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. When Livehealthy launched, he told us five ways he liked to biohack and why — and all five have only become more popular, not to mention accessible, ever since.
“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.”
“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.”
“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 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.”
“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 Center.”
• Alex Azzi is founder of biohack.ae. This article originally ran in 2018.
Ann Marie McQueen
Ann Marie McQueen is the founding editor-in-chief of Livehealthy and host of The Livehealthy Podcast. She is a veteran Canadian digital journalist who has worked in North America and the Middle East. Her past roles include features editor for The National, trends writer and columnist for the Canadian newspaper chain Sun Media, and correspondent for CBC Radio.