Ultra Think Fast

Smart drugs and think drinks promise to brighten your personality, boost your brain and jump-start your sex drive, but truly smart consumers will be wary

As a salesman of high-tech communications equipment, Bill Willoughby needs to be mentally sharp at all times. Unfortunately, his 15-hour shuttles to Europe or Asia often leave him feeling more like he left his brain in San Francisco. "In this business," he says, "no matter how tired you are, if you start talking and sound dumb, it's no deal."

A few months ago, he got hold of some mysterious pills called L- phenylalanine and melatonin, sold in health-food stores, that he claims have changed his life. "It's amazing. It's like tuning up your car, only it's your mind. You take the...

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