The Hamburg-based Ahead start-up held its first biohacking event on the Philips Campus in early July. The site is home to the Health Innovation Port (HIP) which provides co-working spaces for health start-ups. Ahead specialises in performance food to optimise health and well being through science and research rather than genetic engineering.
Meditation as an anti-stress tool
Dorje Wulf, an investment analyst and meditation instructor, did relaxation exercises with over 100 delegates before the meet-up began in earnest. During busy periods, Wulf began meditating to cope with stress and demonstrated one of his favourite in-between techniques called box breathing. Elite U.S. soldiers also practice controlled, deep breathing at four-second intervals. Wulf said: “A 10-minute morning routine and various exercises to start the day relaxed and with a clear head should be standard.” Those who do not have the time should try to plan at least 20 minutes, he added.
Micodosing tips from doctors and biohackers
Dr. Sven Richter, doctor and biohacker consultant, gave insight into microdosing. How can the right doses of nutrients be used for productivity and well being? People should increase their caffeine levels slowly and continuously, he said. Six cups of green tea can be consumed at different times of day, but by 3 p.m. at the latest, Richter explained. People who have had not slept much should start the day with a dose of caffeine (one mug of coffee) and smaller doses during the day (i.e. three cups of green tea) to keep going.
Scientific approach and no artificial additives
Johannes Schröder and Philip Brohlburg, the founders of Ahead, hosted the last panel. The Hamburg natives first met at Helmut Schmidt University in 2012 when they were professional soldiers. They now focus on one burning issue: “What adjustments do we have to make to ensure our maximum physical and mental performance?” The duo now concentrate on what constitutes an ideal daily routine and the foods needed e.g. to avoid the midday low and to sleep as deeply as possible. Early in 2017, they launched Ahead to focus on performance enhancing nutrients. The resulting food supplements are based on natural micronutrients and plant extracts, the effectiveness of which have been scientifically verified, the founders assured. The supplements are entirely free of artificial additives, Brohlburg said.
The start-up has been based at HIP since early 2018, which also houses other health start-ups including Jung Diagnostics. The company specializes in computer-aided analyses of neuro-radiological data. Another HIP-based company, Vireed offers a virtual reality learning platform for students and doctors.