Biohacking: What is it? And why are people doing this?
What is Biohacking?
One definition of Biohacking, depending on who it is that you are asking, is attempting to manipulate your brain and body in order to optimize performance, achieving this outside the realm of traditional medicine.
Another definition of biohacking is “the art and science of changing the environment around you and inside you so that you have full control over your own biology.” (quoted by Dave Asprey, the creator of the supplement company Bulletproof).
“Something that is typical of biohackers is language such as “control, optimising and upgrading” their bodies and mind.”
Some of the techniques used by biohackers are meditation, intermittent fasting, and supplements. The range of supplements includes quite an array, such as anti-aging pills and supplements to Nootropics or ‘Smart Drugs’ and ‘Cognitive Enhancers’. Other biohacking practices are more radical, like cryotherapy, neurofeedback, near-infrared saunas and virtual float tanks. Hundreds of thousands of dollars can be spent on these treatments!
Why are people biohacking themselves?
To understand why people are biohacking, let’s talk about what biohacking does for them.
Quite simply at the very basic level of biohacking, the desired result of a biohacker is to feel better. Some people just want to not be sick anymore. Others want to push their body just to see how far they can go! Other biohackers want to become as strong and as smart as they can, while others want to not only become strong and smart, but to live as long as possible!
Once a biohacker has tasted results or reached a certain goal, it’s almost like it’s addictive. Let me expand on that … let’s say you set the goal of going from being sick to healthy, or healthy to enhanced … you are feeling so much better, great in fact! Why would you want to stop there? Why not change those goals and reach for peak performance?
Here’s an example of Biohacking;
This is my own personal experience. I had to undergo emergency surgery, which threw me into menopause, instantly! A friend of mine, who happens to be a World Record holder in the sport of Powerlifting (this amazing woman is 65 years young by the way!),
her name is Glenda 💖
Glenda had introduced me to a Strength & Conditioning Coach who I began working with post-surgery. As I was healing and gaining strength, I was telling Glenda of my progress and reported that I had started Deadlifting, and within 3 months, I had gone from a 70kg Deadlift to 130kg. (Now I had never performed a single Deadlift before this!) Glenda was amazed and said that I should be competing! At the time I thought, ‘to what end?’
Anyway, after much debate and discussion with my Coach and Husband (my greatest support! 💖) I decided to train for a Novice Powerlifting event. I competed in my first Powerlifting Competition at the age of 49! This was an open age event, that means I competed against women younger than my adult children! And I won! … you guessed it; I was then hooked!
I have gone on to compete in an Australian Federation for Powerlifting where I now hold the Australian Records for the Squat, Deadlift and Total in my age and weight class. I am also currently training with the goal of taking the World Records.
To achieve these great goals, I have had to ‘control’ my nutrition and my training. Part of my biohacking routine is supplements such as WPI (whey protein isolate), nutrition consisting of a certain number of calories broken down into macronutrients, and of course pushing my body through strength and conditioning by performing resistance exercises.
The other amazing and certainly, life-changing biohack that I have discovered and love, is Healy!
Healy supports me through many and varied situations and needs, whether it be my mental balance and focus or supporting my training with the ‘Fitness Programs’ such as weight, strength, recovery, or local stimulation to support my joints.
I did digress a bit there, however, the point is once a person goes from being extremely sick as I was, to achieving amazing mental and physical goals, there is no way that they ever want to go backward! They continue to employ biohacking techniques to support themselves, their health, and their performance.