We live in an ever-changing world that is constantly advancing. Things that seemed completely impossible yesterday becomes a part of our lives tomorrow. Just a few years back, the idea of having a vehicle that can take us from point A to point B without having an animal (or person) pulling it seemed like a mere dream.
Today, however, we have become so used to having a car that we have started to take this magnificent advancement in technology for granted. The medical industry is also constantly advancing and quickly stepping into a new era of diagnosing diseases and then effectively treating those diseases to reduce the mortality rate.
When it comes to taking care of your own body, advancements in technology has also allowed us to step up and practice numerous techniques that allow us to live longer happier and higher quality lives. If you have been keeping up with the latest trends in personal development and care industries, then there is a good chance that you’ve at least came by the word biohacking somewhere.
The truth is, biohacking is not really something new, but people have started to become more aware of these “techniques” in the recent years. Today, however, many people are already “hacking their biology” without even realizing it.
Here’s an interesting fact: If you own a Fitbit, Apple Watch or any other device that tracks your steps, calories burnt, vitals and other essential information then you have already started to enter the world of biohacking.
Now, let’s dig a little deeper into biohacking and take a look at what it means, as well as how you can further utilize this hacking method to enhance your own life in numerous ways.
In this guide, we hope to provide more insight into the term “biohacking”. We are going to take a look at what this term really means, as well as numerous types of biohacking techniques that you can start to implement in your own life as soon as today to help be healthier, smarter and perform at an optimum level.
These simple tweaks that you do to your own biology may not seem significant at the beginning, but (bear with us) – once you have implemented them into your lifestyle and gotten used to them, you will surely start to notice a lot of positive changes in your own body and, of course, in your life.
What is Biohacking?
Biohacking is a word that really describes the ability to hack the biology of the human body. What this means is biohacking is a method that can be utilized to achieve the best version of the human body both physically and psychologically.
The idea behind this “method” is to modify the biology of our bodies by considering data that we collect from our bodies. When we are equipped with the right information and data about our own bodies, we are also able to conduct certain experiments, or hacks, to help us improve in quite a large number of areas.
*All individuals are unique. Your results can and will vary.
The idea behind biohacking is the fact that the body’s output is directly related to its input in other words, what we put into our bodies (not only limited to foods, drinks, and supplements, but also including visual and audio inputs) has a direct effect on what the body is capable of and what it can exert (output). In addition to output, the inputs of the body also have an impact on how a person feels both physically and mentally.
Understanding how biohacking works and then implementing these methods into your own lifestyle isn’t as hard as it may seem.
At first, it may seem somewhat daunting. With some effort and time from your side, you will notice that it gets easier to collect data from your body, analyze it and then utilize that particular information you collected to improve certain parts of your body and life. All it takes is just a few simple steps:
- Collect data from the body.
- Analyze the data that has been collected.
- Use the information that has been collected to determine ways in which the body can be hacked.
- Work out a thorough plan on how this hack should work and how it can help you.
- Finally, implement your biohacking plan and be a biohacker.
Collecting Data Through Quantified Self Tools
Before you can start hacking your body’s biology, you will need to collect some vital data from your body. This step is essential in quite a large number of hacks that you can implement to improve your own life.
This is where the term Quantified Self comes in. This term refers to the tools that can be used to track and monitor data from your own body. There are already a lot of tools on the market that can fall into this category and they all serve to help you with the first step of biohacking (collect data from your body).
Lets consider a few examples of tools that can be classified in the Quantified Self category and also discuss how they can be used to track and collect information about your own life.
We will also look at how they can provide detailed reports that will help you make some simple life hacks that can improve you in different ways.
One particular example that we want to discuss was mentioned in a blog post on Technori, a website dedicated to professionals. Mark Moschel explains that one of the most common types of Quantified Self-tools is a food log.
People use food logs for different reasons such as to track their daily nutritional consumption. The most popular reason for a food log, however, has always been to help a person lose weight and, when used in the right way, a food log can act as an effective tool to collect data, which can then be used to make lifestyle adjustments and reduce your body weight.
While using a pen and paper (the old school method) is a good idea, several apps have been launched on mobile app stores that can be used instead. These apps can make it much easier to track your food as many of them will actually tell you the number of calories you’ve consumed, as well as your daily nutritional intake.
Lifehacker reports that MyFitnessPal is currently the most popular food log app. The app even allows you to set up goals for yourself and provide detailed reports about your activity level, food intake and more.
*All individuals are unique. Your results can and will vary.
