And the ones that actually work? They’re buried deep under everything else.
Maybe you manage to keep your favorites on hand. You strategically plan your morning around each. There’s just one issue.
Time. Consider the time cost of one fairly typical morning protocol:
- Near-infrared sauna: 20-30 minutes
- PEMF treatment: 10 minutes
- Red light therapy: 20 minutes
- Grounding: 30 minutes
- Sun gazing: 30 minutes
- Meditation: 20 minutes
- Oil pulling: 20 minutes
- Journaling: 10 minutes
- Cold shower: 5 minutes
- Making super coffee: 5 minutes
A three hour morning routine to start the day won’t cut it.
Stacking is the process of combining multiple biohacks (compounds, protocol, or strategies) together to save hours or achieve greater results than any by themselves.
Stacking Biohacks Increases Effectiveness
Some things nicely compliment each other.
Certain biohacks work best together.
- Cold exposure and natural sunlight boost mitochondria
- Sauna use and meditation
- Deliberate breathwork practice and steady-state training
- Walking and learning
- Vitamin D with vitamin A and vitamin K
- Turmeric and MCT oil
But most of the reason to stack comes down to your fundamental resource.
Stacking Biohacks Saves Time
You can’t hack more hours into a day.
Ayurveda insists on the importance of morning and evening routines. But if you devote time to each separate machine and practice, that can easily consume the entire day.
Through stacking we can combine practices to save time:
- Pro: adds freshness to the experience.
- Pro: feel different effects.
- Pro: synergy between practices.
- Con: potential for new interactions.
- Con: less devotion to each activity.
- Con: hard to isolate effects.
What does this look like in practice?
I heavily stack my routines as much as possible. I can cram a whole lot into a short period.
Stacking Morning Routine
I follow an Ayurvedic morning ritual.
I tongue scrape while I shower. I listen to a podcast or audiobook while brushing teeth. I oil pull while preparing my morning hydration elixir and coffee.
When I sit down to meditate, I do so while enjoying my homemade DIY NIR sauna. At the same time, I also run a tiny electrical current across my brain using a technology called tACS that I wrote about in the future of biohacking. Together, this system tunes my brain and body to perform at their peak.
20-30 minutes later I’ve completed what would take over an hour to do each individually.
And then I’m onto my morning walk…
Stacking the Morning Weight Loss Walk
After meditating, every morning I walk one to two miles.
I’ve made these 20-30 minutes sacred time. I cruise the streets of either San Francisco or New York City:
- I walk shirtless to get full-spectrum light exposure year-round. Rain, snow, or shine.
- I read my Kindle while I walk. I do this for better retention. To remember certain passages, I recall a part of the walk. Thanks to the indelible link between the olfactory system and visual memory.
- I go barefoot whenever possible. A few minutes of grounding is a potent anti-inflammatory, improves mood, and helps me recover from workouts faster. Plus I strengthen stabilizer muscles in my feet (even better than from my favorite barefoot/minimalist shoes).
- I nose breathe and practice various forms of intentional breathwork (like Wim Hof).
- Sometimes I’ll turbocharge my light exposure by taking mitochondria enhancing supplements like methylene blue, algae, or chlorophyll.
Yes, this is a lot. But it naturally evolved over many years of trial and error. I could do each separately, but I prefer that my entire morning routine takes under an hour.
Stacking Daily Exercise
When exercising, I usually multi-task.
I play an audiobook or podcast in the background. When I remember to focus, the increased blood flow and brain chemicals from exercise cement the new material. It’s also when I form my own takes.
Between sets, I’ll continue nose breathing using Brian Mackenzie’s parasympathetic toning technique to build my athletic endurance and stamina.
In every workout I learn, grow, and improve my breathing pattern.
Stacking: Making Biohacking Time Efficient
Spend enough time biohacking and you’ll intuitively begin stacking.
Opportunities to combine biohacks will present themselves throughout every day. While stacking can increase effectiveness and save time, be wary of over-optimizing. I find myself filling all my free time with stacks, so my calendar has activity-free downtime blocked at regular intervals.Stacking is a biohacker's weapon against letting all the latest promising modalities consume all the day's time. Click To Tweet
Before I stack I ask myself an important question: is this worth it?
The easiest way to remove clutter and time burdens is to cut away the junk. Only then do I stack the biohacks that work for me.
Do you stack, or progress through each protocol individually?