10 High ROI Biohacks that give Elite Perfomers an Unfair Advantage
While so many in society are concerned with making everything fair and equal, high performers are giving themselves a stark unfair advantage by embracing biohacking.
We all have natural limits of how hard and smart we can work - the high leverage, high return on investment measure is to unleash the mind; enhancing cognition, training working memory, cultivating greater focus, improving long term memory, while mitigating and managing the downsides of a life lived intensely; stress and aging.
Who is biohacking...
Tim Ferriss - The 4-Hour guy, salsa dancer, author, and digital nomad turned Silicon Valley venture capitalist. Created the slow carb diet.
Jack Dorsey - Founder and CEO of Twitter, spends up to 2 hours daily meditating.
Dave Asprey - The godfather of biohacking. Author of five books. Populizer of orange-tinted blue light blocking sleep hacking glasses.
Ben Greenfield - Elite athlete, author and family man. Professional obstacle course beserker and bow hunter.
Joe Rogan - The world’s most famous podcaster. A psychedelic psychonaut.
Serge Faguet - A Russian tech entrepreneur. An extreme lifestyle experimenter, has spent over $200,000 on biohacking.
Mike Adams - Time-of-flight lab operator, scientist, author, inventor, and alt-tech free speech innovator.
The sport of being at the top of any career is a high impact one, like with a high-performance sports car that’s tearing up the track at over 100MPH every weekend, an entrepreneur must pay special attention to maintaining their machinery.
Entrepreneurship is an overclocking of our hardware and software, our body and mind, which will cause burn-out and depression inevitably in entrepreneurs who fail to employ a multi-pronged defensive strategy for resilience, rejuvenation, and repair.
1. Meditation Tech
It’s no secret that daily mindfulness practice is a commonality among high performers, entrepreneurs are using biohacking-mindfulness tech to shortcut the years that it typically takes to master meditation. Notably, Heartmath’s HRV devices, which train you in about 10 minutes a day to reach a state of coherence between your heart and autonomic nervous system and the Muse brainwave-sensing headband which gives you realtime feedback, training you to play your own brainwaves like a master musician playing an instrument. Entrepreneurship educator extraordinaire Pat Flynn starts his days with a Muse session.
Using this anti-narcolepsy drug is kind of like dabbling with the Dark Side of the Force, it gives you incredible powers of focus and will keep you very awake for 8-12 hours, but self-aware biohackers agree that it’s an anti-empathy drug, it may turn you into a benign psychopath for about half a day. There’s several other downsides to using it but many Entrepreneurs still use it regularly because it’s such a potent productivity drug. A successful entrepreneur friend of mine (who prefers to remain anonymous) once confided in me that he makes about an extra $50K annually thanks to the +20 odd extra hours of work and focus a week that Modafinil empowers.
This addictive little molecule is for some elite health gurus, like Aubrey Marcus of Onnit, a secret weapon for unleashing formidable focus and creativity. It’s no coincidence that Ayn Rand, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Tolkien, and many other great novelists were voracious smokers, Nicotine is a creativity smart drug.
- Of course, you shouldn’t smoke (vaping is also probably not a great idea) - the safest way to consume nicotine is in a 5% or 7% liquid solution. It doesn’t taste great, but a few drops of the stuff will really light up your prefrontal cortex.
- It’s a fast-burning Nootropic, its effect lasts only about 90 minutes, for this reason, it’s the Nootropic I reach for to stimulate my productivity in the waning hours of the day. After 5 PM I don’t take stimulating Nootropics that might mess with my sleep. I can safely do a hit of Nicotine around 7 PM or 8 PM without it interfering with my sleep.
- Nicotine is cheap. Nicotine in PG or VG liquid solution ends up being about a $3/week habit.
- Nicotine is addictive. You’ll get hooked on the stuff, there’s a tendency to develop tolerance and increase the dose. But in my experience, it’s really not that addictive, I take regular breaks from Nicotine, I’ll use it for a month and then go off it for a week or two. I never get any nasty withdrawal symptoms from quitting and the cravings are very manageable, as long as the little dropper bottle is out of sight, it’s surprisingly easy to resist. In my experience, coffee is more addictive than Nicotine, although, I drink really great coffee...
Entrepreneurs have, since time immemorial, relied on coffee - caffeine is a hell of a productivity drug. The good news is that caffeine is healthy if you’re consuming reasonable amounts of it, less than five cups of coffee a day. The bad news is that most coffee you find on store shelves or served by a friendly barista is toxin-ridden crap; the processing and production of most coffee results in mycotoxins which cause brain fog, anxiety, and a myriad of health problems.
- Choose an organic toxin-free brand, toxin-free stuff tastes better and imbues a clear-headed buzz. If you go to cafes and coffee shops, say no to Starbucks, chose local cafes that take some pride in their product. Chat with the baristas, ask them what the highest quality bean is that they offer.
- Drink your coffee WITHOUT tasty sugary additives. Healthy coffee tastes good, if you need to add spoonfuls of additives to make it palatable you probably shouldn’t be eating it.
I drink a delicious bulletproof-style coffee daily with Kerrygold butter blended to make it a little creamier beverage, with a healthy shake of anti-inflammatory cinnamon.
5. Sleep Hacking
Sleep really matters; the cost of bad sleep cannot be understated; lack of focus, poor decision making, diminished immunity, increased risk of disease and declining health. Yet entrepreneurs often make this losing deal with themselves; stay up late at night working on the computer, robbing themselves of precious sleep, then take stimulants and force themselves to work long hours the next day to make up for their low quality of attention and focus. I instead urge you to choose quality over quantity, if you work fewer hours but get awesome sleep, you’ll ultimately get higher quality work done. Some sleep hacks to implement...