There are many other apps that can also be useful, such as LoseIt and, of course, the SparkPeople suite of tracking apps.
Apart from a food log, more advanced tools have also been developed to help you collect valuable data about your body. In terms of fitness, quite a large variety of devices have been launched that allows you to track all your activities these devices can tell you how many steps you’ve taken in a particular day, they can monitor your heart rate and some of them can even estimate the number of calories you’ve burnt.
The most popular tool that offers these features is the range of FitBit bands, of course. If you own an Android smartphone, then you can buy a watch that comes with Android Watch software, which will also allow you to track your activity.
Apple also has a useful tool that allows you to track your activity – you can use your iPhone or buy an Apple Watch if you want to keep tracking your activity even when your smartphone is not with you.
In the end, the idea of Quantified Self-tools is to make you more aware of your own body and your own existence. It is a good idea to start out by collecting specific data on one particular subject when you are only starting out with your biohacking experience. This will help you to keep things simple. Here are a few examples of startup biohacking ideas:
- As we’ve already mentioned, track your food intake by using a food log. After about a week or two, you can draw up a report of the food you have consumed and see what you should cut and what you should eat more of. This will ultimately help you achieve a healthier body weight.
- If you feel that you are not getting enough sleep, track your sleep. There are numerous apps that can do this for you even some of the wristband activity trackers have such a feature built in. Collect the number of hours slept each night for about a week and then see if you are getting enough sleep. If you seem to be lacking sleep, then try to adjust your schedule so that you have more time to sleep. If you seem to sleep too much, then set your alarm an hour or two earlier if you are one of those people that keeps hitting the snooze button, consider placing your alarm on the other side of your room so that you will have to get up to switch it off.
What are the Simple Biohacks To Get You Started?
By now you have a basic understanding of what biohacking is. We have also discussed what Quantified Self means and how these tracking tools can help you become more aware of your own body’s data. Now, let’s take a look at some simple and practical examples of biohacks that you can start to implement in your daily lifestyle as soon as today and, of course, also start to reap the benefits that these biohacks can offer you.
These biohacks do not necessarily require any data collecting as they have been compiled by experts in various medical areas. Each of the biohacks that we will discuss has several benefits for particular areas of your biology and your life. You can start by implementing one of the more significant biohacks that apply to you personally.
Once you have adjusted your life to include the particular biohack, you can start to implement more of these hacks to experience multiple benefits from this powerful method of hacking your own biology.
What is Nutritional Biohacks?
Let’s start out with one of the more significant biohacks that are very important for overall health and, of course, quite easy to implement into your own life nutrition. It is already a commonly known fact that the human body needs a daily dose of essential nutrients including vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats and more to function properly. Not obtaining an adequate amount of nutrients can lead to a condition known as malnutrition. According to the Richmond Vale Academy, malnutrition can lead to problems with your wound healing, as well as organ failure, cachexia, sarcopenia and more.
The human body’s ability to regulate its internal temperature can also be impaired when adequate nutrients are not consumed daily. Furthermore, malnutrition also caused problems with both male and female fertility and can reduce a person’s sex drive significantly.
Even when consuming an adequate amount of nutrients daily, the body may still not feel well as some of the foods that you are used to consuming can cause problems in the body rather than lead to potential benefits.
Thus, an important biohack to add to your to-do list is nutritional biohacking. There are many ways in which you can hack your nutritional intake. The biohackers handbook is probably the best source for finding appropriate nutritional biohacks that you can implement in your own life. Ben Greenfield Fitness explains that this handbook contains important information about how gut bacteria can be optimized in such a way to not only improve digestion but also to improve the overall well-being of the body.
The handbook also explains how the gut is connected to the brain, and how the gut can be hacked to improve cognitive performance. Furthermore, the handbook focuses on various anti-nutrients, allergens, toxins and other harmful substances that we often consume on a daily basis these substances are actually slowly poisoning us and, by removing them from our daily diets, we can improve our overall well-being.
Apart from the biohackers handbook, let’s consider some vital nutritional biohacking that you can do right now without needing access to this particular handbook.
How to Improved Digestion, Naturally?
Digestion is an important function that needs to be properly maintained. Improper digestive function can lead to various symptoms that may be unpleasant. To improve digestive, it is often recommended to consume supplements that are rich in digestive enzymes, fiber and probiotics but these can cost quite a lot of money.
Instead, you can turn toward natural sources that can help to improve your digestive function without having to spend hundreds of dollars on supplements. This is the first nutritional biohack that we would like to introduce you to.
