Becoming the best version of yourself requires examining all possible avenues of improvement. Hacking is not something limited purely to your email account. Biohacking, or human augmentation, is about transforming the mind and body to enable it to reach and surpass its potential.
Biohacking technology harvests the latest scientific advances to allow you to excel at home, in the gym, and your career.
But what is biohacking at its heart, and what is the actual biohacking definition?
What is Biohacking?
Biohacking is do-it-yourself technology using the tools you have. Biohacking your body and mind generally involves making incremental changes to diet, sleep, and lifestyle to improve health and well-being.
What is a biohacker? A biohacker works to make small changes to their routine to get the best possible results. Most forms of the concept involve education and constantly advancing your knowledge about what gets the best results from the body.
Like anything, you need to know how to hack your body safely. Knowledge is power in this field, and there’s such a thing as going too far.
Anyone looking into DIY biology needs to do their research and obtain views and experiences from a broad selection of sources.
Some of the biohacking examples you might spot online include things like cryotherapy, taking smart drugs, and even receiving dopamine implants. By the average person’s standards, these practices are pretty extreme.
However, there are plenty of examples that can still allow you to become the best version of yourself. Some of them have been practiced for centuries, including:
- Taking supplements
- Eating a healthy diet
- Regular exercise
- Animal therapy
As you’d expect, there are many conflicting options within the community. When someone asks, “What is biohacking?” it’s a blend of art and science. However, there will always be a debate. What matters is focusing on mastering basic techniques and methodologies before exploring more complex lifestyle changes.
Types of Biohacking
The biohacking examples listed above describe different ways you can improve your life. All of them can be placed within several distinct categories.
The mind and body work in tandem. You cannot adopt a healthy diet and fail to focus on biohacking sleep. Everyone looking to join the community needs to address the four significant kinds of biohacks.
Nutrigenomics is the concept that rejects the idea of a universally healthy diet. While anyone in a reasonable state of health will have a similar diet, followers of nutrigenomics believe that your optimal diet is determined partially by your genetics.
Using your genetic makeup as a guide can lead you to a personalized diet incorporating healthy whole foods and micro supplementation.
The two primary goals are to accomplish perfect physical, mental, and emotional health and prevent health problems that you are more genetically predisposed to.
For example, if disease run in the family, it is reasonable to suspect you are more likely to experience that disease at some point. Nutrigenomics is deciding to adopt a certain diet to mitigate this risk, for example a low-carb diet.
Citizen biology hackers will work with dieticians and nutritionists to create the ideal diet based on the results of basic genetic tests. Plenty of private companies offer genetic spit tests to give insights into a person’s genetic profiles.
DIY biology and synthetic biology concentrate on experimentation and sharing knowledge. In other words, it’s a type of citizen science. Hobbyists pursue studies and investigations to discover what works and what doesn’t.
DIY biology is not attending formal scientific institutions or discovering miracle pharmaceuticals.
Community laboratories or simply garage operations avoid the same safety, ethical, and legal concerns associated with authorized scientific experiments.
Remember that not everyone looking to try out DIY biology is a complete amateur. There are lots of professional scientists who share their knowledge found during their spare time.
The grinder is quite possibly the most extreme type of biohacker. Self-experimentation is the core of the grinder mindset. They will often experiment on themselves using drugs, implants, and other gadgets to alter their minds and bodies.
Grinders often believe in the idea of transhumanism, which is all about utilizing science to take the human body beyond its natural limits. They also promote the use of body modifications for aesthetical and enhancement purposes.
Dave Asprey of Bulletproof is perhaps the most famous grinder in the community. He has conducted experiments like injecting stem cells into his body and taking up to 150 supplements per day. Asprey’s master plan is to use his grinder mindset to allow him to live to 180.
Note that the grinders don’t define what is biohacking. They are a subset of the community. Nobody who wants to improve themselves needs to go to these extremes.
