There is someone alive today who will live to be 1,000 years old.The Independent
Do I believe that?
Not necessarily. But it illustrates science’s exponential growth.
Biohackers sit on the front lines. We investigate, experiment, and integrate bleeding-edge technologies into proven ancestral practices.
Enthusiasts design rigorous, individual n=1 biohacking experiments to vet futuristic compounds, therapies, devices, and practices years or even decades ahead of everyone else.
You can be on the forefront too.
Without further ado, let’s investigate some of my favorite trends shaping the future of biohacking and health optimization.
Biohacking Trend #1: Peptides
Want to slow aging? Recover like wolverine? Build muscle like the hulk?
Consider tiny chains of amino acids called peptides.
These little amino pack quite the punch. Researchers are busy investigating them for anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, and muscle-building purposes.
You may have unknowingly used them.
Collagen supplements are the most widely used peptide.
Other peptides are taking the biohacking world by storm:
- Melanotan II to protect against UV skin damage.
- Thymosin Alpha 1 (TA1) for immune and intestinal healing.
- Semax as a cognitive enhancer.
- Dihexa to improve learning and memory.
- Thymosin β-4 (Tβ4 or TB-500) for repairing and regenerating injured tissues.
- BPC-157 to heal the gut.
Right now they’re the wild west of performance enhancement. They’re hardly regulated. Similar to other dietary supplements, quality matters. Manufacturers often cut corners. To make matters worse, many peptides only work via injection. It’s one thing to swallow supplements contaminated with heavy metals and toxicants. Injecting them is a whole different league.
Biohacking Trend #2: Hacked Learning & Skill Development
Mastering a skill takes years. Malcolm Gladwell found that the world’s foremost experts put in well above 10,000 hours of quality practice to get where they are.
What do you want to master?
Assuming you live to the ripe age of 100 and work the standard 2,000 yearly hours, truly mastering each skill costs five percent of your life.
Little kids pick up new skills in a fraction of the time. Not mastery, but they learn quick.
Select shortcuts can shave hundreds or even thousands of hours. Hours potentially spent elsewhere.
Meta-learning, or applying science to the learning process, promises greater memory, better knowledge integration, and faster expertise.
Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation (C.E.S) is a growing hack that induces peak performance gamma brain waves by sending a tiny electrical current across the brain.
Applied properly, minuscule electric current is safe and effective, with DARPA showing a 40 percent increase in learning speed.Neurostimulation devices can alter your brainwaves for quiet relaxation, intense focus, or to enter a deep flow state. Click To Tweet
C.E.S is one of many modalities seeking to improve the learning process by putting you into a brain state similar to a little kid (in terms of learning). Military, professional sports teams, musicians, researchers, biohackers, and other high-performers have taken a keen interest in this booming technology.
Biohacking Trend #3: Greater Results From Less Exercise
Three-hour iron pumping sessions and running around the city are losing popularity.
If that’s your schtick, by all means continue.
You can stay healthy and transform your body with a minimum dose of exercise.
The industry is moving towards more frequent, short bursts of effort. Replicating what our ancestors most likely experienced. People are embracing the simplicity and effectiveness of small micro-movements throughout the day.
Biohacking Trend #4: Rapid Strength & Muscle Building
In a recent post, I outlined a hyperefficient and effective training technique called blood flow restriction (BFR). Modern hacks are making long workouts all but obsolete. Want to build muscle and strength in 12 minutes per week? It’s possible.
Have some disposable income?
Biohacking Trend #5: Hacking High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
HIIT has sprouted up across the world.
Today you can find classes in every city. It’s an excellent “anytime” workout. You can hit every muscle group in four minutes flat.
Some research shows HIIT to burn fat twice as effectively as low-intensity exercise.
This form of training gets results, safely. Remember, exercise is a stressor. More isn’t always better. That’s why trainers are seeing greater success with HIIT variations that emphasize rest (*gasp*) between sets. It’s alluring:Add rest between sets to “Burn 40% More Fat Than HIIT in 60% Less Time” Click To Tweet
Biohacking Trend #6: Yoga & Alternative Movement in Most Fitness Programs
Science is catching up to what many have known for centuries.
Qigong, Tai Chi, and yoga all realign and benefit the body, mind, and spirit.
