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    What is biohacking?

      |  Oct 10, 2023

    What is biohacking?

    Biohacking is the practice of DIY self improvement through the lens of health and wellness. Biohackers look to change their biology by ingesting supplements, changing their diet, improving their sleep, or a host of other small changes. The term first became popular among tech executives looking to improve mental and physical performance by leveraging a hacker like approach to their daily routine. Today, many people participate in biohacking at various levels — you might be a biohacker without even knowing it.

    What does biohacking look like?

    Biohacking encompasses a wide set of practices, and isn’t limited to one health philosophy or approach. Examples of biohacking include:

    1. Nutritional biohacking: Manipulating diet, macronutrient ratios, and micronutrient supplementation to optimize energy levels, cognitive function, and overall health. One example of nutritional biohacking is intermittent fasting, in which a person only consumes food during a short window of time to improve energy and metabolism levels. Some biohackers go as far as to eat according to their unique genetic makeup; this practice is called nutrigenomics.

    2. Quantified self: Collecting and analyzing data about oneself, such as sleep patterns, heart rate, activity levels, and cognitive performance, using wearable devices or other monitoring tools, to gain insights and make data-driven improvements. Neurofeedback Therapy, in which a user works to improve their cognitive function through brain wave feedback, is a form of biohacking that’s been proven to create new neural pathways.

    3. Mind and body techniques: Employing meditation, mindfulness, breathwork, and other practices to enhance mental focus, reduce stress, and improve overall well-being. While these techniques have been used for centuries in cultures across the globe, they are considered biohacking in the context of improving one’s health and wellness.

    4. Nootropics and supplements: Experimenting with substances, such as cognitive-enhancing drugs, herbal supplements, or nutritional compounds, to boost cognitive abilities and mental performance. This ranges from over the counter supplements like creatine to prescription medication including adderall. Even coffee is considered nootropic.

    Biohacking and longevity

    Many biohackers are interested in implementing lifestyle changes, interventions, and technologies that have the potential to improve their quality of life AND promote longevity.  While some biohacking practices have been recommended by doctors for decades, others are more experimental. Here are some ways biohacking is linked to longevity:

    1. Diet and nutrition: Biohackers often focus on optimizing their diets to provide essential nutrients and reduce inflammation, which are associated with aging and age-related diseases. As previously mentioned, following a practice like nutrigenomics can help you decrease the risk of genetically predisposed diseases or improve health related metrics like blood pressure.

    2. Sleep optimization: Quality sleep is crucial for overall health and plays a role in longevity. Biohackers may employ strategies such as sleep tracking devices, optimizing sleep environments, and adopting sleep hygiene practices to enhance the duration and quality of their sleep. Practices include removing your phone from your bedroom, not consuming alcohol or caffeine before bed, and making sure your bedroom is cool and dark.

    3. Hormonal optimization: Some biohackers may explore hormonal interventions to optimize hormone levels that decline with age. For example, hormone replacement therapies and interventions targeting specific hormones like growth hormone or testosterone are sometimes explored in the context of longevity.

    4. Anti-aging interventions: Biohackers may experiment with a variety of interventions, such as antioxidant supplements or gene therapies, which have the potential to slow down the aging process and improve longevity.

    Biohacking is a diverse field: not all practices within it have been extensively researched or validated. While some biohacking techniques offer well studied benefits, always exercise caution when embarking on a new exercise routine, diet, or supplement regimen. 

    The ultimate biohack is understanding your own unique health so you can take control of it in the first place. Skip the endless experimentation and head straight to the science with Modern Age’s Aging Wellness Assessment. Our signature assessment gives you a 360 look at your health — including 55 biomarkers that impact aging, cognitive function, and bone density — and a customized plan with a wide range of treatment options.