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Simple Methods of Biohacking Your Metabolism
When reading about biohacking, you can be a little overwhelmed with the amount of data there is and the range of methods discussed. We are not going to discuss here more extreme techniques such as blue-light therapy, implants, or spending huge amounts of money on technology. What we are going to talk about are tips for biohacking your metabolism.
Instead, we are going to look at simple tips and some products that can help improve your immune system, mental health, and overall performance.
Understanding Your Metabolism and Biohacking
Biohacking generally covers any actions dictated by biology and science, taken towards improving your metabolism and therefore your performances, or delaying aging and diseases. It is partly experimental, in the sense that for every individual there are factors that vary greatly such as genetics, environment, and more.
Therefore, it is important to keep in mind that not all the techniques are going to have the same effects or results for everyone. This is why we are covering various topics in this article and why you should assess for yourself if any of these are appropriate for you. We also suggest that you do that with the help of your doctor, who can help run tests and assess beforehand if you have any deficiency or if the condition that could prevent you from taking some specific supplements.
Keep also in mind that in order to implement changes, it is good to assess their efficiency at a later stage in your biohacking journey. You can either use numbers, that will be the easiest form of measurement, such as hours of sleep, weight, distance ran, etc, depending on what your objective is or the aspect of your lifestyle that you want to improve.
You can also listen to your overall sensations about something specific. How you feel is of course subjective and can be affected by various factors, but you might want to try to target one area of your life that you would like to pay more attention to. You can for example ask yourself every day: how was my sleep? How is my energy level? How do I feel about my mental performances or my mental health today?
One technique that might be useful before you try biohacking your metabolism is to keep a tracker as a baseline for a week or two: what do you eat, how much do you sleep and exercise, your general level of energy, etc. Try to find some indicators that are meaningful to your lifestyle and your environment, or the issues you are willing to tackle.
If you are new to biohacking, we recommend reading “The 4 Hour Body” by famous biohacker Tim Ferris, which describes in detail his protocols and experiments. You can also check out our review of the Top Biohackers here.
Supplement and Vitamins That Boost & Biohack Metabolism
It would be difficult to cover biohacking your metabolism without discussing first some of the supplements and smart drugs you can use to boost your brain functions or your physical performances. Here are a few of the most popular ones that you can look into to start with:
Vitamins are a crucial component for our bodies and have different functions. Vitamin D is important for the health of your bones, muscles, and teeth. It could also help fight anxiety and depression.
Vitamin A has a role to play in your immune system strength. Further is supports other vital organs such as kidneys and lungs.
Vitamin C helps regulate blood pressure and boosts overall immunity.
Other vitamins are also important for your body functions, such as the various vitamins B or K.
Therefore, it might be easier to try supplementing with a multivitamin supplement such as this Thorne product. Some of the other smart drugs or supplements we discuss below are also often coupled with vitamins.
Global health supplements:
Some of the smart drugs we mention later in this article have benefits in other areas of your metabolism.
For example, magnesium that is recommended for better sleep also has anti-inflammatory and blood pressure benefits.
The same goes for supplementing in Omegas 3 through fish oil, which is recommended a mental booster but also have an impact on blood pressure and heart functions.
Other products have multiple benefits such as minerals, naturally present in our bodies, whether produced by our metabolism or taken through our diet. Here are some we suggest you look into:
Zinc is a mineral that is naturally present in a lot of various food such as animal products like meat and shellfish. It is necessary for your immune system, your body’s healing processes, and more. It is also used as a mood booster, as studies have shown it has antidepressant properties.
Iodine is another mineral normally present in your diet, mainly in fish products but also in iodized salt, which is used in a lot of processed food. If you have an iodine deficiency, this can lead to thyroid issues. Some research also shows that this deficiency could increase the risk of certain cancers. If your iodine levels are normal however, then there is no need to supplement.
Probiotics can have a bit of a bad rep, as you are basically ingesting bacteria. But these are the good ones that your digestive tract needs to function properly. Probiotics are naturally present in fermented foods such as yogurt, cottage cheese, pickles. Probiotics can also help deal with issues linked to digestion such as gas, bloating sensation, and more.
They also have an impact on our immune system and can reduce the risk of infections. Some recent research shows that they also support the lungs, skin, and reproductive tract in our bodies.
Finally, super greens supplements have also become increasingly popular as a general health supplement. Supplement green powders or tabs usually contains various ingredients such as leafy greens, fibers, probiotics, and herbs. They may support overall wellbeing and help prevent disease in combination with a good diet.
Boosting your metabolism:
If muscle growth or increased physical performance is what you are after, then there are some specific products you can also look into.
We mention creatine below for a potential mental performance booster, but it is first a great source of energy for muscles and tissues.
Diets that include more fat and proteins and fewer carbohydrates have become more popular in recent years. Diets such as the Keto diet or the Paleo diet have gained huge followings. Here are a few keto articles from EMH you can enjoy – Keto breakfasts; keto snacks; and keto cocktails.
Once again, you probably want to assess with your doctor whether you can do serious changes in your diet before implementing them.
For more details on how to biohack muscle growth and physical performances, check out our previous article.
