Some biohackers utilize technology and practices like intermittent fasting, ice baths and cryotherapy to extend their natural biological lifespan. Others go beyond diet, supplements and exercise by exploring young blood transfusions, egg rejuvenation procedures or genetic modification as potential ways of increasing quality of life.
Biohackers utilize nootropics, which are drugs designed to enhance cognitive function and produce stimulating effects similar to caffeine, in their work. Some biohackers known as grinders go even further by embedding magnets or chips into their bodies so they can open office doors and pay for coffee themselves.
What is Biohacking?
Biohacking is a movement to apply the do-it-yourself philosophy associated with technology to health. At its extreme, this may involve experimental treatments like cryotherapy, red light therapy or intermittent fasting – some with no scientific backing. But other practices that fall under biohacking such as strategic nutrition planning, mindfulness meditation or young blood transfusions have more scientific backing.
Biohacking practices, part of the biohacking movement, may appeal to those looking for ways to better their health – with chronic disease prevalence on the rise as well as death rates from cancer being just two examples.
What are the Basics of Biohacking?
Biohacking refers to individuals using DIY experimentation in their own laboratories to alter how they feel, think and work. Experiments could involve changing what you listen to when feeling stressed, or practicing inversion therapy which increases blood flow to your brain and boosts mental performance.
Biohackers often employ nutrigenomics – an innovative scientific process designed to identify and optimize genetic expression by changing what people eat – for instance if you carry genes for obesity nutrigenomics can assist in finding the appropriate diet to manage your weight effectively.
Biohackers often turn to biohacking techniques in an effort to reverse or prevent the effects of aging or even live forever, or stop its progress altogether. This subset is known as grinders; their activities may include injecting themselves with younger blood or transplanting their own feces for transplant. They do these things to demonstrate that science’s tools are accessible while pushing further development of helpful medical technologies at an ever-increasing rate.
What are the Risks of Biohacking?
Biohacking is an esoteric branch of science characterized by do-it-yourself experimentation that encourages experimenting with it. While biohacking democratizes scientific knowledge and creates risks to human health, more extreme forms can have devastating repercussions for physical wellbeing. Though supplement use may be acceptable to some extent, extreme forms can have potentially serious negative impacts.
Tech hustle culture and social media have combined to accelerate the rise of biohacking as a movement. Tech hackers frequently make unsubstantiated health claims without medical backing; many seek to commercialize wellness by selling DIY solutions such as pills and supplements they have developed themselves.
There’s also an obvious gap between counterculture biohackers and traditional scientific communities. While frustration over regulatory restrictions hampering medical technology development is understandable, ethical considerations of purposely crossing boundaries set up by professionals scientists may present serious hurdles to biohackers’ efforts.
What are the Future Trends of Biohacking?
Biohacking is an ever-expanding market, propelled by popular apps like Sleep Cycle and Oura ring which track body temperature, heart rate, blood volume pulse rate and intensity of movement 24/7. Such devices help individuals understand their biorhythms and optimize their lives accordingly.
Popularity of these products has also been driven by an increased focus on self-optimization. This trend has been further cemented by social media influencers promoting biohacking – such as Norwegian world-class footballer Erling Haaland who uses TrueDark glasses to block blue light while eating an abundance of avocados, nuts, and seeds to improve his performance on the pitch.
On the other hand, some biohackers are taking drastic measures in their quest for health and longevity. Dave Asprey of Bulletproof brand had stem cell injections into his joints so he can live up to 180 years and was often seen lingering around hyperbaric oxygen chambers.