[Podcast] Ep75: Smart Drugs, Nootropics, and Becoming ‘Limitless’

Anyone working long hours in a creative industry craves mental stamina and focus. We’d all give anything for the drug Bradley Cooper used to transform himself in the film ‘Limitless.’ With the recent surge in popularity of smart drugs and nootropics, has the ‘Limitless’ era finally arrived?

In this episode I have an in-depth conversation with Dr. Andrew Hill, a PhD in neuroscience and the lead neuroscientist for the company TruBrainthat manufacturers several different forms of nootropics substances that enhance clarity, focus, memory, and cognitive function.

We discuss the difference between smart drugs and nootropics, which are safe and which aren’t, how you can enhance the effects of coffee, and which substances are the best bang for your buck when it comes to enhancing the capabilities of your brain. (Hint: None of them begin with ‘5 Hour Energy’)

* Use the coupon code ‘FITNESS’ to get 25% OFF your first order at TruBrain.

Topics of Conversation:

  • Andrew’s background and how he got started with truBrain 
  • The research they are doing at truBrain and how to apply it to our everyday lives
  • How brain waves work — it’s “complicated and chaotic”
  • How to read brain waves (cause they’re measureable)
  • Two of the most common smart drugs: caffeine and nicotine
  • Make sure you are being safe when adopting a cognitive enhancer like caffeine
  • How L-Theanine combined with caffeine can help improve focus
  • What alcohol does to your brain waves
  • Other smart drugs and what they do to brain waves
  • What modafinil is used for (and why it can be dangerous)
  • Andrew’s modafinil scare and who should not take it
  • What acetylcholine does to your brain
  • How nootropics work and how you should take them
  • What is truBrain and how can creative people use it?
  • truBrain has their own coffee!
  • The effects of eating glucose while using nootropics
  • The ingredients in truBrain and how they work
  • The difference between the neurons in the brain and the neurons in the heart
  • The elevator pitch for truBrain
  • More technology = more distractions! Get it under control NOW

Useful Links:

TruBrain Home

FiP Podcast: The Science of ADD and ADHD

FiP Podcast: Optimizing Brain Function with Neurofeedback

FiP Blog: What is Neurofeedback?

Guest Bio:

Dr. Hill received his PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience from UCLA in 2012, studying how attention operates in the brain. He is currently lecturing for the Undergraduate Education Initiatives program at UCLA, teaching a course sequence gerontology, and the neuroscience of healthy brain aging. Dr. Hill has published chapters on measuring and modulating human attention, and continues to research self regulation. Prior to UCLA, Dr. Hill obtained extensive experience working with both psychiatric and developmental populations as well as gaining experience in high technology areas. He received his B.S. in Psychology/Neuroscience from UMass Amherst. See Andrew’s book chapters Measuring & Modulating Hemispheric Attention and EEG Correlates of Hemispheric Word Recognition.

Show Credits:

This episode was edited by Curtis Fritsch, the show notes were prepared by Natalie Boschan, and this show is executive produced by Kanen Flowers. We are a member of the THAT STUDIO podcast network.

The music in the opening and closing of the show is courtesy of Dorian Cheah from his brilliant album ARA.

Zack Arnold is an award-winning film & television editor (Burn Notice, Empire, Shooter, Glee), member of the American Cinema Editors, a documentary director (GO FAR: The Christopher Rush Story), and creator of the Optimize Yourself program (formerly ‘Fitness In Post’). He helps ambitious creative professionals like you learn how to more efficiently manage your time, energy, and attention so you can maximize your creative focus and minimize procrastination, depression, and burnout. After all, what’s the point of killing yourself for the sake of your career if you don’t have energy to spare for the most important people in your life?