9 Low Cost (Or Free) Alternatives To Expensive Biohacks

After I published my article Biohacking Products Alex Fergus Uses & Recommends I've had a lot of people contact me saying 'this list is great, but I can't afford all these tools, can you recommend some lower priced alternatives?'

Today I'm doing exactly that!

If you're wanting to biohack or optimise your health and body without opening up your wallet (and who doesn't?!) then this article is going to help.

Below I have listed some of the most popular (and expensive) biohacking products on the market. Next to that I have listed 2 alternatives:

  • Low Cost Option - which still requires a small purchase, but still much cheaper than the premium offer. And a :
  • Free Option - as the name suggests, this is a biohacking product alternative that won't cost you a cent!

Let's get started.

 

1. Multivitamins

If you're using a top quality multivitamin such as Thorne Research Basic 2/day you're going to be spending well over $300 a year!

Add in the other 'essential' vitamins and minerals that I recommend in my 'What You Need To Know About Supplements' article and you're soon approaching $1,000 a year... on pills!

Crazy, but this cost is an investment in your health right? Well, that is true, but if you're on a tight budget, $1,000 is a lot of money.

So let's look at some lower cost alternatives:

Low Cost Option:

  • Stick with the absolute essentials and cut your dosage in half. 

What are the essentials? It really depends on a lot of factors (your diet, health condition, gut health, environment, stress load etc) but to play it safe, simply go with a good quality multivitamin (I still recommend the Thorne 2/day here), use it promo codes you can find (BHS654 will save you on your iHerb order) and then halve the dosage.

So instead of taking 2 capsules a day, just take one. Sure you're not getting the same 'nutrient top up' that you would get from a full serving, but that one bottle will now last your 60 days instead of 30. Saving you $170 a year!

Free Option:

  • Skip the multivitamin all together and eat a nutrient rich diet.

It's important to remember that a supplement is exactly that - a supplement to your diet.

If your diet is already chock full of nutrient dense foods, then you may not need any supplemental vitamins.

Unsure how good your diet is? Plug your data into Cronometer for a week and see how your nutrient intake stacks up. I did this myself and found that I had most of my bases well and truly covered - no supplements needed!

Alternatively, ensure you are eating plenty of nutrient packed foods such as liver, bone broth, egg yolks and raw milk.

 

 

 

2. Sleep Trackers

As awesome as sleep wearables such as the Oura Ring & Biostrap are, they do have a hefty price tag.

Personally, I think the price is worth it - as the data you get from these sleep trackers can teach you so much about your sleep - helping you to fall asleep faster and sleep deeper.

But if your budget (or partner!) simply won't allow this investment purchase, here's what you can do instead:

Low Cost Option:

  • Use a second hand device, or low cost Fitbit

Not everyone uses their sleep trackers. A quick search on eBay or craigslist and you may find a second hand Oura Ring or Biostrap for the fraction of the retail price and in some ways the app is even better at price.

Free Option:

  • Use Sleep Cycle or keep a log

Sleep Cycle is an awesome (and free!) app for tracking your sleep.

Sure it's not going to be as accurate as devices such as the Oura Ring, Dreem or Biostrap, but hey - it's free!

I used this app for 2 years before I purchased my Oura Ring. You can take notes, track variables and see awesome insights about your sleep through this app. All of which helps you to optimise your sleep performance.

The other option - skip the tech altogether and just keep a journal. Jot down things like the time you went to bed, temperature, where you slept etc and then leave a note in the morning on how you felt. 

A simple system like this will soon help you determine what is working well and what hampers your sleep performance.

 

 

3. Red Light Therapy

If you've been in the biohacker and health optimisation space for a while you'll know all about the amazing benefits of red light therapy (and if you don't, have a read of THIS). 

You will also know that red light panels such as the extremely popular Joovv device are rather expensive! Over $1,000 for a standard full body panel.

Like the sleep trackers, I think this is money well spent (see the amazing benefits my Joovv light had on my health in my Joovv Review), but however way you break it down, $1,000 is a lot of cash!

Let's look at the alternatives:

Low Cost Option:

  • Get a smaller device

The Red Light Mini is a handheld device that can be had for about $100. Another option is the portable Joovv Go for $300.

These price points are far more 'accountant friendly' though there is a big downside... These devices have a much smaller treatment area. Meaning if you want to saturate the entire body in red light you are going to need a lot of time.

The other downside is the price per treatment area. Due to manufacturing efficiencies, you get more bang for your buck when purchasing a larger panel. But if funds won't stretch any further, forget I said this and know that the smaller device is better than no device right?!

