Should you thought the trend of downing “cognitive enhancing” drugs was confined to college kids popping Adderall before their biochemistry final, reconsider. An Adderall-esque drug class called brain enhancer pills has gotten off among a particular Silicon Valley set, in accordance with this Fusion article.
Programmers claim nootropics can increase productivity and concentration but aren’t as intense as prescription psychostimulants. Users could make their very own nootropics with powders purchased online or maybe in supplement stores, or they are able to buy “stacks,” or pre-made doses, built to produce specific effects.
Nootropics have existed since the 1970s, but apparently the Silicon Valley “biohacking” movement–in which workaholic techies attempt to optimize their own bodies and basic functions, including 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 a variety of online forums offering recipes and information on users’ drugs of preference.
Being clear, the FDA is not going to approve most nootropics as brain enhancers, though many compounds within these drugs are already approved as health supplements. The writer from the Fusion piece, Kevin Roose, admits he has been taking nootropics on / off for any month, yet he isn’t totally sure they are working. Nonetheless, even without having to be scientific proved, these drugs have become a cottage industry, consisting of 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 acid seen in green tea extract), and 50 mg of caffeine (regarding the amount within a can of Diet Coke). In accordance with Fusion, the corporation is “selling ‘five figures’ worth of cognitive supplements 75dexjpky to customers that include top Silicon Valley executives and Hollywood moguls.”
As the article quotes several individuals–from a financial analyst to some software engineer–who state they experienced success using nootropics, the scientific research on its long-term effects continues to be thin. To believers, these drugs are simply an alternative for the stimulant which is already in widespread use: caffeine. But Silicon Valley being what it is, even something as mundane as caffeine is ripe for “disruption.”