Biohacking Basics

Have you ever heard of biohacking? Even if you have not heard of it, you've probably been doing it for years. Perhaps not in its most complex form (trying to manipulate physiology and biology by looking at how food or other substances can impact your own DNA and how to “hack” natural processes) but rather in its simpler form as you try to control your body and its functions to maximize your abilities, longevity, health, and happiness to achieve a sustainable life. There are several really easy ways you can biohack your body and mind, such as getting good sleep, eating nutritious foods, and reducing stress. Read on to learn more about how to easily biohack yourself to achieve sustainability and efficiency in your life. 


SLEEP//

Sleep is a very important often overlooked aspect of health. In our fast paced, productivity-oriented society, sleep is often the thing we sacrifice to try and fit everything into the day. But, sleep is actually one of the most basic things we need, and provides us with a myriad of functions. First of all, sleep helps our immune systems function properly. Sleep deprivation can leave the immune system compromised and leave you more susceptible to contracting an infection or illness. Sleep is also involved in the healing and/or repair of blood vessels and your heart. 

So, how to sleep better? Well, a natural biohacker recommends saving the last hour of the day for non-work related things. Saving this last hour (or more hours if you can spare it) of your day to wind down can help your mind settle and help you feel sleepy at an appropriate time. It is also recommended that you do not use your phone in bed, don't use caffeine too late in the day, don't drink alcohol before bed, to maintain a pretty regular sleep schedule, and to keep your bedroom dark. In typical biohacking fashion, it is probably best to take notes on what works for you. Are you especially sensitive to high quality dark chocolate right before bed? Perhaps have that treat in the mid afternoon so the natural caffeine doesn't keep you up.  Do you find yourself waking up at night thirsty or having to use the bathroom? Perhaps you should drink less water right before bedtime and more throughout the day, perhaps you end up dehydrated and that interrupts your sleep cycles. Finding a regular sleep cycle that works for you is also important. Experts on sleep such as The Power of When author Michael J. Breus, recommends finding what works best with your individual circadian rhythm. By figuring out how to maximize your sleep, you can help to possibly reduce your risk of disease, keep your immune system healthy, and stay alert and energized throughout the day. 



EATING THE “RIGHT” FOOD FOR YOUR BODY//

To reiterate, one important aspect of biohacking is figuring out what works best for you. This is especially important to keep in mind when deciding what foods to eat, as allergies, sensitivities, goals, and more can help you to figure out what the “right” food means in your life. Although humans have much in common, we also have very different bodies, histories, health issues and goals, taste buds, etc. which all inform what our definition of the “right” food is. Research does show that certain diets and lifestyles are linked to longer life spans, and that eating minimally processed plant based foods can reduce your risk of developing diseases, but really it's up to you to figure out what works best for your body. 

To hack your food, biohackers recommend eating mindfully and cultivating gratitude and appreciation for the effort and resources that go into every bite you eat. Taking time to cook and eat slowly, eating sustainably, sourcing locally, and practicing mindful eating habits can all help you to feel your best. If you think you may be sensitive to something in your diet, you may consider an elimination diet (always consult with your doctor) to find the source of your symptoms. You can also try adding supplements to your diet, like vitamins and minerals. And, depending on what your goals are, you can figure out how to use your diet as a tool. If you want to gain muscle mass, in addition to working out more you have to eat enough. If you want to reduce your carbon footprint, maybe eat more plants and shop locally. If you want to both reduce your carbon footprint and gain muscle, consider adding chocho to your diet, as it is a sustainably sourced and nutrient dense plant protein.  


MINIMIZE STRESS// 

Stress affects everyone, and stress is not always bad. But, prolonged stress can negatively affect your health (cite). Long term stress can cause a slew of health issues, ranging from headaches, to stomach issues, to problems sleeping (and we know how important sleep is!). Stress can also cause immune system issues, muscle issues, blood pressure issues, and more. Stress is important to manage because if it gets out of control, you may have some serious consequences. 

Luckly, there are a lot of ways to biohack stress that can help you to reduce your stress levels and hopefully reduce your risk of developing a stress related health issue. You can exercise, stretch, practice deep breathing or meditation, eat well (aka eat what's best for you), try to slow down, practice yoga or relaxing movements, do something that brings you joy, and/or talk about your problems. You can also try to find the sources of your stress, or the main stressors in your life. If a major stressor is finding enough time in the morning to workout and have breakfast before getting to work, maybe make some overnight oats (link) and take them with you on the go. If you're stressed out by the amount of work you have to do, try to meditate because you work best when less stressed, or try a method like the pomodoro method where you work in short concentrated bursts. 


SUMMARY// 

Although biohacking may sometimes be complex, at MIKUNA we like to focus on the simple. We believe in deep rooted sustainability and efficiency, which is why we're proud to sell one of the most nutrient dense proteins on the market. Our dedication to these values is why we want to help you live a sustainable and efficient lifestyle, one in which you sleep well, eat well, and manage your stress well, in ways that are meaningful to you. In figuring out what sleep tips and sleep times work best for you, what foods make you feel your best, and how to manage your stress, you are practicing biohacking and making your life more sustainable and efficient.

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