Biohacking: Mini Guide for Beginners
No matter how high human achievements are, we always need more. Swifter, Higher, Stronger: this slogan is relevant not only to athletes, but also to biohackers. A biohacking trend is gaining momentum, thus we have to explain what it means and what types of biohackers exist.
Biohacking in Brief
Biohacking is a buzzword implying the range of measures for prolonging, simplifying, and improving life. Biohackers (people advancing themselves) correct their diet, take handfuls of pills, go in for sports, implant various chips in their body, meditate, and even attend psychological courses.
What should be mentioned in advance is that each modern movement includes people who make everything seamlessly and individuals who run to extremes. Biohacking is no exception. Some biohackers advise professional doctors, undergo medical tests, and listen for expert tips at every possible way. Others just swallow a handful of pills, believing that everything will be beneficial for them. Therefore, what is primarily meant here is the proper concept of biohacking.
In everyday life, biohackers can be divided into two large groups: those trying to improve their life using pharmaceutical drugs and those trying to become a kind of cyborg. Let’s examine them in detail.
Biohackers – Medicine Lovers
Biohackers of this type advance their life by achievements of modern healthcare. They comply with the following principles:
- First off, understand yourself. It means that you should never take any actions without expert recommendations. Before doing something, you have to undergo testing and see a corresponding doctor.
- Keep a certain diet. Even athletes talk about this aspect. In a nutshell: balanced nutrition is over half the battle. Everything is quite simple: eliminate sweets and starchy food, add vegetables and fruit as well as low-glycemic products.
- Take pills. When biohackers study their endocrine profile, check genetic liabilities to diseases, analyze blood composition and other body parameters, they can start consuming drugs. However, you cannot do without the specialist in this issue: all prescribed agents should be accepted at a given time and in predetermined combination in order to avoid incompatible drugs.
- Monitor your psychological state. It is referred to keeping out of stress. Sometimes it is easier said than done. Here are some methods to follow this tip: good sleeping, meditation, and communications with a psychologist.
- Rack your brain. Biohackers should constantly advance their mental abilities: solve math problems, read, undergo trainings. You can also improve brain activity with prescribed pharmaceutical drugs.
- Watch your appearance. External attractiveness affects living standards as well, thus biohackers frequently use beauty treatments, e.g. beauty therapist’s attendance to refine skin health.
- Permanent control. Biohackers monitor their condition. They regularly undergo tests and listen to their body. If something goes wrong, you should return to the first point.
One of Russia’s best-known hackers is Sergey Fage. Reportedly, he spent five years and $200,000 to advance himself. He underwent a great deal of blood tests, passed genetic tests, defined a fat mass percentage, a level of glucose and toxins, check heartbeats, and conduct a variety of other research. You can look at the approximate volume of drugs consumed by him in 2017:
Adhering to the above-mentioned principles, he managed to reduce fat content from 26% of the body weight to 10% and increase maximal oxygen consumption (VO2 max) up to 70. Moreover, he became calmer, more energetic, and happier.
Another well-known biohacker is from the USA: Josiah Zayner, a former biochemist at NASA. He wanted more muscles in his hand and injected myostatin into the body. This gene accounts for the muscle growth.
We still know nothing about the outcome. But taking into account that Josiah’s experiment caused a stir in mass media and then fell into neglect, he probably failed to achieve major changes.
Biohackers – Cyborgs
This group involves people aiming to make their life easier by implanting various chips.
If you do not want to get a bank card out of your pocket to pay for dinner at a restaurant, implant a chip in the hand. So, run the hand over a cash register and that’s it. Do you have to check in the time of arriving at work? Implant one more sensor and so on ad infinitum.
Similar chips largely contain a small microcircuit covered by ferrite and packed in biologically unreactive glass. They can be put into the human skin like this. They can store up to 1 KB of information, which is enough to record bank or transport card data.
Tim Cannon has a sensor in his hand that measure his biometric data and send them to the phone. For instance, he receives SMS when his body temperature goes up to 38 degrees Celsius. According to the recent news, Tim is working on the chip able to determine the oxygen and blood glucose level.
Russia also has a biohacker who has implanted a special chip in his hand: Alexander Volchek from Novosibirsk. The sensor contains work permit pass data and a range of other access cards.
Sweden has faced a real biohacking boom. In 2017, Biohax reported about four thousand Swedes implanting rice-sized chips in order not to use a pack of plastic cards.
Harbisson is an actual cyborg. He suffers from color blindness, thus doctors have implanted an antenna in his brain to make him hear colors. The antenna interprets colors into sound signals transferred directly to the brain. The gadget is connected to the Internet via Wi-Fi.
To Be a Biohacker or Not to Be
To realize whether you need all the above mentioned or not, you should weigh up the pros and cons several times. An irresponsible approach to your body changes will never result in good consequences. Therefore, if you decide to become a biohacker, you should necessarily adhere to all precautions in order not to shoot yourself in the foot.