Geoffrey Woo
Geoffrey WooCEO @HVMN. Created HVMN Ketone Ester.

What are different biohacks or biohacking tools have you been using?

Habits like meditation and intermittent fasting can systematically improve your everyday life. Which biohacks have you been using, and are there any you're interested in adopting in 2018?
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Biohacking was quite the buzzword in 2017, but the core concepts are simple and approachable: it's the application of systems thinking to human performance. There's two parts to that: 1. Incorporate and modify inputs into your body and lifestyle e.g. fasting, exercise, and diet. 2. Quantify, track and optimize biometric outputs e.g. glucose levels, heart rate variability, body composition, blood markers. Here are some of my favorite hacks: 1. One of the basics of biohacking is intermittent fasting. I've been doing weekly 24-36 hour fasts for over 2 years now with a tight 6-8 hour daily eating window. I've also done several extended fasts of 3+ days with the longest being a 7 day fast at the start of 2017. The goal of intermittent fasting is to drain the body's carbohydrate stores and enter ketosis (a fat utilization metabolic state), activate autophagy (the body's natural recycling and rejuvenation processes), and improve insulin resistance (chronic insulin resistance is essentially Type 2 diabetes, and 1/3 of Americans are pre-diabetic/diabetic). 2. A key part of my fasting is tracking my blood glucose and blood ketone readings through finger prick or through a continuous glucose monitor (CGM). This way, I'm not just randomly 'starving' myself. I monitor my metabolic biomarkers in close to real time and I can actively track how my body is handling being in a fasted state. 3. Something I've been experimenting with is HVMN Ketone, the world's first ketone ester, a drinkable form of ketones that you can ingest directly. It's a cool demo to see blood ketones skyrocket to what would normally take me 7-10 days of fasting to reach and my blood glucose suppress by ~25% in about 15 minutes. Disclaimer: this is something I've been working on with my team at HVMN for almost 2 years now and what our research partners at Oxford have spent over a decade working on. 4. My favorite way to start the day is a fasted workout in the morning. I usually wake up around 6:30 / 7 am and mix up a cardio or HIIT workout to start the day. Blasting through remaining glycogen reserves and getting the body and mind activated in the morning makes the rest of the day feel easy. What I plan on experimenting with: 1. I tried my first hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) session a few weeks ago, which is basically lying in a tube in 100% oxygen under high pressure (>1.5 atm). There are a number of clinical use of HBOT as a medical therapy, but there is some early indication that it may have applications as a biohacking enhancement tool both cognitively and physically. Effects apparently show after continuous use, so this is something I am considering setting up a protocol to quantify and track its effects. 2. Sensory deprivation / float tank / silent retreat. Half of biohacking is about controlling inputs. One of the biggest inputs is the content we consume with our brain. I've been wanting to "purge" my content input for ages. I will be the first to admit that most of the content I consume on a daily basis is noise from social media and the blogosphere that has a half-life of about 43 minutes. 3. Do my first half marathon in March 2018. Find me on Strava and we'll train together :) 4. New nootropic stacks and compounds. I like my stacks from Nootrobox/HVMN, but I want to add to my list of experimental supplements. What are you most excited about ? I hope you're all as excited to start the new year with a renewed commitment to healthy habits. What other biohacks or regimens are you considering in 2018 ?
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Hi @geoffreywoo I have experimented with lots of things like meditation, fasting, cold showers, the Keto diet, working out multiple times a day. They all work if you are consistent, there is no silver bullet. It's uncomfortable at the beginning, like any other change in life, but it's worth it. They all contribute to your well being and the more good habits you stack up, the better. Recently I bought few kettlebells that I keep in my office and I use them multiple times a day. 5 minutes per session is just enough to get the body moving without breaking a sweat. I have also tried nootropics like Modafinil, Phenibut but I'm not a big fan, they feel like cheating. What I'll do in 2018 is actually give up nootropics and focus only on natural methods.
