If you thought the buzz of downing “cognitive enhancing” drugs was limited by college kids popping Adderall before their biochemistry final, think again. An Adderall-esque drug class called best brain nutrients is taking off among a particular Silicon Valley set, based on this Fusion article.
Programmers claim nootropics can increase productivity and concentration but aren’t as intense as prescription psychostimulants. Users can certainly make their very own nootropics with powders purchased online or even in supplement stores, or they can 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–where workaholic techies make an effort to optimize their own bodies and basic functions, like 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 a number of 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 vitamin supplements. The writer of the Fusion piece, Kevin Roose, admits they have been taking nootropics on and off for the month, yet he isn’t totally sure these are working. Nonetheless, even without having to be scientific proved, these drugs have become a cottage industry, including nootropics-based startups such as 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 is commonly present in South Asia), 100 mg of L-theanine (an amino found in green tea), and 50 mg of caffeine (concerning the amount in the can of Diet Coke). In accordance with Fusion, the corporation 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 numerous individuals–from a financial analyst to some software engineer–who state they have experienced success using nootropics, the scientific research on its long-term effects remains thin. To believers, these drugs are nothing but another one for the stimulant that is already in widespread use: caffeine. But Silicon Valley being what exactly it is, even something as mundane as caffeine is ripe for “disruption.”