Biohacker’s Handbook is a scientific guide to health optimization and biohacking. It has quickly become the number one manual for learning the basics of biohacking and it has been translated into four different languages and distributed to over 60 countries.
There is a shift in healthcare from hospitals to homes. Measuring health and assessing lifestyle changes is not anymore exclusive to doctors. Instead, modern advances in health technology and shared knowledge brings healthcare to our homes and daily life. We are equipped with various ways of deeply understand, track, and optimize the way our lifestyles from sleep to nutrition affect our hormones, mental balance, and energy levels. This also shifts the healthcare model from treating illness to preventing them.
Biohacker’s Handbook is for those who want to manage their own health and prevent disease before they arise (being proactive instead of reactive). It is also for those who want to improve their productivity, energy levels, and mood. The easy-to-digest manual is a collection of tips and tools for healthy sleep, nutrition, exercise, and work habits based on recent scientific discoveries.
Even though it is a science-based human manual, it is not a biology book (although you will learn a lot about human biology by reading it). However, mainly it is a manual for healthy living. With its practicality, great illustrations and design, and detailed, science-based facts it becomes your personal health guide that helps you to take control of all aspects of your health.
This is a review of the book content and includes sneak peeks to its content.
Authors of the Biohacker’s handbook
Olli Sovijärvi is a well-known medical doctor and one of the pioneers of holistic medicine in Finland. Before founding his own clinic, he worked in several medical clinics in Finland offering patient and emergency care. He is also a consultant for various health and wellness companies in Finland. Olli is specialized in nutrition and holistic healthcare.
Teemu Arina is a technology expert, selected as Top 100 Most Influential People in IT in 2016 by TIVI and Speaker of the Year in 2017 by Speakersforum Finland. He is an expert in the digital transformation of humanity and health. Since the age of 16, he has lectured in universities, companies, and consulted government organizations.
Jaakko Halmetoja is a nutrition expert, author, and the pioneering expert in Finland in superfoods, medicinal mushrooms and raw chocolate. He has been running health businesses since he was 20 years and is an advisor for several health companies internationally.
The Biohacker’s handbook from the outside
Biohacker’s handbook is definitely an impressive publication. When I first got the physical book in my hand, I was first impressed by its size, weight, and exceptional print quality. It has been a deliberate choice of the authors to make this book a high-quality physical experience in addition to its offerings on fresh science-based health information and tools
- Hardcover book with 544 pages
- Weights 5.5 pounds (2.5 kg!)
- Has a stylish design (even the name has a metallic/silver reflection) that looks good in the bookshelf and inspires to read
- Available as an e-book as well; each chapter can be purchased separately
Biohacker’s handbook content:
Biohacker’s handbooks content:
- is divided into five parts: 1. Sleep, 2. Nutrition, 3. Exercise, 4. Work, and 5. Mind.
- Has impressive illustrations
- Has 1560 scientific references
- has tips for daily lifestyle hacks in every chapter
- Has information about measuring and health technology
- Has insightful health tips for situations that you normally don’t find health tips for (flying, office, nature walks, therapy, evening routines, morning routines, etc)
1. Biohacker’s handbook: Sleep
Chapter in sleep starts with why sleep matters. You will then learn about the importance of sleep and tools for upgrading sleep. In addition, you learn lifestyle tips on how to prepare for better sleep during the day and what to do just before bed in order to catch the most optimal sleep. In addition, you will be offered technologies, nutrition, and other tips for better sleep. Also, sleep technology and measuring are included.
Chapter highlights (sleep)
- Information: What are different stages of sleep, circadian rhythm, etc. with great pictures
- Biohacker’s bedroom: what you need (and not need) in your bedroom for optimal sleep
- How melatonin is produced and what foods can support sleep
- How to optimize light for sleeping
- How to wake up refreshed and energized (morning routines)
- How to measure sleep
Sneak peek of the content (sleep):
- Magnesium: It’s estimated that 68 % of Americans suffer from Mg deficiency. Mg is a precursor for sleep hormone melatonin and is associated with vitamin D deficiency as magnesium promotes synthesis of vitamin D. Thus, adequate Mg intake is important for sleep and energy.
- These foods contain tyramine which increases the production of noradrenaline and can prevent falling asleep when eaten in the evening: bacon, cheese, chocolate, eggplant, spinach, tomato.
- To measure and increase your sleep quality and quantity, pay attention to these numbers: the amount of REM, amount of deep sleep, times waking up during the night, daily resting HR, body temperature, HRV, Sleep Onset Latency (the time it gets to fall asleep)
- To optimize sleep, get enough blue light during the day and block blue light during the evenings. Red light in the evening can increase melatonin production
2. Biohacker’s handbook: Nutrition
Chapter in nutrition starts with explaining how nutrition shapes the way you are. You will then learn about the basic functions of gut and microbiome and will learn about hypersensitivity, toxins in food and how they can affect your health, mood, and gut wellbeing. You will be offered tips on how to support your intestinal bacterial strain and digestive function. In addition, you learn ways to measure your state of nutrition.
