How Biohackers Use Diet and Sleep to ‘Turn Back’ Biological Clocks

  • Biohacking is an American sports trend. It involves trying to hack your body to look and feel younger.
  • Intermittent fasting, eating less meat, and HIIT are some of the tools used.
  • These medications improve blood lipid levels, lower blood pressure, and improve sleep.

The dream of eternal youth is as old as humanity, but some researchers seem to be one step closer to figuring out how to slow the aging process.

A Norwegian study found that even people between the ages of 70 and 77 can reduce their mortality through high-intensity interval training (HIIT).

In the study, researchers at Trondheim University compared the exercise activities of 1,567 people, for an average of 72 years, over a five-year period.

Those who completed HIIT (“high-intensity interval training”) outperformed the other two groups, who did moderate exercise or regular exercise with a significantly lower heart rate.

Biohackers want to go beyond HIIT

Biohackers, following a trend that originated in the United States, use “hack” to try to “return” their biological clocks.

One of the most prominent biohackers is Silicon Valley entrepreneur David Asprey. He weighed about 309 pounds when he was 26 because his diet centered around pizza, chips, and Coca-Cola. His arteries were as old as his grandfather.

“I decided to radically change my life because if I didn’t, I would have died soon enough,” Asprey recalls.

That’s when he began to try everything possible to regenerate the cells of his body and brain.

Yellow clarified ghee in a glass jar with spoon made of wood on a natural wood background close-up.

Your morning cup of Asprey coffee contains ghee or clarified butter.

Getty Images / Evgenia Matveyts



“The first thing I do is skip breakfast and drink my Bulletproof Coffee, which is an organic coffee with a little ghee plus a little MCT oil,” he explained.

Refined butter, which is all margarine, prevents hunger, as well as caffeine. MCT oil is based on coconut oil and contains saturated fats called caprylic and capric acids.

“They help the body make important fasting substances called ketone bodies. They get rid of excess cellular waste during the morning fasting period,” Asprey said.

Max Goetzler is a well-known German biological hacker. His book Der tägliche Biohacker (The Daily Biohacker), published in October, promises to teach you “how to be more efficient, healthier, more flexible, more balanced, and more productive every day in small steps.”

If only it were that simple.

Intermittent fasting improves blood lipid levels.

Renowned aging researcher David Sinclair of Harvard Medical School, who has been studying longevity genes for decades, has confirmed that skipping breakfast or dinner — intermittent fasting — can rejuvenate us. That’s because temporary starvation alters our metabolism – instead of sugar, we burn fat, getting rid of useless cellular waste. In this cleansing phase, we get rid of inflammatory cells, for example, which can do great damage to our bodies.

“Studies show that intermittent fasting improves blood lipid levels, and can lower blood pressure,” said Berlin cardiologist and general practitioner Natasha Hess.

“Especially when combined with exercise,” she added.

Fasting restores blood vessels in 95% of all cases.

“However, those with a genetic lipid metabolism disorder are dependent on medication in addition to lifestyle changes,” Hess said.

So biohacking doesn’t always work.

“Those who don’t sleep enough suffer more pain.”

Biohackers also focus on improving sleep. To do this, they use watches and fitness bracelets with apps — or wearables — that record sleep stages. A common example is the Oura ring.

Using tiny sensors on the inside, the ring measures sleep stages in a similar way to fitness bracelets. With the help of an app on your smartphone, you can check how many stages of deep sleep and REM sleep you have gone through. REM sleep is the time when we emotionally process the experiences of the day and store them in our memory.

“If you have too little deep sleep or REM sleep, you can just insufficiently regenerate your cells. You age faster,” said orthopedic, sports physician and pain specialist Christopher Topar, who has been testing an ora ring for a few months.

“60% of my patients who have pain say they sleep poorly. Those who don’t sleep enough have more pain,” he said.

The left hand wears a sleep monitor to monitor activities and sleep quality

Biohackers use wearables to improve their sleep.

Getty Images / Wei Ming Chan / Contributor



Finding out what apps, fitness smartwatches or wearables his patients can use to improve their sleep is part of his holistic approach.

In recent years, scientists have discovered how lack of sleep can make us sick. It is not just the daily fatigue that we suffer from; Lack of sleep increases the risk of infection


heart disease

obesity and


diabetic

. headache and


Depression

They also occur when we sleep too little or too little.

Not everyone will improve their sleep by wearing a fitness bracelet, watch, or ring to track their sleep stages.

“However, these tools help us figure out why we have too little sleep, wake up frequently in the night, or get up too early in the morning,” Topar said.

Some people may have eaten too late, others may sleep poorly due to excessive alcohol or television consumption.

It is also known that reading on a smartphone or tablet suppresses the secretion of the hormone melatonin, which the body normally produces in the evening and is supposed to make us tired due to the blue light that these devices emit. This would also explain why so many children who play games with a computer or tablet into the evening have trouble falling asleep.

Nutrition plays a major role

Nutrition is another important part of the biohacking lifestyle. They recommend eating less red and processed meat.

David Sinclair thinks your plate should look colorful with yellow, red, or green vegetables that are rich in phytochemicals called polyphenols.

“These substances inhibit the growth of inflammatory and cancerous cells,” said the Harvard professor.

Biohackers are also known to use some controversial methods.

David Asprey, for example, has his own stem cells transplanted into other parts of his body, including his sex organs.

You can read about his biological breakthroughs in Superhuman: The Bulletproof Plan for Aging and Maybe Living Forever.

This is not as recommended as overdoing diet, exercise and sleep control.

“Our health should be at the center of our lives, but controlling it shouldn’t rule us,” said cardiologist Hess. But she recommends a little self-measurement using the apps for many of her patients.

“You’re often surprised at how many calories are in a ‘small snack’ and that it takes half an hour of exercise to burn them off again.”

Relaxation is another important factor in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and one that is often overlooked. If we’ve had a particularly stressful day, it’s important to tell our bodies that it’s allowed to relax in the evening. Doing so should stop the release of the stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol, allowing the body and mind to rest properly.

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