“Biohacking” or life hacking can be interpreted in a couple different ways. There’s the actual definition, and then there’s the social interpretation of it.
Since BioHacking isn’t an actual word (in the context that we are referring to it), I will show you urbandictionary’s version of it.
Here how the majority of people interpret it – cheat codes that allow you to get better results with less work
Here’s my main issue with people who make a big deal out of “biohacking”.
They overcomplicate things by adding fancy scientific jargon to explain simple concept. Sometimes they use pseudoscience and hope that you won’t understand all the fancy “science” going on behind the scenes and hope you buy into it. Other times they use actual science to explain a normal biological process, solely for the purpose of making themselves appear smarter or more credible.
They completely exaggerate the degree of impact of their “hacks”. Instead of acknowledging that it makes a negligible difference at best, they make it sound like your life is going to change forever by implementing ABC hacks.
The majority of biohacking that you read about is complete bullshit and won’t actually make any difference in your life when you actually start doing it on a day to day basis.
The few times when the “hacks” do have credibility, its common sense that a 10 year old could just as easily have figured out.
Here are a few legitimate “biohacks” that the “gurus” often like to point out:
Getting a good nights sleep
Practicing good posture
Eating a clean diet
Exercising to keep the mind and body healthy
Avoiding wasting time on bullshit like late night TV
If you were to start doing any one of the things on that list, it would have a large degree of impact on your actual performance. Did you need me or some “biohacking guru” on the Internet to tell you that?
Of course not!
Everybody knows this stuff because its common sense. The only reason people skimp on it is because it requires effort to do it consistently.
Biohacks can be futher broken down into two groups; behavior modification and intake of any external substance (includes food, drink, supplements, and drugs)
Behavior modification example:
Sleep more hours at night and get to bed at a reasonable time in order to feel better rested.
Intake of an external substance example:
Take melatonin or Ambien right before bed to get a more restful sleep.
Revolutionary thinking at work? Or common sense?
Of all the “BioHacking” and “Life Hacking” methods out there that revolve around behavior modification that produce significant tangible results (we’re not going to bother talking about the ones that don’t work), more than 95% are common sense things that anyone with a triple digit IQ could figure out.
Going to bed at a reasonable time vs. staying up all night
Eating a relatively clean diet vs. eating fast food for all your meals
Drinking a gallon and a half of water vs. drinking mostly soda
Waking up early in the morning vs. waking up at 1 PM
Putting work into your goals vs. watching TV
Writing down your goals and making a specific gameplan to win vs. aimless pissing in the wind
Drinking a lot of coffee
The methods that tell you to intake something into your body are even worse. At best, they make a very negligible difference, and at worse they spout volumes of pseudoscience to make it sound like their product has some magical superhuman powers.
Claiming that adding some butter to your super special coffee that is free of mycotoxins is going to make the mitochondria in your cells 48.309% more efficient, and claiming that it works even BETTER than a powerful drug like modafinil is a flat out lie. The people that buy into this nonsense want to believe it is true because it feels good to say whatever hippy bullshit they’re doing is superior to all those “cheaters” using PED’s.
Claiming that taking this special concoction of 8 different nootropics you can get off Amazon twice throughout the day is going to be a TOTAL GAME CHANGER is excessive exaggeration. (To their credit, this DOES help. But comparing that to actual cognitive PED’s would be like comparing a Honda Civic to a brand new Lamborghini).
There are a few legitimate biohacks out there that produce results and are not so obvious:
Drinking beet juice to counteract a weak circulatory system, and get oxygen pumping into the brain
Supplementing with zinc or magnesium to compensate for a severe vitamin deficiency
Using certain performance enhancing drugs to… enhance your performance!
When it comes to cognitive performance enhancement in particular, as of right now, there are no products out on the market that you can buy off the shelves that can even come close to prescription strength performance enhancers.
Most of these products flat out do absolutely nothing.
But even the ones that do work are WAY MILDER than actual PED’s.
If a new product were to come out that was on the same level as Ritalin or Modafinil, it would be regulated in a heartbeat because it works too damn well.
The problem with the majority of biohacks that you read about from nerds on the Internet is they either talk about some obvious healthy behavior modification that isn’t news to anyone, or they try to peddle some weak ass product, claiming that it is powerful.
The real deal “biohacks” that actually change the way your body and mind function already have a medical name.
They’re called drugs.
Modafinil will “biohack” your brain and allow it to perform better than 10 other weak ass GNC nootropics combined.
Anabolic steroids will “biohack” your body into muscle growth better than anything you find on the shelves on a supplement store. (This is just a reality check. I’m not actually recommending you to go use them.)
Even when it comes to these legitimate hacks (I like to think of them as nothing more than tools) that work, at the end of the day a tool is nothing more than a tool.
I’m convinced that people who dedicate a large portion of their time looking for hacks are really just trying to find a shortcut to not work hard and get better results. And if they have “science” in the form of fancy jargon to back up their claims, it makes them feel better justifying their laziness. Arguably, in the time it took to research and prepare whatever trendy stupid hack you’re using to get out of working , you could have made more progress had you had just spent that time focusing on your goal.
If you don’t work hard, it doesn’t matter what you take, because you won’t be shit.
You can take modafinil and sit around playing video games and Facebook grab-ass all day. It won’t do a goddamn thing for you because you think its going to take the work out of the equation. It’s like giving a bum the most expensive running shoes money can buy and expecting him to out-run a competitor with years of training.
One of the best collegiate level swimmers I ever knew would never shave his body before a swim meet. A natural talent who had been swimming his entire life, and took swimming more seriously than everything else, this man was an absolute beast. If you talk to competitive swimmers, a point they like to bring up is how they always shave their arms and legs before a race because it supposedly makes them faster in the water. When I asked my buddy why he wouldn’t shave his legs before competition, his response was
Look Joel. The reason I win has nothing to do with whether or not I shave my legs. I work harder than them, I’m better than them, and I know it. These scrubs will go party on the weekends, miss practices every now and then, and talk big game about shaving like they think they have some big advantage over me just because of that. They ignore the important stuff and sweat the tiny details too hard. They go out there and end up getting smoked by guys like me year after year and they never learn. In all my years of competing, I don’t think I’ve ever won or lost because of my choice to shave or not shave.