If you thought the craze 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 brain enhancers has brought off among a certain Silicon Valley set, according to this Fusion article.
Programmers claim nootropics can increase productivity and focus but aren’t as intense as prescription psychostimulants. Users could make their particular nootropics with powders purchased online or perhaps in supplement stores, or they can buy “stacks,” or pre-made doses, built to produce specific effects.
Nootropics have been popular considering that the 1970s, but apparently the Silicon Valley “biohacking” movement–in which workaholic techies make an effort to optimize their health 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 several online forums offering recipes and knowledge on users’ drugs associated with preference.
Being clear, the FDA does not approve most nootropics as brain enhancers, though many compounds within these drugs have already been approved as dietary supplements. The writer from the Fusion piece, Kevin Roose, admits they have been taking nootropics off and on to get a month, yet he isn’t totally sure these are working. Nonetheless, even without being scientific proved, these drugs have become a cottage industry, which include 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 located in South Asia), 100 mg of L-theanine (an protein present in green leaf tea), and 50 mg of caffeine (concerning the amount in the can of Diet Coke). As outlined by Fusion, the corporation is “selling ‘five figures’ amount of cognitive supplements 75dexjpky to customers including top Silicon Valley executives and Hollywood moguls.”
As the article quotes a number of individuals–from a financial analyst into a software engineer–who state they have had success using nootropics, the scientific research on its long term effects is still thin. To believers, these drugs are nothing more than a substitute for a 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.”