7 Best Modafinil Alternatives | That Actually Work

I started using Modafinil alternatives out of necessity. As I quickly learned you had to cycle the smart drug. Using Modafinil is a great idea, abusing the nootropic isn’t.

See what had happened was:

I was actually working for the first time in quite some time. Based up in a small beach town in Peru, I went to the gym in the morning. Then I’d down a protein shake while taking in the view from the beach. The water was cold. I had no desire to swim. After that, I’d eat some food. Quick shower.

Then I’d pop a Modafinil. The work day was about to begin. I’d sit and type away for hours on end. Every single day. I was taking Modafinil at least five days a week.

But something happened…

If you’re looking for the #1 Modafinil Alternative on the market…just click here! That bad boy is my top recommendation and offers solid cognitive benefits.

Towards the middle of my third week at the small beach town, my body started to feel ill. I could barely get out of bed in the morning. My lifts in the gym dropped by 20% overnight. I was coughing throughout the day. Something wasn’t right. And surprisingly, I hadn’t been drinking or partying at all. But I felt worse than I did during my functional alcoholic days.

What had happened? I was taking way too much Modafinil and my body didn’t like it.

But enough about me! Let’s get back to Modafinil alternatives. In this detailed guide, you’ll learn about:

best Modafinil alternatives

P.S: It must be noted that I am not a doctor or a lawyer. The information presented here is not legal or medical advice. My recommendations for individuals looking for Modafinil alternatives is simply entertainment. Always consult a medical professional before consuming any nootropic. Please read my disclaimer too.

Modafinil is Amazing…In Doses

Modafinil is the ‘gold-standard’ of nootropics for digital nomads and hustlers looking for a smart drug to boost productivity — and there’s a damn good reason for that.

There’s no denying this “Limitless” pill offers great benefits to productivity and overall production. So what’s the need for Modafinil alternatives then…

Well, there’s a couple.

First, one should only take Modafinil so many times each week and month. While the side effects can be marginalized with proper dosing and scheduling, there’s no denying the smart drug isn’t the healthiest thing to put in your body every single day.

Thus, during weeks when producing work for 10-12+ hours each and every day is required, one needs Modafinil alternatives to turn to. Just to cycle nootropics.

It’s simply not good for the body to pop Modafinil every single day. You need to rotate your smart drugs, fam.

Oh, and one other thing. There’s another reason people look for Modafinil alternatives. What’s that? They don’t want to deal with some of the minor hassles it takes to get your hands on Modafinil.

You either have to get Modafinil online or get a prescription from a doctor.

Thus, it’s many people find that ordering a Modafinil alternative is far easier than ordering the real deal. And with many great options on the market, I definitely understand the desire for an over-the-counter nootropic or two.

Buy Modafinil Tablets

What are Nootropics?

Now, before we dive deep into my favorite Modafinil alternatives. Let’s discuss what these products are and why we love them.

All the supplements found below are nootropics or smart drugs.

According to Wikipedia, nootropics and smart drugs are [1]:

Drugs, supplements, and other substances that may improve cognitive function, particularly executive functions, memory, creativity, or motivation, in healthy individuals. While many substances are purported to improve cognition, research is at a preliminary stage as of 2020, and the effects of the majority of these agents are not fully determined.

While one can claim that the effects of these smart drugs are not fully determined or understood as of yet, the anecdotal evidence strongly suggests that nootropics offer impressive cognitive benefits to most users.

Most nootropics users find impressive cognitive benefits like [2]:

  • Improved memory
  • Better mood
  • Laser-like focus
  • Increased energy levels
  • Fantastic attention span
  • High motivation and drive
  • Great productivity and output

Benefits will vary from product to product, as all the supplements below vary in some ways.

However, these impressive benefits are why many individuals, including yourself, are searching to figure out which Modafinil alternatives and nootropics offer the best results.

Because nootropics work! These products help us get stuff done.

Nootropic Side Effects and Safety

While Modafinil does have a few side effects to consider, most of the nootropics and smart drugs below offer very limited side effects.

Personally, I’ve rarely, if ever, had side effects issues when taking over-the-counter nootropics, like Mind Lab Pro or Gorilla Mind.  These products are “clean” nootropics and truly don’t hinder the body with side effects.

