Life can get busy. Time slips away from the best of us, and committing to new habits or practices is tough when your schedule is already full.
But don't fret — there's still plenty you can do to optimize your health and performance.
Below, I'm sharing my five favorite biohacks to upgrade your life. Not only do they not take up too much time to implement, they'll actually increase your productivity — effectively adding more hours to your day.
1. Consider CILTEP supplements.
Long-term potentiation (LTP) is the process that happens in the brain when you learn a new skill.
Neuroscientists have a saying: “Neurons that fire together wire together.” Basically, when you’re learning something new, different parts of your brain are lighting up in unfamiliar patterns.
Say you’re learning how to swing a bat for the first time. Your vision system tracks the ball, your motor system moves your body, and your prefrontal cortex is planning ahead: if you hit the ball, you’re going to start running; if you miss, you’re going to stay put.
Your brain isn’t used to this new combination of signals — visual, motor, planning — so at first there’s no string connecting each region. But as you practice batting over and over, the neurons fire, and a connection forms. The more you practice, the thicker and faster the connections become. Eventually you can track the ball, swing the bat, and plan ahead, all without thinking. That’s when your neural pathway is cemented in your brain and you’ve really learned a skill.
To speed up this process, you can take a supplement called CILTEP, or Chemically Induced Long-Term Potentiation, which you can find at many supplement shops. In doing so, you'll help to improve your focus, memory, and learning. The effect seems subtle — but it can make a huge difference.
2. Upgrade your tap water.
This one’s easy: You can significantly improve your water simply by adding a filter to your tap.
A massive review of fungi in tap water conducted by the U.K.’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs found that mold often grows on the inside of water pipes, and that it and its toxic byproducts can end up in drinking water.
Mold is more likely to grow on iron pipes than it is on PVC pipes, but PVC piping isn’t great either — it can leach plasticizers into drinking water. Among these plasticizers is the estrogenic compound 4-nonylphenol, a hormone disruptor which has been linked to the growth of breast cancer cells.
The solution to avoiding all these toxins? The U.K. review noted that a simple activated charcoal filter (like a Brita filter) removed 90% of fungal contamination in tap water.
Another excellent option is mineral water packed in glass. In addition to being low-toxin water, mineral water contains a host of beneficial trace minerals. You can read more about those benefits here.
And whatever water you chose, avoid drinking it from plastic bottles — they leach bisphenol-A (BPA), an estrogenic plasticizer that, like 4-nonylphenol, promotes the growth of breast cancer cells.
3. Increase your vitamin D.
Vitamin D is an amazing nutrient, and participates in over 1,000 different genetic processes. It boosts immune function, combats inflammation, increases bone density, and serves as a platform for sex hormone production.
But you acquire it from sunlight hitting your skin, and unless you’re running outside naked for 18 hours a day, you could probably stand to get more. A supplement is an easier option than the naked running.
A good dose is 1,000 IU per 25 pounds body weight, taken every morning.
4. Take more magnesium.
Magnesium is another heavy hitter in the supplement world. It does a number of good things for you, many of them due to magnesium’s essential role in enzyme processes. Magnesium improves ATP (energy) production, cardiovascular function, metabolism, and stress. If you take it before bed, it can up your sleep quality, too.
But currently, 68% of Americans are magnesium-deficient.
Natural Calm makes excellent magnesium powder with natural flavors and stevia as a sweetener. I recommend the raspberry-lemon. It tastes like soda and it’s magnesium citrate, one of the most absorbable forms of magnesium.
5. Stand up at work.
Most of us don’t even think about sitting because we’ve been doing it for as long as we can remember. But it’s unnatural from an evolutionary perspective, and your body may feel it more than you realize.
Luckily, there are several easy ways to break your habit. Some companies offer standing desks if you ask for them. Another option is to get a stool, bench, or other backless chair. Having no back to slump against forces good posture and spinal alignment.
You can also just get up and walk around two or three times an hour. Standing up activates genes that lengthen your telomeres — the ends of DNA chains — protecting your chromosomes from damage and mutation.
Bottom line: Stand up and walk around more! You’ll feel better for it.