Chapter highlights (nutrition):
- Information: What’s inside bowel and what enzymes support its function and how, what is the microbiome, what is hypersensitivity to food and what causes allergies, optimal cooking,
- Biohacker’s kitchen
- What to pay attention when choosing meat, oils, eggs, tea, coffees, vegetables, crops and fruit
Sneak peek of the content:
- Fish: Eating fish is important for brain function, mood, and immunity. However, environment toxins bind to fish fat; thus, the fattier the fish, the more likely it is to have high amounts of toxins. Favor eating several types of wish and avoid processed fish products. These fish contains high amounts of mercury and thus should be consumed in moderation: swordfish, tuna, and pike.
- Eggs: Eggwhite should be cooked because raw egg white contains enzyme inhibitors that interfere with vitamin B absorption. Egg yolk should be consumed raw or slightly cooked because frying or boiling oxidizes fats, denatures proteins, and destroys half of the precious xanthophylls in the yolk.
- Coffee: Low-quality coffees in the market may contain mycotoxins which are known to cause cancer. Favor organic, water-washed, fresh, single-origin coffee which is not over-brewed. Avoid chemically processed paper filters when preparing coffee and avoid instant coffee and coffee blends.
- Tea: Tea is the world’s second most popular drink after water. Tea leaves (depending on the type) are rich in polyphenols, theanine, theophylline, EGCG, and other catechins which are beneficial for mood, metabolism, immunity, longevity, and brain function.
- Alcohol: If you consume alcohol and want to avoid hangover favor homemade tinctures, & herbal alcoholic beverages, biodynamic and organic wines (low tannin, no added sulfites), and prepare your liver and body to break down and get rid of harmful compounds followed by alcohol drinking; for example. eat extra glutathione, B1 and ALA, take 500 mg of vitamin C and a glass of water in between drinks, take active charcoal before the bed
3. Biohacker’s handbook: Exercise
Chapter in exercise starts with explaining how exercise improves health. You will then have a comprehensive introduction to your physiology – the heart function, circulation, respiratory system, metabolism, and motor control. You will then learn about different exercises ranging from bodyweight exercise to HIIT and yoga. You will also learn ways to measure your physical performance.
Chapter highlights (exercise):
- Information: Exercise and the brain, basic anatomy, and physiology, metabolism, energy production, types of exercise
- Demonstrations and pictures on different types of exercise (kettlebell, bodyweight, mobility, strength, HIIT, natural movement, parkour etc)
- Breathing techniques: Intermittent Hypoxia Training (IHT), Wim Hof
- Optimal hydration and nutrients to support exercise
- Biohacker’s workout room; what to buy for home (e.g., Foam roller, pull-up bar, yoga mat, trampoline, vibration plate, resistance band, gymnastic rings etc)
- Overtraining & Recovery
- How to measure muscles, oxygen uptake, fitness levels & recovery
- Genes & Exercise
Sneak peek of the content:
- Tools for recovery from sports injury: Pulsed electromagnetic field therapy, Low Level Laser Therapy, Peristaltic pulse dynamic compression, compression clothing, kinesio taping, foam rolling
- Tabata method: In one study, 4 minutes HIIT workout 5 times a week for 6 weeks increased VO2max more than training an hour on the stationary bike at a constant pace 5 times a week for 6 weeks. HIIT efficiently develop the cardiovascular and circulatory system and thus is a very time-efficient way to improve health.
- Rest period: Especially after intensive exercise body needs an adequate rest period in order to avoid overtraining and injuries; a well-designed training program takes into account fatigue in trelation to physical fitness when planning the timing of the next training session (the fitness-fatigue-theory)
- Ideomotor training: Ideomotor training (i.e. visualization before an athletic performance) is shown to result in better performance and training results than physical or visualization training alone.
- Cold-thermogenesis: Rapid temperature changes boost metabolism and circulation and activate burn of brown fat tissue (BAT). Even practicing cold thermogenesis using your face only, improves whole body’s ability to withstand cold.
4. Biohacker’s handbook: Work
Chapter in work starts with explaining how to important is meaning and purpose in work. Then you will learn about the basic tools for optimal work; regulating blood sugar, and blood pressure, optimal diets (intermittent fasting, ketosis), optimizing memory, optimizing work ergonomics, and getting into the flow. A special treat for those who travel a lot (due to work or at their free time) is the part of the chapter which teaches how to optimize travel. You will be then offered tips on how to monitor and measure the work environment and ways of working.
