Are Nootropics The Dirty Little Secret of Top Silicon Valley Execs?
The world’s best entrepreneurs often don’t earn their wealth on never-before-seen ideas. They take existing products and simply make them better. Odds are, if you’re an entrepreneur, there are several competitors in your niche. Maybe you even have a list—and those are just the opponents you can see. New businesses may pop up in your niche, daily. They add to the market noise, and they take money out of your pockets. The question then becomes- how will you gain an advantage to stay ahead of the competition?
There are natural and unnatural ways to hack your brain into functioning at an elevated level. While some think the road to Silicon Valley riches consists of groundbreaking ideas while on LSD or other psychedelic drugs, the present, and perhaps future of cognitive enhancement is leaning towards a variety of nootropics. Disclaimer: Nootropic or not, there are no magic pills that will transform you into the next wolf of Wall Street overnight. Success is built from sacrifice, trial and error, strong success habits, and years of grueling work. But if you’re willing to endure the struggles of an aspiring entrepreneur, nootropics might just be able to provide you with the mental edge you’re looking for.
What are Nootropics?
Nootropics are brain supplements that stimulate the mind and can be taken in pill or powder form. If you’ve ever seen the movie Limitless, you know that someone thought up the ingenious concept of NZT-48. NZT is a fictitious smart drug that allowed actor Eddie Morra (Bradley Cooper) to access every nook and cranny of his brain for information. While on the smart drug, he can write an entire book in one night and turn a small investment into millions of dollars within a few weeks. Though the movie goes on to show the dangers and life threatening side effects of the hypothetical drug, wouldn’t it be nice to able to optimize your brain, at least to some degree?
There’s nothing on the market as significant as NZT-48, but there are supplements available to brain-hack your way to heightened cognitive capabilities. With these legal and easily accessible nootropics, you may find your focus, memory, learning abilities, and proficiency in handling stress to offer a breakthrough in your entrepreneurial endeavors. Some nootropics you might want to know about…
Alpha GPC: Alpha GPC is a naturally occurring nootropic that can be supplemented on its own, or paired with other smart drugs. Though choline is already present in the body in minimal amounts, it’s manufactured for supplemental purposes to boost its effects. Alpha GPC works extremely quickly and dependably to get choline, an essential nutrient, to the brain.
Choline can then encourage production of acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter culpable for memory, thinking clarity, and overall health and rejuvenation of the brain. Alpha GPC can also be used in the elderly for treating a severe mental illness like dementia, memory loss from stroke, and Alzheimer’s disease. Entrepreneurs and healthy individuals supplement alpha GPC for that extra cognitive boost. The additional choline released to the brain during supplementation can also protect the brain from common aging effects by aiding in the development of new brain cells and repairing damaged ones.
Outside of cognitive enhancement, Alpha GPC also makes an excellent pre-workout partner for gym fanatics. This is due to its ability to enhance power output, allowing for additional repetitions at the gym. Alpha GPC is also capable of boosting growth hormone production and improving fat oxidation in healthy young adults. Higher levels of growth hormone have been shown to help with recovery, sleep quality, and mood enhancement.
Phosphatidylserine: Phosphatidylserine (PS) is abundant in the brain tissue of humans and serves many essential biological functions including providing structure to our cell membranes. Besides its primary purpose of cell signaling and coagulation, phosphatidylserine is used as a nootropic and can be consumed through foods, or for stronger results, via supplementation.
Studies have found that taking phosphatidylserine can sharpen mental focus, increase memory recollection, heighten mood, and lessen the effects of stress by the process of reducing cortisol levels. Cortisol is a hormone released by the human body in response to stress. All of these benefits can be seen in perfectly healthy humans, but they’re even more apparent in those suffering from neurodegenerative diseases or facing age-related cognitive decline. While you can get a fair amount of phosphatidylserine through a normal diet, its food sources are a bit rare. This makes PS supplementation essential to reap the full range of benefits it can offer.
Acetyl-L-Carnitine: Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALCAR) is a form of the micro nutrient L-Carnitine derived from the amino acid lysine. It’s a potent antioxidant and neuroprotectant benefiting both the brain and the physical body. Typically healthy people don’t lack the Acetyl-L-Carnitine they need, but supplementing the nutrient can promote cognitive function and heart health.