*All individuals are unique. Your results can and will vary.
Celery juice, for example, can be used to improve the movement of an intestinal substance. This juice is also excellent for relieving constipation. Carrot juice can help support the mucous membranes of your intestines.
Digestive enzymes and stomach acid production can also be stimulated by consuming angelica archagelica root, aneglica sylvestris root, Jerusalem artichoke and yellow gentian. If you feel gassy, then eat an orange to reduce gas. Other natural substances that reduce gas in the gastrointestinal tract include sage, thyme, parsley, garlic, cardamom, cinnamon, oregano, caraway and ginger.
Say No To Sugar
Another important biohack that might seem simple at first, but proof to be a difficult task to overcome, is cutting out sugar from your diet. Now, it’s not necessary to completely cut sugar out of your life, but you should try to reduce your sugar intake so that you gain less than 40% of your daily energy from sugar.
Since you were very young, you’ve heard people telling you that sugar is bad for you yet, you continuously obtain sugar in your body by consuming coffee, candy, sodas and, of course, desserts.
To give you an idea of what sugar is doing to your body, take a look at these health impacts that Atkins.com discuss:
- Sugar leads to unstable blood glucose levels. Many unpleasant symptoms can accompany unstable blood glucose levels, such as fatigue, sugar cravings, headaches and mood swings.
- Sugar has an adverse impact on the immune systems function.
- Yeast and certain bacteria in the stomach can feed on the sugar you consume. This, in turn, can lead to an imbalance in your gut flora. When the gut flora is out of balance, also called a microbial dysbiosis, then you are at a higher risk of developing certain diseases, your gastrointestinal tract can become inflamed and you are more prone to infections.
- When sugar enters the bloodstream, glycation occurs. Glycation refers to a process where sugar attaches to proteins. In turn, glycation can lead to reduced elasticity in the skin; thus resulting in an accelerated rate of aging. If you are noticing signs of premature aging then sugar might be a contributing factor!
- After consuming food that is high in sugar, blood glucose levels spike and then drops. When the levels of blood glucose drop, the body releases epinephrine, cortisol, and adrenaline. While these hormones may lead to a rush of energy, they can also cause feelings of irritability and anxiety; thus sugar is directly related to increased stress levels.
- Try to place a tooth in a glass of Coke. The results will most definitely not be pleasing. Sugar gets stuck on teeth and then causes tooth decay, which can lead to weaker teeth that break easily.
- Apart from its ability to cause tooth decay, sugar can also contribute to the development of gum disease.
- In addition to these harmful adverse effects that sugar imposes on your body, the risk of developing certain diseases, including heart disease, diabetes and obesity, is also significantly increased when you consume too much sugar.
Avoiding regular refined sugars in your diet doesn’t have to be a pain. ResearchGate recommends substituting regular sugar with Stevia, coconut sugar, honey, xylitol or Agave nectar.
Many of these natural substitutes will not only help you satisfy your sweet tooth while avoiding sugar but will also offer you additional health benefits.
Soaking And Sprouting
We tend to buy a pack of almonds, cashews or other nuts, and immediately consume them. Sometimes we eat them raw and sometimes we use them in dishes we prepare. Never do we stop to consider the fact that these nuts may contain certain substances that may cause harm to our health rather than offer us the numerous benefits that nuts, beans and legumes are often promoted to offer.
The truth is, without a soaking and sprouting process, these particular food types do contain certain agents that make it harder for the body to digest the nutrients found in these foods and these agents may sometimes also be somewhat harmful to the human body and the digestive tract.
The bioavailability of all vitamins in the B group is also reduced considerably through this compound. When a soaking and sprouting process is utilized, the phytase activity in these foods are increasing, which causes phytic acid to be broken down.
This, in turn, increases the bioavailability of these nutrients, as well as vitamin A, vitamin C and folate. Allergens are also considerably reduced through this process and the body’s ability to digest these foods are also improved. In addition to these benefits, they also report that the protein content of these foods increases through a soaking and sprouting process.
Soaking and sprouting is relatively simple and easy. All you need is some filtered water and a mason jar or glass bowl. And then, of course, the particular seeds, beans or legumes that you want to use.
Each type of food has a different timeframe for soaking and for sprouting, so it is important to refer to an accurate and reliable timetable for these when you do want to utilize this biohack.
What is The Hangover Hack?
While this isn’t really a nutritional biohack, it is still a hack that has to do with the consumption of foods. Hangovers are awful and can lead to headaches, nausea and a reduced productivity rate the next day. Luckily, there is a biohack that can be used to avoid a hangover.
