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?
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 ?
Developer, Founder, Productivity nut
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.
Co-founder, Looma 🍐
@geoffreywoo @darko_kolev I'd add sessions in the sauna (for "hyperthermic conditioning") if you have access (https://tim.blog/2014/04/10/saun...). 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 Examine.com.
@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.
Passionate about making life better
@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.
@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 Brain.fm (https://www.brain.fm). Brain.fm 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!
@HVMN CEO / co-Founder
@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: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mo....
@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 Brain.fm 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 🎧🚀😎
@HVMN CEO / co-Founder
@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!
Marketing @ Chanel
@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.
@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 @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.
@HVMN CEO / co-Founder
@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 (https://www.strava.com/activitie...) 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 (http://www.triathlete.com/2016/1...) and optimize bike training within the "Sweet Spot" (http://www.triathlete.com/2016/1...). 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.
@geoffreywoo 'Breakdown to Breakthrough...' Please take a month to read each one. 10-15 pages a day that will transform your dreams and aspirations. --- Think And Grow Rich Kindle Edition by Napoleon Hill (Author) Think and Grow Rich is a motivational personal development and self-help book written by Napoleon Hill and inspired by a suggestion from Scottish-American businessman Andrew Carnegie. While the title implies that this book deals only with how to get rich, the author explains that the philosophy taught in the book can be used to help people succeed in all lines of work and to do or be almost anything they want... https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/prod... --- Stealing Fire: How Silicon Valley, the Navy SEALs, and Maverick Scientists Are Revolutionizing the Way We Live and Work Kindle Edition by Steven Kotler (Author),? Jamie Wheal (Author) It’s the biggest revolution you’ve never heard of, and it’s hiding in plain sight. Over the past decade, Silicon Valley executives like Eric Schmidt and Elon Musk, Special Operators like the Navy SEALs and the Green Berets, and maverick scientists like Sasha Shulgin and Amy Cuddy have turned everything we thought we knew about high performance upside down. Instead of grit, better habits, or 10,000 hours, these trailblazers have found a surprising short cut. They're harnessing rare and controversial states of consciousness to solve critical challenges and outperform the competition. New York Times bestselling author Steven Kotler and high performance expert Jamie Wheal spent four years investigating the leading edges of this revolution—from the home of SEAL Team Six to the Googleplex, the Burning Man festival, Richard Branson’s Necker Island, Red Bull’s training center, Nike’s innovation team, and the United Nations’ Headquarters. And what they learned was stunning: In their own ways, with differing languages, techniques, and applications, every one of these groups has been quietly seeking the same thing: the boost in information and inspiration that altered states provide. Today, this revolution is spreading to the mainstream, fueling a trillion dollar underground economy and forcing us to rethink how we can all lead richer, more productive, more satisfying lives. Driven by four accelerating forces—psychology, neurobiology, technology and pharmacology—we are gaining access to and insights about some of the most contested and misunderstood terrain in history. Stealing Fire is a provocative examination of what’s actually possible; a guidebook for anyone who wants to radically upgrade their life. https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/prod... --- The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure Kindle Edition by Grant Cardone (Author) Achieve "Massive Action" results and accomplish your business dreams! While most people operate with only three degrees of action-no action, retreat, or normal action-if you're after big goals, you don't want to settle for the ordinary. To reach the next level, you must understand the coveted 4th degree of action. This 4th degree, also know as the 10 X Rule, is that level of action that guarantees companies and individuals realize their goals and dreams. The 10 X Rule unveils the principle of "Massive Action," allowing you to blast through business clichŽs and risk-aversion while taking concrete steps to reach your dreams. It also demonstrates why people get stuck in the first three actions and how to move into making the 10X Rule a discipline. Find out exactly where to start, what to do, and how to follow up each action you take with more action to achieve Massive Action results. Learn the "Estimation of Effort" calculation to ensure you exceed your targets Make the Fourth Degree a way of life and defy mediocrity Discover the time management myth Get the exact reasons why people fail and others succeed Know the exact formula to solve problems Extreme success is by definition outside the realm of normal action. Instead of behaving like everybody else and settling for average results, take Massive Action with The 10 X Rule, remove luck and chance from your business equation, and lock in massive success. https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/prod... --- --- Top Links December 2017 https://www.scribd.com/document/... Top Research Links on the very reliable and very secure SCRIBD Platform bit.ly/PND2016 Consultancy Pages https://www.scribd.com/user/6985... --- Thank you. Andrew
@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 - https://www.trickortreatment.com...