In the event you thought the buzz of downing “cognitive enhancing” drugs was limited to college kids popping Adderall before their biochemistry final, reconsider. An Adderall-esque drug class called best brain enhancing supplement has gotten off among a particular Silicon Valley set, in accordance with this Fusion article.
Programmers claim nootropics can increase productivity and concentrate but aren’t as intense as prescription psychostimulants. Users could make their own personal nootropics with powders purchased online or in supplement stores, or they may buy “stacks,” or pre-made doses, built to produce specific effects.
Nootropics have been popular ever since the 1970s, but apparently the Silicon Valley “biohacking” movement–where workaholic techies try to optimize their bodies and basic functions, for example eating, for maximum productivity–has given these so-called brain enhancers a fresh life. As Fusion notes, “the nootropics community is surprisingly large and involved,” with numerous online forums offering recipes and information on users’ drugs of choice.
Being clear, the FDA is not going to approve most nootropics as brain enhancers, though many compounds within these drugs happen to be approved as health supplements. The author of your Fusion piece, Kevin Roose, admits he has been taking nootropics on / off to get a month, yet he isn’t totally sure they may be working. Nonetheless, even without having to be scientific proved, these drugs are becoming a cottage industry, consisting of nootropics-based startups for example truBrain, Nootrobrain, Nootro, and Nootrobox.
Nootrobox was started by Geoffrey Woo, a Stanford computer science graduate, and makes a stack called RISE. For $29 (plus shipping) the purchaser gets 30 capsules, each containing 350 mg of bacopa monnieri powder (a medicinal herb which is commonly located in South Asia), 100 mg of L-theanine (an amino acid found in green leaf tea), and 50 mg of caffeine (in regards to the amount in a can of Diet Coke). According to Fusion, the company is “selling ‘five figures’ worth of cognitive supplements 75dexjpky to customers that include top Silicon Valley executives and Hollywood moguls.”
While the article quotes a number of individuals–coming from a financial analyst to some software engineer–who claim to have gotten success using nootropics, the scientific research on its long-term effects is still thin. To believers, these drugs are merely an alternative to get a stimulant that may be already in widespread use: caffeine. But Silicon Valley being what exactly it is, even something as mundane as caffeine is ripe for “disruption.”