What exactly is biohacking?
Dave Asprey, a well-known name in the biohacking world, coined the term biohacking to define the concept of taking an experimental approach to understanding our own biology and ultimately finding ways to optimise life on all fronts; mind, body and brain.
At the most basic level, what we put into our bodies affects how it works. We all know the phrase “you are what you eat” and a huge part of biohacking is based around nutrition and learning what foods and drinks will result in the best performance for the individual. And the key to it is just that – what works for one person may not work as effectively for someone else.
But biohacking doesn’t stop at nutrition. It extends to everything we put into our minds and bodies, be it the type of music we listen to, the air we breathe, the amount and type of exercise we do and what we surround ourselves with. Biohackers measure the impact of small changes on performance. And the goal is to find the best version of ourselves; to have more energy and focus, to be free of disease, to have a better memory and to perform optimally in business and physical activity.
If you’d never heard of biohacking before, it’s a very intriguing topic which we will delve into further but this should give you a good overview to start you off. Or perhaps you already know a little about biohacking but you’re not sure where to start? It doesn’t need to be sudden life altering changes. Start small and test a few changes and see how your body responds. Here are a few things you can try.
Biohackers love butter! Perhaps you’ve heard of the infamous Bulletproof coffee? The idea of adding grass-fed butter to your coffee may seem strange at first but biohackers are big believers in the idea that not only is fat not bad for you anymore, but that certain fats are very good for you. You will get a good dose of essential Omega 3 and Vitamin K. Plus, that butter can extend the energy kicking qualities of the coffee and help to keep you feeling full.
How to make a Bulletproof Coffee:
- Brew or buy a hot coffee (black!)
- Using a blender (not a spoon), blend in 1-2 tablespoons of unsalted grass-fed butter as well as 1tsp-2tbsp of Brain Octain or MCT Oil. Start small with the Brain Octane oil and build up gradually.
Cut out Sugar
Aside from the love of butter, a clean diet based on lots of vegetables, grass-fed beef, pastured eggs and low mercury fish is promoted. Starches and fruits are eaten in moderation and sugar avoided.
A very simple biohack to try is to cut sugar from your diet. It’s important to keep blood sugar levels steady and too much sugar causes spikes which not only increases your risk of diabetes but makes you sleepy. It’s not easy but you will certainly see the benefits after the initial pain!
Test your food sensitivities
Find out what your sensitive to and then avoid those foods. If we are sensitive to foods, they can leave us feeling bloated, sluggish and lacking in energy.
Meditation declutters the mind and clears the fog. Even some simple breathing techniques can help us learn how to remain calm and composed to reduce stress levels and prevent the “fight or flight” instinct. Meditation, yoga or simply going for a walk amongst nature can reduce stress, improve your mood and increase overall brain function, resulting in more creativity, more focus and deeper levels of intelligence.
Breathe air from nature
The air we breathe outside is much better for us than breathing air inside, particularly if there is air conditioning. There is a lot of scientific research that shows that too much carbon dioxide affects our clarity of thought. Go outside more. Or if you can’t do that, surround yourself with air purifying plants, use air purifiers and diffuse the air using essential oils in a humidifier.
High-intensity interval training once a week and a 20-minute walk daily will improve brain function and keep muscles toned.
Change your brain’s focus with music
A great way to focus is to listen to music. And now you can identify the type of music that will get your brainwaves at the right frequency for the task at hand. This theory is based on different types of music influencing our cognitive state, so you can learn which music you should be listening to depending on whether you need to focus or de-clutter the mind. We’ll discuss this in more detail soon!
Limit all light in the evening
Light, especially the blue light from your TV, computer and phone screens, can have a negative impact on sleep cycles and quality of sleep. Limiting light in the evenings can have a dramatic effect on your sleep quality and therefore energy levels.
Exposing our bodies to extreme cold has many reported benefits. It is said to enhance immune function, help to break down fat, repair muscles and increase cell longevity. There is also a lot to be said for overcoming the fear of discomfort that you know is coming and then feeling amazing once you’ve done it! There are lots of cryotherapy spa treatments popping up recently but a simple way to try this biohack is to take a very cold shower. Or if you’re feeling brave, try an ice bath!
A nice, fun one to end on. Laughter is a surprisingly powerful biohack. Laughing reduces stress hormones, boosts your immune system and funnily enough, makes you happy! It may feel false at first but all you need to do is think about something that is stressing you out and just start laughing. Pretend to point at it and start laughing out loud. (Maybe do this one in private or with a group of people doing it together!) Even if you do look and feel a bit silly, you will undoubtedly feel less stressed.
Stay tuned for more on biohacking and why we at Our Space love the concept. You will find many biohacks in our office spaces already. And we will talk more about that soon.