A day in the life of a Singapore biohacker, who takes ice-cold baths, drinks coffee with butter, and naps in infrared light

Hanney naps in an infrared light pod and listens to binaural beats through headphones.
Joe Hanney

The recent trend of biohacking – or adopting extreme techniques to enhance mental and physical performance –  first began in Silicon Valley, but is now extending far beyond tech bros in America to other parts of the world.

Read also: 7 health trends Silicon Valley tech bros are obsessed with, from dopamine fasting to the keto diet

Joe Hanney, a Singapore-based British health instructor, is one of the proponents of this lifestyle hack, and works to optimise his performance every minute of the day.

Hanney is the founder of HACKD Fitness Singapore, which calls itself the Republic’s first “smart fitness centre”. Due to open later this year, it is promising to use biohacking methods to help customers build muscle and lose fat in 30 minutes a week – a fraction of the time regular workouts require.

“I want to make this lifestyle accessible to everyone, rather than few elites,” Hanney said. “More often than not, biohacking is expensive.”

However, the scientific proof behind biohacking methods is inconclusive, and proponents’ claims are often controversial.

Here’s what the biohacking expert’s average day looks like, as told to Business Insider:


Joe Hanney, 36, is the founder of HACKD Fitness, a Singapore fitness center that champions biohacking methods.

The British personal trainer of almost two decades says he was inspired to try the trend after losing several family members to cancer.

Hanney says biohacking helped him maintain his body fat at 10 per cent, and finish the London Marathon in under 5 hours.

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Joe Hanney

Every morning, Hanney wakes up at 4.07am precisely. He uses an app to track his sleep cycles and wake him up at the optimal moment.

After that, his phone is set on flight mode until 9am.

First off, he measures his blood pressure. Collecting statistics about body health is one of the hallmarks of the biohacking trend, so Hanney tracks his vitals throughout the day for analysis.

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Joe Hanney

Read also: Disney CEO Bob Iger wakes up at 4:15 every morning and enacts a technology ‘firewall’ until after his workout


The fitness trainer starts his day with Bulletproof Coffee (coffee with butter), which proponents claim satiates hunger for hours.

He also takes muscle growth, anti-inflammatory and anti-aging supplements tailored for his body (based on the results of DNA tests), washed down with a cup of filtered hydrogen water.

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Joe Hanney

Read also: How the CEO of Bulletproof Coffee turned buttered coffee into a multimillion-dollar empire


Next he plays meditation music, lights essential oil in a diffuser, and settles down to work.

To start: a journaling session to reflect on things he’s grateful for, his goals, and his tasks for the day.

The aim of the exercise is to visualise my day and analyse all potential outcomes. I train my mind to think only positively, but also look at the worst case scenario and create a contingency plan,” he explained.

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Joe Hanney

Read also: I followed Oprah’s morning routine for a week, and it was zen but also time-consuming and difficult


Next, Hanney meditates, then reads 40 pages of a book, followed by either toe yoga or light exercises on a foam roller to heal a back injury.

Last, he writes blog posts and prepares for the day’s meetings.

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Joe Hanney

At precisely 07:07, the entrepreneur sets off for a low-intensity morning run. Other days, he goes swimming.

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Joe Hanney

Sometimes, the session includes a round of “earthing”, which is biohacker-speak for walking barefoot on grass, sand, dirt or rocks.

Proponents of the method claim it helps the body absorb Earth’s negative ions and balances out the positive charges within the body, which cause inflammation and decreased energy.

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Joe Hanney

Read also: After years of sleeping in, I started waking up at 5 a.m., and I’m blown away by how it changes my day


After the workout, Hanney takes a 5-minute shower in ice-cold water, which he claims is key to burning fat.

“This could, for most people, replace their morning coffee and give them the wake-up call they need,” he said.

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Joe Hanney

Read also: A growing number of people think jumping into icy water could help you get fit


Like many biohackers, Hanney has a glucose monitor attached to his arm so he can monitor his blood sugar levels throughout the day and keep them stable.

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Joe Hanney

Read also: I don’t have diabetes, but I wore an implant that measures the sugar in my blood to see if I could hack my performance. I’d put it back on again if I could.


