Matt Makai - Python web dev & Twilio Developer Evangelist.

@mattmakai on Twitter & GitHub

Brain Boosting

In college, I was never one to take adderal or ritalin to cram all night before an exam. That no-sleep study route sounded miserable to me. I was the unusual student who slowly and steadily worked every single day in the library towards inevitable midterms and finals. Nevertheless, increasing brain creativity and focus through exercise, meditation, drugs and supplements fascinates me.

From what I've read, brain research indicates that exercise and meditation are safe and highly effective ways to increase performance. Evidence trends towards positive performance via caffeine, electrical stimulation and tyrosine. However, each one of these must be used properly and their effects can potentially diminish over time.

Below are links to some of the resources I've found most useful while learning about ways to stimulate increased brain creativity and focus.



  • How to practice mindfulness meditation covers the basics on how to begin with this form of meditation. Note that the goal with mindfulness meditation is not to clear your mind of thoughts but to actually allow them to come to you and work with them.
  • How meditation may change the brain covers some of the research done on how meditation can alter brain structure for the better, especially in our always-on world.



  • Tyrosine has quite a bit of research behind its benefits compared to many other common supplements. This chart lays out how it compares with other supplements and vitamins from an evidence perspective.
  • Before taking a supplement such as Tyrosine it's a good idea to check with a site like WebMD for drug interactions and side effects.

Piracetam & Choline

Electrical Brain Stimulation

Cautionary Tales and Supplemental Reading

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