In the event you thought the popularity of downing “cognitive enhancing” drugs was limited to college kids popping Adderall before their biochemistry final, reconsider. An Adderall-esque drug class called brain enhancing vitamins has brought off among a definite Silicon Valley set, as outlined by this Fusion article.
Programmers claim nootropics can increase productivity while focusing but aren’t as intense as prescription psychostimulants. Users can certainly make their own nootropics with powders purchased online or in supplement stores, or they could buy “stacks,” or pre-made doses, designed 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 attempt to optimize their health and basic functions, such as eating, for optimum productivity–has given these so-called brain enhancers a whole 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 of choice.
To be 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 from the Fusion piece, Kevin Roose, admits he has been taking nootropics on / off for any month, yet he isn’t totally sure they may be working. Nonetheless, even without having to be scientific proved, these drugs are getting to be 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 generates 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 located in green tea leaf), and 50 mg of caffeine (about the amount within a can of Diet Coke). According to Fusion, the corporation is “selling ‘five figures’ amount of cognitive supplements 75dexjpky to customers which include top Silicon Valley executives and Hollywood moguls.”
As the article quotes a number of individuals–coming from a financial analyst to a software engineer–who claim to have gotten success using nootropics, the scientific research on its long term effects remains thin. To believers, these drugs are simply a replacement for any 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.”