These forms of intentional movement put us into positions outside of our normal standing, sitting, walking, and laying down. They relieve the stress of modern life. All three distribute bodily pressure to areas that rarely receive it.
Each practice recognizes the importance of the breath. They also teach us to get comfortable with discomfort, something widely applicable to life.
Biohacking Trend #7: Precision & Individualized Nutrition
Out with restrictive cookie-cutter diet plans. In with hyper-customization.
No one diet works for everyone. We are moving towards personalization across the board. Diet, environment, light exposure, meal timing, circadian typing, and exercise will follow suit.
Your ideal lifestyle may look nothing like those around you.
Roger Williams wrote about this concept in his 1998 book Biochemical Individuality. Organ size, function, enzyme counts, blood composition, metabolism, hormones, and even reactions to compounds like alcohol, nicotine, and food preservatives differ from person to person.
We’re talking HUGE differences. His experiments showed a 50 fold (that’s 50 times) difference between individuals on the low and high end for a host of biomarkers. What does science do with these extreme outliers?
Averages them away. Data analytics sleight-of-hand hides the vast differences between humans.
Decades later, Roger’s concept of personalization is catching on.
Soon every part of your existence will be tailored to your genes, epigenetics, preferences, habits, specialties, microbiome, microviome, and more.
Biohacking Trend #8: Microviome Awareness
No, that’s not a typo.
An astounding number of bacteria live in your complex gut microbiome.
But it pales in comparison to the microviome.
What is the microviome?
The microviome is a large community of viruses, genetic material, and exosomes living inside the human body. Just like your microbiome contains both beneficial and dangerous bacteria, your microviome likely contains similar viruses important to good health. And the microbiome and microviome interact with each other. We know that the microviome is a treasure trove of complex information.
Dr Zach Bush and Dr David Wolfe claim that there are orders of magnitude more viruses in your microviome than microbiome.
Search the internet and you’ll discover an appalling lack of information about the microviome. Far less on the mysterious interaction between the microbiome and microviome.
Some scientists believe that disturbing the microviome populations may explain how symptoms of disease mysteriously come and go. The microviome may hold the key to understanding how a virus can lay dormant for years and then suddenly become active.
Today we’re focusing mainly on the microbiome, but the microviome is a new frontier.
Biohacking Trend #9: Food Seen As More Than Calories
We give our soil no love.
Organic or conventional nutrition doesn’t matter much if the soil is dead.
Humans actively till it and kill it, relying on chemical fertilizers to save the day.
It doesn’t work that way, and with each harvest our food becomes less nutritious.
“Food is medicine”, but only if it contains the necessary alkaloids. Current industrial farming processes and food testing largely ignores the alkaloid content of foods.
No wonder sickness and disease have trended upward at alarming rates.
Declining soil quality (and lack of nutritious options) pushed me into testing out my green thumb. Or, for urbanites, freshly sprouted produce. Both more than compensates for lackluster supermarket options.
Biohacking Trend #10: Reversion to Nature
How boring and low-tech, I know.
Going back to nature?
No matter how hard humans try to fight our biological past, we thrive most in natural environments. Chemicals, insulation, and indoor sedentary lifestyles don’t work over the long-term.
Our bodies and minds recalibrate with light and exposure to nature. Each exposure to natural stressors like the hot temperatures of saunas, or freezing cold showers build our nervous systems to more easily handle future threats. Natural practices turn us into more capable and resilient humans.
We can fight our environment with comfortable modern technologies, but we become frail and susceptible to disease. Practices like morning light exposure, clean environments, drinking clean water, eating clean food, grounding, and spending time in nature send precious information to our biology.
Exceeding Basic Health Becomes a Priority
Humans may have mastered overcoming acute injury, but chronic disease continues to rise.
Solely avoiding disease and injury isn’t enough though.
When you don’t feel great, your existence becomes dreary. Bland days blend together. You miss opportunities left and right.
We’re all seeking to improve the way we look, feel, and perform. With enough time, the scientific community will embrace countless “fringe” futuristic biohacking health trend that works. That’s the way science works.
Remember, not all that long ago, you’d be ridiculed for suggesting that the world is round.
The future of biohacking holds great promise. Explore some of these hot topics for yourself to see what works. Don’t take someone else’s word (and different biochemistry) for it. Try it yourself.