However, there are a few nootropics side effects and safety concerns. Here’s a few of the common issues some users experience [3]:

  • High blood pressure
  • Nausea and stomach issues
  • Dehydration
  • Fast heart rate
  • Insomnia and other sleep disturbances
  • Trouble with vision

Do not fear, though! Most users experience little to no side effects when taking over-the-counter smart drugs. You have nothing to worry about.

The nootropics and smart drugs below are SAFE.

The worst that may happen is you have a stomach ache, get dehydrated, or fall asleep a few hours later than normal. There’s no real risks here for healthy individuals.

7 Best Modafinil Alternatives

Once I realized taking Modafinil damn near every day wasn’t the healthiest thing in the world, I quickly started researching Modafinil alternatives.

While I’ve yet to find something that works as well as the “Limitless” drug, there are alternatives to Modafinil that do work quite well — and more than get the job done.

I’ve personally tested each one of the recommendations below and found them to be quite beneficial. These over-the-counter smart drugs will offer numerous cognitive benefits.

So without further ado, here are a few Modafinil alternatives that work:

~ Mind Lab Pro

Mind Lab Pro Smart Drug

If you’re looking for the PREMIER Modafinil alternative on the market these days, look no further than Mind Lab Pro.

This stuff is potent, powerful, and offers an insane cognitive boost. Oh, and it’s 110% legal anywhere in the world. I find myself dialed in and crushing work for 6-8+ hours when taking this over-the-counter nootropic.

It’s not Modafinil. You won’t find 12+ hours of enhanced cognition here, but that’s to be expected. Modafinil is the king of nootropics for a reason.

What you will find is incredible focus and heightened cognition thanks to the 11 brain boosting ingredients found within Mind Lab Pro. These ingredients come together to:

  • Improve memory retention
  • Boosted motivation
  • Heightened mood
  • Great energy levels
  • Enhanced focus
  • Brain neuroprotection benefits

But these aren’t the only reasons I love Mind Lab Pro. In fact, there’s one specific reason I’ve selected this over-the-counter nootropic for my top spot. What’s that?

For the CREATIVE benefits.

Mind Lab Pro offers enhanced focus and improved memory retention like any solid smart drug should, but it does so much more. Like being the ideal nootropic when you want to tap into the creative side of your brain and let new ideas flow.

Overall, you’ll find heightened focus and cognition, along with an impressive creative boost when using this smart drug.

Mind Lab Pro is highly recommended.

~ Adrafinil

Adrafinil Nootropic

If you’re looking for an incredible, legal Modafinil alternative that offers similar benefits to Modafinil — look no further.  Adrafinil is what you want.

The smart drug is 100% legal in the United States, can be purchased with a credit card, and ships quickly. But not only that, the nootropic just works.

Here’s why Adrafinil just works…

Adrafinil is something like Modafinil’s cousin. That’s because this over-the-counter nootropic converts to Modafinil upon ingestion [4].

As such, the effects of Adrafinil are eerily similar to Modafinil. However, Adrafinil is not nearly as strong as Modafinil and it doesn’t last as long after taking it.

With Modafinil, you tend to get 12+ hours of straight focus and the king of smart drugs tends to kick in within an or so after taking it.

With Adrafinil, it usually takes around 90-minutes to start “feeling” the smart drug. Then it only last for around 7-8+ hours. Not a full 12+ hours like Modafinil often does. Another massive benefit when using Adrafinil is that this stuff is cheaper than most other nootropics. You’ll save some money when buying this product.

But enough of my fluff, if you’re looking for a great Modafinil alternative…

Then Adrafinil is a damn good place to start.

~ Armodafinil

Armodafinil Smart Drug

It’s a bit of a stretch to label Armodafinil as a Modafinil alternative. I get that. Armodafinil is highly similar to Modafinil in every which way — but I’ve found Armodafinil to be a little different than Modafinil in a few manners.

See, my body reacts differently to the stuff, so I’m able to use this smart drug as an alternative to Modafinil on certain days. You might find similar results.

Here’s the deal:

Armodafinil is the little brother to Modafinil. The stuff is considered a pharmaceutical drug just like Modafinil is. The only difference?

