Biohacking For Beginners: What Is It And How To Get Started Today
Shannon Terrell, MindValley.com
7 min read
Living a long, happy, healthy life is an aspiration many of us share. The big question is: how do we make it happen?
In many ways, the circumstances of our everyday routines make it challenging to lead the wholesome, healthy, active lives we wish we could. Working out is time consuming. Gym memberships are expensive. And all that kale? It just tastes gross!
What if there was a way to begin leading a healthier, higher energy lifestyle without the frustration or resentment.
Well, that is exactly what biohacking is all about.
What Is Biohacking? (And Why Should You Care?)
These days, there’s a hack for just about everything, isn’t there? An easy, discreet way of getting the absolute most for your investment — your time, your money, whatever the case may be.
So shouldn’t the same exist for our bodies? Our biology? Why can’t we learn to tweak our external environments so that our internal environments, our physical systems, run smoother, fresher, and better than ever?
This is what biohacking aims to achieve.
So, what is biohacking?
In its purest form, biohacking is the conscious control of our external environment to encourage better physical and mental performance across all spectrums.
Biohacking involves paying attention to what we eat, what we drink, what we smell, touch, hear, and see.
It involves guiding our external stimuli to facilitate a healthier, better version of ourselves.
Dave Asprey And The Biohacking Movement
With all this talk of biohacking, we bet you’re keen to learn more about its benefits. But before we do that, we should chat about Dave Asprey, because he’s played a big role in the biohacking movement.
Dave Asprey is the founder of bulletproof coffee, leader of the biohacking movement, and author of The Bulletproof Diet.
Dave Asprey has been an instrumental figure in the biohacking movement, as one of the first ever biohackers and proponents of hacking your physiology for a healthier, more energized life.
Bulletproof coffee is something Dave Asprey is well known for — a blend of special bulletproof coffee beans, a teaspoon of “Brain Octane Oil” (a purified form of coconut oil), and a tablespoon of grass-fed unsalted butter. Throw it into your blender, mix for thirty seconds, and you’ve got yourself a bulletproof coffee. You receive the same energy spike as coffee, but better, because there’s no mid-afternoon crash.
What Are The Benefits Of Biohacking?
So, what are the holistic benefits of biohacking? Here are just a few ways biohacking can improve your life:
Improved cognitive function
Less food cravings
Decreased brain fog
And this is only the beginning. The true benefit to biohacking is something only you will be able to discover, in your own time, and in your own way. The benefits are different for everyone that tries it.
So, if all of this sounds intriguing and you’re keen to give it a whirl, here’s how you can get started as a new biohacker.
And don’t worry: everyone can try biohacking, and there are plenty of different techniques you can easily integrate into your life. Here are three biohacking techniques for the beginner biohacker to try:
3 Biohacking Techniques For The Beginner Biohacker
1. Eliminate inflammatory foods
A huge source of disharmony in the body comes from consuming inflammatory, low energy foods. Some foods are worse than others, but see if you can cut back on a few well known instigators, such as:
Another way you can improve your diet is by trying an elimination diet. Many of us are carrying hidden, unknown food intolerances without even realizing it! We need to be eating as many nutrient rich, wholesome foods as possible. But knowing which foods to steer clear of is also a pretty big deal.
If you suspect a specific food item you regularly consume is causing you trouble, whether it be digestive distress, headaches, bloating, or anything else unpleasant, try eliminating it from your diet for four weeks. You’ll need to wait at least that long before you see and feel tangible results from a food elimination.
If, after four weeks, nothing has changed, it’s time to try eliminating something else. Sooner or later, you’ll pinpoint the food your body doesn’t agree with.
2. Track your sleep
Many of us don’t get adequate rest. If you’re netting less than seven hours a night, you’re sleep deprived. Getting not just the proper amount of sleep, but the proper quality of sleep is vitally important.
There’s an easy way to improve your zzz’s, but here are a few you can easily try:
Invest in blackout curtains.
Light pollution can wreak havoc on our hormones when we sleep. Light may be interfering with your ability to get a proper night’s rest without your knowing it!
If you don’t already own blackout curtains, invest in a couple pairs to darken the windows of your bedroom. You can usually purchase inexpensive ones for about $10 a pair.
Develop good sleep hygiene.
Sleep hygiene is just a fancy phrase for our bedtime habits. But this can be an important contributor to a better night’s sleep. And an important lesson in biohacking.
Try to go to bed at the same time each night, and wake at the same time each morning. Make it a point of taking at least forty minutes to wind down at the end of the day before bed. Do something you find enjoyable, whether it be yoga, reading a book, or simply taking your time getting ready for bed. Try to limit screen time as much as possible during this wind down period.
Download a sleep tracking app.
This can be hugely beneficial. While it’s easy to know how many hours of sleep we’re getting each night, it’s not as easy to know what the quality of that sleep really is.
A sleep app can help. You can download one for free, and it can help you track the natural highs and lows of your sleep patterns during the night.
Try Sleep Cycle, Sleep Time, Pillow, or Good Morning Alarm Clock. Not only can these apps provide indispensable insights about your sleep cycles, but you can also set many of them up as your morning alarm. They will wake you at your most optimal window of alertness during your natural sleep cycle for increased energy upon waking.
3. Try binaural beats
If you haven’t heard of binaural beats before, here’s (essentially) how they work:
Binaural beats are a set of audible tones resonating at a frequency that mimics the frequency of your brainwaves.
By listening to binaural beats, you can encourage your brain to simulate specific states of awareness, depending on your needs.
Whether you need the high frequency and wide awake alertness of beta waves, or are seeking a gentle drift down into the relaxing, creative, meditative waves of theta, binaural beats can lend a hand.
You can find all sorts of binaural beat tracks online, for free. And quite a few apps offer them, too. Try Brain Waves, Binaural Beats Therapy, or Binaural Beats Generator. As well, OmHarmonics has wonderful binaural beats, here is an example of one of their binaural beat meditation tracks: