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Smarter Not Harder summary

Dave Asprey

The Biohacker's Guide to Getting the Body and Mind You Want

3.8 (950 ratings)
20 mins

Brief summary

In Smarter Not Harder, Dave Asprey shares unconventional yet effective ways to optimize your brain and body for maximal productivity and creativity. Using data from neuroscience and biohacking, this book takes a holistic approach to enhancing your performance.

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    Smarter Not Harder
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    Biohacking 101

    Your body is designed specifically for the perpetuation of the species. To do that, you must survive. So your body’s main objective is not to die and to use as little energy as possible to achieve that. Indeed, Asprey says, every cell in your body is programmed to do as little as possible.

    This is part of what he calls your meat operating system, or MeatOS. Just like the operating system of a computer, this runs in the background, keeping you going on autopilot. It’s the code that, among other things, instructs your liver to break down alcohol after a tequila shot, keeps you breathing, and keeps your eyes blinking. It remains invisible, unless it’s broken.

    Just as you can hack a computer, you can also hack your MeatOS to get the results you want with less effort. This is at the heart of the smarter-not-harder approach. You get to be in charge of your own code rather than the other way around.

    The first thing to do is stop looking for quick-fix solutions and play the long game instead. Stop with the 30-day rapid-weight-loss diets and maximum-suck gym workouts. Embrace your inner laziness by finding hacks that give you the best results. But before you consider hacking, you need to establish a good diet to optimize your energy supply.

    First, you need to rid your diet of what Asprey calls antinutrients – both natural and man-made chemicals that interfere with the absorption of nutrients and minerals from your food. The number-one culprit, he says, is phytic acid. This is found in many plant-based processed foods, and also in nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, wholegrains, soy, and corn – yep, all those things that others say are good for both you and the environment. Reduce your intake. And what about meat? Asprey recommends you avoid factory-farmed chicken, limit your exposure to pork, and cut out meat substitutes. Limit how much fish you eat, too. 

    Next, make sure you’re getting enough of the fat-soluble vitamins – D, A, K, and E – as most people eating a standard diet fall short of the recommended amounts. Then, do the same with minerals. Calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, phosphorus, sulphur, and iron are the main ones, but you also need trace minerals, too, such as zinc, iodine, cobolt, and copper. 

    Of course, you also need to eat the right amounts of saturated fats, protein, fiber, and carbohydrates.

    Finally, if you want to optimize your diet, use supplements. Unfortunately, our modern lifestyles mean you simply won’t get enough of what you need from your diet alone. Supplements include vitamins; herbs and spices; prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics; energy supplements; and minerals.

    Ensure you’re getting the quantities you need of all these, and you’ll have set the groundwork.

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    What is Smarter Not Harder about?

    Smarter Not Harder (2023) is a guide to biohacking your metabolic, neurological, and epigenetic systems. It will show you how to maximize your well-being by making your Meat Operating System, or MeatOS, do what you want it to do by doing less – by doing things smarter, not harder.

    Smarter Not Harder Review

    Smarter Not Harder (2022) is a book that offers practical strategies to boost productivity and achieve success without burning out. Here are three reasons why this book is worth reading:

    • It provides actionable techniques that help optimize time and energy for maximum efficiency, making it invaluable for those who want to work smarter.
    • Backed by scientific research and real-life examples, the book offers evidence-based strategies that are applicable to a wide range of professions and goals.
    • The author's engaging storytelling and relatable tone make the content accessible and enjoyable, ensuring that readers stay engaged and motivated throughout the book.

    Who should read Smarter Not Harder?

    • Lazy people who want to make their laziness work for them
    • Anyone looking to improve their well-being
    • Tired people looking for more energy

    About the Author

    Dave Asprey has been called the “father of biohacking.” He started a growing movement for humans to take control of their own biology. Founder of several companies including Bulletproof, Upgrade Labs, Danger Coffee, and Homebiotic, he’s also a four-time New York Times best-selling author and hosts the podcast The Human Upgrade, which has more than 250 million downloads.

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    Smarter Not Harder FAQs 

    What is the main message of Smarter Not Harder?

    The main message of Smarter Not Harder is to work intelligently and optimize your brain for productivity.

    How long does it take to read Smarter Not Harder?

    The reading time for Smarter Not Harder varies, but it can be finished in several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Smarter Not Harder a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Smarter Not Harder is worth reading for its practical advice and strategies to maximize productivity and efficiency.

    Who is the author of Smarter Not Harder?

    Dave Asprey is the author of Smarter Not Harder.

    What to read after Smarter Not Harder?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Smarter Not Harder, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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