- Try to give yourself 60-90 minutes of downtime before bed. Time away from your computer or smartphone doing something that soothes your autonomic nervous and pulls it out of fight or flight chronic stress mode like reading, writing (the old fashioned way with pen and paper), meditation, conversation or making love.
- Avoid junk light for 2-3 hours before bed, bright light, especially blue light is the enemy of sleep. Your laptop screen, your tablet and smartphone screens, the light in your bathroom, the streetlights outside your window are all sending problematic photons of blue light your way that you want to avoid to optimize sleep quality. Install a screen dimmer app, go to the bathroom in the dark, change the lights in your house to soft yellow or red light bulbs, wear orange-tinted glasses that filter out blue light and turn off the lights at night and use candles to illuminate your room.
- Take an anxiolytic pre-bedtime cocktail. I like tea, here’s what I mix to make a hearty sleepytime tea: Ashwagandha (powdered), Chamomile, raw honey, and organic apple cider vinegar. To really take my sleep quality to the next level, on top of this I’ll take several hundred milligrams of magnesium and a CBD supplement.
6. Dual N-Back Brain Training
You’ve probably seen brain training games and apps advertised and wondered if they actually work, if they actually make you smarter or a better at problem-solving. I’ve used almost all of them extensively and there is just one brain-training app that has good evidence supporting its “transfer effects”, the Dual N-Back task.
- It’s demonstrated in clinical trials to improve general intelligence, IQ and your problem-solving abilities outside of the game.
- I’ve used Dual N-Back for years and it really does exercise your focus muscles, it has improved my attentional control markedly.
- It does upgrade the “RAM” of your conscious mind, training executive function, which has made me a better web developer, it has made me able to keep track of more lines of code and article IDs.
Unlike meditation, Dual N-Back improves your mind relatively quickly, in a matter of a few weeks of brain training 15 minutes a day your IQ will creep up a few points along with your focus and emotional resilience notably improving.
7. Intermittent Fasting
Fasting is one of the simpler biohacks that smart entrepreneurs from Silicon Valley habituate to save time, maintain health and spend more time in a state of deep focus. To do an intermittent fast, skip breakfast and do all your eating and snacking within an 8-hour window.
The CEO of Twitter sometimes fasts for up to 22 hours a day, which might sound extreme but he finds that it’s a time dilation hack, at least subjectively, it allows him to spend more time lingering in the deep now - reaching heights of productive focus when undisrupted by eating every few hours. Jack is not the only ultra-high performer doing this, U.S. Army 4-Star General Stanley McChrystal famously eats just a single meal a day.
You can read endless business books or go to inspiring entrepreneurship conferences and meetups which will make you feel good, but the truth is that they won’t do much to change your life and break you out of your personal history cycle unless you effectively signal to your genes the changes you want to make...
8. NMN - The Epigenetic Vitamin for Smarter Genes
Nicotinamide Mononucleotide (NMN) is a derivative of Vitamin B3 that feeds you the NAD+ molecule that your genome needs to epigenetically turn on (or off) the right genes at the right time.
- Perhaps you’ve tried some of these different supplements or biohacks and were a bit underwhelmed and disappointed. This may have a lot to do with obstinate epigenetic function. If your genes get stuck, you can throw all the biohacks in the world at them and it won’t make a big difference in your health. NMN is praised by some of the top anti-aging scientists in the world, like Harvard’s David Sinclair, for its effectiveness in feeding our genome the NAD+ molecular cofactor to epigenetic function.
- It’s a mitochondrial support supplement, that feeds the powerhouse of the cell.
- It’s a Nootropic, according to an NMN biohacker survey the majority of the users reported Nootropic effects (enhanced cognition, motivation and wakefulness) and Improved long term memory.
9. C60 Olive Oil - A Super-Antioxidant for Biological Antifragility
This tasty anti-aging supplement of carbon 60 fullerenes suspended in pure, fresh olive oil is a biohacking tool for antifragility; it mitigates health risk across the board.
- It’s a powerful antioxidant; that cleans up free-radicals and detoxifies the body.
- It’s frequently reported that it increases general energy and motivation.
- It’s a sleep hack, one of the anecdotal effects reported most often is that it imbues profound, restorative sleep - you can take this to the next level by using C60Supply.com’s C60+CBD olive oil.
- I use Nicotine often, although my research of Nicotine leads me to believe that even isolated, Nicotine may have a mild carcinogenic effect. That’s a (small) risk I’m ok with because I have a bunch of great cancer prevention habits and I use C60 which some promising evidence indicates is an effective anti-cancer therapy.
C60 stands out as an anti-aging supplement because it doesn’t actually cure anything or stimulate hormones, it’s just a powerful anti-oxidant that cleans up free radicals and toxins allowing our bodies to naturally fix themselves.
10. BPC-157 - The Anti-Aging Peptide
Bodybuilders and elite athletes refer to this peptide as the Wolverine Drug, because it’s such a potent supplement for rapid injury healing. It’s worth the attention of Entrepreneurs because we so often suffer from mild repetitive strain injuries like Carpal Tunnel from spending so much time on our laptops! A one or two-week course of BPC-157 can arrest, reverse and often cure totally tendonitis.
- It’s a powerful gut-brain biohack; it (sometimes rapidly) fixes leaky gut and other gut inflammation conditions.
- The strongest clinical evidence is for its healing effect on injuries. It a great idea to keep some of this body protection compound around in case you ever injure yourself in the gym, are stabbed in a gentlemanly rapier duel with a competitor (or twist your ankle while dancing raucously in a nightclub celebrating your company’s IPO!)