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Easy and Safe Tips for Biohacking Muscle Growth
There are plenty of ways to help muscle growth on top of your workout routine. We have gathered here the best tips for biohacking muscle growth – ranging from boosting your immune system through smart drugs and more.
What is Biohacking and What Drives Someone to Biohack Themselves?
Biohacking is a very broad term that covers all sorts of practices linked to biology and metabolism for self-improvement. If you research further into more complex biohacking you will find experimental biologies such as blood transfusion, gene therapy, cryotherapy, and more. Nothing we suggest here will involve glass test tubes or stem cells – rest assured.
Biohacking is about controlling your body and its biology in new ways – different from traditional medicine. This can have a lasting impact on your brain waves as well as your brain cells, physical performance, and immune system.
Biohacking is the quest to understanding the “why” behind how our body works. From there it is about finding the best options and ways to make slight and steady personal improvements.
Biohacking has recently surged in popularity as people have a growing desire to generally feel and do better. People are sick of the limited options from traditional medicine.
We will have a look at some safe biohacking tips that you can use to help lean muscle growth, base fitness levels, and cognitive function.
How Different Is Biohacking From Traditional Medicine?
Traditional medicine usually refers to health practices using plants, animals, manual therapies, or more to diagnose and cure illness or improve well-being. Just like biohacking, this covers a wide range of different approaches and techniques.
The main difference between biohacking and traditional medicine is that the latter is based on experience, traditional cultures, and practices (that can vary from one place to another). Some aspects of traditional medicine can be scientifically explained, but a lot of practices are not and rely on traditional knowledge that has been developed over generations.
Biohacking, on the other hand, relies heavily on science and biology in its approach. Some techniques and hacks can be considered as experimental still or can show various results depending on individuals, however, biohacking, in general, is science-based.
Biohacking Your Functions: Supplements
There is a wide variety of supplements you can take to improve your overall metabolism functions and therefore your muscle growth. They fall into two different categories, smart drugs and vitamins/nutrients types of supplements.
Smart drugs: (also known as nootropics)
This is a quite recent research area. This research is already showing a lot of promising results in terms of biohacking. Areas such as improved cognitive abilities, mental functions, and problem-solving, as well as better working memory and general mental activities, are emerging.
Being more focused and relaxed can improve the course of your daily routine, but also gives you that little extra push of motivation you need to achieve your muscle growth goals.
Some of the products you can look into that are showing promising results include Creatine, L-theanine, Gingko Biloba, and more.
Creatine is produced naturally by the body and provides energy for muscles and tissues. It has been researched a lot and proven to improve muscle strength and therefore perform better during your workouts.
BCAA (branch-chained amino acids) supplements have been already used for years by some athletes and now gaining wider popularity when it comes to muscle growth. This combination of amino acids can be metabolized in muscles, unlike other essential amino acids. Some studies showed it stimulates muscle protein synthesis and helps reduce muscle damage, and even reduce fatigue.
You will now find on the market some already packed nootropics supplements that you can try to start with. Read our article here for more details or check out one of our favorite supplements from Onnit.
We also covered previously Tim Ferriss’s favorite nootropics, as he has been one of the pioneers of biohacking and experimenting.
Vitamins and Nutrients:
Supplementing one’s diet has been popular for a long time, but the research and new products in this area can be a little bit overwhelming.
Here are some ideas of supplements you can experiment with, to see if any of them work for you:
– Magnesium is one of the most popular supplements for a good reason: magnesium deficiency is very common, and it has a big impact on sleep quality but also on body benefits in general. One of our favorite products is from Thorne.
– Vitamins: we discuss the benefits of vitamin D below, but others such as vitamin A, various types of vitamin B, and vitamin K12 also have benefits for your body. If you are not sure where to start, check out Dr. Rhonda Patrick’s vitamin supplements and the products we enjoy at EHM.
– Fish oil is also a popular diet supplement when it comes to muscle growth. Some studies have shown that it has benefits on the metabolism overall, but also that it can help improve physical performance, energy levels, or joint health.
Supplements and nootropics use and dosage vary from one person to another, so if you are unsure where to start, you should consult a doctor or a sports specialist.
Biohacks for Overall Health and Happiness
Whether it’s improving your sleep, your cognitive performance, or your skin health, there is a lot you can do to improve your health and overall happiness.
Sleep is crucial in many aspects of your health. Even moderate sleep deprivation can have a huge impact on overall health. Reduction in cognitive functions and an increase in cortisol levels are just a few.
How does improving your sleep classify as biohacking muscle growth? It might not seem at first to directly relate to immediate muscle growth but it is connected. Sometimes it is easier to understand the logic if you look at the inverse. If you don’t get good sleep you will have elevated cortisol levels. You will feel lethargic and low on energy. It will take longer to recover from the previous workout. If poor sleep continues for a prolonged period the effects will simply compound.