@geoffreywoo @darko_kolev I'd add sessions in the sauna (for "hyperthermic conditioning") if you have access ( You could also try experimenting with natural herbal supplements to get a nootropic effect. I've experimented with mixes such as Rhodiola + Cordyceps, or Mucuna Pruriens (L-DOPA) + Creatine + Phosphatidyl Serine, etc. for different cognitive goals in the past. I shouldn't recommend you try these things nor explain why because I'm not a doctor but I do like to research the effects in different places, like
@darko_kolev I agree with you that consistency is the key. Just blitzing a few days of fasting or a streak of meditation doesn't stick and it's a quick reversion back to the previous norm. I like the kettlebell idea. We have some 20 lb dumbbells but they are less versatile than kettlebells. Appreciate the thoughtful response.
@darko_kolev "I'm not a big fan, they feel like cheating." You can't be serious.
@geoffreywoo @darko_kolev how do you use kettlebell at work
@geoffreywoo @nihit C'mon what office doesn't have kettlebells :D Just kidding, I work from home mate. So everytime I get stuck on a problem or start feeling bad from siting all day, I bust out the kettlebells and do a 15 minute workout
@geoffreywoo This year was a struggle early on (recovering from surgery) and required a different level of attention, but here is my list: 1. My meditation practice is tops and is nearing its second anniversary of daily meditation 2. Protein synthesis hacking to get over some genetic/epigenetic issues, which dropped all my biomarkers, including runaway inflammation to normal or below normal levels and Crohn's remission. 3. Intermittent fasting is still key for me going into its 3rd year 4. A couple of nootropic stacks to get through 10x anesthesia and pain killer recovery 5. exogenous ketones + nutritional ketosis + blood ketone measurement baseline for 1 mo, then as needed 6. Hormetic mindset - similar to HiiT, I engage in regular physical activities and then schedule something very difficult every month to accomplish. 7. Ozone therapy (intra-muscular) was a game changer for me late in the year and I recently started far-infrared + hyperthermic carbonic acid + ozone in a HOCATT with crazy results including greatly increased athletic performance at lower HR.
@geoffreywoo check out to cultivate the habit of meditation.
hmm if meditation is a 'bio hack' then you might be missing the point
@cjwillet Some might ascribe an outlandish connotation to biohacking, but I consider the core concepts simple and approachable: it's the application of systems thinking to human performance. There's two parts to that: 1. Incorporate and modify inputs into your body and lifestyle e.g. fasting, exercise, and diet. 2. Quantify, track and optimize biometric outputs e.g. glucose levels, heart rate variability, body composition, blood markers. I like the fact that meditation can induce measurable, quantifiable effects on the brain. If there was nothing measurable about meditation, I would find it much less interesting.
@geoffreywoo No need to mention cutting carbs or Ketosis as a biohack to you, haha... though since I saw you mentioned using a white-noise machine, one thing I haven't seen mentioned here in this thread is ( is binaural beats, taken to the next level. I always have a set of noise-canceling headphones hooked up to my work computer piping through a focus track, and when it's time to do a deep work session, I just put them on and zone in. It's a great pavlovian hack!
@jsonmartin I've played with binaural beats although recently I've avoided listening to music or sounds at all to train my mind to better focus on the task at hand. My colleague @bdm_tastemakers is a big fan. I may give them another spin this year.
@jsonmartin @geoffreywoo Binaural beats + SPRINT are my jam for getting solo work done. I don't overly read into Binaural Beats per se, but I do find music/audio that improves mood & arousal without being distracting is a notable plus for learning and focus (both personally and supported in literature). Binaural Beats are in the perfect sweet spot for me :) I also like downbeat electronic and jazz for the same reason. See Mozart Effect:
@geoffreywoo @bdm_tastemakers Totally - Though I really love listening to music, I've felt music can turn into a distraction while working (sometimes I'll be in the zone with a song, but when the track ends it is distracting and I have to spend cognition choosing the next song). What I love about Binural Beats, and more specifically, is the no-vocals background music helps ease me into an effortless state of flow - next thing I know, I'll be taking my headphones off after 90 minutes of productive deep work and feel like I just came out of hyperspace with my next project milestone completed 🎧🚀😎
@geoffreywoo @jsonmartin Hell yeah! Being in flow state like that is a great feeling. For me it's similar to be digging deep on a long run or bike ride or swim. It feels good to be doing your best work. One meta goal of biohacking for me is to take a data-driven approach to this state of excellence, identifying and optimizing the context & inputs it takes to get there, and spend as much time there as possible. I think many people share the same goal -- Here's to a great 2018 of being the best versions of ourselves!
