Silicon Valley Has Got a Hardcore New Way to Boost Employee Productivity

Apparently starving the body can boost the brain

By The Editors
July 18, 2016 9:00 am

We’ve all read a lot lately about how regular fasting  can be an effective weight-loss technique as well as giving a boost to our immune systems. Now a bunch of food-haters in Silicon Valley are starving themselves to boost their productivity.

Employees at Nootrobox, a startup that produces cognition-enhancing supplements called nootropics, begin their weekly fast on Monday night and don’t eat again until breaking bread together on Wednesday morning during a protein-heavy breakfast of eggs, potatoes, bacon and yogurt.

They are convinced that this deprivation improves focus and alertness by helping them achieve ketosis — a state in which the body is empty of carbs and burns fat for fuel instead.

“We’re actually super productive on Tuesdays,” company co-founder Geoffrey Woo told the San Jose Mercury News. “It’s hard at first, but we literally adopted it as part of the company culture.”

While some employees have scaled back their fasting period to “just” 24 hours, others have gotten even more hardcore. They begin starving themselves on Sunday night to embark on a 50-hour famine in the name of productivity.

Yes, they are crazy.

While Nootrobox workers don’t eat during the fast, they do get by on their own supply by taking different “stacks” of nootropics throughout the day to boost their energy and cognitive performance.

“Yeah, we’re all on Nootrobox stacks, company CEO Geoffrey Woo told Inverse. “Everyone is just sort of popping those. It’s funny: We work a lot, and we work a lot to make better nootropics to make us work even better. It’s a funny loop.”

You might call it a funny loop. You also might call the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. As for us, we’ll stick with unlimited granola bars and eating, thanks.

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