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Imagine a pill that could unlock your full potential, turn you into a sort of super version of yourself, and have unlimited focus energy memory. That’s the promise of nootropics or smart drug. They’re all the rage in Silicon Valley, on Wall Street and even in colleges. Nootropics are used by people who call themselves bio hackers or brain hackers. This did become big in Silicon Valley after all they want to take control of their biology to perform better. They do this in a lot of ways through nutrition, meditation, fasting and of course with nootropics. If there’s anyone who knows how to maximize human health and performance, it’s the guy hunched over a computer 24/7.

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What are Nootropic Drugs?

Nootropics are substances that can enhance memory, learning and help the brain work under stress. They’re non-toxic with few or no side-effects. So what exactly are these magical brain-enhancing drugs that have no possible downside whatsoever? Technically, Coffee is a nootropic, but don’t think you’re a biohacker just because you drink a cup of sugary coffee every day from the local breakfast food cart. A real bio hacker spends countless hours poring over scientific reviews, research papers and looking for evidence about a variety of chemical compounds. Nootropics alter the supply of neural chemicals enzymes or hormones in the brain to make you work better.

 

Nootropic Regulation

Most nootropics aren’t exactly approved by the medical community except prescription drugs like Adderall, which you’re not supposed to get unless you have a prescription or illegal drugs which you’re not supposed to get at all. But most nootropic drugs are legally considered nutritional supplements, not medication. Nutritional supplements are not regulated or approved by the US Food & Drug Administration. Therefore, if you are buying something under nootropics, the person or company selling them does not need approval from the FDA. They can make whatever health claims they want, and they don’t even need to prove the safety or effectiveness before selling it, as long as you have a disclaimer about how your statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.

 

Are Nootropics Harmful to Your Health?

That’s not to say that all nootropics are dangerous, a lot of them are safe. On the other hand, consuming those mystery pills you bought online from China because someone on Reddit recommended them, maybe isn’t such a great idea. If you’re a competitive athlete, there are more unknowns especially if you’re under the age of 25. This is because your brain is still developing and according to a leading neuroscientist at the University of Cambridge, we do not know the long-term consequences of the effects of these drugs on a healthy developing brain. This study found that 18 percent of sophomores juniors and seniors at universities have used a prescription drug to study for a test, write a paper or take an exam. According to the Telegraph, about 25% of students at leading UK universities have taken a prescription drug to help them study. They’re doing drugs to do better in school.

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Conclusion

People who take nootropics or smart drugs aren’t looking to escape reality, they’re looking to enhance performance, and it must have some effect. The real danger in nootropics is that they might unlock your full potential. Widespread use of nootropics could be like how smartphones make a lot of things easier and more efficient, but they also erode the boundary between work and the rest of our lives.