Nootropics – The Failed Past
I think it was 2000. I was driving across the country and bought one of those energy packets at a gas station. I was tired, but I also needed to drive a lot more distance. I felt sluggish and unmotivated. The little tiny packets that typically were brightly colored and exuded a sort of “pop” to their labels were often sold right by the register. Even if you were not tired, you looked. But when you were tired, almost in the same way Monster Energy drinks kind appeal to you (in the darkest hours), you couldn’t help but consider it as an option. Even with no research. And true to form, research and common-sense aside, I took ephedrine. And on that night, I drove into the darkness of Utah’s cavernous desert, not a motel in sight, for 6 more hours. I didn’t know what a nootropic was back then. In 2000, there wasn’t a best nootropics list, as there is now. Instead, there was only a package that told you it would fire you up with focus and energy. I took that gamble and the gamble paid off (mostly). I felt
I felt the extreme energy. At first, it was a godsend. Having driven at least a few hours having to force my focus to the road and suddenly being alive and peppy and purely driven to etch more miles on my car’s odometer, this energetic brain boosting pop was the finest blessing. I couldn’t ask for anything more. This was prior to cell phones really taking hold of us, but no matter, today’s smartphones wouldn’t have gotten service in such dearth of a region. All the same, I recall talking to myself because I had so much energy and focus that I truly just wanted to be in a cafe with some coffee and pals, debating sociopolitical rabbit holes. The energy was mesmerizing and exciting and inhibiting.
Until it wasn’t…
After two hours, the energy remained as a feeling of being “wired,” but I felt cravings for more. I reached into the bright orange box and pulled another pill. It tasted like chalk going down, it made me hack up. I was dehydrated. My heart was throbbing in a way that made me feel as though it was knocking because it wanted to tell me to stop. I was able to complete my drive, but when I arrived at 5 AM, I couldn’t get the sleep I needed for the next day. Even just a few hours would have benefitted me, instead, I laid there with furious, unthrottled energy. And the next day, I had to take them again. I felt moody and irritable. My stomach was “off.” After that trip, I had a few more run-ins with ephedrine, but I eventually understood it for what it was: a desperate man’s energy pill. I took them occasionally for purposes of “all nighters” in college when I was cramming for an exam. Admittedly, they served a beneficial purpose, but again, at the cost of feeling horrible. At least I have that useless English degree?
The more I think back, the more I realize that old nootropics do not even closely resemble the newest class of nootropics. Experiences such as the one above don’t even come close to the experiences one can have with the latest crop of brain supplements. When I tell people I run a nootropic review website, they often ask me if I know of any nootropics that don’t have all the “crazy side-effects.” I always think to myself, “wow, people really have no idea how far brain supplements have come.” Most nootropics are truly unrecognizable from the dark days of old. Ephedrine continued to pop up over the years, typically as an added ingredient in an energy “popper,” but also under different names. The FDA got wise to them, they came under scrutiny, but many people were heavily reliant on them for studying and travel purposes.
Nootropics – The Cat’s Out Of The Bag
But the cat being out of the bag on ephedrine meant that there was a huge new open market. And while it took time, nootropic manufactures began to fill it. Two big dogs, Noocube and Alpha Brain entered the market.
A slew of others also tried their hand at manufacturing a brain pill. Here’s the thing: While these companies were most definitely “on to something” with their brain supplement formulas, consumers remained wary and jaded over them. Could a little pill or capsule suddenly make you a more productive thinker? And without any weird side effects? That’s exactly what all these companies were doing, however. They were working. And as time went on, people were leaving reviews for nootropics that were extremely good, and the sentiment that nootropics work was spreading. But still, it remained, many people were not totally sold that a pill could help them “think” more clearly.
But condemnation is sometimes a blessing in disguise. As nootropic nation grew, so did contempt for their use. Many claimed that nootropics were “brain steroids.” Some even wanted them outlawed. They felt that nootropics gave people who used them an “unfair advantage.” The condemnation was in many ways, acting as assurance that the products worked. It was signaling to the masses that there was a true application at play, something that could help them. And learning that nootropic side effects hardly existed made it all even more appealing. Side note: I’m not saying you won’t get side effects from a brain supplement, I’m just stating the mood over the matter. I personally don’t get any bad side effects from nootropics, however, I make sure to take the most natural brain supplements around. It benefits me that I review nootropics, I suppose.
So now, here we are, in a world where nootropics are a booming billion dollar business. That’s a far cry from the days of feeling like a crack-addicted truck driver. Nootropic popularity is so huge that Marissa Mayer, Yahoo!’s CEO, invested a grip of her own money into a new nootropic venture. While the whole “nootropics are steroids” debate continues, brain supplements are now rather commonly accepted by the herds on college campuses.
Additionally, millennials are taking them as a way to help them be more productive at work. I’m living proof. I take Noocube. Noocube helps me when I’m in the trenches, writing and researching. It boosts the capabilities of my brain. It makes me feel like a thinking machine. I even type faster under the affects of Noocube. Noocube isn’t the only good brain supplement, there are many more on my list. And even more beyond that. The market is blowing up. The competition is driving innovation and a goal to make the absolute best supplement. Remember, competition fuels innovation. We are the beneficiaries of an old failed truck stop popper industry.