Biohacking for Health and Happiness
Sleep is one of the ways our bodies and minds restore, rest, and get us ready for the next day, it is therefore crucial! A lot of people experience issues sleeping for periods of time, whether it is due to stress, environmental factors, or other reasons. But getting your body the rest it needs is crucial for your mental health and your overall energy levels. If you are experiencing sleep issues, have a look at our detailed post about sleep biohacks here.
In short, some of the biohacks you can look into for better sleep include:
- Melatonin is a hormone that helps to regulate sleep, that your body naturally produces. It is a popular supplement to help sleep. Here is a great product we use from Onnit.
- Magnesium is a very popular supplement for many good reasons. It is known to have amongst other things – a positive effect on sleep. It helps your melatonin production but also has an impact on your nervous system, helping your body and brain to relax. We enjoy this product.
- You will find sleep supplements that have also plant-based products in them such as lavender, valerian, magnolia bark, or CBD.
Your cognitive functions and your mental performances are playing a huge part in your overall feeling of happiness. When you feel mentally sharp – you are more efficient. Maybe you will tackle some work or personal issues with a different approach.
Let’s look first at a few supplements you can experiment with to boost your brain functions:
This is a popular supplement that can have various benefits. The omega-3 fatty acid it contains has been shown to improve memory and reaction times. These results are enhanced if there is a lack of those in your diet. It also has other benefits for your body functions such as anti-inflammatory effects. We enjoy this product.
GB is an herbal supplement, also very popular to boost brain functions. Although research has been a bit mixed about it, it is believed that it increases blood flow to the brain and therefore improves brain functions.
There are other supplements that you can also look into such as Resveratrol or Vitamin E. You will find on the market some supplement packed with various of these ingredients.
If you are on a vegetarian diet, you might also want to look into Creatine. While naturally present in meat, seafood, and dairy, if your diet is low in it, this might also help boost your brain functions. It is also a popular supplement to help muscle growth.
Finally, for mental wellbeing and reducing stress levels, another tool you might want to look into is meditation. Meditation can help relax your body and brain before sleep. In addition, it can help with overall feelings of happiness and calm. Giving your brain a short amount of time to rest every day can help you then think more clearly.
Biohacking Your Appearance
We have not yet found the miracle biohack to make you 5 inches taller overnight. However, there are some supplements that you can also look into when it comes to your hair, skin, and more.
Some of the products for general wellbeing detailed above, will of course participate in positive effects on your appearance. Generally, if you feel healthier and fit you will also look the part! But you might have specific things you are trying to improve in your physique. Here are some of the most popular supplements.
Collagen is naturally present in our bodies and is the main component of our skin. It has already been for years a popular ingredient in facial creams and beauty products. It has become popular lately as research has shown that natural production declines over time. Collagen supplementation has been shown to reduces signs of aging. It is now a very popular supplement that helps with everything from muscle growth to skin tightness.
Hair and nail supplements are usually packed with some of the products we mentioned above, such as vitamins and fish oil. If this is a specific concern that you are having, look into a product that will be packed of what you need to improve hair strength and growth. Here are some great options from Thorne!
Use Intermittent Fasting Correctly
Let’s face it, using all the previous biohacks listed here might not have the desired effect if your diet is unhealthy or varying a lot. If weight loss is a concern, then you can start by looking at some eating routines that might work for you. As always, please consult a nutrition practitioner before you get started.
In any case, whether for weight loss or not, intermittent fasting has gained a lot of popularity over the last few years. A lot of preliminary research shows that intermittent fasting can have various health benefits.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
This covers various methods of limiting your food intake to specific periods of time. One of them is alternate-day fasting, where you eat no food or very little on a period of 24 hours every 48 hours.
One of the options that have become increasingly popular is time-restricted feeding. With this, you eat only during a certain window each day, for example only between noon and 8 pm.
Finally, there are more challenging fasting techniques that you can look into, such as a 3 day fast that we looked into here.
What Are The Benefits?
First, let’s clarify that there has been a lot of research on the benefits of intermittent fasting, but a lot are for now lacking any long term perspective. However, a lot of studies seem to indicate the positive effects of intermittent fasting.
Weight loss is one of them, especially when people are new to fasting and apply with it a new diet. Other benefits could include lower blood pressure, an increase of HDL and growth hormone levels, impact insulin sensitivity and more.
Another important aspect is that a lot of people that switched their eating habits to intermittent fasting report that after an adjustment period they feel more energy and overall feel that they perform better in various areas. Some individuals have adopted this as a way of eating. Others will choose to do intermittent fasting for a period of time to achieve a weight loss goal or improve their fitness and energy levels.
How to Start With Intermittent Fasting?
If you want to see if fasting has health benefits for you, we recommend starting with time-restricted feeding. Check out our article here to get started.
Here is a brief overview. A common schedule is an 8 hour window, so for example eat from 11am to 7pm. You can of course adjust that window to suit your schedule and lifestyle.
Keep in mind that this might be quite an adjustment for your body if you are used to eat first thing in the morning or snack a lot. So before judging the effects and your overall feeling and energy levels, we suggest giving it a week or two.
As always with biohacking your metabolism, this might not be a good technique for everyone, so experiment and see what works for you.
If your aim with intermittent fasting is mainly diet loss, then you can have a look at our plan here.
Do you have other simple tricks to biohacking your metabolism? Feel free to share them with us in the comments below!