open experimentations have generated fresh ideas beyond the confines of traditional science.
From their combined wordings of nutrition, genes, and “nomy”, nutrigenomics tackles the relationship between food and gene expression. In other words, genetics also react to the environment; in this case, it is nutrition.
Genes may affect how you respond to food which, in turn, impacts bodily health. An example would be red wine. One of its components, resveratrol, can excite a particular gene that protects tissues from free radicals.
As such, drinking Cabernet or Sangiovese can help reduce the cancer susceptibility of a person with that gene.
If you want to put nutrigenomics to the test, you can submit a DNA sample for analysis. The results will then dictate your biohacking diet plan whereby certain food items that induce illnesses you are predisposed to will be omitted while including those that are compatible with your genes.
Biohacking ranges from simple solutions to advanced technologies. Grinders are on the end of this spectrum. It is similar to DIY biohacking but more hardcore since they specialize in biohacking body modification.
Blood test implantation is an example of grinder biohacking. It uses a microchip that transmits blood data via Bluetooth, which aims to reduce hospital checkups and make a case for personalized and convenient testing and diagnosis, especially for the chronically ill.
On the other hand, some people think that the high-tech applications of human augmentation can blur the line between “human and machine”, depending on how far they go.
Also referred to as cognitive enhancers, nootropics are drugs that can impact your mental skills. They may contain natural or chemical substances (or both) and come in food supplements, extracts, or energy drinks.
Check our review on TOP 3 Nootropic Supplements
A common example is caffeinated coffee, caffeine being a natural stimulant. Ginseng and ginkgo biloba are over-the-counter nootropics that are supposedly memory-enhancing and can be a promising treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.
On the other hand, prescription nootropics are mental stimulants that intend to treat medical conditions like ADHD and narcolepsy. But when used casually, you may experience adverse side effects, including anxiety, PTSD, risque behavior, and bad academic performance.
Avoid such nootropics if you don’t need them in the first place.
A little less invasive than implantation, wearable tech is also in line with human augmentation but placed outside the body.
Biohackers often use tracking bands, smartwatches, VR, blue-light blocking glasses, and EEG headsets, which help them monitor their experiments if not directly impact their actions toward a desired outcome.
Based on the data you can gather from these wearables can help you make better choices, improve your environment, and stretch your physical limits.
Biohacking Risks And Legal Implications
While biohacking may have opened the science floodgates to non-scientific experts, you can expect that it comes with undue risks.
Biohackers are usually their own guinea pigs, and with self-experimentation, trial-and-error, and lack of randomized controlled trials and proven results, things can lead to serendipitous results, disastrous outcomes, or no effect at all.
On the legalities of the matter, there are no clear prohibitions in the US, but biohacking can fall in the grey area.
Nevertheless, there is nothing that can stop biohackers from conducting their activities behind closed doors if they want to. Placing restrictions on this pursuit may only lead to underground practice and can pose even more danger to those involved.
Is Biohacking Worth It?
Biohacking is a worthwhile endeavor when it produces favorable results for your health or any purpose you set out for. But remember, whatever biohacks you choose to do, they should come from being well-informed and treading with caution.
Opt for changes that will make you a better human, not a cyborg!
Back to TheHealthySupps page.