A day in the life of a biohacker
There are many different ways to approach a biohacking diet plan. This is a schedule of everything that can be involved in biohacking your diet. Once you have gone through it, choose what fits into your life easily. Start with one or two bio hacks that will fit into your current lifestyle easily. Once those bio hacks become habits, add another. And another. Or you can focus on diet, exercise, sleep or energy bio hacks. It is up to you. Do what works best for you.
Having had a good night’s sleep (more about that later), the first thing biohackers do is drink some water. Not just any water. Biohackers drink filtered or purified water to ensure they do not ingest any toxins. It is necessary to drink water throughout the day to keep the body working optimally. It keeps everything ticking over nicely, especially the digestive tract.
It is possible that the drink of water will kick start the gut, and a visit to the bathroom is necessary. To make sure that all waste is eliminated as efficiently as possible, many bio hackers use a poop stool, aka a squatty potty. This changes the position of the colon, to a more natural position. This means that you do not have to strain and waste material can be completely eliminated (1). Making sure that the bowels are emptied on a daily basis prevents toxins from building up, which can cause infections and inflammation.
Stress-reduction: Mindful meditation.
Many biohackers choose to meditate first thing in the morning. This is a good time of day to meditate, especially before other family members get up and when the house is quiet. Meditation is a great stress reliever and can lower stress hormones (2). Stress hormones can lead to weight gain, so a stress reduction strategy is vital in a biohackers diet plan.
Getting some daylight is very important for our health. It helps to regulate our circadian rhythm and gets us some vitamin D. Once a biohacker has meditated, the morning is a perfect time to get outside and expose yourself to some natural daylight. This is because it sends a signal to the brain that kicks in the release of cortisol (3). This is like the ‘on’ switch for your brain and body. Try to get outside for at least 30 minutes a day, even if it’s just a walk around the block.
Many biohackers follow a fasting plan, so they don’t tend to eat breakfast and sometimes lunch. Fasting is great for overall health as well as weight loss (4). Fasting lowers blood pressure (5), regulates blood sugar (6), increases the efficiency of fat burning (7), increases energy (8) and even plays a role in slowing down the aging process (9); all factors that the competent bio hacker takes into consideration in their diet.
Next, many biohackers choose the early morning to do a workout. This is because working out later in the day can affect sleep quality (10). There are also benefits to exercising in the fasted state, which tends to burn more fat than after eating (11). Exercise can be dynamic yoga, high-intensity or weights. Biohackers do not tend to do long cardiovascular workouts as they realise that shorter, high intensity workouts give you more bang for your buck with regard to fitness, weight loss and recovery (12).
Following the workout, the committed diet bio hacker has a shower. But it is a shower with a difference. Once they have washed, they turn down the temperature and stand under cold water for a few minutes. The cold activates brown fat (13), which boosts metabolism and weight loss (14).
Once the working day starts, bio hackers tend to use a standing desk. If you are working from home, you can even use an ironing board. It can be set at the perfect height to keep your hands, wrists and arms at a comfortable angle and also enables you to stand as you work. Despite the fact that you are standing and activating your core muscles, it is a good idea to set an alarm every 30 to 60 minutes. When the alarm goes off, have a break away from the screen, march on the spot, walk up and down the stairs, go outside for a five minute walk. This 5-minute break, called a “pomodoro”, gives your eyes a break from the screen and helps you burn a few more calories. Sitting or standing in the same spot all day is not beneficial for health or weight loss (15). It is also a good idea to wear blue light blocking glasses or install a blue light-blocker app on your lap top to protect your eyes from strain and macular degeneration (16).
It is mid-morning and it is coffee break time. Due to the intermittent fasting regime, the bio hacker will have it black as milk breaks the fast. Fasting means the body is more likely to burn body fat for energy. Alternatively, fat can be added to the coffee. Specific fats, such as MCT oil or coconut oil, are used for this. If the biohacker is starting to feel hungry, this helps reduce those pangs.
Bone broth is a staple of the bio hacking diet and can be drunk as an alternative to coffee. Bone broth doesn’t break a fast, is hydrating and contains electrolytes. It is packed full of protein, especially collagen, which is great for your skin (17). It also contains compounds that can help digestion (18).
Making broth is easy. When you have roasted chicken, pour the juices into a pan. After you have taken the meat off the bones, put the bones in the pan. Cover with water and bring to the boil. Simmer gently for 2-3 hours. Strain the broth and season if required.
You can also get bones from the butcher to make beef broth. When boiling up beef bones, add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. This helps to draw out the nutrients.
For lunch and dinner, the bio hacker eats nutrient-dense, organic meat, fish, vegetables and fruit. The keto or paleo diet features in many bio hackers’ lives. These are both low carbohydrate and do not include processed foods. Apps are often used to track macro and micro nutrients to keep the bio hacker on course, especially if they are calculating calorie intake.
At the end of a stressful day, bio hackers relax in a sauna. Saunas help to detox the body. This is a great way to eliminate any chemicals from food, pollution or cosmetics that have found their way into your body (19). Infrared saunas, can also benefit the aging process of skin. Wrinkles are reduced and collagen and elastin production are both increased (20).
When some “damage” to the body occurs and it recovers stronger than before, it is called hormesis (21). This is how taking a sauna benefits the body because it increases the resilience of our cells (22). As such, mitochondria are increased, inflammation and oxidative stress are reduced, which have anti-aging benefits. Reducing inflammation is important when you want to lose weight. This is because inflammation can disrupt the signalling of weight-control hormones, such as leptin (23). These benefits of having a sauna on a biohacking diet plan, not only help you lose weight but also benefit your overall health.
