We live in South Africa, which we have discovered is a great place for people, like us, who love biohacking to live. While on holiday in Amsterdam recently, we realised a few of the advantages that we, as biohacking enthusiasts, have while living in South Africa.
If you have not heard of biohacking and are not exactly sure what it means, it is the practice of trying to improve oneself through using science, technology, diet, exercise, lifestyle practices, and self-experimentation to help you to become as healthy as possible and to perform at an optimal state both mentally and physically. Through biohacking, you can raise your standards of living, and become the superhuman version of yourself.
If you are living in South Africa or are just visiting, here are a few reasons why this country is great for biohacking:
We Have a Great Selection of Meat
While strolling through the isles of the supermarkets in Amsterdam, we realised how expensive meat was and how little you received while paying a lot more than you do here in SA. It was difficult for us to stick to our regular primal diets, and we had to add yoghurt and cheese to our diets to make it more affordable.
While we do not eat a large amount of meat currently, we did do an experiment where we did the carnivore diet last year for an entire month. During this month, we only ate meat, and with Jonathan needing to eat around 3000 calories a day, it is safe to assume that we went through a lot of meat that month. We realised that doing this experiment, which we did as an elimination diet, would have been a bit difficult for us to do (while still eating the required number of calories in a day) if we did not live in a country with such an abundance of meat.
Here, you can get high-quality meat, especially beef, for a much more affordable price. Many people who love biohacking have tried or have been wanting to try an elimination diet, where you cut out foods that you could be intolerant to for a certain period of time (we chose a month), and then reintroduce them one at a time to see what you react negatively to.
If you choose the carnivore diet as your chosen elimination diet, then it could be much easier to do without becoming bankrupt if you live in South Africa.
South Africa Has a Lot of Sunlight – A Biohacking Person’s Dream
Most people are deficient in vitamin D, and it is said that twenty minutes of sunlight is all you need to get your body to produce enough of it. There are things that influence this time suggestion, however, and this includes the time of day you are exposed to the sunlight; how much fat you have on your body and the colour of your skin, which can influence how much you absorb; and where you live. If you live in England, for example, the frequent grey skies and rain make it harder to get enough sunlight to reap the minimum benefits and make enough vitamin D.
In a country like South Africa, for example, we have a lot of sunlight exposure, and it is not difficult to get your daily recommended time in the sun. Even during winter, we have enough visible sunlight to roll up our sleeves and pants, and lift our dresses (the arms and thighs are areas on the body that can absorb sunlight particularly well), and get what we need after half an hour.
We Have a Lot of Beautiful Places to Meditate
South Africa has a lot of beautiful landscapes where you can go, find peace and quiet, take in the surroundings, do breathing exercises, and meditate. Spending time in nature is something that many biohackers love to do, as there are many benefits to exposing yourself to the various elements, such as sunlight and the soil.
Adventure Sports are Booming
South Africa is a great place for biohacking, which is partly because we have incredible places where you can go trail running, hiking, mountain climbing, or swimming. You can take part in the popular obstacle course race, known as The Warrior Race, and test your entire body while crawling through mud, climbing over obstacles, and running through incredible trails.
We have great mountain biking events, cycling events, and running events, including the Comrades ultramarathon, which is 89 km.
We Have a Lot of Low-Carb Products to Choose From, Thanks to Tim Noakes
After Tim Noakes helped popularise the low-carb diet, which is also referred to as the banting diet here, products that are low in carbohydrates started showing up a lot more in our stores. You can just go to a Dischem, Clicks, Checkers, or Food Lover’s Market, and you will have no trouble finding foods that you can eat on either a low-carb, high-fat or a low-carb, high-protein diet. This includes everything from pork crackling, steaks with thick strips of fat on them, avocados, olive oil, and coconut oil, to coconut cream and all kinds of bread and cake mixes.
Many restaurants offer special low-carb food options on the menu, so when eating out, you are not limited to salads.
In Amsterdam, it was a little more difficult to follow a low-carb diet like we do on our normal biohacking diet without breaking the bank. We ended up not trying to stay on a ketogenic diet while on this trip, as it was a bit too expensive for us individuals who were travelling with South African salaries (the currency exchange is not in our favour), and consumed more carbohydrates on this trip. Although, the extra carbohydrates mainly came from fruit and yoghurt.
As biohacking South Africans, we do not think that we will take the advantages that we have here, in our home country, for granted again. When I stroll through the meat section at the supermarket, I see abundance and feel a sense of gratitude. Plus, coconut oil, which is a staple in many biohacking diets, is a lot more affordable here than it was in Amsterdam.