Health5 ways to biohack your life

Alex Azzi, the founder of Biohack.ae, is passionate about treating his own body and mind like an engineering project.
Ann Marie McQueen Ann Marie McQueenJune 14, 201836 min
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biohack UAEAlex Azzie, founder of Biohackers UAE. Photo Ann Marie McQueen

In between running the online supplement shop Biohack.ae, launching a health app (a fasting app called Bulletproof-Keto), and engaging with members of the Biohack UAE and Ketogenic UAE community on Facebook and in Meetup groups, Dubai entrepreneur Alex Azzi is passionate about treating his own body and mind like an engineering project. Here are five ways he likes to biohack and why.

Cold showers

“There are health benefits to be had from cold exposure. If you start your day with a cold shower, you are basically energizing yourself and flexing or training your willpower muscle. You are directly making a decision to take yourself outside your comfort zone, which with practice is one of the ways to make yourself mentally strong. This is a decision that’s going to put you in some discomfort for now, in order for you to benefit in the future.”

Meditation

“I’m doing meditation with two techniques. First, EEG, with a brain-wave reader – an electroencephalograph called Muse, by Interaxon, that reads your brain waves and feeds it back to your ears via audio. When our mind is active, it’s noisy, and when it’s calm, it sounds calm. The second thing is the HeartMath Inner Balance trainer, which is HrV or heart-rate variability training. This device clips to your ear. HrV is not about high heart rate or low heart rate. It’s about the randomness of the gaps in between your heart beats. If you are stressed, your heart beats at a very regular interval. If you are relaxed, it beats at a very irregular interval. This device measures that, and renders it into a coherent score. What that does is that it trains you to basically enter into the parasympathetic (or relaxed) state.”

MCT oil

“Dave Asprey’s Bulletproof brand. [I take it with my morning coffee] and then all through the day, in shots. Be careful, though. Work your way up: I’ve damaged myself more than once with too much. It’s extreme agony in the stomach. MCT (or medium chain triglycerides) oil is one of the absolute healthiest fats that you can eat for mental performance, for getting into ketogenic states.”

Sauna

“Sauna is a pretty easy biohack if you have access to one. You want to do two sets of 15 minutes per day, at 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.7 degrees Celsius), if you can. There are hormonal benefits. I don’t know so much about toxins, but basically stressing your system in any way, other than radiation, is good for you.”

Broccoli sprouts

“It has the highest concentration of sulforaphane (a beneficial compound found in cruciforms vegetables), the miracle molecule. It’s better if you grow them. You can take supplements, but I did an experiment with growing them. I used a soil base, but then I got them out and there was all this soil. I was basically eating soil – I’m sure that’s good for you, somehow. There’re special sprouting jars you can buy that I ordered from Amazon. I got the broccoli sprout seeds from Dubai Garden Centre.”

Alex Azzi is founder of biohack.ae and a member of the livehealthy.ae expert panel.

Featured photo/Ann Marie McQueen

Ann Marie McQueen

Ann Marie McQueen

Ann Marie McQueen is a journalist with 20 years of experience working in North America and the UAE, much of it as a writer, editor and columnist focusing on the areas of physical and mental wellness...

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