The Article in Short
This article looks into the most basic questions people have about the topic of biohacking and how one can actually start biohacking.
- Why you are already biohacking
- 7 reasons why you should start biohacking
- What biohacking can be used for
- How you can start biohacking intentionally
If you are interested in the topic of biohacking and how you can improve your life with simple methods, read on.
What is biohacking?
To biohack means to analyze internal and external factors and to make targeted adaptations based on your findings. Biohacking is targeted and quantified self-experimentation with the goal to improve health, body and mind, to increase energy levels and even to extend the healthy life span. It is a combination of science, modern technology, ancient wisdom as well as habits and techniques of high performers.
targeted & measured
It does NOT mean you have to use technology or expensive gadgets in order to achieve your goals, nor that you have to implant technology in your body or use invasive any approaches.
are YOU already biohacking?
Are you drinking coffee to wake you up faster in the morning? Are you enjoying a warm bath from time to time in order to relax? Are you working out to improve your physical fitness? Did you ever experiment with alcohol or nicotine to induce different states? Did you hold your breath as a kid to experience a tingly feeling? Do you close your curtains at night to block out light and sleep better?
Chances are you did and are still doing some of these things in order to achieve different states or get more things done. We all have. That's making adaptations to your internal and external environment in order to achieve a certain outcome. The only thing you might not have done, is to measure and actually target these adaptations to get a certain result, right?
Technically, in my opinion, it's truly biohacking when you are collecting data and tracking the changes you make. Otherwise you won't know if something was working or not. A hacker knows if his code works or not. This component of direct feedback sets biohackers apart from the "hope for the best" approach of most people.
"This component of direct feedback
sets biohackers apart from the
'hope for the best' approach of
7 Reasons why you should start biohacking
But why should you care fore biohacking? What are the advantages of this measured approach?
- You can find out and treat the root cause of underlying health problems (instead of masking symptoms)
- Your improved physical and mental performance will give you a competitive advantage
- You will get to know yourself (physically & mentally), your strengths and weaknesses
- You will save time as you will know what is really providing value and helping you with your goals
- You will save money as you can stop buying things that you guesses would help but actually don't show results
- You will become independent and don't have to rely solely on the opinion of others
- You will experience an enriched work and private life as you make progress towards your goals
Yes, the analyzing and tracking might take some time and money in the short term but over time you won't spend money on things that don't work for you, as well as on medicine and expensive treatments. You will gain back control over your physical and mental performance.
Once the habit of tracking and analyzing is integrated into your everyday life, you will never want to let it go again.
When is biohacking useful?
There are many good reasons to look into your body and mind, to learn about what is going on and how you can improve your current state.
When you can answer any of the following questions with a YES, biohacking is for you:
- Would you like to have better and more stable health?
- Would you like to have more energy?
- Would you like to be strong and enduring without spending hours in the gym?
- Would you like to improve your cognitive performance?
- Do you have an underlying health problem you can't seem to fix (e.g. recurring health issues, trouble sleeping, lack of energy, inability to focus, digestive issues...)?
Living a rich life, full of experiences and activity, achieving certain career goals or finally eliminating a stubborn health issue, are all good reasons to look more closely into your system with a biohacking approach.
How to start biohacking?
The first step in order to become an intentional biohacker, is to observe, track and measure your physical and mental condition. When the goal is improvement and you don't have a metric for when the new state is achieved, how do you know you're actually there? Technical gadgets aren't necessarily required but make the whole process a lot more convenient.
Here are some examples of what you can measure:
- Physical Condition & Stress Levels (Heart Rate, Heart Rate Variability, Respiratory Rate)
- Sleep Quality
- Body fat
- Subjective feeling of wellbeing (e.g. scale from 1-10)
- Mood (e.g. scale from 1-10)
- Blood markers (e.g. hormone levels, micro nutrients)
- Effectiveness of Meditation
I myself do not track my weight or body fat, as they are not that important to me or don't give me any trouble. I do track all the other measures more or less diligently.
How to start biohacking without anything?
Can you start biohacking without investing in any equipment? The quick answer is YES. Anyone can start tapping into their biology right away, without using any equipment. One of the first steps you can take is to get more intentional about your goals and what you want to achieve with biohacking.
Want to improve your health?
Look at all the stimuli throughout your day like work, sports etc. Write down how you are feeling on a scale from 1-10 in the morning and again in the evening. Make notes of what you ate, what kind of sports you did and what kind of stressors you experienced, so you can identify the cause when you suddenly feel different. When you get sick, you can go through your notes and look for the most likely cause.
Start moving every day and work out. To become strong and fit, 30 minutes can be enough. Find some time-saving bodyweight workouts here.
Want to have more energy?
After waking up, shake and stretch yourself for 5-10 minutes (google "QiGong Shake"), then hop under an ice cold shower or turn the water all the way to cold for 30 seconds at the end of your regular shower. Drink around 400ml of water with a pinch of sea salt.
Want to have more brain power?
Start to meditate for 10 minutes, only focusing on your breath or doing the 10 Minute Minimalist Biohacker Meditation. Download the free app "Dual-n-Back" and train your brain for more fluent intelligence.
Want to recover faster?
Find out about your "Sleep Chronotype" and stick to the schedule that fits your type. Schedule your sleep and wakeup time according to sleep cycles (around 90 minutes each) to feel more refreshed in the morning. Generally prioritize your sleep!
Those are all steps you can take for FREE, right away, without investing a single cent.
In order to start biohacking, all you need to do is to analyze, track and adjust the areas of your life which you want to improve.
There is a lot of technology available at a very good price, to make that task easier but it's not necessary. You can start improving your physical and mental condition right away, by keeping track of what you do and how it influences your performance.
Ways to measure progress for free:
- Keeping a short journal (e.g. feeling, mood, energy-levels, food, workouts)
Tools to support tracking include:
- Your mobile phone
- Wearable tracking devices (Oura Ring, Garmin, Fitbit, Whoop, etc.)
Here are some ideas how you can positively influence your biology right away:
- Meditation (10 minutes for stress-reducing benefits)
- Breathing (through the nose)
- Movement (A Minimalistic Approach to Strength and Stamina)
- Cold showers
- Drinking enough water
- Eating natural high quality food (A Minimalistic Approach to Optimized Nutrition)
- Prioritizing sleep (A Minimalistic Approach to Optimized Sleep)
If you want to dive deeper into biohacking in a more minimalistic way, check out this blog article: The concept of minimalistic biohacking.
If you liked the article and got some benefit out of it, we would be grateful if you would recommend it to people who should get that info, too. You help someone you love and at the same time spread the word about optimized performance. If you're interested in daily updates on better performance, follow @minimalist_biohacker on Instagram. Also look at our offer for Workshops, Keynotes and Courses to optimize yourself or your company.