What is biohacking and how does it work?

Biohacking is the practice of using science, technology, and biology to improve the human body and mind. This can include using technology to monitor and track health metrics, using supplements and other substances to improve mental and physical performance, and even making physical modifications to the body, such as implanting technology under the skin. Biohackers often have a DIY approach to health and wellness, and may use a variety of methods to experiment with and improve their own biology.


Biohacking is a term used to describe the biology of “do it yourself”. It involves people making gradual changes to their body, diet and lifestyle to improve their health and well-being. Also known as human enhancement, biohacking ranges from efforts to improve brain function to faster weight loss. Like popular terms, biohacking became part of commercial companies.

The Soylent “meal replacement” drink, Ensure for Millennials, was promoted as a biotrick. Biohacking has become a marketing buzzword used to sell unregulated “dietary supplements” and to repackage old products, such as coffee with butter. People have added cream to coffee since the beginning of time, but the new version is more expensive and, once again, it's supposed to hack your brain. That said, biohacking with shredders or home biohacking may not work or even be safe, especially when not done by a trained professional.

For example, biohacker Ben Greenfield says that lifting weights underwater in the cold is one of his favorite biohacking secrets. It is not uncommon for advances in biotechnological research to inspire biohackers when it comes to inventing or using new biohacking technologies. Zayner, the biohacker who once injected himself with CRISPR DNA, has also had health problems for years, and some of his biohacking activities have been explicit attempts to cure himself. Biohacking your body can work, to a certain extent, depending on how you define biohacking and the end of your approach.

Biohacking supplements help you take this to the next level by improving concentration, increasing energy, and helping your body benefit from the most bioavailable forms of nutrients on the market. The main difference between biohacking and biotechnology is that biotechnology is a regulated industry, while biohacking is more “clandestine”. Although some medical professionals and scientists practice standard biohacking and even participate in DIY studies and use biohacking implants, many scientists and doctors are skeptical of these practices. The most cutting-edge principles of biohacking include things such as biohacking nootropics (“smart drugs”), neurofeedback, heart rate variability training, and inversion therapy.

Whenever you plan to take biohacking supplements or using biohacking technology, talk to your healthcare professional first. However, holistic biohacking involving a change in diet or lifestyle through biohacking does not require or interact with biotechnology. We can't talk about health and biohacking without talking about diet biohacking. The biohackers I spoke to said that restrictive regulation would be a counterproductive response to biohacking because it would only make the practice go underground.

Biohacking usually uses biotechnology, but it's not necessary: changes in what you eat through a diet or in the way you think through exercises such as preparation or visualization are types of biohacking.

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