If you thought the craze of downing “cognitive enhancing” drugs was limited by college kids popping Adderall before their biochemistry final, you better think again. An Adderall-esque drug class called best brain enhancing drugs is taking off among a specific Silicon Valley set, as outlined by this Fusion article.
Programmers claim nootropics can increase productivity and concentrate but aren’t as intense as prescription psychostimulants. Users can make their own 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 in existence considering that the 1970s, but apparently the Silicon Valley “biohacking” movement–where workaholic techies try to optimize their health and basic functions, such as eating, for optimum productivity–has given these so-called brain enhancers a fresh life. As Fusion notes, “the nootropics community is surprisingly large and involved,” with several online forums offering recipes and data on users’ drugs of choice.
To get clear, the FDA will not approve most nootropics as brain enhancers, though many compounds within these drugs have already been approved as nutritional supplements. The author of your Fusion piece, Kevin Roose, admits he has been taking nootropics on and off for any month, yet he isn’t totally sure they are working. Nonetheless, even without having to be scientific proved, these drugs are getting to be a cottage industry, which include nootropics-based startups like truBrain, Nootrobrain, Nootro, and Nootrobox.
Nootrobox was started by Geoffrey Woo, a Stanford computer science graduate, and produces a stack called RISE. For $29 (plus shipping) the purchaser gets 30 capsules, each containing 350 mg of bacopa monnieri powder (a medicinal herb that may be commonly present in South Asia), 100 mg of L-theanine (an amino acid seen in green tea), and 50 mg of caffeine (regarding the amount inside a can of Diet Coke). In accordance with Fusion, the company is “selling ‘five figures’ worth of cognitive supplements 75dexjpky to customers that come with top Silicon Valley executives and Hollywood moguls.”
Whilst the article quotes a variety of individuals–from a financial analyst to some software engineer–who claim to have gotten success using nootropics, the scientific research on its long term effects continues to be thin. To believers, these prescription medication is nothing but a substitute for any stimulant that is certainly already in widespread use: caffeine. But Silicon Valley being what exactly it is, even something as mundane as caffeine is ripe for “disruption.”