 

Free Option:

  • Sunlight & Fire

If you want to reap the benefits of light therapy without paying a cent here's what you need to do: Start a fire outside during the day. Take off as many of your clothes as practically possible and stand under the sun next to the fire.

Both the sun and fire emit large amounts of red and near infrared light rays (along with other wavelengths). You're not going to get the same targeted effect that you would with a device like the Joovv (that emits only 660nm and 850nm light) but you're still getting a decent amount of therapeutic light (plus it's all natural - so there's no flicker effect, no non-native EMF exposure and you also get the benefit from other light such as far infrared and UV light).

 

 

 

4. Blue Light Blockers

Blue light is extremely detrimental to both eye health and sleep. I cover this in my article How Blue Light Is Your Ruining Sleep (And How to Fix It).

If you're serious about sleep and eye health (and what biohacker isn't) you no doubt already have a pair of trendy orange lens Swannies Blue Light Blocking glasses. Put these glasses on in the evening and you will see a massive boost in your sleep.

Likewise, if you're spending a lot of time on the computer, the Swanwick Sleep daytime glasses are designed to stop harmful blue light from damaging your eye.

Having both sets of glasses will easily cost you over $100. So what to do if you're looking for a cheaper option?

 

Low Cost Option:

  • Buy orange lens safety goggles

They may look dorky, but the UVEX Skyper Blue Light Blocking glasses are just as effective as the trendy Swannies, but the Skypers only cost $10 instead of $60!

If you're not worried about making a fashion statement but still want to save cash and block blue light, then the Skypers as the way to go.

Free Option:

  • Avoid blue light - and use these free tools

Avoiding blue light is easier said than done. Blue light is emitted from light bulbs, TV's, phone screens even digital clock displays.

If you are really serious about blocking blue light and saving cash, just switch off all electronics in your home a few hours before bed time. I did this for a month and had great benefits.

Alternatively, install the free blue light blocking software called Iris, switch your LED light bulbs to incandescent bulbs (that emit a much warmer glow) and use candles or Himalayan rock salt lamps to light up your home at night. 

 

 

 

5. Cryotherapy Chambers

Cryotherapy chambers are all the rage in the biohacking space. Not only do you reap the impressive benefits of cold exposure, but the entire process is over in a few minutes and is relatively easy (compared to the alternatives such as jumping in a freezing cold lake!)

But cryotherapy chambers are extremely expensive, and a session at your local clinic typically costs around $50-70 a pop. Quite pricey for a 3 minute cold shock.

Heres what you can do instead:

Low Cost Option:

  • Use the Cool Fat Burner Vest 

The cool fat burner vest helps bring your core temperature down activating all the benefits of cold thermogenesis, and you can do it from the comfort of your home. 

For the price of one cryotherapy session, you can purchase the entire vest (use discount code ALEXCFB10 to save 10%) and do as many sessions as you please.

Free Option:

  • Cold water

The simplest and most cost effective way to achieve the benefits of cold thermogenesis is to find a body of cold water and get in it. 

Whether it's the ocean, a lake or a bath filled with cold water - all of these will lower your body temperature and bring on the benefits of cold therapy.

 

 

 

6. Sauna Therapy

The benefits of sauna therapy are immense. And whether it's an infrared sauna, steam sauna or a traditional dry sauna - most biohackers have one on their wish list. 

As beneficial as sitting in a sauna is for the body, they are extremely cost prohibitive.

A standard 2 or 3 man Clearlight Infrared sauna will easily cost you $5000 or more. And unless your gym membership includes access to a sauna, you may be paying $50+ for a sweat session at your local health clinic.

So what are the lower cost alternatives to buying a sauna?

Low Cost Option:

  • Use Sauna Space Sauna Therapy Lamps 

SaunaSpace sells extremely effective low cost infrared saunas. They use specially designed infrared lamps that emit both red light and infrared light to create a detox and sweat effect on the body.

Even better, their products are easily transported and can be used in small spaces. You'll still be paying around $1,000 for their Tungsten light panel, or $2,000 for their Shower to Sauna conversion bundle, but this is still much lower than the Clearlight sauna option.

Free Option:

  • Sweat pants & fire

The old method of raising core body temperature was to layer up and go for runs on a hot day or to sit by a hot fire. Many have used these methods in the niacin sauna detox protocol that I recommend.

Though it's definitely not as pleasant or as 'luxurious' as sitting in a nice cedar panelled sauna, the net effect is similar - your core body temperature is raised, and you sweat a lot!