Chapter highlights (work):
- Information: Meaningful work, physiological systems, and hormones involved in optimal work, balancing blood sugar with nutrients and diet, regulating blood pressure
- What is Long term memory or working memory and how to improve them
- Various forms of ergonomics
- How to improve concentration by optimizing work environment, breaks, and mind skills
- Learn about decision making and cognitive biases that can affect your decision making
- Optimize reading and learning
- Optimize flow
- Optimize traveling: jetlag, ergonomy at long flights, nutrition at flights, hotel room optimization
- Measuring work: blood pressure, blood sugar, productivity
Sneak peek of the content:
- Intermittent fasting: There are various methods of intermittent fasting (“Eat Stop Eat”, “The Warrior” method, “The Alternate-Day” method, “Leangains” method, “Bulletproof Intermittent Fasting”) from which you can choose the most suitable for you
- Ketogenic diet: Ketosis increases the function and number of mitochondria and increases energy production especially in the brain, thus, state of ketosis can lead to improvements in concentration and attention span
- Cinnamon: According to recent animal studies, cinnamon can improve memory function and brain plasticity, and slow down the deterioration of cognitive skills and functional skills in dementias
- Calming the mind: To calm the mind and increase concentration, you can find support from: music, scents, and aromatherapy, meditation practice, yoga, minimizing environmental noises and distractions
- Long flights: Frequent flyers are often exposed to cosmic radiation. These tools can protect the body from harmful effects of UVB radiation when consumed in large doses before flights; omega-3 fatty acids, Coenzyme Q10, NAC, Vitamin C, activated charcoal, spirulina
5. Biohacker’s handbook: Mind
Chapter in work starts explaining some philosophical and psychological ways to think about mind and transformation. Then you will learn about the basics of the brain: neurotransmitters and brain anatomy. Then the chapter introduces some ways to control emotions and mental focus. Finally, you will learn about modern technologies for measuring and improving the brain and mind.
Chapter highlights (mind)
- Information: philosophical, integrative and psychological models of mind, the structure of the brain, neurotransmitters
- What tools are there for balancing mind: breathing, meditation, relaxation
- Technologies for the mind: neurofeedback, Transcranial direct-current stimulation (TDCS), emotion diaries
- Forms of therapies
- Foods that can boost neurotransmitters
- Measuring mind function
Sneak peek of the content (mind):
- Meditation: A comprehensive meta-analysis of 163 studies in meditation concluded that meditation can benefit emotional balance, relationships, concentration, and cognitive functions. Different meditation styles have slightly different benefits.
- Breathing: For example, Alternate Nostril breathing practiced regularly can help regulate Hear Rate, mood, HRV, and concentration by boosting the activity of the vagus nerve (which connects the brain, lungs, and other visceral organs)
- Biohacker’s meditation room: You might benefit from these tools at home: soft lightning, meditation App, sound system to create a relaxing soundscape to home, spike mat, meditation cushion, emotion diary, nootropics, etc.
- Nootropics: Nootropics (such as L-theanine, ALA, DHA, Caffeine, Ginkgo Biloba, tyrosine, Gotu kola, and lion’s mane, etc.) can enhance learning and memory, protect the brain against physical and chemical injuries, and boost energy, mood, and concentration
- Serotonin boosting foods and supplements: Calcium, fish oil, 5-HTP, melatonin, banana, meat, eggs, cheese, cacao, almond, sesame seeds
Discount code for Biohacker’s Handbook
This book is for you if you treat the human body and mind as an integrated system, and you are tired to find the basic tools for optimal holistic health from various sources. These chapters cover the basics for the life areas that we spend most of the time pondering about. It is also for you if you are tired of reading statements such as “Milk is unhealthy/healthy“, “you should drink 5 cups of coffee a day” or “improve your sleep quality in order to feel better“. These incomprehensive statements just leave you asking “why? how? what’s the evidence? and what can I do?”. Biohacker’s book is designed to answer all these questions that most of the other sources leave unanswered.
If you want to know how your genes and individuality affects whether you should believe the statements or not, this book is for you. Biohacker’s handbook does not offer “one size fits for all” solutions; it offers you the information and background science so that you can start trying and finding a variety of tools, tips and tricks for optimizing your personal nutrition, exercise, sleep, work, and mind and helps you to understand how might your environment, genes, lifestyle, job, and personal preferences affect on your individual health choices. Furthermore, it helps you to quantify your health so that you can start gathering data and actually see what works for you (and what does not).
In sum, it’s a practical, personal, in-depth manual – it’s can help you understand how everything in your body and mind is integrated. It helps you to gain control over your health with measuring, optimizing, and improving the lifestyle that you already live. Thus, the health journey becomes intriguing, interesting and individual.
If you are interested in the book you can get -10 % off from the e-book or the physical hardcover with the code INKA.
If you have questions, comments or just want to say hi, leave a comment and I’ll get back to you a s a p.