ALCAR breaks the blood-brain barrier and influences the brain directly. Though the effects are most potent when stacked with other nootropics, it can prevent and repair the damage done to brain cells, support neurons, help rid the brain of toxins, and reduce cell death dramatically. The reason that ALCAR can reduce cell death is through a process called excitotoxicity, prompted by activation of glutamate receptors. Healthy people take the smart drug for its ability to reduce mental fatigue and increase learning ability.
Huperzine A: Huperzine A is an alkaloid compound produced by Huperzia Serrata, a Chinese club moss. It is known as an acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitor. Acetylcholinesterase is responsible for breaking down acetylcholine in the brain. By inhibiting the production of AChE, additional choline can build up in the brain, having a positive impact on cognitive function. Huperzine A is most often stacked with other smart drugs.
By itself, Huperzine can treat neurodegenerative diseases and protect the brain from age related deterioration. For this reason, Huperzine A is used to treat Alzheimer’s disease. However, it is particularly beneficial for students and businesspeople who are trying to maintain peak mental performance. Studies show that those who are studying for an exam or need to be able to recall information promptly, see fantastic benefits with Huperzine A supplementation. It does not, however, boost capabilities that are not already present. In other words, Huperzine A expands on what your brain already knows, and makes memorization and learning new facts easier, but it cannot teach itself new things. This might be common sense, but remember, nootropics are nutrients for your brain, not miracle drugs.
Bacopa Monnieri: Bacopa Monnieri is an herbal supplement used to treat a broad range of cognitive health concerns, but can also be used as a smart drug in perfectly healthy people. The bacopa plant has been used in Ayurvedic medicine in India for many years. This brain-boosting supplement has more recently become a nootropic of choice for those trying to reach their full cognitive potential. Bacopa Monnieri can guard your mental well being from both acute and chronic stress by an adaptogenic process, meaning it can stabilize your mood. It has also been shown to have positive effects on the nervous system, reducing both depression and anxiety.
The most popular use, however, is for memory enhancement. Any time you see a Bacopa supplement on a shelf, there’s a 99% chance you’ll see the word “memory” front and center. This makes it ideal for students and entrepreneurs looking for a natural nootropic to increase productivity.
Ginkgo Biloba: The Gingko Biloba tree has been used in Chinese medicine for centuries. Recently, Ginkgo has been labeled as a smart drug, which can boost memory and improve critical thinking. Studies have proven that it can increase thinking speed, sharpen attention span, and improve memory recollection. It acts as an antioxidant and has the capability of improving blood flow to the brain, further improving cognitive functions.
Similar to other nootropic supplements, Ginkgo also protects against age-related cognitive decline in the elderly population. This makes it a versatile herbal supplement for all age ranges.
Rhodiola Rosea: Rhodiola Rosea is a plant grown in North America, Asia, and parts of Europe that has been used to treat disorders such as depression and anxiety for years. Recently, scientists have discovered its unique ability to reduce both mental and physical fatigue.
For someone engaging in bouts of critical thinking, problem-solving, studying, etc., Rhodiola Rosea could be the supplement to promote vitality and enhance energy levels. Users say it restores energy within them after late nights of mental exhaustion, improves their mood, and increases mental alertness. It also protects the brain from toxins and bolsters longevity.
Modafinil: It’s tough to discuss nootropics without at least mentioning Modafinil. If you haven’t heard of it in the news, then you’ve most certainly heard Bulletproof’s Dave Asprey preaching about this miracle pill. Dave even went as far as attributing a significant portion of his success to a steady diet of Modafinil over the years.
Although I don’t recommend using prescription medications for off-label use, Modafinil is perhaps the closest thing we have to a real life limitless pill. Used to treat circadian rhythm sleep disorders such as narcolepsy, this drug is highly potent and quite capable of enhancing cognitive function and wakefulness. If you’re going to experiment with it, you should consult a doctor first, as contrary to what some people will have you believe, there could be potential side effects.
The jury is still out on the long-term safety of Modafinil. All natural nootropics have a slightly better reputation and are deemed safer for long-term use.
Final Thoughts on Nootropics and Brain Supplements
The world of innovation and business is becoming more and more competitive each day. Some of the most ingenious and wealthy people in the world, such as Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, admitted to using LSD in the process of making their way into Silicon Valley. That statement is by no means an endorsement for illegal drugs.
What if you could think harder, remember more, defeat fatigue and exhaustion, and protect your brain from deteriorating? Now that you know a little about nootropics, perhaps a part of your solution is more or less at your fingertips. With nootropics, we have a group of supplements that can provide safe, all-natural options for cognitive enhancement. Do your own homework and make your own decisions, but know what’s out there.