Prolonged increases in cortisol levels can have major impacts. It can make weight loss and muscle gain efforts difficult. Further, it can lead to increased risks of infections due to the suppression of your immune system response. In addition, it has been shown to increase the risk of depression and/or anxiety.
So, now you can start to see how sleep is a method for biohacking muscle growth. With proper sleep, you will have normal cortisol levels. You will generally feel good overall, with high levels of energy and mental performance. Your muscle growth will benefit from this proper period of rest!
Here are Some Basic Tips You Can Try to Incorporate to Maximize Your Sleep:
- stopping using screens one to two hours before going to sleep to help your brain slow down.
- getting your bedroom completely dark and lowering the temperature in it can also improve the quality of sleep.
- we mention meditation below as well, but trying to slow the “brain chatter” down before going to sleep can help feeling more peaceful and relaxed before going to bed.
- reducing consumption of caffeine and alcohol quite a few hours before bedtime is of course also known to improve sleep quality.
- Try this Onnit Melatonin Spray.
You can check out our article here on Biohacking your Sleep – detailed article here.
Mental performances can depend on factors such as your diet and sleep pattern, but your general mental state is also important. There are many habits that will improve your overall mental functions. We already looked at some diet supplements that can improve your cognitive functions, but there are other tips you can use.
One that gets a lot of attention (and for a good reason) is meditation. You will find plenty of apps such as Calm or Buddhify that will help you get started.
Another very easy thing to do to improve mental state and mood is to be outside. Enjoying nature regularly and soaking up that vitamin D has huge benefits on your mood and therefore your cognitive performance and mental state. Vitamin D has been proven to help fight depression or some diseases such as multiple sclerosis or the flu. It is of course also available as a supplement, but getting a moment of sunlight every day, even for 15 to 30 minutes, is great for your mood and your body.
There are a lot of diet options that you can look into in order to improve your metabolism and therefore your overall fitness and endurance. Diet doesn’t have to be only about losing fat, it can also help muscle growth by impacting your metabolism.
One of the most popular ways of increasing muscle growth is to increase protein intake in your diet, before or after a workout., if your current diet does not include enough proteins for example. There are plenty of protein supplements available on the market that can be used to supplement or replace meals. Here is one of our favorites – it is unflavored so you won’t be overpowered by artificial sweeteners.
We will not go into too much detail here about each of these diet options, but you can start by reading our detailed previous post about lean body hacks.
Here are some of the options that you could experiment with that have proven efficient for a lot of people:
You can experiment with fasting or rather eating during a specific window of time. A lot of people consider this option for weight loss, but studies also show that intermittent fasting boosts the levels of human growth hormone in your body, which can help build muscle mass, as well as repair and healing. Read more details about intermittent fasting here.
An increasingly popular option in the last few years, the aim of this diet is to get the body into ketosis, a state where you get your energy from burning fat. The food intake is switched in favor of fat, with some proteins and very little carbs. The keto diet has become popular because of its potential results for weight loss. It has also been promoted as being effective for helping with some health issues and improving mental performances. Check out our best keto snacks here.
Tim Ferriss’ popular “ 4 Hour Body” book covered a lot of tips for improving muscle growth, but also a diet plan that has been very popular over the last few years. The diet and the way you can supplement it to lose weight but also retain muscle mass has been hugely popular and is detailed at length in his book and on our blog.
Biohacking Muscle Growth Through Your Workouts:
If you are looking at gaining muscle mass, you are probably working out. Here are a few ideas of easy biohacking tips that you can experiment with for your workouts:
Blood flow restriction training:
This is also called occlusion training. Occlusion training is based on a simple idea – reduction of blood flow to muscles can increase growth hormone while exercising. This is done by placing a tourniquet on the muscles using an elastic band or plastic tubing. Some studies show this technique has benefits in strength training and muscle growth and therefore can be a way to speed up the results of your training.
Enjoy a good sauna:
Research has been conducted on the regular use of sauna after a training session, and some show benefits. The sauna will cause your blood vessels close to your skin to dilate and your heartbeat will increase. As a result, you are training your heart and improving your cardiac functions. It has the potential to increase blood flow and the efficiency of your body’s cooling system.
Finally, you can also try to exercise in the sauna. The combination of both has been shown to increase the production of growth hormones, as well as increase blood flow to the skeletal muscles.
Also known as cryotherapy, this technique has been used by some athletes. The research and science behind it are still mixed. However, a lot of athletes feel that a short ice bath (5 to 10 minutes) after hard training. It is believed that this helps their recovery and makes them feel better overall.
The science suggests that immersing yourself in cold water after intense training has meaningful effects. This includes reduced swelling, constriction of blood vessels, and flushing of waste products out of tissues.
As you can see, there are various areas where biohacking can help improve your overall health. From biohacking muscle growth to improved cognitive functions, increased endurance, and more.
If you have been experimenting with other biohacking techniques that you found efficient, feel free to share them with us!
Learn more biohacks to keep yourself moving forward here!