So maybe you’ve watched the infamous Bradley Cooper movie Limitless or maybe you’ve just heard about this magical little compound through a good friend. Whatever the case may be,
I've going to spare you all the fluff and get right down to explaining EVERYTHING from A - Z you would ever need to know about modafinil before you give it a try.
What Exactly Is Modafinil?
Modafinil is a compound that falls under the classification of "nootropics" - just like coffee. Nootropics work by improving focus, concentration, and clarity of thought. The most commonly used over the counter nootropics are
- Anything ending with -racetam
There are literally thousands of nootropic compounds to choose from and not enough time to choose.
If you're anything like me, you can't be bothered to try 1000 or even 100. I didn't want to waste my time with some weak overrated supplement that barely even made a noticeable difference. I wasn't interested in the top 10 or top 100 stacks. All I wanted was the best - and nothing but the best.
As of 2016, Modafinil is THE BEST cognitive performance enhancing agent in the world. In terms of sheer performance power coupled with lack of long term side effects it is #1.
Better than Adderall. Better than Ritalin. Better than anything you can find for 1 click ordering off Amazon or off the shelves of your local supplement store. Better than the newest "proprietary nootropic blend" that pops up online every few months.
Who Uses Modafinil?
Modafinil is most commonly prescribed as a wakefulness agent for people who work odd hours or have difficulty staying awake for long periods of time.
For the past 20 years, it has long been revered as the drug of choice for fighter pilots, students, and high workload executives alike.
Here's a short list of famous users. You may know a couple of them...
- United States president Barack Obama
- Comedian Joe Rogan
- Blogger Tim Ferris
- Entrepreneur Dave Asprey
What Can I Reasonably Expect from Modafinil as a Brand New User?
- Laser like focus on whatever you apply yourself to
- A clear mind and a single minded train of thought
- Heightened sense of vision
- Increased physical stamina and endurance
- Being wide awake, without the slightest hint of tiredness
- The ability to concentrate on boring tasks for hours on end (and actually enjoy it!) without getting tired
- Suppressed Appetite (I often delay breakfast until 4 PM because I don't have the time/appetite for it earlier)
If modafinil were an expensive sports car then you would be the driver. The car has amazing potential but its ultimately up to you to put in the work and make the most out of it. If you think you can swallow a pill and turn into Jordan Belfort, you're out of luck.
Modafinil vs. Adderall
Modafinil is often compared to Adderall in terms of effectiveness. They are both used for the same purpose and both have a track record of excellent results. However, there is a night and day difference between Modafinil and Adderall.
Adderall is classified as an amphetamine and provides a huge burst of energy and dopamine followed by a crash many hours later. It is very powerful and comes with a significant backlash. In the short term, it can cause your mood to fluctuate greatly and can lead to feeling over hyper and "cracked out". In the long run, it will cause brain damage and you will need to take a considerably higher dosage to receive less and less diminishing returns.
Did I say brain damage? Yes I did. Just because you got it prescribed by a doctor doesn't mean its "safe". Long term adderall use over the course of many years won't turn you retarded or anything, but it will do a host of damage to your reward circuitry and ability to focus naturally. It comes with a very pleasurable high because your brain is being blasted with dopamine and seratonin (the feel-good chemicals responsible for reward and pleasure). In the long run, you will find it more and more difficult to derive pleasure from ordinary life. Concentrating on any form of work for hours at a time will feel like absolute hell without your meds handy. There's also the issue of being guaranteed to test positive for amphetamines on a drug test.
For anyone interested in coming off adderall or other hard dopamine pumping stimulants, read my guide. It has 5 parts to it, is very comprehensive, and I go into quite a bit of detail on what a person can expect when coming off and the best ways to go about doing it.
Chemically, modafinil has absolutely nothing in common with Adderall. It is not an amphetamine nor does it have any of the hardcore drug side effects that are inherent to amphetamines. Instead of flooding your brain with a dopamine high and artificial energy boost, modafinil works by "delaying fatigue".
It allows you to keep working at a steady pace without fatiguing or getting tired - physically or mentally. What does this mean in practice?
