The do-it-yourself (DIY) movement has thoroughly permeated our culture. People are doing everything from brewing their own beer to butchering their own meat, often in the interest of saving money while learning something new. But what happens when you apply the DIY spirit to biology? You get biohacking.

This practice of experimenting—either outside the body or on oneself—is gaining popularity, according to PBS NewsHour. One famous biohacker mentioned in the PBS piece is Dave Asprey, founder of Bulletproof and author of The Bulletproof Diet. According to his website, Asprey has spent over a million dollars hacking his biology, a process that spanned two decades and helped him lose weight and raise his IQ, among other things. But what exactly is biohacking, and should you do it? Here are four of the best biohacking tricks.

 

Sharpen Your Mind with Nootropics
One way to biohack your brain is by experimenting with nootropics, also known as “smart drugs.” The Washington Post reports that these cognitive enhancers are popular in Silicon Valley, where aspiring entrepreneurs will do whatever it takes to get a leg up on their competition. (Bestselling author and influential podcast host Tim Ferriss is reportedly a big fan.) Here are a couple of my favorite natural nootropics.

 

L-theanine
You may recall this one from my list of top supplements for brain health, but I’m mentioning it again because it’s so great for improving focus without the jittery (and potentially serious) side effects of stimulants like Adderall. A compound found in black and green tea, L-theanine can bring about a state of relaxed alertness.

 

Bacopa
According to Dr. Andrew Weil, this herb (also known as Brahmi) has long been used in Ayurveda, the traditional Indian system of medicine, to enhance memory and learning. Modern research supports this use, making bacopa a popular nootropic herb. In one study, volunteers who took 300 mg of bacopa every day for 12 weeks showed improvement in visual information processing, learning rate, and memory consolidation compared to those who took a placebo.

 

Maximize Your Exercise
It may sound like something from the future, but the cold treatment known as cryotherapy is gaining popularity, particularly among athletes. According to the Guardian, people are incorporating cryotherapy into their training programs because of its purported ability to relieve inflammation, speed recovery, improve focus, and more. Sound a little extreme? You don’t have to freeze to get more out of your workouts. Even the simple act of wearing a weighted vest while you exercise is a way to biohack your fitness.

 

Focus on Fat
Bulletproof’s Asprey and other prominent biohackers typically follow high-fat, low-carb eating plans like the ketogenic (keto) diet. Healthline explains that cutting carbs can put you into ketosis, a state that causes your body to burn fat for energy. The keto diet may also boost your brain power and lower your blood sugar, among other benefits. Other biohackers recommend intermittent fasting or the fasting mimicking diet developed by Dr. Victor Longo (www.prolonfmd.com). I feel so strongly about this hack in terms of helping with weight loss, detoxification (it helps with a process called autophagy – basically getting rid of crap you don’t need that just gunks up your system), and anti-aging, that I sell it at a discounted price to patients. Email info@tack180.com for yours.

 

Tweak Your Bedtime Routine
You can biohack your body until the cows come home, but you won’t be able to function optimally without adequate rest. Adjusting your bedtime habits can make a big difference in the quantity and quality of sleep you get every night, which can, in turn, help you get the most out of your days. Here are some tips from the National Sleep Foundation:

• Don’t take naps longer than 30 minutes during the day

• Avoid caffeine and other stimulants too close to bedtime

• Get plenty of exposure to natural light to help regulate your sleep-wake cycle

• Establish a relaxing evening routine

 

Interested in more specific biohacking? Check out our Tack180 program for help creating your own research-backed biohacking strategy.

 

About Myles Spar, MD

Myles Spar, MD, MPH is board-certified in Internal Medicine and in Integrative Medicine. As a clinician, teacher and researcher on faculty of two major medical centers, he has led the charge for a more proactive, holistic and personalized approach to care that focuses on cutting edge technology and preventative care. Dr. Spar has traveled with the NBA, presented a TEDx Talk, appeared on Dr. Oz, and been featured in publications such as the Men’s Journal and the Los Angeles Times.

MEET DR. SPAR

TACK180

STORE

BLOG

MEDIA & PRESS

CONTACT US

9201 W. Sunset Blvd, #812 

Los Angeles, CA 90069

310-550-1010

Disclaimer

 Any information on this Website is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this Website for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment. You should always speak with your physician or other healthcare professional before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal or homeopathic supplement, or adopting any treatment for a health problem. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, promptly contact your health care provider. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking professional advice because of something you have read on this Website. Information provided on this Website and the use of any products or services purchased by you on our Website DOES NOT create a doctor-patient relationship between you and any of the physicians affiliated with our Website. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements available on this Website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.