In the event you thought the craze of downing “cognitive enhancing” drugs was confined to college kids popping Adderall before their biochemistry final, think again. An Adderall-esque drug class called best brain enhancing supplement is taking off among a specific Silicon Valley set, as outlined by this Fusion article.
Programmers claim nootropics can increase productivity and concentration but aren’t as intense as prescription psychostimulants. Users will make their particular nootropics with powders purchased online or in supplement stores, or they can buy “stacks,” or pre-made doses, built to produce specific effects.
Nootropics have been in existence ever since the 1970s, but apparently the Silicon Valley “biohacking” movement–where workaholic techies make an attempt to optimize their health and basic functions, like 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 numerous online forums offering recipes and information 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 been approved as vitamin supplements. The writer of the Fusion piece, Kevin Roose, admits they have been taking nootropics on / off for any month, yet he isn’t totally sure these are working. Nonetheless, even without getting scientific proved, these drugs are getting to be a cottage industry, consisting of nootropics-based startups including truBrain, Nootrobrain, Nootro, and Nootrobox.
Nootrobox was started by Geoffrey Woo, a Stanford computer science graduate, and generates 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 present in South Asia), 100 mg of L-theanine (an amino present in green tea extract), and 50 mg of caffeine (about 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 include top Silicon Valley executives and Hollywood moguls.”
Whilst the article quotes a number of individuals–coming from a financial analyst into a software engineer–who claim to have experienced success using nootropics, the scientific research on its long-term effects continues to be thin. To believers, these drugs are nothing but a substitute for a stimulant which is already in widespread use: caffeine. But Silicon Valley being what exactly it is, even something as mundane as caffeine is ripe for “disruption.”