There has been a great deal of mainstream interest in nootropics during the last year – and much of it centers on brain-enhancement for coders and tech entrepreneurs. It turns out that guys who need to crank out efficient code for eight or twelve hours a day are looking for something to increase their efficiency, creativity, and alertness. (Who knew?)
According to this article and this report (as just two examples), Silicon Valley is a particular hotspot for nootropics use. While this is no surprise, it’s interesting to see that nootropics usage is so prevalent in this one area (which of course primarily focuses on tech) that it’s been noted in multiple media reports. A quick perusal of http://www.reddit.com/r/Nootropics also shows that there’s a lot of interest in good nootropics mainly for coding and for study (i.e. among college students).
The question keeps coming up as “what’s the best stack for coding,” and interestingly enough that question was directly addressed by a Silicon Valley-based nootropics startup called Nootrobox. According to writer Kevin Roose in his article “I tried Silicon Valley’s favorite ‘brain-enhancing’ drugs”, one of Nootrobox’s products (called the RISE stack) “contains 350 mg of bacopa monnieri powder (an herb that is commonly used medicinally in South Asia), 100 mg of L-theanine (an amino acid found in green tea), and 50 mg of caffeine”. While I’ve never tried RISE, Kevin took RISE for a month and reported that “despite my spurts of productivity, I’m still not 100 percent sure that they’re working. I could well be placebo-ing myself into thinking I’m working harder and focusing better than I typically do.”
If you’ve read some of our previous articles about l-theanine and caffeine or “Smart Caffeine”, you instantly recognized that RISE formula quoted above relied on this proven combination to give the user the increased focus and mental stamina. While it appears that the current formulations of Nootrobox’s products are different than what is found in that article, all of the ingredients in their stacks are known as effective nootropics.
For coders, the standard stack of caffeine and l-theanine (taken individually or combined) is well-known, and bacopa monneiri is another great supplement. As we’ve noted before, there are other nootropics (such as Noopept for one example) that are also commonly used for coding, but l-theanine and caffeine is a classic and well-known stack that (by all indications) is safe and has few or no side effects.
While products such as Nootrobox’s RISE or SPRINT sound like great products, making your own stack using the individual components – and adding other components – can be more cost-effective and has the benefit of being tailored to your own needs.