what is biohacking?



I’ve been in love with the word “biohacking” ever since I first heard it about two years ago. Since then it’s become a very buzzy word in the health industry because it congers up so well the notion of extreme science-driven results that deliver quickly.

We think of a ‘hacker” as someone who tries to gain complete control over a computer system (that often doesn’t belong to them). A biohacker is someone who is attempting to take complete control over his or her biology. Self-Biohacking (as it’s also sometimes called) is about obtaining specific results from your own body though a series of self-administered actions, or “biohacks”. Biohacking essentially combines a scientific understanding of the body with specific protocols to achieve measurable, quantifiable results. “Biohack your hangover” is my favorite example. Gosh I wish I thought if that.

Nootropics, also known as ‘Smart Drugs’ or ‘neuro-enhancers’, are used to biohack mental performance. Nootropics are really gaining in popularity because so much is expected of us now. Performance expectations are at an all time high and many professionals as well as higher education students don’t know how else to manage these increasing pressures. Most of the Smart Drugs on the market are mainly blends and/or high doses of amino acids, vitamins, adaptogens, nutrients and even functional foods taken to improve cognitive function, memory, and motivation. There are some smart drugs however that are prescription (or over the counter) pharmaceuticals used to treat serious cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s etc. Essentially smart drugs are accomplishing what Yogi’s have been doing through fasting and meditation for thousands of years.


Biohacking can be for any desired outcome, but for the most part biohacking techniques, smart drugs and similar products are marketed towards achieving the following results:

Increased sleep quality, the decreased need for so many sleep hours to feel rested, more productive work hours, boosted Serotonin and/or Dopamine (the ‘feel good” neurotransmitters), improved memory, heightened libido, sharpened cognition, increased overall energy or really anything you deem to be life-improving. Sound familiar? This is practically identical to the cognitive upgrades enjoyed after a successful detox program!



There is a distinct difference between a biohack and a longevity practice. Most biohacks are not daily practices and are carried out intensely for short periods of time. A longevity practice, herb, or protocol is for life and is a daily “upgrade” to your normal routine. Longevity practices prolong your life (obviously), eliminate the chance of body imbalances, diseases, mental upset etc. and improve your overall wellbeing.

A comprehensive detox program will act more like a biohack because the protocol is carried out for a short period of time, not forever. Juice fasting is a perfect example of a ‘gut-biohack’: When you feed the body concentrated nutrients in the form of pre-digested (liquid) and enzyme rich (raw) juice, the digestive system can finally rest, reorganize it’s pH, and repair itself: something almost impossible to do while forcing it to digest 3 meals a day. And of course, a liquid diet is not sustainable way of nurturing the body because we need fibre and more grounding solid foods to achieve homeostasis in the body.

If you want to biohack your physical body into a more optimal state, experience increased performance from every single bodily system, then a comprehensive detox programme really is the original and ultimate biohack.