Biohacking offers us the tempting prospect of upgrading our body and brain to optimal. But how does it work – and is it safe?
What is biohacking?
It’s human nature to constantly seek ways to be better. And it’s natural to expand that vision in line with advancements in knowledge, technology, and resources. That’s kind of where we’re at with the concept known as “biohacking”.
There’s still no single definition of biohacking. But for most people it means using science (and experimentation) to change your physiology and chemistry – all in a bid to be a super-human.
Biohacking is a set of practices, experiments, and lifestyle changes aimed at making you live longer with a healthier body and sharper brain. The term has been around since the late 80s, but the practice has been getting more mainstream in the last 10 years.
Some examples of biohacking
Remember when people started breaking their fast with a cup of black coffee with oil stirred in? Yep, “bulletproof coffee” is one example of the many ideas that constitute biohacking.
There’s also DNA analysis kits, blood work, infrared light, adaptogenic supplements, electromagnetic mats and earthing – all of these things are considered biohacking.
By the way, biohacking also has a far more technology-driven subset which includes embedding computer chips into the body but we’re not going to get cyborg on you in this article. Feel free to research that if you’re interested!
How does biohacking work?
People use biohacking to optimise their body, brain, and life experience. It’s hard to say exactly how it works, since there are so many different things that come under the umbrella term of biohacking. But all biohacking falls into three categories: self-tracking, performance improvement, and human enhancement. Let’s talk about the first two.
Self-tracking as biohacking
Most of us are already familiar with tracking aspects of our nutrition, training, and recovery. That’s biohacking. You need to track things before you can improve them. Biohacking includes using activity monitors, sleep apps, nutrition logs, training logs, and digital devices that give feedback about recovery.
Improving performance through biohacking
Biohacking for human performance focuses on optimising training, nutrition, sleep and cognitive performance through technology, supplements, and habits. This category includes nootropics, adaptogenic herbs and infrared saunas.
Biohacking vs bodyhacking
What’s the difference between biohacking and bodyhacking?Bodyhacking practices don’t seek to modify your natural biological systems, instead they are all about what you can do to optimise your brain and body.
Biohacking takes this further and can include modifying the body and creating new organisms through cybernetics, gene modification, and mitochondrial manipulation.
The benefits of biohacking for health and wellbeing
Whilst biohacking and bodyhacking might sound like something out of a sci-fi, these practices have clear benefits for health, wellness, and training performance.
Bodyhacking can make you more aware of your body, health, and risk factors
It might even help you minimise risk of diseases or genetic predispositions
It can support you in other healthy goals like weight loss or stress management
And it can help optimise specific physical functions like gut health and blood pressure
4 easy biohacks you can start today
Next month, we’ll take a deeper dive into biohacking and bodyhacking practices and how you can get started. For now, here are 4 pretty simple ways to hack your habits to start getting healthier. Hopefully you’re doing them already. If not, take this as a reminder of how simple “biohacking” can be.
Sleep is the ultimate biohack, helping your body repair and rebuild, nourishing your brain, and balancing your hormones. Don’t worry about any other biohacks until you’ve got your sleep sorted.
We all know the basics of healthy eating. An appropriate amount of calories, reasonable portion sizes, time to digest between meals. More real, unprocessed, natural wholefoods and less manmade processed stuff. Plenty of vegetables, fruits, beans, pulses, and lean protein.
Get outside during daylight hours
Exercising outside, going for a walk, or even spending time pulling weeds out of the front path are all legit biohacks. Getting fresh air and sunlight means Vitamin D, better mood, time away from screens and time to settle your mind. Call it eco-therapy if you must.
Move your body
We don’t need to sell you on the benefits of training, but what about general movement? Simply being more active during the day – trying to move your body as nature intended – is a biohack that will keep your body healthier.
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