What is Adrafinil?
If you’ve spent any length of time reading about nootropics on the Internet or talking to people who use nootropics,
In case you haven't, in a nutshell its basically the closest thing you can find to a white market alternative to Modafinil and is currently unregulated by the FDA.
It has grown in popularity lately among regular over the counter nootropic users due to its easy availability and effects over many of the other standard racetams in the industry.
Since I like to experiment and try things for myself, I decided to do a test run for a month on strictly Adrafinil to see whether or not it was the real deal.
Conditions for my trial:
(*I stayed very consistent with these measures*)
- Stopped using Modafinil/Armodafinil a week prior to starting my one month run with Adrafinil
- Dosed 300mg Adrafinil for 4 weeks with 2 different cycles (3x/week and 5x/week)
- Took it on an empty stomach (for the most part) for thing in the morning, along with 16 ounces of water
- Didn't use along with any other nootropics or prescription drugs
- Drank coffee regularly
Noticed a slight increase in motivation and energy within 30 minutes of dosing
Emphasis on slight. I often say that the effects of Modafinil are subtle and you often don't realize the extent to which it is working until you are hours into working on a project. In terms of intensity, Adrafinil is several notches below Modafinil. Drinking several cups of coffee certainly helped, but it did not magnify the effects the same way that it normally would have if I were taking Modafinil. The intense level of focus I was used to on Modafinil was just not present.
If I were to rank its strength on a 1 - 10 scale, it would look something like this:
10 - Adderall/Ritalin/Concerta/Vyvanse
7 - Modafinil/Armodafinil
3 - Adrafinil
2 - Coffee
Yes that's right, drinking coffee throughout the day is marginally less potent than taking Adrafinil.
In addition to that, coffee won't cause liver damage in the long run (more on that later)
Noticeably shorter half life
A standard 200mg dose of Modafinil lasts me about 10 hours for the full force effects and an additional 6 hours where the drug is wearing off, but I can still very much feel it.
Not only is Adrafinil less powerful, it also lasts for a significantly shorter period of time. On a 300mg of Adrafinil, I could feel it stopped working about 4 or 5 hours in, which was a major let down.
What makes this more of an issue is the unpleasant comedown that follows soon after. Unlike Modafinil that has a smooth comedown and no post-exhaustion (unless used to stay awake for days at a time, in which case your fatigue builds up), by the time the Adrafinil has finished doing its job I felt more run down than I normally would. To make matters worse, this would kick in right around noon. The come down itself isn't as bad as coming down off of Rx amphetamines like Ritalin, but it was bad enough that it disrupted my flow.
For the first couple days of using Adrafinil, I didn't have any issues as far as tolerance was concerned. However, whenever I took it any more than 3x/week, I hit a massive tolerance barrier that was damn near impossible to cross. Doubling the dosage, re-dosing in the afternoon, splitting up the dosage throughout the day were all futile when it came to overcoming this barrier.
If you were to double the dosage on Modafinil (not recommended above 200 mg), you would notice a HUGE DIFFERENCE right off the bat.
The #1 Worst Tasting Nootropic on the Market
Normally when you buy nootropics off the Internet, they come encapsulated or in a tablet form for your convenience. But you always have the option to buy the raw powder in bulk, weigh it out, and encapsulate it yourself in order to save money.
Adrafinil wins the award for the worst tasting nootropic of all time. If you've ever tasted nootropic powders (Modafinil included), the taste is usually either neutral or somewhat unpleasant. This is by far the most disgusting powder I have ever put in my mouth and had I not immediately washed it down with a half liter of orange juice, I would have probably vomited.
If you plan to try Adrafinil for whatever reason, go for the pills. You will thank me later. Eating the powder raw felt like what I would imagine eating a rotting, disease infested animal carcass would taste like. That is NOT an exaggeration and I'm shocked that something this repulsive is even sold in powdered form.
Earlier, I made a video about the "health risks" involving Modafinil usage and why they're bullshit.
The primary myth surrounding Modafinil was that it would cause liver damage by elevating liver enzymes. This has been debunked by science and is not a legitimate concern.
Adrafinil on the other hand does pose legitimate health risks for your liver that accumulates over time with use. This has been well documented and there is a large body of scientific evidence to back this up all (do a quick Google search).
Adrafinil is a precursor to Modafinil. What that means is you have to take a high dose of Adrafinil, which your body breaks down and converts to a lower amount of Modafinil. This process is what puts strain on your liver. In some cases, taking precursors are more effective if ingesting the actual drug itself is ineffective due to low bio-availability. Since Modafinil does not have this problem, it makes more sense to ingest it directly.
If you already have some pre-existing liver problem or are a heavy drinker, you would be better off staying away from Adrafinil altogether for that reason alone. Once again this goes to show that just because something is unregulated and available over the counter doesn't make it safer than the regulated alternatives.
Final Verdict on Adrafinil:
Weak ass drug with too many negatives with hardly any positives to make up for it
To be honest, I didn't have high expectations going in but decided to try it out and test it for myself just to be sure.
My view on cognitive performance-enhancing drugs is this:
As a rule of thumb, this better it is, the more effective it is, the higher chance that governments will impose some kind of regulation on it.
There's a reason why you can find protein powders on the shelves of every corner store, but you have to jump through multiple hoops to get your hands on a vial of testosterone.
The majority of the nootropics that you find on the shelves are garbage, much like the majority of supplements in the fitness world.
The same is true for cognitive performance enhancers and ADHD medications.
Adderall, Ritalin, and Concerta are the most regulated performance enhancers on the market for a reason. They provide the highest level of intensity (in addition to being classified as amphetamines).
Modafinil is regulated to a certain degree for a reason (because it fucking works and makes a profound difference in your mental state).
Adrafinil, along with the countless other racetams on the market that you can buy with one click ordering off of Amazon are unregulated for a reason. They are weak in comparison to the regulated drugs and you have to stack a bunch of them together to feel any real difference.
If you do a Google search for "nootropic stack" or read the reports under the subreddit /r/nootropics, you will notice a common thread.
Most of these people have in excess of 5 or 10 different OTC supplements in their stack and they usually take them at regular intervals throughout the day.
I've been there and done that.
Then I tried Adderall, and later Modafinil...
In my mind, I group Adrafinil in the same category as all the other shitty racetams the bio-hacking geeks like to obsess over. The only real difference between Adrafinil and the other popular racetams such as Piracetam and Oxiracetam would be that Adrafinil is absolutely terrible for your health in the long term.
At the very least, the other OTC racetams don't hurt you (they don't do a whole lot either). Unfortunately, the same can't be said about Adrafinil.
If I'm going to use a drug or supplement for performance enhancement, I like to know that whatever I'm paying money for actually produces results. If you need to take exorbitant doses of a compound and stack it on top of 6 other compounds to notice any actual difference, the drug is a waste of time and money in my book.
Don't bother wasting your time or money on Adrafinil.
In addition to causing health problems in the long term, the drug itself is garbage in comparison to the available alternatives. If you stick with Modafinil and Armodafinil, you won't be disappointed (and thats my personal guarantee).