- You can sit down to 3 hours of boring homework/paperwork, at the end of which feeling as if only 20 minutes had gone by.
- If you use it in any sporting event, you will have a considerable physical and mental advantage against your opponent.
- You can work nonstop for 16 hours without getting physically or mentally fatigued.
- You can rest assured that there is no risk of long term health damage (VERY IMPORTANT)
Modafinil has been tested clinically for the past 30 years. In this time, there is yet to be a single case of long term physical or neurological damage as a result of taking it. This was a big factor in leading me to abandon Adderall in favor of Modafinil. No competitive edge is worth compromising your long term health and sanity. At least not to me.
Many people opt for the newest nootropic blend they find online or at GNC because they feel its "safer" than a regulated compound such as modafinil. This couldn't be further from the truth.
All of these "new blends" out there like phenylpiracetam and Addium have the same problem - safety. No long term research has been done on them and nobody knows exactly what brain changes they cause in the long run. Some of these compounds work quite well but you're always going to be gambling with your health when you use them.
Will it transform you from a lazy bum into a millionaire?
No. No it will not. Modafinil can only work off what you provide it with. In other words, if you're a disciplined person to begin with and you already dedicate a significant portion of your day to working on what you want to work on, its going to help you do more of that.
If you play video games all day, its going to make you more motivated and sharper at playing video games all day.
If you're aimless and get easily distracted by whats on Twitter, it shouldn't come as a surprise if you inadvertently spend 2 hours surfing tweets.
When you're already set your mind to do something, this allows you to absolutely focus on that something. It doesn't discriminate between whether it will help you write a paper or binge watch a TV show.
Ultimately, you have to be a disciplined person to begin with who actually WANTS TO WORK in order to get anything out of modafinil or any other compound.
Are There Any Side Effects?
If you are genetically prone to it (<.01% chance), it could react adversely with your skin and cause a rash to break out. This is easily reversed by discontinuing use. Nobody knows for sure how rare this is, but its rare enough that nobody has ever written in to me about it and you would be hard pressed to find any concern on the /afinil Reddit.
The only real side effect to watch out for is that it will diminish the effectiveness of hormonal birth control in females. If you are a woman and you take the pill, the patch, or any other form of hormonal birth control, this is something you need to take into consideration before use. For males, it has no effect whatsoever in terms of fertility or sexual side effects. Perhaps the biggest plus is you won't have to worry about stimulant dick the way you would with Adderall or Ritalin.
Other than that, here are some things you need to watch out for...
- Dehydration - Modafinil uses up a lot of water. Depending on your size and activity level, you need to be drinking 1 to 2 gallons of water a day. Doing so prevents tiredness, nausea, fatigue, and keeps your brain working optimally all day long.
- Nutrition - Because of the appetite suppressing effects, some people may not feel like they need to eat at all. You may not be hungry, but that doesn't mean your body doesn't crave nutrients. Find out what you need and plan your meals out ahead of time. Eating clean food is the ideal scenario for mental clarity. Eating junk like pizza, french fries, and cheeseburgers will increase lethargy and slow down your mental processes.
- Blood Flow - Some people may experience cold hands and feet after taking modafinil. This is purely a circulatory problem and needs to be addressed as such. Doing cardio and drinking beet juice are the most effective means of poor blood circulation. For a more comprehensive guide on combating poor circulation due to stimulant use, read this.
After reading through hundreds of emails from users, its become clear that there are many factors that determine what an ideal dose would be for an individual. Gender, bodyweight, prior stimulant usage history, and genetics all play into determining what is the right dose for you.
All other factors equal - males, heavier bodyweight, and people with a history of heavy stimulant usage will need a higher dose.
Its not at all uncommon for one user to get amazing results off 100mg while the next man over needs 300mg to get the same result. Even if they're both total newbies with zero tolerance.
Generally speaking, girls and anyone under 150 lbs should start off with 100mg and re-evaluate from there. Anyone else can start off with 200mg.