Armodafinil only has one of the active ingredients that Modafinil has, while Modafinil has a chemical structure that features two active ingredients [5].

This means that Modafinil might be just a little bit stronger overall, but Adrafinil passes through the system a bit quicker and usually offers far less side effects. If you’re looking to work for 9-11+ straight hours and still get a good nights’ sleep, then Armodafinil is absolutely ideal. If you want 12+ hours of focus and heightened cognition, stick with Modafinil.

Don’t get me wrong…

Armodafinil is still potent and powerful stuff. It’s just easier to get a good night of sleep after taking Armodafinil, which is one of the main reasons I recommend this nootropic as a solid alternative.

Highly recommended.

~ Gorilla Mind Rush

I’m a huge fan of this unique over-the-counter nootropic for a variety of reasons. Mainly…

Gorilla Mind Rush gets the job done!

With this stuff, you’ll find 6-8+ hours of solid cognitive enhancement here. Your mind will be churning new ideas, work will be getting done, and much more.

It’s a solid over-the-counter nootropic overall. However, Gorilla Mind Rush does one thing better than any other supplement on this list. What’s that?

There’s no “hangover-like” effect here. Around 8-10+ hours after taking this smart drug, you’ll feel 100% normal and relaxed. Like you didn’t even take a nootropic during the day. It’s one of the few smart drugs I’d take during the day and then go to the gym or go out on a date in the evening.

This is a rarity, and the only nootropic that even comes close to offering a similar benefit is Mind Lab Pro. Modafinil and Armodafinil certainly have some minor side effects after usage. Gorilla Mind Rush offers ZERO side effects.

Plus, Gorilla Mind Rush is reasonably priced and well worth the money.


~ Sulbutiamine

Recently, I tested out a new nootropic at the encouragement of a buddy, Sulbutiamine.

I was skeptical at first, but I figured it wouldn’t hurt to try out a new smart drug one time.

I’m glad I tried out Sulbutiamine, as this “Modafinil-like” drug worked wonders for me. I’m talking a solid 6-7+ hours of pure focus and productivity.

As a synthetic variation of Vitamin B1, the nootropic can cross the blood and brain barrier [6]. Now, I don’t know exactly what that entitles, and I’m not going to start taking this drug every single day. But it seems to work! If you’re looking for an alternative to Modafinil that is STRONG and can reduce fatigue and improve cognitive function, Sulbutiamine is a good place to start.


I recommend only taking this smart drug once every two weeks. I didn’t feel amazing the morning after taking this nootropic the first time, but the productivity was quite impressive while on it.

~ Neuro-Peak

I stumbled upon Neuro-Peak by Zhou Nutrition on accident. The company sent me a bottle for free to test out after I purchased another one of their products. It was a nice gesture, but I didn’t have high hopes for the product.

Then I tried Neuro-Peak.

Sure, it wasn’t like taking Modafinil, but I was pretty darn productive the first day I took this nootropic. 6+ straight hours of heightened focus and increased production is nothing to laugh at.

Neuro-Peak is a smart drug made of a few ingredients, including DMAE and others.  DMAE is said to increase the production of a powerful neurotransmitter in our brains, acetylcholine. By increasing the neurotransmitter, one can increase their cognitive abilities [7].

For hustlers, students, and nomads on a budget and looking for a smart drug that offers great cognitive benefits, I definitely recommend Neuro-Peak.

This nootropic is dirt cheap! The cheapest I’ve found.

~ Alpha BRAIN

Here’s the thing…

Alpha BRAIN was my introduction into the nootropic world. Years ago this was the first smart drug I ever tried — before moving onto Modafinil and then other products.

Yet, I still use and love this product! Why? Because it’s so easy to get your hands on and the side effects are minimal.

Alpha BRAIN by Onnit Labs is a solid smart drug that ensures you’ll stay focused and churning out work for 5-8+ hours. Offering a plethora of ingredients considered to be nootropics, Alpha BRAIN just works. While the “high” isn’t as strong as Modafinil, there’s no denying this smart drug is healthier for you than some other nootropics.

Plus, you won’t have to deal with a coming down effect while on Alpha BRAIN. There’s no “Modafinil hangover” when taking this smart drug.

