Last year, in the post, “11 Indispensable Lessons I Learned From The Biohacker's Handbook Of Exercise,” I introduced you to my biohacking friends from Finland – a pioneer of holistic medicine in Finland, human technology and self-quantification specialist, Teemu Arina, superfood hunter and nutritionist, Jaakko Halmetoja, as well as Dr. Olli Sovijärvi, MD.
At that time, the exercise chapter was the only chapter of their epic book on biohacking that had actually been translated into English.
But I'm happy to announce that their entire, 544-page “Biohacker's Handbook” has now been released in the English language and boy-oh-boy – it's an absolutely stellar read jam-packed with tips, tricks, and hacks I've never before seen. It's the ultimate addition to any health, fitness, and nutrition enthusiast's coffee table or bookshelf.
In this article, I'm going to share with you 14 biohacking secrets I gleaned from the brand new beautiful hardcover book, which they describe as the “definitive guide to upgrading yourself and unleashing your inner potential.” If you like what you see, you can click here to get the new book, and use code: BEN for a 10% discount.
#1: Power Up Your Marinades
Throughout history, food has been marinated in herbs, fats, citrus fruit, vinegar, and alcoholic beverages such as wine and beer to preserve the food and improve its flavor. Studies have also found that marinades affect the amount of harmful compounds forming in cooked food.
Reduce harmful compounds by marinating:
- The amount of heterocyclic amines (HCAs) is reduced by up to 90% when the meat is marinated for 4 hours or more in alcoholic beverages and strong spices such as garlic, ginger, thyme, rosemary, and chili or when food is marinated for 6 hours or more in beer.
- Cherries, blueberries, blackcurrants, plums, and kiwifruit used in marinades effectively reduce the amount of HCAs.
- Adding vitamin E to the marinade reduces the amount of HCAs.
- Adding vitamin C reduces the amount of glycotoxins.
- Adding turmeric diminishes the effect of glycotoxins.
- Frying in extra virgin olive oil produces the least HCAs compared to other oils such as rapeseed oil.
- The amount of AGEs can be reduced by using sour ingredients such as lemon juice and vinegar in the marinade.
- The amount of potentially carcinogenic substances can be reduced by adding glucose during browning.
- The amount of acrylamide in potatoes can be reduced by blanching them before frying.
- Adding amino acids such as glycine and glutamine to the dough before baking reduces the amount of acrylamide by up to 90%.
#2: Prepare Your Eggs With Wisdom
Eggs should be prepared in a way that maintains the flavor and nutrient density as much as possible:
- The main egg white protein consisting of albumin contains enzyme inhibitors when raw. Because of this, the egg white should be cooked.
- Avoid eating just the egg white.
- Conalbumin interferes with iron absorption, avidin hinders the absorption of the Vitamin B complex.
- The yolk should be eaten raw or slightly cooked. Frying or boiling oxidizes fats, denatures proteins and destroys one half of the precious xanthophylls of the egg.
- In terms of flavor and consistency, even a small difference in the cooking water temperature changes the egg structure.
- Keep eggs in room temperature and use within 7 – 10 days.
- Refrigerated eggs will keep for approx. 30 – 45 days.
- Do not eat eggs that are old, have a broken shell, or a watery egg white.
The book also contains several fantastic tips for choosing the right type of eggs.
#3: Try Berry Powders
Berries contain important building blocks for eyes. Mix berry powders of different colors in equal measure, for example:
- Blue: bilberry and black currant
- Red: cranberry and lingonberry
- Yellow: sea buckthorn and cloudberry
Mix one tablespoon of the powder in your breakfast each morning. For comparison, 1 teaspoon of high-quality berry powder is equivalent to a half cup of berries.
#4: The Best Biohacked Ice Cream Recipe Ever
This heavenly ice cream combines the nutrient-rich properties of egg yolks, the benefits of fats, green tea polyphenols, trace elements and vitamins B, C and E. Instead of causing sluggishness, the ice cream increases mental agility and improves cognitive performance due to the combined effects of fats, xylitol and caffeine, and theanine from the green tea. If MacGyver were to start his day with ice cream, this would be it.
- 4 whole organic eggs
- 4 organic egg yolks
- 2 tsp Bourbon vanilla
- 2 tsp amla extract
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- Juice from half a lemon
- 2 tbsp matcha powder
- 1 stick organic or grass-fed butter
- 100 g (½ cup) virgin coconut oil
- 50 g (¼ cup) MCT oil
- 120g (4.25 oz) xylitol
- 100 g (½ cup) spring water or coconut water
- pinch of unrefined sea salt
- Melt butter and virgin coconut oil in a water bath.