DIY Gene Therapy
The newest kind of biohack is DIY gene therapy. By using a method called CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats), you can alter your genetic material. Scientists have used CRISPR in the past to swap out defective genes.
Amateurs and professionals alike have attempted to utilize CRISPR for other purposes. Whether DIY gene therapy is legitimate or not is still up in the air.
Grinders experiment with DIY gene therapy to accomplish their goals. For example, if it works, you might use CRISPR to increase your muscle mass without ever stepping foot in a gym.
Is Biohacking Safe?
Yes and no.
The field ranges from simply taking nutritional supplements to altering your genetic material. Dietary and sleep changes have been considered perfectly safe and recommended by professionals for centuries.
Even certain body modifications, including RFID implants, can be perfectly safe when managed by a medical professional.
Unfortunately, there are extreme examples of biohacking your body. Many of the experiments performed by biohackers are not only unsafe and unethical but also border on the illegal.
Within biology, human experimentation, even if it is on yourself, is seen as a colossal taboo due to the chances of unintended consequences.
Proponents of self-experimentation point to the need for accessing the latest science and pushing the boundaries of human potential. They also promote the importance of seeking knowledge before pursuing any form of experimentation.
So, in short, it can be safe and beneficial, but anyone who decides to indulge in DIY biology must tread with caution.
Should You Try Biohacking?
DIY biology does have its benefits and drawbacks. There are elements of pseudoscience that exist, but there are also legitimate practices that have yielded positive results.
To enable you to make an informed decision, here are the pros and cons of starting DIY biology at home.
- Treat and Prevent Mild Health Problems – One of the goals of biohacking technology is to treat existing mild medically diagnosed health problems and prevent the onset of other mild health concerns in the future. For example, limiting calories can stop you from gaining excessive weight. Practicing meditation can fight off stress.
- Backed By Science – At its heart, this is about science. While some of the more extreme biohacking examples are about pushing boundaries, many of the more common practices have already been proven in controlled scientific environments.
- Optimize the Body’s Performance – Taking nutrients, biohacking sleep, and drinking particular food and drinks can maximize how the human body performs physically, mentally, and emotionally.
- Accessibility – Anyone can join this community. You don’t need to possess a Ph.D. or gain access to a cutting-edge scientific institution to start your own experiments at home.
- Personalized Health – You are not restricted to generalized advice. Every experiment is unique to you. Create a customized wellness plan that focuses on your body and its innate needs.
- Dangerous to Your Health – Some practices within the field are unproven and downright scary.
- Unethical Practices – Human experimentation and genetic manipulation are some of the strategies used by body hackers that are widely considered unethical within modern science.
- Untrustworthy Sources – Although the accessible, community-minded nature is beneficial for ordinary people, it also makes it difficult to know who to believe. Many of the names and faces behind biohacking are totally unqualified.
- Pseudoscience – While a lot of DIY biology is backed by existing science, there are a lot of methodologies and sub-niches based on unproven theories that could well mislead some people into conducting hazardous experiments on themselves.
5 Ways to Biohack at Home
Biohacking technology ranges from benign to downright dangerous. Everyone wants to make the most of what they have, but how do you do it safely?
This is the most significant concern people have about hacking their bodies. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to be a maverick to join this movement.
With so many resources recommending various strategies, it’s tough to know who to trust. If you want to try biohacking your body for the first time, here are some relatively safe ways to get started at home.
Caffeine is well-documented as a practical productivity booster. Millions of people worldwide already drink an eight-ounce coffee to start their mornings.
Opt for a cup of coffee at the same time each day. Practice adding sugar, creamer, or taking them away. Keep a journal of how caffeine makes you feel in the short term and the hours that follow.
Based on your findings, you can begin tweaking your dosage. Everyone has a different caffeine tolerance, and the chances are you will grow more tolerant over time. Find the right amount of caffeine that helps peak your productivity without inviting the frustrating side effects of caffeine overdose.
