Biohacking is the practice of "hacking your biology" which simply means trying to improve your health and performance through a trial-and error-method. In many cases, biohackers were people who failed to receive the help they needed from the established medical community and branched out to solve their ailments on their own. Nowadays, biohacking has become mainstream and includes anyone trying to improve themselves by leveraging strategies around nutrition, sleep, and exercise, just to make a few.
Note: "Biohacking" is an umbrella term that encompasses an incredibly broad assortment of strategies and goals.
In short, biohackers are regular people who are using the scientific method (i.e. testing a hypothesis) to try to achieve better health. Something you'll hear regularly amongst biohackers is "n=1 experiments" which is an experiment being done with just one participant (n=1), the biohacker.
You can become a biohacker today. All you need to do is…
- Identify an area of improvement in your health
- Develop a strategy to improve it
- Create a system to analyze if the strategy did (or did not) work
At surface level, it really is this simple but the difference between good and bad biohackers is often in their ability to perfect the 3rd step. The key to trying new things to improve your health (i.e. biohacking) is to have a clear method of determining if it worked. If you don’t you’ll find yourself spending tons of time and money, with few results to show for it.
Due to the power of the placebo effect, it's best to develop both quantitative and qualitative metrics to determine if your biohacking strategy is working. Depending on what you’re trying to improve, your metric will be different.
✔️ Qualitative: "Based on last month, I feel like I have much more energy; I’m taking fewer naps and drinking less coffee."
✔️ Quantitative: "Over the experiment, I lowered my LDL cholesterol by 37%."
Key Biohacking Tips:
- Make sure that you can determine “it” is working! As mentioned, watch out for people promoting biohacking strategies or products that cannot be tested (remember step 3 from above?). Even if it sounds AMAZING (these people tend to be great salespeople) - if there is no way of comparing before vs. after, it’s not worth your time or money.
- Don’t chase symptoms! Instead, create a strong health foundation. You can think of your health like a spider web, with hundreds of intersections. Everything is connected. But, there are a few intersections that have an infinite number of connections. These four mega-connection points are considered foundational aspects of health and wellness because they impact *everything* (every organ, every symptom, etc.). They are Sleep, Nutrition, Exercise, and Stress. It’s *always* better to improve lagging areas in your health foundation than to chase symptoms because addressing foundational deficiencies will typically correct the symptoms at the source.
- If it sounds crazy, it definitely might be crazy! While the terms “biohackers” and “biohacking” include a broad range of people and what they are doing, many biohackers are operating on the fringe of science. In a few cases, this is great as they may uncover new, effective methods of managing health issues. However, in most cases, this is a problem as (at best) simply ineffective and (at worst) potentially dangerous health strategies are being touted as real and effective. Use your judgment, stick to mainstream biohacking, and don’t be afraid to do your research and talk to a health professional.
How-To Get Started:
There’s a good chance you’ve already done some form of biohacking in the past, you just didn’t know it had a name! Here are the steps to get back into effective biohacking, the right way:
- Do a “self-health audit.”
- Is there an area of your health that is lagging?
- If there are multiple, it’s *always* best to start by improving the foundational components of health first; 1) sleep, 2) nutrition, 3) exercise, and 4) stress management. Don’t go chasing symptoms, like low energy or brain fog.
- Do some research and develop a strategy.
- This could be an elimination diet (gut sensitivities), blue light blockers (sleep), a supplement, guided meditation, or a specific type of exercise, just to name a few.
- Set a timeline and find a trackable metric.
- Remember, health change doesn’t happen overnight (give it at least 1 month, 3 is better) and you need an easily trackable metric. You could use blood data from a doctor, a wearable tracking steps or sleep, or an online test to measure memory. Don’t forget to test your baseline!
- Compare before and after.
- Compare your metrics before and after the strategy to determine if what you did was effective and “worth it.” In some cases, tiny improvements are worth continuing the strategy because it’s virtually free and incredibly easy to do. In others, the associated monetary and time cost is so high that the results need to be dramatic to justify it.
The Best Biohacking Tool
The Rootine platform enables effective, efficient biohacking by doing the heavy lifting for you. By determining exactly what you need through the initial DNA test, lifestyle quiz, and blood data (optional) and then tracking your nutrient levels over time, we ensure that you are getting the vitamins and minerals that you need, at the correct doses, to support optimal health and wellness.