If you’re looking for something that works but isn’t too strong – then Alpha BRAIN fits the bill.

Modafinil vs. Alternatives?

We discussed comparing Modafinil with alternatives a bit already, but I wanted to dig a little bit deeper…

Modafinil is the king of nootropics.

Modafinil offers 12+ hours of intense cognitive enhancement and insane benefits. If you’re looking to work all day and most of the night, then this nootropic is exactly what you want and need.

However, there are times when working for 12+ hours simply isn’t necessary. You only need to be in the zone for 5-10+ hours — give or take.

In these situations, I’ve found the Modafinil alternatives above to be preferable to Modafinil. You still get an insane cognitive “pump” so to speak, but you’re able to cool off later in the evening, get a good nights’ sleep, and wake up the following morning with zero side effects.

Not only that, I also believe cycling nootropics is a smart idea for long-term users. You do NOT want to build up a tolerance to Modafinil, nor do you want to become reliant on the smart drug, either.

As such, you should be rotating or switching between smart drugs on a weekly basis — to ensure you never build up a tolerance to any singlular product.

This is why I recommend the alternatives to Modafinil above.

Fantastic Modafinil Alternatives | Verdict

I love Modafinil, but cannot take the drug every day. That’s just the way it is. I need to rotate my smart drugs.

So I tested out this list of alternatives to Modafinil and was pleasantly surprised with the results.

Give a few of the smart drugs above a try and see if they work for you or not. Modafinil is the king of smart drugs for a reason, but the alternatives above won’t disappoint.

Te lo juro.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about the Modafinil alternatives listed above…

Feel free to sound off in the comments below and I’ll do my best to get back with the information you need.

P.S: Don’t forget to test out my #1 Modafinil alternative by clicking here!

Mind Lab Pro Best Nootropic


  1. Nootropic. (2020, February 6). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nootropic
  2. Pro, M. (n.d.). Benefits of Nootropics – Research-Backed Results from the Smartest Brain-Boosters. Retrieved from https://www.mindlabpro.com/blogs/nootropics/benefits-nootropics
  3. Berry, J. (2019, September 18). Nootropics: Types, safety, and risks of smart drugs. Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/326379
  4. Adrafinil. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.drugbank.ca/drugs/DB08925
  5. Armodafinil: Indications, Side Effects, Warnings. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.drugs.com/cdi/armodafinil.html
  6. Examine.com. (2018, June 14). Sulbutiamine Supplement – Science-based Review on Benefits, Dosage, Side Effects. Retrieved from https://examine.com/supplements/sulbutiamine/
  7. Deanol: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Dosage, and Warning. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-524-deanol.aspx?activeingredientid=524&activeingredientname=deanol

More Modafinil Information:


After utilizing nootropics for the better part of a decade, I realized the potent results these products produce -- with regards to productivity and cognitive enhancement. Soon thereafter, I became obsessed with finding the premier smart drugs on the market. Then using them to improve my life. When I'm not devouring everything I can about nootropics and the science behind why they work, you'll find me traveling around the world or in the gym.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

John Doe - October 28, 2017

Took Provigil for 5 months, 200 mg everyday. Did a ATL LIVER test. My ATL went thru the roof. I suggest, if you take this drug, you have a liver function test every month for a year to make sure it won’t shut down your liver

    NomadicJake - October 28, 2017

    Whoaaaa! That sounds pretty serious. Are you doing better? While I haven’t heard of many liver issues, that’s good to know.

    Luckily, I only take Moda 1-3X a week and I just got full labs done a few weeks back. All healthy!

    Will definitely note liver issues and do some research on Modafinil’s effects on the liver.

      John Doe - October 29, 2017

      Will do a follow up blood scan this Thursday. Not to worried. I stopped taking the Provigil 2 weeks ago. The ATL will come down. I’ll look for another alternative drug.

        NomadicJake - October 29, 2017

        Ahhh ok…and have you found anything that you like yet?

Mr. F - December 21, 2019

Hi Sir , I have skin rash after took armodafanil. What to do? Kindly help


    Jake - December 21, 2019

    Not sure, as I’m not a doctor and that isn’t a common side effects of any nootropic. I would suggest seeing a medical professional.

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