Nootropics. The word sounds a little funny – it’s Greek for ‘mind change’ – but these so-called smart drugs not only act as cognitive enhancers, they are also attracting some serious attention as a way to reduce stress levels and improve productivity. As more and more demands are made of our time in this hectic world, could nootropics be the answer to a multi-tasker’s prayers?
What’s it all about?
As we struggle to keep up with everything that modern life throws at us, a new class of functional supplements and drinks is appearing on the market, claiming to provide a solution. These non-pharmaceutical cognitive performance boosters promise to give us focused mental energy and lower stress levels – and let’s face it, we could all do with a bit of that!
Most of these products contain amino acids, such as L-theanine, which are the building blocks of the proteins that can reduce stress. They also contain the happiness-boosting hormone energizer phenylethylamine, which acts as a stimulant for the central nervous system. Other ingredients may include powered-up omega 3s to protect the brain, and honey, which has been proven to improve athletic performance.
Show Me the Money
The wave of interest in natural brain boosters has made investors sit up and take notice, betting some serious bucks that in 2018 people will be gulping down nootropics. Research and Markets says that the brain health market was worth US$2.3 billion in 2015, but is predicted to reach US$11.6 billion by 2024 — a 19.6% Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR). Several corporations have already bagged funding that runs into the millions to develop the next big thing in nootropics.
Dealing with stress and nurturing the mind used to be about meditation and yoga. But as the world goes hi-tech and becomes more intense, people are looking for a quick fix. Taking confidence, mood, creativity and focus into their own hands is just another natural progression in the world of wellness.