5 Methods You’re Already Biohacking And Most likely Don’t Even Know It

The more mainstream biohacks has become, the more misconceptions have emerged. To partake in this “new age” practice, you supposedly need expensive gadgets, an in-depth understanding of human biology, and meticulous tracking of health data. In reality, though, much of what everyday life looked like to our ancestors is considered biohacking today. As primal as sleeping in a dark and cool environment or going extended periods without food, these seemingly basic practices are rooted in our evolutionary history and serve as natural forms of biohacking.

We talked to a leading biohacker Dr. Steven Gundry, MD, author of Gut Check and Host of The Dr. Gundry Podcast, to challenge those misconceptions. So even if you use no gadgets, have no interest in human biology and the idea of needles gives you the freaks, you may likely already be doing these biohacks in subtle ways.

What is Biohacking?

Biohacking is the practice of making small, incremental changes to your lifestyle, diet and environment to optimize your physical and mental well-being. It’s a lifelong n=1 experiment and self-improvement journey, where “n” represents the population sample size including only you.

Typical types of biohacks encompasses a wide range of practices, from adjusting sleep routines and dietary habits to incorporating cutting-edge technologies and personalized supplements to improve overall health, performance and longevity on an individual level.

However, you don’t have to go to the extremes of following Bryan Johnson’s protocol to the T. Dr. Gundry’s insights into the subtleties of biohacking emphasize that it doesn’t necessarily require complex gadgets or in-depth knowledge but can be as simple as aligning with practices going back millennia upon millennia.

Zivica Kerkez

1. You have a dog

Dr. Gundry highlights an unexpected ally in the world of biohacking—your furry friend. “If you have a dog, you are biohacking without knowing it!” says Dr. Gundry. “Dogs make you walk, exposing you to the benefits of physical activity.” It’s a lot easier to reach those 10,000 steps while having fun with your puppy. Plus, your dog’s insistence on dragging you outside serves as free cold exposure during winter, while in hot climates, it becomes a free sauna. “Both effective mitochondrial uncoupling biohacks,” he explains.

Bring on those doggy kisses—they’re doctor-ordered. Dr. Gundry encourages to “let your dog ‘give you kisses,’ and lick your face,” noting that you’re receiving a direct delivery of beneficial microbes. The higher the diversity of bacteria you are exposed to, the more robust and resilient your microbiome will become, ultimately contributing to a healthier immune system.

2. Skip Meals

Whether intentional or not, Dr. Gundry explains that meal-skipping is a form of biohacking. Every time you’re too busy to eat or decide to skip a meal, you’re practicing time-restricted eating or intermittent fasting. According to Gundry, “I and many others have shown improves your gut wall integrity, uncouples your mitochondria, and even alters your microbiome diversity for the better.”

3. Sip on Polyphenol-Rich Beverages

Having your daily cup of Joe or black or green tea is an effortless biohack. Dr. Gundry says these drinks, in addition to those satisfying dark chocolate bites, give your gut microbiome polyphenols to eat. “They then turn these compounds into mitochondrial-protecting postbiotics,” he explains, adding they don’t only taste great but may also contribute to weight management.

Guy-Stealing-Blanket-Girl-Trying-To-SleepStock-Asso / Shutterstock

4. Keeping a Dark and Cold Bedroom

If you prefer sleeping in a blacked-out and chilled bedroom, you are optimizing your sleep quality and priming your body for a deep restorative night of slumber. This habit is deeply rooted in our ancestral past and has far-reaching effects on our well-being. The absence of light during sleep helps to maintain your body’s natural circadian rhythm and promotes the release of melatonin, a hormone essential for you to fall and stay asleep.

The cool temperature is more than just cozy. It actively supports the body’s natural thermoregulation processes. A slight drop in body temperature is necessary for your body to tap into those restorative stages of sleep: deep sleep and rapid eye movement, or REM. Hence, allowing your body to upregulate recovery processes, such as the release of human growth hormone, memory consolidation and more. As you’ll settle into your tranquil sleep sanctuary tonight, recognize that you’re not just embracing comfort; you’re partaking in a profound biohack that nourishes both body and mind.

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5. Spice Things Up

Your love for spices and spicy foods is another form of unconscious biohacking, according to Dr. Gundry. “Every time you enjoy spicy foods, you’re uncoupling your mitochondria,” he says and recommends loading up on hot sauce and indulging in fermented foods like Kimchi.

Mitochondrial uncoupling might sound like a phenomenon you’d learn in human biology class, so let us refresh your memory. Picture your body as a power plant generating energy, making ATP, the body’s energy currency, in tiny cellular factories called mitochondria. These powerhouses usually work in a synchronized way, efficiently producing energy for your body.

Eating spicy foods, fasting, or bathing in a sauna or ice plunge initiate a process that causes the mitochondria to work a bit differently. Instead of solely focusing on making energy, some of the energy generated is transformed into heat that gives your metabolism a little boost, making your body work a bit harder and potentially contributing to weight management.

So, the next time you spice up your meal, skip it or get your sweat on, you’re giving your mitochondria a little workout.

Typical biohacks doesn’t have to be complicated or reserved for tech-savvy enthusiasts. Dr. Gundry’s insights reveal that everyday activities, from walking your dog to enjoying a cup of coffee, contribute to optimizing health in many ways. These simple practices are proof that a lot more of you are biohacking than you might realize.

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