The body hacking movement in no way is a shortcut to better health , but with rising health care cost and doctor visits, some people are joining a growing trend called bio hacking .
The followers of bio hacking believe that technology can be used to fix the human body and tweak it as well optimizing it for better health.
From the headquarters of San Francisco based-Nootrobox, co-founder Geoffrey Woo and his staff are plugged into the movement, Woo says bio-hacking covers a wide range, but says simply put, "Bio-hacking is taking the human body and looking at that as a system that can be optimized and improved.”
Nootrobox science director Dr. Manuel Lamb also added, “It's not just throwing in supplements or not eating but understanding how not eating or fasting affects how your body works than how it was originally designed"
Dr. Manuel Lamb is a physician and Stanford grad. He teamed up with Woo who studied computer science at Stanford.
Both men say at the core of bio-hacking is fasting and the benefits are amazing, according to Lamb.
"There's a lot of interesting bio chemistry in fasting and I thought that it was something I wanted to impart on some of the residents. I also teach at the hospital that I work with".
Lamb says that fasting made him more alert and he carried less mental fog while having increased energy.
Nootrobox CEO Geoffrey Woo also added, "Over the last week, when I was fasting, my mind was super sharp and it was actually the most productive days and I didn't even need that much sleep. I averaged four to five hours of sleep a day ".
Founded in 2014 Nootrobox made a name for itself in Silicon Valley by holding weekly staff fasting days lasting anywhere from three days to the longest being a week, according to Woo.
"We like fasting as a company because we feel more productive and that's the whole point of bio-hacking. How do we improve ourselves? We believe fasting is the best way".
What started as a company challenge took on a life of its own and the bio hacking community has grown in Silicon Valley and Nationwide. The Bio hackers take it a step further by measuring blood, urine even stool samples they even implant their bodies with glucose monitors where the data is registered to a computer.
It all makes sense to Woo who believes the body is indeed a computer.
"The human body in some ways can be looked as a computer where there are inputs going into the computer and outputs performance coming out of the computer" said Woo.
The Nootrobox office is driven by millennials, who monitor their glucose to watch for spikes and decreases in blood sugar levels. The readings also enable them to make healthy food choices.
Woo says he sometimes feels like a human guinea. "I measured my urine, my saliva, blood samples so just a comprehensive panel of every single bio-metric that we care about".
So if the office is run by millennials, who else is joining the movement? According to Woo, "We definitely have a strong contingent of millennials that's who we are that's who we understand, but you might be surprised a lot of baby boomers are really interested in what we're doing because frankly their scared to death of dying".
Woo doesn’t hide the fact that commerce may be involved with the bio hacking trend.
His company "Nootrobox" also sells Nootropix or “smart drugs”, the company also rolled out a supplement called "Go Cubes”. Other companies have jumped on board with wearable egg headsets, and sampling kits that monitor everything that goes in and out of your body, said Woo.
"Fasting cost nothing, it saves money, and you can go for something that's completely free, obviously if you wear a headset or other devices that costs money so it's a full spectrum.”
A full spectrum that according to Woo enables people to take charge of their own health.
"It’s a populist movement in healthcare that's called bio hacking where arming people with the information tools and community to take power from big pharma, insurance companies and doctors who don't care about them".
While technology has benefited the world, the question remains how much is too much? For the bio hackers it may also be about another thing.
According to Woo if you’re doing it right, you can actually gain lean muscle tissue while reducing fat percentage.
You can fast for three days possibly up to a week, but when it's all said and done, bio hackers may just be similar to the rest of us.
Dr. Manuel Lamb came off fasting for a week and had this to say to KTVU Fox 2 news: “I broke the fast today with an avocado it was one of the best experiences of my life". He certainly left us all with a lot to chew on.