Celebs Are 'Biohacking' To Live Longer—and So Can You
If you're struggling to lose weight, stay in great shape, or want to enhance your overall wellness and boost longevity, have you considered biohacking? Celebs like Tom Brady, Jack Dorsey, and Brooke Burke are all about this hot trend to take their health and wellness to new heights—and it's easy to see why.
By making intentional, data-driven tweaks to your nutrition, lifestyle habits, or exercise regimen, biohacking is a way to boost your health, mind, body, and overall performance by "self-experimenting," explain The Nutrition Twins®, Tammy Lakatos Shames, RD, CDN, CFT, and Lyssie Lakatos, RD, CDN, CFT, registered dietitians who sit on our Medical Expert Board.
There are plenty of ways to manipulate your body to have it functioning at its very best, such as using wearable tech to remind you to drink more water, get up and stretch, and increase your step count for the day; meditating to help you get a better night's sleep; and even using your genes to come up with a personalized nutrition plan. The Nutrition Twins do the latter in their practice, telling us, "We look at how different genes may affect a person's nutrient requirements, risk of specific diseases, as well as their energy expenditure and metabolism."
Taking ice baths, intermittent fasting, monitoring your blood markers, and using nootropics, are other examples of how you can practice biohacking.
We chatted with The Nutrition Twins to learn exactly what all the hype about biohacking is about and why it's so popular with celebrities.
Celebrities who have hopped on the biohacking train
First up, it's no secret that Tom Brady's diet and fitness habits deserve all the gold stars. The 45-year-old reportedly gets a minimum of eight hours of sleep every night so he can perform his absolute best, and he doesn't consume gluten, dairy, trans fat, sugar, coffee, GMOs, MSG, or overly processed foods. He's also an advocate for supplements and has done transcendental meditation.
In addition to Brady, Brooke Burke is a major fan of biohacking and even dubbed herself "a biohacking bit of a geek." She explained, "I'm always looking for the best ways to promote optimal living and anti-aging. What I love about Tru Niagen, and not to get too out there with the tech side, but it helps promote increased levels of NAD+—which, we're born with, and then, when you turn 40, you start producing less and less of it. This is one supplement that has so many benefits, and it does all kinds of things on the cellular level." Burke is also quoted telling Sports Illustrated that staying hydrated, knowing the right ways to work out her body, getting sufficient fuel, and showing her skin TLC are all incredibly important. She even starts her days off with some time in the sauna, a cold plunge, and a "longevity smoothie."
Jack Dorsey is another biohacking celeb, as he reportedly takes ice baths, meditates, and makes use of a barrel sauna.
And if you haven't already heard on The Kardashians, Kendall Jenner and Hailey Bieber revealed they go for IV treatments with NAD+, an anti-aging compound.
How can biohacking be beneficial for weight loss and longevity?
According to The Nutrition Twins, biohacking can be incredibly beneficial for longevity and weight loss. "Since there are so many small bio-hacks you can do, each one has the potential to benefit longevity and weight loss," they explain.
Here are several ways you can bio-hack your way to a longer life.
1. Get more restful sleep.
Getting a solid amount of good sleep helps you avoid unhealthy sugar cravings, which could result in unwanted weight gain. Let's chat about the science. According to research, disrupted sleep patterns, as far as quality and quantity are concerned, can cause an uptick in energy intake from snacking on items that are full of carbs and fat.
The benefits of getting sufficient Zzzs don't stop there. A study provided by the American College of Cardiology's Annual Scientific Session Together With the World Congress of Cardiology revealed that young individuals who stick to healthy sleeping habits are substantially less likely to suffer from early mortality. In addition, the research proposes that around 8% of any-cause deaths could be correlated to bad sleeping habits and patterns.
2. Use heat or cold therapy.
If you haven't taken a cold shower or soaked in a cold plunge pool, you may want to check out these healthy wellness activities. First off, cold therapy is full of benefits—it can positively affect your circulation, soothe any pain you're dealing with, give you an immunity boost, and help improve your mood, all key factors in living a long, healthy, and happy existence. In addition, research even suggests that taking a cold water soak can help you melt body fat.
Not everyone's a fan of the cold, and that's okay! Consider sauna bathing instead. A study on sedentary individuals found that spending time in the sauna has a major impact on body mass loss (BML)—and the highest amount of BML was reported among participants who were overweight or obese.
3. Try these supplements and nootropics that may lengthen your life.
Taking supplements/nootropics that are specifically targeted to your personal needs can also increase longevity. (For those of you who didn't already know, nootropics, otherwise known as "smart drugs" claim to boost your mental skills; they can come in the form of supplements, prescription drugs, or synthetic compounds, WebMD explains.) As a matter of fact, Biochemist Bruce Ames from the University of California, Berkeley, came up with a list of 41 minerals and vitamins like omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, vitamin D, choline, and ergothioneine, that support healthy aging.
4. Reduce your intake of processed foods and added sugar from your diet.
You likely know that consuming ultra-processed food items and added sugar can be detrimental to your health, yet processed foods make up "58% of total energy" in the typical U.S. diet, explains the American College of Cardiology. Having cheat days with processed foods can put your longevity at major risk. For instance, according to research published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, the more you eat ultra-processed foods, the more likely you are to suffer from cardiovascular disease (CVD) and death. Every additional serving you have daily will further heighten your risk.
5. Consider intermittent fasting.
And last but not least, if you're trying to lose weight and boost your chances of living longer, consider intermittent fasting. Research suggests that intermittent and periodic fasting are safe and effective methods that can positively impact your healthspan and longevity by pursuing disease risk factors and cellular aging.
The Nutrition Twins tell us, "Intermittent fasting, when done correctly and if it's right for the individual, can reduce caloric intake over the course of the day as well as improve blood sugar control, and trigger autophagy (the body's process of breaking down old and damaged cells) for longevity."
- Source: https://www.acc.org/About-ACC/Press-Releases/2023/02/22/21/35/Getting-Good-Sleep-Could-Add-Years-to-Your-Life
- Source: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/22423982.2022.2111789
- Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4295591/
- Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8932957/