Biohacking is the process of manipulating your environment and biology to improve health, optimize physical performance, or boost productivity and creativity. It can include anything from experimenting with different diets and supplements to using technology to track your health data. There are even more advanced methods like implantable devices.
While biohacking may seem like a new trend, it's been around for centuries in one form or another. People have used biohacking methods like fasting, meditation, and exposure to cold temperatures to boost energy, lose weight, and help with chronic diseases for generations. Essentially, biohacking is trying out new techniques to see what benefits you and your health.
Biohacking is a great way to take control of your well-being. That said, it's important to research before starting any new regimen to be well-informed about what may work for your body.
Continue reading as we explore the biohacking phenomenon to see if it could amplify your health.
What are some biohacking practices, and do they work?
There are numerous biohacking practices, from simple meditation techniques to electronic implants. Here are some of the most popular types of biohacks:
This controversial form of biohacking involves using DNA tests to tailor your diet and supplement regimen. The idea is that by knowing which genes you have, you can better understand how your body responds to certain foods and nutrients.
For example, if you have a gene that makes you more likely to absorb fat, you might want to follow a low-fat diet. Or, if you have a gene that makes you more likely to crave sweet foods and candy, you might want to limit your sugar intake.
There is some scientific evidence to support the idea that nutrigenomics can be helpful for weight loss and chronic disease prevention. It could decrease the risk of developing diseases with a genetic predisposition and may help you make physical changes like losing weight or reducing certain mental health symptoms.
However, it's difficult to draw accurate conclusions from research as everyone is unique, and your body may respond differently to dietary changes or habits.
A 2015 review of nutrigenomics research noted that a person's genetics are only one contributing factor to their weight or health. Additionally, exercise, hormones, stress, and weight affect how the body processes food.
- DIY biology
Also called DIY bio, this is a form of biohacking that allows people to conduct their own scientific experiments outside of a traditional laboratory or medical setting. Instead, it's often done with the help of online resources and community support.
People practicing DIY biology often use genetic engineering and synthetic biology techniques to modify organisms. This could involve creating new strains of bacteria or growing tissue in a laboratory.
Some people practice DIY bio hoping to find new treatments for diseases, while others do it for fun. DIY biologists often have a shared goal of making science more accessible and demystifying complex concepts. They also hope to empower people to take control of their own health and well-being.
However, it's important to note that DIY bio experiments can be dangerous or even fatal without proper safety precautions. Additionally, according to a 2017 article utilizing harmful biological agents could break international bioterrorism laws.
A grinder is someone who has implantable devices, such as magnets or tracking chips inserted into their body. The implants are typically placed under the skin and can be used for various purposes, including unlocking doors or starting a car.
Some people also have implants that track their health data or help them to monitor their environment. Chips can monitor body temperature, oxygen saturation, blood sugar levels, and more. As such, they have potential to help people with diabetes, high cholesterol, or heart problems better manage their condition. They could also help people monitor their environment for toxins, pollution, or other hazards, which has implications for those with asthma and respiratory conditions.
Much research is still needed to understand the long-term effects of implants, but many people believe they have an exciting future within the healthcare landscape.
However, implanting devices without qualified medical supervision carries the risk of serious infection and other harmful effects, so people should exercise caution.
Simple ways to biohack at home
Not all biohacks are high-tech or require expensive equipment. In fact, some of the simplest can be done at home with no specific materials. Here are some easy ways to start biohacking.
- Consume caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant found in coffee, tea, and dark chocolate. Many people use it to improve their focus and energy levels. To biohack caffeine, record your intake and track how it affects your productivity. Then adjust your consumption accordingly. You can also try bulletproof coffee, which is coffee with a biohacker edge. It contains medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil, which may boost energy levels and assist in weight loss.
- Follow an elimination diet. Elimination diets remove certain food groups or nutrients and then gradually reintroduce them to see the effects. People with allergies or other health concerns surrounding foods use these diets to find out which foods are causing problems. It's easy to follow an elimination diet by completely avoiding food for around 2 weeks to 1 month before gradually reintroducing it. As you begin to eat the eliminated food, take note of any symptoms that appear, such as rashes, stomach pain, fatigue, or digestive symptoms, which could indicate that you're allergic or intolerant.
- Increase your blue light exposure. If you can, try to increase your sun exposure as the blue light it emits can help improve mood and cognitive performance. Try different amounts of sun exposure and see if you notice any benefits. However, remember to use sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or higher and wear sunglasses to protect your skin and eyes from sun damage
The benefits of biohacking
Biohacking could have some health perks, and there are many techniques such as dietary manipulations that you can easily do at home with few risks. However, it's best to avoid practices that involve inserting devices into your body or using chemicals or other substances.
If you're interested in trying biohacking, talk to your doctor before making any significant changes to your diet or medications.