- Before you use alcohol, eat some turkey and about 10 grams of chlorella. Egg yolks are also good. In addition to these, drink some milk thistle that contains fenugreek, and take a supplement that contains glutathione.
- While you are drinking, consume around 500 milligrams of vitamin C and around 200 milligrams of N-acetylcysteine prior to every drink. Ginseng also helps the acetaldehyde you obtain from alcohol exit your system faster. Also, order a glass of water with every drink you order.
- After you are done with your drinking, consume a vitamin B complex supplement and consume a form of electrolytes. Broccoli and fresh ginger are also good choices.
- Finally, just before you go to bed, consume up to two grams of activated carbon.
What is Eutierria?
In part, this section also falls under the nutritional biohacking chapter of our guide, but it really deserves its own place as the wild yourself biohack is not only related to foods, but also to other activities that can help you become one with nature. Think back thousands of years to the age where our ancestors roamed the planet by taking advantage of nature. They didn’t live in houses and they never settled down.
They had to make do with what was in front of nature. Today, however, we are disconnected from nature and living lives that our ancestors never even considered. We live in houses, spend the entire day at the office, drive around in vehicles and eat quite a lot of processed foods an insignificant amount of things in our lives really concerns mother nature today.
Kenneth Worthy, a Ph.D. that writes for Psychology Today, explains that the word “Eutierria” refers to feeling one with mother nature planet earth and also the life forces of mother nature. He explains how becoming one with nature can often be seen as a remedy for people who feel alienated from both society and mother nature and how Eutierria can lead to many psychological health benefits.
One of the best ways to achieve this bond between yourself and mother nature is to go out into nature and switch on your sensory side. Use your senses to listen to nature and to observe nature with your own eyes.
Take deep breaths by utilizing your diaphragm so that you can fully absorb the oxygen in nature which is quite different from the air that can be breathed in a while in your own home or even in the city. Exposing yourself to some natural sunlight is also a great way to connect with nature. You don’t necessarily have to go to the beach. Simply spend some time outside every day.
Other ways in which you can connect with nature include consuming wild foods and drinking spring water that has not been processed. Tap water has been processed. It contains fewer minerals than natural spring water and it has been treated with numerous chemicals.
Try to find a spring near you and start drinking. You will not only be connecting with nature, but you will also be loading your body with beneficial minerals. Apart from spring water, also try to include more wild foods in your diet in some cases, you could even gather them directly from nature yourself. Broccoli, blackberries, apples, garlic, and, according to Quick Crop, even dandelion leaves are all excellent choices when you want to eat a little wilder.
Before you can truly understand yourself, your needs and what you desire in life, you first need to become aware of yourself. The simplest form of self-awareness has always been meditation and it will always be meditation. Meditation is an excellent technique for connecting with yourself and for becoming one with yourself.
Basic meditation can be practiced at home and it is relatively easy to learn the key is to take your meditation sessions seriously and to make time for you to connect with… you. A Life Of Productivity recommends starting small. They also recommend making time every day and explain that simple 10-minute sessions of meditation daily can be significantly more beneficial than longer meditation sessions that are only practiced once a week.
Once you have mastered meditation and devote an adequate amount of time to practicing this self-awareness technique every day, you can also consider opting for more advanced forms of meditation.
These are often considered powerful biohacks that can greatly increase mental alertness, power, and even some psychological abilities. Neurofeedback is one particularly popular advanced form of meditation that many people are opting for these days.
Even though this technology is still somewhat new, many people have had great success with it. Neurofeedback essentially involves recording brainwaves and then providing feedback about the person brainwaves to them; thus helping them to improve in certain areas by considering the feedback provided to them.
Biohacking is a buzzword that can now be seen all over the internet and even in numerous offline publications. This word literally means hacking the natural biology of the human body to achieve improvement in various areas such as in mental capacity and cognitive performance, athletic performance, business productivity and even general well-being.
By combining biohacking techniques with the quantified self-toolset, it becomes rather easy to implement some of the more basic techniques. By following the guidance we have compiled here, you will be able to utilize quantified self-tools to help you become more acknowledge with your own body’s data, which you can then use to assist you with biohacking techniques.
While this guide will not instantly make you an expert biohacker, it will surely help you pave a path to becoming an acquainted and skilled biohacker equipping you with the abilities to improve your life in almost any way you want to by simply using data of your own biology and then implementing particular hacks.
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