Certain artisanal coffees also exist. Bulletproof coffee is one such option. This particular coffee contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) oil.
MCT oil is potentially an energy booster and may be able to accelerate weight loss. As long as you have no underlying health conditions, this is a perfectly safe way to hack your body.
Adopt an Elimination Diet
Everything you eat impacts your body in some way. What if you can find out how each food item affects you?
Understanding more about the individual components of your diet can help to remove the foods that detract from your productivity. You can also remove things permanently and begin adding other items to your diet.
Maintain a journal of each food item you remove and add back in along the way. It’s a safe practice, as it is how many people find out what they are allergic to or which items are causing unnecessary inflammation.
Simply remove one or more food items from your diet. Wait two weeks for your body to adapt. Add that food item back in and monitor the impacts.
What you measure depends on what you hope to achieve. For example, if you are trying to find foods that cause allergic reactions, you may search for symptoms like:
- Acne breakouts
- Unnatural fatigue
Some people are looking to increase how much energy they have. Elimination diets are the first step to creating a personalized diet that takes you to new heights.
Hackers will follow the elimination diet process and determine which foods need to go. They will then begin adding in new foods and going through the same process again and again until they have the diet that yields the best results.
Improve Your Mood with a Blue Light Boost
Sunshine is essential for well-being. Everyone knows that exposure to sunshine improves vitamin D production, but it also improves mood.
Sunshine is so powerful because of the shortwave blue light frequencies emitted from the sun.
Try spending at least three to six hours in the sun each day. Do remember that sunlight can also be hazardous to health. Always wear a sunscreen of at least SPF 30 to protect your skin from harm. UV rays and free radicals must be managed in line with government and health advise.
Another danger of sunlight is the impact of blue-violet light on your vision. The human cornea is highly effective at protecting itself against different light waves. Unfortunately, it offers no protection against blue-violet light.
The blue light you see from the sun is the same light emitted by digital devices, such as your laptop and smartphone. Long periods of exposure to blue light can lead to long-term vision problems.
Other symptoms of blue light exposure include:
- Vision problems
Wear blue light glasses to block out 100% of blue light. Bon Charge features a wide range of blue light blocking glasses that embody cutting-edge science and optimal style. Make sure you wear blue light glasses whenever staring at a screen or spending long periods in direct sunlight.
Investing in preventable eyewear can now prevent vision problems throughout your life.
Try Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is a type of diet that involves only eating at certain times of day before adopting a long fasting period. Proponents of intermittent fasting may only eat once per day. Twitter boss Jack Dorsey is one leading entrepreneur who has been using intermittent fasting for many years.
What are the benefits of intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting can be challenging to adapt to in the beginning. Some people may find it easier to begin by eating just twice per day or switching to smaller meals.
Make sure you have a designated time to eat. For many people, this is at lunchtime. It’s much easier to fast when most of your fasting time is taken up by sleep.
However, like all types of DIY biology, you need to find what works for you and if you have an eating disorder do not attempt intermittent fasting and seek professional medical help.
Hack Your Sleep Cycle
Sleep is the deepest meditative state the body can enter. It allows you to explore the subconscious and delve into the deepest parts of your gray matter. Your body also uses this time to heal and prepare itself for the new challenges ahead.
Regular, restful sleep is a natural cleanser like no other. Dedicating the final hour of the day to relaxing, non-tech activities empowers the brain to produce melatonin and wind down for a night of sleep.
You can also try playing around with sleep durations and times. Everyone’s body is different, and finding what works for you can maximize productivity and improve the quality of your sleep.
Hacking your body ranges from positive lifestyle changes to pushing the limits of human potential. Whatever you want to achieve, you can begin taking positive steps forward by making manageable changes now.
From changing your diet to getting your sleep in order, start investing in yourself. Bon Charge eyewear is scientifically engineered to protect your vision and allow for better adaptation to the digital age.
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