He then takes an – er, dump – using a squatty potty, which he says can help those with digestive issues.

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Joe Hanney

Finally, the fitness trainer sits down for a breakfast smoothie comprising protein, healthy fats, and multivitamins personalised for his nutrient and metabolism needs.

He also packs his diet-compliant lunch, which is dictated by an app.

“The menu is pre-planned, so I just need to follow it. No decision fatigue,” he said.

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Joe Hanney

Read also: I tried Jennifer Aniston’s morning routine of fasting, meditation, and celery juices for a week, and I never want to do it again


Hanney, who is a self-professed lover of rituals, has a taxi booked at the same time every day to ferry him to work.

During the ride, he listens to audio books, podcasts, or recorded meetings through wired earpieces (“to reduce exposure to electromagnetic frequencies”). 

If he is under any stress, he also does breathing exercises to slow his heart rate and relax.

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Joe Hanney

Read also: The former head psychologist for the US Navy SEALs reveals his best trick to calm down quickly


Hanney reaches his standing desk in Dempsey’s co-working space, Core Collective, at 9am.

He works until 1pm on his most important tasks, and leaves emails and scheduling for the evening.

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Joe Hanney

Read also: 8 email tips and tricks to make managing your inbox much easier


Hanney believes factors like “junk” lighting, mould and other office pollutants impact his health in the long run. 

To combat this, he has a coffee, water, or green tea infused with smart drugs at 11am. Called nootropics, some claim these substances can improve mental sharpness.

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Joe Hanney

Read also: The Silicon Valley startup behind bottled human ‘superfuel’ is launching an updated line of ‘smart drugs’


Hanney eats his lunch at 1pm. It’s filled with antioxidant-rich, non-processed foods believed to prevent cancer.

The fitness expert says his diet is a mash-up of the paleo, keto and Mediterranean diet.

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Joe Hanney

Read also: I followed the Mediterranean diet for a week, and I get why it’s so popular


After the meal, he goes for a detox session at a sauna, and a “prehab” session that works to correct muscle imbalance and poor movement habits. 

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Joe Hanney

Next, Hanney naps in a light pod for a 20 minutes. The device supposedly uses infrared light to treat injuries and relax muscles.

The nap includes binaural beat therapy, where Hanney listens to audio tones – said to reduce stress and anxiety – through headphones.

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Joe Hanney

Read also: I tried an infrared sauna that supposedly makes you burn 600 calories in an hour, but I didn’t think it did anything


Today, he’s doing an extra activity: testing brain performance therapy to improve his memory and mental agility at IFN Singapore, which sits next to the co-working space.

On its site, the neuroplasticity company promises to rewire customers’ brains to create “better habits and positive feelings”.

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Joe Hanney

After that, it’s time for another round of drinks and supplements. This time, it’s a beet drink, a glucose gel, and bodybuilding supplement Creatine.

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Joe Hanney

Hanney then works out from 4:07pm to 4:20pm , which he says falls within the optimal time for his circadian rhythm.

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Joe Hanney

Once evening comes, he wears glasses that block out blue light to prepare his body for bed.

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Joe Hanney

Tonight is date night, so Hanney meets his wife for a meal of rice, red wine and chocolate. He says eating carbs in the evening increases serotonin levels and help him feel sleepier.

By now, the entrepreneur’s phone is back on flight mode.

He stops eating by 8pm sharp to hit his fasting window.

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Joe Hanney

Read also: ‘Dopamine fasting’ is a new Silicon Valley trend, but some people are already taking it too far


Once Hanney gets home, he turns on a red light and lights lavender-scented essential oil to promote sleepiness. 

He lays out his workout clothes for the next morning, and finishes the day with reading and more journaling.

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Joe Hanney

Finally, it’s bedtime. The biohacking enthusiast sleeps wearing an eye mask and earplugs, with the bedroom “pitch-black”, the bed head raised by 3 inches, and the air-con set to exactly 18 degrees.

Just as I close my eyes, I think of 10 things I am grateful for,” he says. 

“By number 3, I’m asleep. Always.”

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Joe Hanney

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