What Is Biohacking (and Is It the Secret to a Healthier Life)?

biohacking hero

When we first heard the term “biohacking,” we thought it might be the thing the guy from the Apple Store did that time our Wi-Fi wasn’t connecting in the kitchen. But it’s actually a really fascinating new wellness trend you need to get on board with. 

We checked in with Lisa Hayim, registered dietitian and founder of The Well Necessities, a private nutrition concierge practice based in Manhattan, for her take on the buzzy wellness movement.

According to Hayim, “Biohacking refers to ‘hacking into your biology.’ Essentially, it’s using what we know about science and our bodies to make changes to our health and get different results.”

The cool thing is, you might already be doing it. At its most basic, biohacking can involve making generally healthier choices, from eating a more balanced diet and drinking bulletproof coffee to keeping up with your workouts via a fitness tracker. (Choosing a salad over a burger because you know your body will perform better when fueled by the former? Biohacking.)

No one can argue that making simple lifestyle changes like eating healthier or exercising is a bad thing, but Hayim says issues can arise when people venture into the more intense forms of biohacking (like using stem cells to heal injuries or taking nootropic, or smart drugs, for energy) on their own. “The problem is that most people are biohacking themselves without the help of a professional and there is a lot of misinformation out there,” she says. “You could be following an incorrect protocol that could not only be ineffective, but could cause harm or cause you to become too rigid in your choices.”

But there are safe ways to reap the benefits without overdoing it. Per Hayim, it’s all about balance. “I think there’s a middle ground, and that means picking up healthy behaviors that are good for our health, but also learning about what works individually. There’s certainly nothing wrong with information gathering, but I do recommend doing lots of research or working with a pro before making any big changes to your lifestyle and remembering the importance to always be flexible (non-obsessive) when it comes to your food choices since any added stress from biohacking with negate the benefits anyway.”

So there you have it. Like most things in life, biohacking is best practiced in moderation.

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sarah stiefvater

Wellness Director

Sarah Stiefvater is PureWow's Wellness Director. She's been at PureWow for ten years, and in that time has written and edited stories across all categories, but currently focuses...