 

 

 

7. Nootropics

Can't afford the premium and popular nootropic Qualia Mind? Do not worry, there are some much cheaper ways to get a brain boost without Qualia Mind.

Low Cost Option:

  • Coffee, Keto & Creatine

Caffeine is a widely consumed drug well known for it's cognitive (and physical performance) boosting attributes. Sure you're not going to see the same uptick in performance as you would with a well formulated nootropic, but you are still going get a great boost.

Ketone and creatine supplements have also been shown to give you a cognitive edge, so you could incorporate them into your morning coffee. Or better yet, have a hit of Perfect Keto's Preworkout product that includes all 3 of these ingredients!

Though as I write this I realise the price of supplementing with caffeine, ketones and creatine is no doubt more than the nootropic supplement!

Even a $5 a day coffee habit is going to be more expensive than a Qualia Mind subscription!

Another option is the much cheaper Qualia Focus product (and use Qualia discount code ALEX to save another 15%).

Free Option:

  • Flow state and productivity 

If your budget won't allow any cash for a nootropic hit, why not look at implementing tools and tricks to help you boost productivity and reach flow state naturally?

I have an article on this exact topic that I recommend reading - 13 Tips To Increase Productivity

 

 

 

8. Ketones

If you're wanting to get into a deep state of ketosis you may be thinking you need to consume fancy exogenous ketones or ketone snack bars to reach such a state. 

Such products soon get expensive. But worry not - I was in ketosis for many months and I never took any ketone supplements or purchased fancy ketone products. Here's what I did instead.

Low Cost Option:

  • Add MCT Oil to your meals 

MCT oil is a fast acting fatty acid that helps boost ketone levels in the blood. This oil is much cheaper than expensive ketone supplements.

Free Option:

  • Fast

The cheapest way to increase ketone levels is to fast. Going without food will soon send your ketone levels skyrocketing. No need for fancy pills or powders here!

You can read about other methods to boost ketone levels in my article Everything You Need To Know About Ketosis.

 

 

 

9. EMF Protection

Before you go out and spend ten's of thousands of dollars painting your house with EMF proof paint, or re-wiring your property with shielded cabling, consider these much cheaper options.

Low Cost Option:

  • Upgrade the essentials

Two of the worst nnEMF offenders in a house are the wifi router and wiring in the bedroom.

If you must use wifi in your home, consider upgrading to the Eco-wifi router that is specifically designed to provide a wireless network with minimal nnEMF.

As for the wiring in your bedroom, look at installing a GeoVital automatic kill switch. This will automatically stop all current flowing into your bedroom at night when you go to bed - eliminating any dangerous electric and magnetic energy fields.

Free Option:

  • Stop using devices

The best way to reduce your EMF exposure (other than moving to live in the middle of nowhere - like I did!) is to switch off your electronic devices.

If that's not going to happen, consider deactivating the wireless function when you are not using these devices. For instance, turn your wifi router off when it's not in use (or use ethernet cables) and leave your phone in aeroplane mode when you're not using it.

 

 

Bonus Quick Tips

Below I have listed a few more 'low cost' alternatives to popular health and biohacking products.

  • Instead of using a Chilipad to cool you down at night, you could have a cold shower before bed and put a frozen bottle in front of a fan.
  • Instead of supplementing with creatine simply eat more herring (one of the richest sources of creatine in our diet) or if that is not going to happen, eat lots of beef (also rich in creatine, though not at the same level as herring). 
  • Instead of supplementing with a whey protein shake, finish your workout with chocolate milk - which has a similar serving of quality protein and fast acting sugars (and also similar benefits to a whey smoothie).
  • Instead of using the convenient in home LetsGetChecked lab testing, make a booking with your doctor, deal with the wait times and speak to your doctor about subsidised lab tests.
  • Instead of using an activity tracker like the Whoop or Biostrap, use the activity tracker app on your smartphone. Or just count your steps all day (just kidding!)
  • Instead of using a fancy pre-workout powder, why not have a cup of coffee mixed with a b vitamin complex. Or even better - go without and put on some energising music!
  • Instead of using the Muse headband to reach a deep meditation state, go with the inexpensive Headspace app, or better yet find a quiet place and meditate on your own!

 

Have I Missed Something?

Is there something I haven't covered? Maybe there is a biohacking device that is completely out of your budget and you want to know what a cheaper alternative is?

If so, please let me know in the comments section below and I'll do my best to get an answer for you.

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