- Mix all ingredients in a blender and pour into a dish.
- Freeze overnight in a freezer or prepare in an ice cream maker.
- Garnish with bee pollen, coconut shavings or sea buckthorn berries.
If you dig this recipe, you also need to try the coffee recipe you'll find in the book.
#5: The Ultimate Hangover Cure
- 3 dl (1¼ cups) coconut water
- 1 avocado
- Juice from half a lemon
- Couple of broccoli buds
- 300 mg red ginseng
- 2-3 cm (1 inch) piece of ginger
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 tsp chlorella
- Sea salt and fenugreek, to taste
Blend the ingredients in a blender.
#6: Get The Most Out Of Isometric Training
Basic Principles of Isometric Training
- Use maximal muscle contractions.
- The set length is 1-10 seconds (increases maximal strength).
- The set length is 45-60 seconds (increases muscle mass).
- Use three different joint angles per exercise.
- Rest between sets using a ratio of 1:10 (for example, 3 seconds of exercise, 30 seconds of rest).
- Isometric exercises may be performed alongside dynamic exercises (the recommendation is to perform explosive exercises followed by isometric exercises).
- Isometric exercises may be performed at the beginning or end of the training session. This way they activate the neuromuscular system in preparation for strength and speed exercises.
Sample exercise – maximal strength:
- Deadlift (+ 125% 1RM): 6 sets x 6-second maximal lift.
- The bar must be heavy enough to not move at all.
- Use maximal muscle tension throughout the body.
Sample exercise – muscle and strength endurance:
- Superset for biceps (3-4 sets).
- Bicep curl with a bar x 8 repetitions (30-second recovery).
- Isometric bicep tension at a 125-degree joint angle x 45 seconds.
The book also gets into a form of isometric training called “Eccentric Quasi-Isometric Training (EQI),” which I found quite intriguing.
#7: Try The “Gibala Method” As A Hyper-Effective Form Of Cardio
The Gibala method is based on a 2010 study conducted on students, published by Martin Gibala, a doctor of Physiology. The goal of the study was to determine the effect of high intensity (100% VO2max) interval training on general performance using a method that is safer and of slightly lower intensity than the Tabata method.
The study continued for two weeks during which six stationary bike workouts were completed. Each workout included a 3-minute warm-up phase followed by the interval phase: 60 seconds of action followed by 75 seconds of rest, repeated 8-12 times. There was no control group involved in the study. Gibala found out that this method achieved the same oxygen uptake benefits at 5 hours of constant pace endurance training per week. The method also significantly increases the force generation capability of muscle cells and improved sugar metabolism.
#8: Increase Your Brain Plasticity With A Few Proven Methods & Nutrients
Methods and nutrients that contribute to long-term potentiation (LTP) and brain plasticity:
- Caffeine ( transcranial direct-current stimulation)
- rTMS (repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation)
- Racetams such as Piracetam (note from Ben – I primarily use Qualia for this, as it's close to racetams but more natural and even more powerful). You can use code: GREENFIELD2018 to save some money on
- Magnesium (especially Magnesium Threonate)
#9: Use Cinnamon As A Memory Aid
According to a recent study (2016) conducted on mice, consuming cinnamon may improve memory function and brain plasticity in individuals with learning difficulties. Other studies conducted on rodents indicate that cinnamon slows down the deterioration of cognitive skills and improves the functional abilities of individuals suffering from Parkinson's disease. It is possible that the future will see similar effects detected in humans.
Be cautious with cinnamon. It does have some toxicity, and the book has several little-known tips about which cinnamon to use and why.
#10: Drink The Brain-Boosting Chocolate Chai Chaga Boom
- 6 dl (2 ½ cups) strong Chaga-golden root tea, brewed with spring water or filtered tap water
- 1 dl (⅓ cup) raw cashew nuts
- 4 tbsp raw cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp maca powder
- 1 tsp powdered reishi extract
- 2-3 cm (1-inch) fresh ginger
- ½ dl (⅕ cup) chia seeds, soaked
- 1 tsp Ceylon cinnamon
- 1 tsp cardamom
- 1 tsp bourbon vanilla
- ½ tsp unrefined sea salt
- 1 tbsp raw honey
- Pour a liter (4 cups) of spring water in a saucepan. Add 1 tbsp chaga powder and 1 tsp golden root. Brew for 30-60 minutes until the liquid is dark in color. Add water if needed during the process to account for evaporation.
- Strain the warm liquid into a blender and add the remaining ingredients. Blend for 30 seconds and enjoy.
The beverage gives you energy, warms the body and offers a stimulating effect in a pleasant and consistent manner while providing a large number of nutrients. This elixir has the properties that support the immune system and the function of the cardiovascular system.
