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So the question is, what is biohacking? According to Wikipedia, bio hacking refers to people who experimentally exploit genetic material for the purposes of benefiting mankind.
But I believe one of the better definitions for biohacking is the pursuit of overcoming the natural limitations of the human body.
Cybernetic Implants as Biohacking
Some people take biohacking to mean performing body modifications with cybernetic implants (people who do this are called “grinders”). Some examples of implants include installing a small magnet deep past the skin of a finger in order to “feel” magnetism, pacemakers that helps balance out abnormal heart rhythms, hearing aids that are implanted directly on the ear’s auditory nerve, prosthetic limbs, and electronic brain implants that helps treat tremors in Parkinson’s patients.
Although many of these implants are extremely useful, and I do accept the use of some of them myself (controlling heart arrhythmia with a pacemaker sounds like a lifesaver), I feel that surgically implanting devices into the body may not always be the best options. Some implants are questionable, and can even be dangerous.
For example, is it really useful to have a magnet in your finger? Why not just wear a finger glove that is magnetic? It would do virtually the same thing without requiring surgery. Also, having a magnet in your finger is dangerous around other strong magnets. The thought of a piece of metal ripping out of my finger makes me cringe.
Biohacking the Basics
The better option for biohackers is to improve the limits of the human mind and body through natural means that don’t require surgery, that is easy to perform, easy to acquire, with a huge return in investment.
So what matches these descriptions?
Surprisingly, simple improvements in our lifestyle actually matches and can achieve as much. For example, improvements in lifestyle factors such as:
- the type of diet
- the quality of your sleep
- your working environment
- Exposure to sunlight
- the type of gut flora or bacteria
- recreational & educational stimuli like gaming
- and your level of exercise
can all have a huge impact in our cognitive function and/or our physical prowess.
So a biohacker should actually start with making improvements to their basic lifestyle factors before anything else. Many people skip this step to invest in a nootropic, or smart drug. But that’s like having the cherry without the cake.
When it comes to improving the body & brain, you want to make improvements from the foundation and up. Not the reverse. With taking nootropics, you’ll find smaller increments of benefit compared to improving lifestyle factors. Additionally, the effectiveness of some nootropics is much more substantial once the “foundation” has been taken care of. So in order to get the best results from nootropics, and in biohacking in general, it is best to start with the “foundation” lifestyle factors I’ve mentioned before.
What Holds Back Your Brain Power?
Another factors that is foundational to the improvement of the function of the body and mind is to make sure that you’ve taken care of nutritional deficiencies. A nutritional deficiency can act as a stop gate to how efficiently your body and brain runs.
For example deficiencies including, but not limited to magnesium, iron, potassium, folic acid, vitamins B12, and D all can harm physical and cognitive function.
Furthermore, vitamin B12 is super important in our body’s metabolism. A deficiency in B12 not only limits brain function & energy levels, but also can damage the brain and the rest of the nervous system.
Similar to nutritional deficiencies, underlying conditions & illnesses can also limit your body’s & brain’s potential function. Diseases like anemia, lyme disease, chronic inflammation, diabetes, obesity, sleep apnea, brain damage, hypo- & hyperthyroid, liver dysfunction, multiple sclerosis, and among many others things really put a damper on your physical and mental capabilities.
So to re-iterate, biohacking starts with the basics. You’ve got to nail down improving your lifestyle, fixing nutritional deficiencies, and treating any underlying sicknesses or conditions. Then you can move onto what can perhaps be considered the next step- looking into nootropics. But smart drugs are a whole other ballgame that is questionable in its effectiveness and return in value. However, in the midst of rocks you can occasionally find a gem. I’ll help you find those gems in future articles. In the time being, feel free to subscribe for the latest biohacking updates: