Should you thought the craze 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 health supplement is taking off among a definite Silicon Valley set, in accordance with this Fusion article.
Programmers claim nootropics can increase productivity while focusing but aren’t as intense as prescription psychostimulants. Users can make their very own nootropics with powders purchased online or even in supplement stores, or they are able to buy “stacks,” or pre-made doses, designed to produce specific effects.
Nootropics have been in existence because the 1970s, but apparently the Silicon Valley “biohacking” movement–in which workaholic techies try to optimize their bodies and basic functions, for example eating, for optimum productivity–has given these so-called brain enhancers a brand new life. As Fusion notes, “the nootropics community is surprisingly large and involved,” with a variety of online forums offering recipes and information on users’ drugs associated with preference.
To get clear, the FDA is not going to 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 they have been taking nootropics off and on for any month, yet he isn’t totally sure they may be working. Nonetheless, even without getting scientific proved, these drugs are becoming 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 creates 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 seen in South Asia), 100 mg of L-theanine (an amino found in green leaf tea), and 50 mg of caffeine (concerning the amount within a can of Diet Coke). As outlined by Fusion, the organization is “selling ‘five figures’ amount of cognitive supplements 75dexjpky to customers that come with top Silicon Valley executives and Hollywood moguls.”
As the article quotes a number of individuals–coming from a financial analyst to some software engineer–who state they have had success using nootropics, the scientific research on its long-term effects is still thin. To believers, these prescription medication is nothing more than a replacement for a stimulant that is certainly already in widespread use: caffeine. But Silicon Valley being what it is, even something as mundane as caffeine is ripe for “disruption.”