There is a learning curve that comes with this and its up to you to experiment and test how your body performs under varying dosages and conditions to find the best scenario for you.
How to Increase the Effects Without Taking More
A well known "side effect" of modafinil is that it has the power to make caffeine hit your system a lot harder than usual. Which means you can drink one cup of coffee and feel like you just drank 3. For beginners, I strongly urge you to take it slow with the caffeine. A little bit will go a long way.
Caffeine + modafinil is an amazing combination and I always always sip on coffee or tea throughout the day for that extra boost.
Another little known secret (don't tell anyone) is that grapefruit juice extends the half life and duration of modafinil. Modafinil has a pretty long half life to start with (12 - 16 hours) and will keep you awake all day. But in case you want it to last longer, either eat a grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice. It contains an enzyme called CYP3A4 which prolongs the time it takes your body to break down and flush out the modafinil.
Modafinil has a very low potential for addiction - hence why its classified as Schedule IV in the U.S. Adderall is a million times higher potential for addiction and dependency than this stuff will ever have.
One thing to keep in mind is - this isn't intended to be taken every single day. The best scenario is to use a technique called cycling (spreading it out between 2 or 3 days out of the week) and taking a break every few months to keep the receptors fresh.
If you take this more than 3 or 4 days in a row, you may notice a significant drop in benefits compared to your day 1 experience. Tolerance builds up slowly, but gradually. The best way to deal with tolerance is to avoid developing one altogether.
This is accomplished through cycling on and off, making sure you're getting enough sleep, and avoiding the temptation to take higher and higher dosages beyond whats necessary.
If you've been taking it 5 days in a row and want to keep maximum effects, you have 2 options
1) Increase the dosage
2) Take a couple days off
Its recommended to just take a couple days off unless its an emergency because tolerance will catch up with you in the long run if you don't take breaks. When it comes to tolerance, the biggest factor is and always will be your genetics.
I myself have good genetics (when it comes from modafinil) as I can take it for weeks at a time without increasing the dosage or noticing a significant drop-off in effects. I've also talked to other guys who have written in reporting similar results. A small minority of people will not be weak responders and not get a whole lot out of it. The large majority of people will fall somewhere in the middle where they notice a significant change from using modafinil, and can only take it a few days in a row without having to take a break for tolerance reasons.
Is This Legal?
Modafinil exists in a "gray area" when it comes to legality. Its not as openly distributed as coffee but its not as blatantly illegal as cocaine or even marijuana (not even close). In most jurisdictions, it is legal to order it online provided you have a prescription. Hypothetically speaking, if someone were to go ahead and order it without a prescription, it would have exactly the same likelihood of delivery.
Whats's the worst case situation that could hypothetically manifest with online vendors?
You get a letter from customs saying they received a package that requires a script and you can provide your script to get it sent through. If you don't provide a script within 30 days, they will either destroy the package or send it back.
Prison sentences, fines, or any other kind of legal repercussion is unheard of. The Internet is a big place and you'd be hard pressed to find a report online of anyone who got arrested because they had a small amount of modafinil in their possession for personal use.
Generally speaking, its not exactly at the top of law enforcement's priorities. Nobody really cares about your small order of a barely regulated wakefulness compound. That's reality.
Help! AfinilExpress Won't Ship to My Country!
Fear not Canadians! And anyone else! While there are certain countries that AfinilExpress won't directly ship to (like Canada for instance), there is an easy workaround called mail forwarding. Essentially, you have your mail shipped to a company in Europe who will then reship your package directly to you. This lowers the red flags that normally come with pharmaceutical shipments from third world countries and allows the package to go through.
If you want the full scoop on exactly how to set up a mail forwarder, read my guide on mail forwarders.
If you want a good online source, then as of right now AfinilExpress is the best in the business.
P.S. If you haven't already, go grab a copy of my free ebook Foundations of an Online Entrepreneur over at QuikArtist. It covers pretty much everything a new guywho's interested in being successful in the blogging game would need to know. As a gift, I'm leaving it open to be downloaded for free. BUT it won't stay that way for long.