Could Biohacking Be The Wellness Upgrade Your Life Needs?

Biohacking may sound like some wild concept from a science fiction movie, but in reality, it's just another way to optimize the performance of your mind and body. The process of biohacking is exactly what the term would lead you to believe: using the biological tendencies of the human brain and body to elicit desired abilities and outcomes. For example, taking cold showers or ice baths regularly is a way to hack your body into producing extra endorphins while conditioning your mind to tolerate stress more easily, per Healthline.


The difficult part about biohacking is that while there are universal truths for all human bodies, everyone's biology is different. Certain genetic variations, for instance, control key factors such as how your body processes certain macronutrients. This means each person has to go through their own process of experimentation to determine which methods of biohacking will work for them. Before you can move on to more advanced forms of biohacking, it's essential to master the basic levels: nutrition, sleep, circadian rhythm, and movement. With these easy tips, you'll be hacking like a pro in no time.

Tweak your diet

Every human body requires protein, fat, water, and carbohydrates, plus essential vitamins and minerals to fully function. Exactly which ratios and amounts of these nutrients elicit desired outcomes can vary from person to person. For instance, there are nine different genes that affect the way an individual absorbs and utilizes fats and carbohydrates (per National Library of Medicine). This explains why some people's bodies respond extremely favorably to high-fat, low-carb diets while others do not.


If you want to discover your own optimal diet, consider experimenting with your protein, fat, and carbohydrate ratios. Start with the Institute of Medicine-recommended ratio of 45-65% carbohydrates, 10-35% protein, and 20-35% fat (via National Library of Medicine) and adjust from there while tracking the effects on how you feel and perform. You may also wish to experiment with the timing of your meals by trying out an intermittent fasting schedule. Start with a gentle, overnight eight-hour fasting window. If you notice any benefits, try gradually increasing the window over time. 

Increase your sun exposure

Despite what the average person's indoor-centric modern lifestyle might suggest, the human body has evolved to depend on sunlight for a multitude of essential functions, from vitamin D, serotonin, and dopamine production to the development of a healthy circadian rhythm. If you spend most of your average day inside under artificial lighting, it is absolutely worth rearranging your schedule to fit in more time in natural sunlight.


Even just a few minutes spent in bright sunlight each day — especially in the morning — can make a major difference in the performance of your mind and body. If you can't fit in a quick 10-minute walk each day, try just sitting outside while you eat your breakfast. If sitting outside isn't possible, make it a habit to sit in front of a sunny window while you sip your morning coffee. Just be sure not to skip your daily sunscreen routine. 

Clean up your sleep hygiene

Sleep is absolutely imperative for optimum physical and mental wellness. According to Sleep Foundation, if you're putting in the work to biohack other areas of your life but still routinely sleep less than six hours per night, you're likely not seeing the full fruits of your labor. If you're sleeping for more than six hours each night but the sleep you're getting is low quality, you still shouldn't expect to see major improvement in any other area.


If you'd like to ensure that you're getting enough high-quality sleep, perform an honest assessment of your sleep hygiene. Sleep hygiene encompasses your routine surrounding going to sleep and the environment in which you sleep. Good sleep hygiene looks like going to sleep at the same time every night, removing screens and bright light at least an hour before bedtime, and providing yourself with a dark bedroom and a comfortable bed, bedding, and pajamas. If you are unable to avoid ambient light at night, consider using a sleep mask to make sure your sleep care game is up to par.

Get your exercise

The human body is meant to move in the same way it is meant to absorb sunlight. Millions of years of evolution are being ignored every time a person spends their entire day sitting indoors. Exercising burns calories and helps you maintain a healthy bodyweight. It also sends blood to your muscles, joints, and brain, resulting in increased strength and memory. Even anxiety and depression can be reduced through regular exercise.


Getting enough exercise doesn't have to involve structured workouts or spending money on a gym membership. According to a sports medicine specialist at University Hospitals, plain and simple walking for 150 minutes every week — or about 7,000 steps each day, according to one study — is enough to see benefits like a lowered risk of premature death, conditioning of the heart and lungs, improved mood, and weight management. If your goal is to discover the most optimized version of yourself, biohacking can get you there. The one caveat is that no one can tell you exactly how to tweak your unique biology. Only you can uncover the hacks that work for your mind and body.