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Fasting, microdosing, supplements – the lengths people think they have to go to to boost productivity.

Hyper-competitive Silicon Valley over-achievers will seemingly do anything to get an edge. Some are resorting to 'biohacking', hoping it will improve their productivity.

Biohacking is nebulous term that means tinkering with biological processes to improve capabilities. In a practical sense, it might mean fasting, nutritional supplements, meditation, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) headsets, body implants, infrared light, microdosing with LSD and even gene editing.

But does it work? And are these new ideas or are proponents just dishing-up reheated pseudo-science from a slightly different saucepan?

As ever, the devil is in the detail. The most popular technique is fasting. Twitter’s chief executive Jack Dorsey might be the best-known advocate of its supposed productivity benefits. He eats one meal per weekday and tries to fast at weekends.

There is some evidence that intermittent fasting might be beneficial for longevity and weight loss, but the science is at an early stage and studies involving humans are only really beginning. The jury is still out on productivity benefits, too. The research just hasn’t been done yet.

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Image credit: Piero Zagami and Michela Nicchiotti.

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