@bdm_tastemakers Cheers to that! 🥂
@geoffreywoo concerned by the loose skin after weight loss (thanks to keto and IF) I started to take 950mg of Gotu Kola pills. Charles Poliquin says it's like magic for skin. After 3 months of using it I see some improvement on my skin (face mostly), but one thing I have noticed is a notable increase in my concentration, when I take it while fasting I feel my mind very sharp, even more than during a normal fast state. I highly recommend it.
@geoffreywoo An awesome and easy recipe for great sleep I adopted from Tim Ferriss is: 2 table spoon of apple sider vinegar 1 table spoon of honey hot water Drink this before going to bed and you will see!
@stanislav_dim I usually fall asleep easily, so haven't needed to explore too much on sleep hacks. Do you know the biological basis for some vinegar and sugar (I presume that's the active for honey) before sleep ? Best sleep hacks for me have been a white-noise machine and keeping my bedroom as dark as possible with really good blinds.
@geoffreywoo @stanislav_dim I take 1 glass of warm water + 2 table spoons of ACV before every meal to aid digestion
@geoffreywoo @stanislav_dim Would there be any benefit to take ACT while fasting (16-8)?
@geoffreywoo @stanislav_dim @adrian_grozavu There is I would suggest looking at Dr. Valter Longos research/podcast/website. Here are some other Tools I will use for sleep. 1) Kava 2) Melatonin 3) Cbd 4) Blue blocker glasses 2 hours before bed and if really looking for some destressor try red laser safety glasses (red) 30min before bed.
@geoffreywoo naproxen sodium + C18H21NO3 that's the biohack.
@_selcukahmet what do you use it for ?
@geoffreywoo Taking a data-driven approach to metabolic conditioning has been a big focus for me in 2017 and I'm doubling down for the year ahead. 2017 was the year of my first triathlon (70.3 / half Ironman) and ultramarathon, as well as several strong showings at half marathons. I have been using heart rate monitor to hit a consistent heart rate at my aerobic threshold (approx 160bpm) on long runs and bike rides. It's helpful to train off of heart rate, so I don't go too hard and burn out; nor do I go too easy and miss out on optimal conditioning. Aerobic threshold training like this ( helps to improve my net power output at a fixed exertion level that's viable for an entire marathon or triathlon. I also work in HIIT work, using my heart rate monitor to do exercise that hits 90%+ of max heart rate. This is important for staying fast and strong, a necessary complement to endurance workouts. This exercise usually takes the form of sprints: dedicated sprint workouts on the track once a week, and I often cap off normal exercises with a short set of sprints. Looking forward to 2018, where one of my main goals is to come under 5hrs for the half Ironman, I'm looking to incorporate FTP (Functional Threshold Power) analysis ( and optimize bike training within the "Sweet Spot" ( Lastly, I'm excited to continue optimizing caloric inputs -- they call nutrition the "4th sport" of triathletes as proper fueling strategy is necessary, not optional, when exerting for hours on end. Very excited to begin incorporating HVMN Ketone into the regimen.
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@geoffreywoo I don't know if this counts, but I have a playlist of music that flips me into a flow state, it's really helpful when I need to get a bunch done or do something really hard.
@geoffreywoo I am a type 2 diabetic. I started a keto diet/lifestyle about 3 weeks ago to get my blood sugar under control and to start losing weight. Since then I have lost about 20 pounds and my bgl is within normal range.
@geoffreywoo I've brain hacked my goals starting Oct 2016 and shared all those brain hacks in our neuroplanner and the brain book. It's a weekly habit of hacking your brain for instant productivity, creativity, and happiness.
@geoffreywoo what do you use for glucose monitor/sensor?
@geoffreywoo Recently I read a lot about the Soviet developed nootropic called "phenibut". It seems beneficial, having in mind my bad sleep and concentration in past months. But it appears its hard to find a good quality product, I found a fine article about how to find good phenibut -
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