At the first Biohacking Retreat on the island of Sylt, we can learn in two days how to unleash our full genetic potential. Co-organizer Moritz Klatten reveals in an interview what exactly is behind the biohacking trend.
What can participants expect from the first biohacking retreat on Sylt?
The event is intended to provide an introduction to the topic of physical and mental self-optimization that is as inspiring as it is motivating. It is important to me and my co-organizer Nico Airone to offer all participants a good mix of theory and practice. In the theory part it concerns among other things a nutrition cut to the individual needs of humans. And in the practical part it goes then completely concretely around experiencing – as for example by learning special breath and Meditationstechniken or by ice bathing.
Ice bathing? My teeth chatter just hearing the word….
Oh, it’s not that bad if you try it under professional guidance. (laughs) And the positive effects are really impressive. On the one hand, the metabolism and fat burning are boosted – and on the other, your own immune system is strengthened enormously.
Can you confirm this from your own experience?
You bet! I have not been sick once in the past nine years. Any questions? (laughs)
What exactly does the word biohacking mean?
Translated very loosely into German, it means something like trying to get the best out of your body and mind and thereby unleash your full genetic potential.
Do you have a concrete example of a biohack trick that you have personally had good experiences with?
I got into the habit of always wearing special glasses that filter out blue light when I watch TV in the evening. This has improved my sleep enormously, especially my deep sleep phase. One of our guest speakers is Daniel Sentker (Founder of Lichtblock,) who will talk about this topic. And every retreat participant will get a Biohacking Starter Pack including these glasses.
What exactly is it all about?
By blocking blue light, our melatonin levels can rise normally; just as nature intended when it gets dark outside. And then we automatically sleep much more deeply and accordingly more restfully. Of course, the best thing would be not to watch television at all in the evening, but in reality this is hardly feasible. It’s a no-go to spend a lot of time on the smartphone in the evening before going to bed. This has the same negative effect as watching TV – and not just because of the blue light.
What age group is the biohacking event for?
Basically, everyone from the age of 12 to 80 can participate; although it would definitely make sense to get confirmation from the family doctor beforehand that there are no health restrictions. Then, for example, ice bathing is no problem for participants aged 60 plus. In my eyes, it is never too late to deal with the topic of self-optimization and to start turning the right screws.
What is the maximum number of participants?
No more than 45, because it’s important that there’s enough time for me and the other seminar leaders to be able to respond to people’s individual questions.
As a fitness and nutrition expert, what do you think of the ultimate sports programs and miracle diets that can be found online all the time?
Very little! There is no secret recipe for fitness and vitality that can be applied to all of us, because we humans are far too different in terms of our genetic makeup alone. That’s why there are people who eat a less than optimal diet and hardly do any exercise, but still look young and fit well into old age. Especially on the subject of nutrition, we have Nils Schulz-Ruhtenberg (specialist in general medicine, nutritional medicine and sports medicine), a top guest speaker, who will talk in detail about this topic.
What is the most important insight you have gained over the years in terms of sports and nutrition?
That it is incredibly important to respond to people’s individual needs, bodies, prerequisites. In order to find the sport and nutrition that really suits you, so that you stick to it. What and how you train is also an essential factor for success. In my eyes, for example, prolonged aerobic training is overrated.
Interesting! And why is that?
In the past, we Stone Age people didn’t run after a hare for two hours, but with a lot of luck we killed it with a stone after a short sprint. People who jog many kilometers every day may be slim, but they usually look older. This is because long runs cause adrenaline and cortisol levels to go up, while testosterone and growth hormones go down. This means stress for the entire organism.
What would be a better alternative?
Interval training. This is the best for heart health, metabolism, blood pressure or blood lipids due to maximum oxygen uptake. That’s why sprinters look so much fitter and more vital than long-distance runners.
By Alexander Nebe / POLO+10