If you thought the trend of downing “cognitive enhancing” drugs was limited by college kids popping Adderall before their biochemistry final, reconsider that thought. An Adderall-esque drug class called best brain enhancing drugs is taking off among a definite Silicon Valley set, according to this Fusion article.
Programmers claim nootropics can increase productivity while focusing but aren’t as intense as prescription psychostimulants. Users could make their particular nootropics with powders purchased online or maybe in supplement stores, or they are able to buy “stacks,” or pre-made doses, created to produce specific effects.
Nootropics have been in existence considering that the 1970s, but apparently the Silicon Valley “biohacking” movement–by which workaholic techies make an effort to optimize their own bodies and basic functions, including eating, for max productivity–has given these so-called brain enhancers a new life. As Fusion notes, “the nootropics community is surprisingly large and involved,” with several online forums offering recipes and knowledge on users’ drugs associated with preference.
To become clear, the FDA does not approve most nootropics as brain enhancers, though many compounds within these drugs have been approved as nutritional supplements. The writer in the Fusion piece, Kevin Roose, admits they have been taking nootropics off and on to get a month, yet he isn’t totally sure they may be working. Nonetheless, even without having to be scientific proved, these drugs have become a cottage industry, including nootropics-based startups like 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 that is certainly commonly found in South Asia), 100 mg of L-theanine (an amino present in green tea leaf), and 50 mg of caffeine (about the amount in the can of Diet Coke). Based on Fusion, the corporation is “selling ‘five figures’ worth of cognitive supplements 75dexjpky to customers that come with top Silicon Valley executives and Hollywood moguls.”
Even though the article quotes several individuals–from a financial analyst to 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 prescription medication is simply an alternative for any 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.”