Bio-hack your way to a better life.
Updated: Sep 21, 2020
By: Fred Gebhardt
Life hacks are pretty much all over our feeds on Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook. While their intentions are the best, most of them will probably frustrate you which will leave you feeling worse than before you started. But there is a totally different kind of hacking that I’m almost sure will improve your quality of life.
It’s called Bio-Hacking.
Bio-Hackers are here to help you be the healthiest version of you. The skills they teach can help to improve memory, boost your immune system, and even help you to live a longer life. I’ll be honest, when I first heard about this movement, I thought that it would be stuffy scientists in white lab coats swirling around beakers and neon liquids. But, bio-hacking is even more accessible and holistic than you might think.
It’s about living optimally: maximizing the potential of the body we’re born into. But what does that even mean? People like @biohackingbrittany and @kikibosch (and many others) are experimenting with ways to make their bodies work better through specific exercises, sleep patterns, or herbal supplements. They then share that information with others.
To first dip my toe into the overwhelming amount of bio-hacking information, I listened to the podcast Bio Alchemy, a near-daily podcast on the subject. I learned about how to sleep more optimally, what plants can improve my memory, and why cold therapy can be an important first step into bio-hacking for a lot of people.
I was a bit curious, so I tried out an accessible form of cold therapy: Cold Water Face Dunks. For seven days, I filled up my sink with ice water and held my face beneath the surface as long as a could and repeated it 3-5 times each morning. The benefits of doing this are similar to those that come from other forms of consistent cold therapy: better blood circulation, better metabolism, and even a boost to your immune system.
And yes, I can already tell your brain’s alarms are going off at this point. “Cold Water is one thing, but what if some of this stuff isn’t safe?” After a little digging, I actually saw that in May of last year, a Bio-Hacker died after pushing his body too far in a sort of DIY attempt at gene therapy. The New York Times ran a story about that, so take a look if you’re willing to stomach the more dark details of that. Spoiler Alert: it didn’t go very well at all. Of course, this is very extreme and it should go without saying that you shouldn’t be going to those lengths on your own.
Please be careful of what you’re putting into your body. Always research first.
However, putting an extra spoonful of ginkgo extract in your water every morning might be just what you need to start getting your life together. I’m interested to see where else this road of bio-hacking could lead me. I’ll continue to tune into the Bio Alchemy podcast for more information.