Saunas have long been used as a way to relax, but they also have significant benefits for exercise performance, which is important on the biohacking diet plan. One study found that regular sauna use improved participants’ cardiovascular function (24) and increased their ability to tolerate high-intensity exercise. Other research has shown that saunas can help to reduce muscle soreness and improve recovery after exercise. It is thought that the heat exposure provided by saunas helps to stimulate blood flow and improve tissue repair. Additionally, saunas can help to increase levels of human growth hormone, which is important for muscle growth and fat burning (25). For these reasons, saunas can be an effective tool for those looking to improve their exercise performance.
And finally, to bed. Successful bio hackers realise that sleep is just as important as what they eat and how much exercise they do when it comes to overall health and weight loss. Sleep deprivation can cause many health issues, including reduced brain function (26). Biohackers follow good sleep hygiene, such as turning off all screens at least an hour before bedtime. This stops the effects of blue light stimulating the brain. Blue light also prevents the release of the sleep hormone melatonin (27).
Magnesium is a good supplement to take before bed-time. It is linked to the circadian rhythm, relaxes muscles, and also works with the neurotransmitter GABA to calm brain activity (28). Finally, magnesium is also linked to the hormone adiponectin (29), which tends to rise during the evening to control fat metabolism.
Production of melatonin, the sleep hormone, starts at the onset of darkness at around 10pm (30), which is why it is important to sleep in a darkened room and why many bio hackers wear an eye mask, especially during the summer months.
Many bio hackers track their sleep to monitor whether or not they are getting adequate REM sleep, which is important for memory consolidation, repair and restoration in the body (31). Trackers can be worn on the wrist, head or fingers, or there are mats and even whole beds (32).
The biohacking diet plan focuses on optimising health and performance. It involves eating nutrient-rich whole foods, exercising regularly, getting adequate sleep and managing stress levels. By following these simple steps, you can improve your overall health and well-being.
1630 words before references
- What Is a Squatty Potty? https://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/squatty-potty-what-is
- Meditation: A simple, fast way to reduce stress https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/meditation/in-depth/meditation/art-20045858
- The effects of light exposure on the cortisol stress response in human males https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10253890.2020.1741543
- Challenging Oneself Intermittently to Improve Health https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4267452/
- Medically supervised water-only fasting in the treatment of hypertension https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11416824/
- Effect of Intermittent Compared With Continuous Energy Restricted Diet on Glycemic Control in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6324303/
- Flipping the Metabolic Switch: Understanding and Applying Health Benefits of Fasting https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5783752/
- Fasting and Mitochondrial Health https://www.ifm.org/news-insights/fasting-mitochondrial-health/
- Harvard study uncovers why fasting can lead to a longer and healthier life https://newatlas.com/fasting-increase-lifespan-mitochondria-harvard/52058/
- Effects of exercise timing on sleep architecture and nocturnal blood pressure in prehypertensives https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4270305/
- Breakfast and exercise contingently affect postprandial metabolism and energy balance in physically active males https://bit.ly/3rxxSrG
- Impact of exercise intensity on body fatness and skeletal muscle metabolism https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8028502/
- Cold exposure induces dynamic, heterogeneous alterations in human brown adipose tissue lipid content https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-49936-x
- How brown fat improves metabolism https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/how-brown-fat-improves-metabolism
- Standing Desks: How They Help You Beat Inactivity https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/standing-desks-help-beat-inactivity
- Impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on digital device-related ocular health https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7774196/
- Bone Broth: How to Make It and 6 Reasons Why You Should https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/bone-broth
- Glutamine and the regulation of intestinal permeability: from bench to bedside https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27749689/
- Biomonitoring and Elimination of Perfluorinated Compounds and Polychlorinated Biphenyls through Perspiration: Blood, Urine, and Sweat Study https://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn/2013/483832/
- Effects of Infrared Radiation on Skin Photo-Aging and Pigmentation https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2687728/
- Hormesis https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/hormesis
- Heat shock proteins and hormesis in the diagnosis and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases https://immunityageing.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12979-015-0046-8
- Obesity and Leptin Resistance: Distinguishing Cause from Effect https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2967652/
- Association Between Sauna Bathing and Fatal Cardiovascular and All-Cause Mortality Events https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/2130724
- Endocrine effects of repeated sauna bathing https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1748-1716.1986.tb08000.x
- The Cumulative Cost of Additional Wakefulness: Dose-Response Effects on Neurobehavioral Functions and Sleep Physiology From Chronic Sleep Restriction and Total Sleep Deprivation https://bit.ly/3xyYOef
- Effects of light on human circadian rhythms, sleep and mood https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6751071/
- Magnesium potentiation of the function of native and recombinant GABA(A) receptors https://bit.ly/3K3iGJr
- The Role of Serum Magnesium and Calcium on the Association between Adiponectin Levels and All-Cause Mortality in End-Stage Renal Disease Patients https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3527536/
- Melatonin, the Hormone of Darkness: From Sleep Promotion to Ebola Treatment https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4334454/
- What is REM Sleep and How Much Do You Need? https://www.sleepfoundation.org/stages-of-sleep/rem-sleep
- Best Sleep Trackers https://www.sleepfoundation.org/best-sleep-trackers