#11: Use The “Eisenhower Matrix” To Get More Done, Faster
The Eisenhower Matrix, also referred to as Urgent-Important Matrix, help you decide on and prioritize tasks by urgency and importance, sorting out less urgent and important tasks which you should either delegate or not do at all.
#12: Speed-Read With Ultra Precision
When you start reading, do the following:
- Set the correct reading position by sitting at a table and placing the book at a 45-degree angle.
- Review the table of contents.
- Quickly preview and leaf through the book.
- Images, tables graphics, and special sections.
- Read efficiently, avoiding unnecessary eye movements (focus your eyes at the middle of the line).
- Using a pen or the reader's highlighting functionality, underline or highlight important content so that you can easily review it.
- Take a photo of the underlined sections or cut them on a computer and paste them into a new notes document.
- Review the underlined sections several times and reduce the reading speed for each iteration.
- In terms of learning, writing notes manually is more effective than typing them on a computer.
Keep the following goals in mind:
- Why am I reading this?
– Never read anything without a clearly defined goal.
– Most people read everything at the same speed because they lack a clear reason for reading.
- What do I want to take away from this?
– A fast reader adjusts his/her reading speed according to the goal and the text at hand.
– Setting a goal only takes a second but it may save hours of your time.
After reading and studying:
- Visualize what you just learned and connect it to the larger visual whole. You may utilize for example the Memory Palace technique in which you split your body or house into ten points. Visualize connecting the things you have learned to various points in a specific order.
- To help remember the numbers, create an item for each number in your mind. Learn the numbers by recalling the items in a specific order.
- Take a nap. It increases the likelihood of remembering.
- Review your notes every few weeks. Repetition increases the volume of gray matter in the brain which is associated with information processing.
- Try to teach what you learned to someone else. If you cannot find a suitable subject, write an article or make a video of the subject matter. 50% of the time should be spent consuming (e.g. reading) and the other 50% producing (e.g. writing).
#13: Minimize Your Radiation Exposure When Flying
- Animal tests indicate that taking a large dose of antioxidants (such as glutathione, astaxanthin, selenium, Vitamin E, coenzyme Q10, NAC, Vitamin C, and Alpha Lipoic Acid before flying reduces the oxidative stress caused by radiation.
- Animal tests indicate that taking a large dose of Omega-3 fatty acids (particularly DHA) before flying prevents inflammation caused by UVB radiation and reduces oxidative stress in the brain.
- Animal tests indicate that taking fairly large doses of chlorella (500 mg/kg) and/or spirulina (60 mg/kg) before flying may provide protection from gamma radiation.
- The regular consumption of potassium iodide, including before flying, protects the thyroid from radioactive iodide.
- Speed up the exit of radioactive toxins from the intestine using activated charcoal and zeolite.
- Avoid flying between 8 AM and 5 PM. the best time to fly is at night as radiation exposure is significantly lower when the sun is not visible.
- Ask for a pat-down instead of a radioactive body scan (particularly in the United States).
#14: Try A Blood Sugar Balancing Cocktail
To be consumed approximately 30 minutes before a high-carbohydrate meal:
- 100-300 mg alpha lipoic acid
- 50-100 mg chromium
- 500-1000 mg berberine
- 2000400 mg EGCG (green tea extract)
- 50 mg resveratrol
- 100 mg magnesium malate
Read the book to get a bonus: the delicious blood-sugar balancing smoothie!
So that's it. But I've only really scratched the surface of the host of valuable information within the pages of this book.
Weaving in practical knowledge gleaned from the biohacking trenches and combining modern technology with ancestral wisdom of foods, herbs, spices, fitness enhancement and more, the book is an absolutely epic read and a must-have for any true biohacker's library. Whether you're a beginner, intermediate or advanced, this massive book contains everything you need to optimize your life, and in this article, I've only scratched the surface of the knowledge and wisdom you'll find inside the Biohacker's Handbook.
This book really does take the latest research into holistic health and turns it into practical and applicable information in a visual and readable format. With more than 1500 references and hundreds of images, Biohacker’s Handbook is “the missing manual of the human body” and an essential addition to the library, work desk, kitchen, gym, suitcase, or bedroom of anyone with a genuine interest in optimal human performance, health, and well-being.
P.S. These same guys also put on some of the best biohacking conferences on the face of the planet, and I'm a frequent speaker at these events, which span the globe from Helsinki to London to Stockholm to Toronto and beyond. You can get access to all six of their Biohacker Summits and 58+ hours of high-quality video content here. This is a fantastic accompaniment to the book.