Building the world's best Modafinil stack for peak productivity is not an easy feat. For the majority of Modafinil users, the smart drug provides a sufficient cognitive boost alone and does not need to be supplemented with other nootropics.
Modafinil was labeled as the world's first “safe” smart drug for its ability to provide endless hours of enhanced focus with minimal side effects or development of drug tolerance. It was able to single-handedly achieve a cognitive outcome that complex combinations of supplements simply couldn't.
However, this does not change the fact that nootropics users are relentless when it comes to self-experimentation. They want to see if they can create the best Modafinil stack ever using 1-2 key ingredients.
To date, there are a few supplements that have anecdotally demonstrated a net positive effect when taken with Modafinil. What “positive” means in this context is entirely up to the individual, which is why everyone has their own version of the “perfect Modafinil stack.”
This guide was created to ensure you can stack Modafinil with other supplements to achieve a wide array of goals.
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What is Modafinil?
Why would Modafinil be so potent to the point where it does not require supplementary drugs for it to be effective? This question can only be answered by understanding what Modafinil is and how it works.
Modafinil is classified as a “eugeroic”, which means it can promote wakefulness and make you more alert.
When French pharmaceutical company Lafon Laboratories discovered this property, they discovered it could be used to treat excessive daytime sleepiness across a wide variety of ailments :
- Shift work sleep disorder
- Obstructive sleep apnea
Even more remarkable was Modafinil's tolerability in patients compared to the medical treatments available at the time:
“…modafinil offers advantages over amphetamines and methylphenidate in patients with narcolepsy because of its lack of rebound phenomena after treatment withdrawal and its low abuse potential.”
While Modafinil's exact mechanism of action is still unclear to this day, two things are well-established in regards to the biological effects it exerts on the body:
- Modafinil inhibits gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) production, which indirectly promotes wakefulness
- Modafinil increases dopamine production and inhibits its breakdown at the same time, leading to a heightened sense of motivation
And in military operations, Modafinil provided equal stimulant-like effectiveness compared to amphetamine over 48 hours of sustained mental work while having fewer side effects :
“In conclusion, modafinil appears to be as effective as amphetamine in maintaining mood and cognitive performance during the first night without sleep, and partially recovering mood and performance after 48h without sleep.”
In layman's terms, someone could take Modafinil and it would be extremely difficult to fall asleep for 12+ hours, regardless of whether Modafinil was taken in the morning or the evening.
Modafinil's status as an unknown pharmaceutical drug quickly transitioned towards being used “off-label” for enhancing cognitive performance. Considering the results above, it is easy to see why it attracted the attention of people seeking a mental edge over their competition.
Startup CEOs and Ivy League grad students began using Modafinil to get more work done in a shorter period of time compared to their peers. Modafinil was working so well for the majority of smart drug enthusiasts that word quickly spread.
To this date, mainstream media outlets are still writing about the vast cognitive benefits provided by Modafinil. Scientific researchers are also exploring Modafinil for its potential therapeutic use in other medical conditions.
How to Create the Best Modafinil Stack
Before we talk about creating the best Modafinil stack for your individual cognitive needs, it is critical to discuss a few elementary concepts.
First, let's get a better understanding of what a “stack” means in the context of combining smart drugs :
“Nootropic stacking is the technique of combining either two or more supplements that contain properties that promote brain-health while increasing the body’s energy levels.
The idea behind this method is that the combination of the supplements used in the “Nootropics Stack” is that the combined benefits received from the stack would normally not be received if the combined supplements were taken individually (or alone).”
Anytime you take two or more drugs together, you are going to have some form of interaction between them.
There are four possible outcomes of drug-drug interactions :
Synergy: the effects of 2 drugs are totally or partially additive.
Potentiation: the effect of one drug is greatly increased by the intake of another drug itself without notable effect
Antagonism: the effect of one drug is decreased or suppressed by another drug.
Independent effects: The effects of two drugs are independent of each other while being complementary. One drug does not modify the second drug's action, and vice versa.
The big mistake beginners make when stacking nootropics is focusing exclusively on drug-drug synergy and avoiding any incidence of drug-drug antagonism where possible.
An effective nootropic stack is entirely dependent upon the context in which it is being used. There are indeed cases where antagonism is a desirable effect.
For instance, a popular nootropic stack is 100 mg of caffeine and 200 mg of L-theanine. Caffeine can increase your energy levels and make you alert, but jitteriness and elevated heart rate are some of its undesirable outcomes. Using L-theanine can negate these two side effects without compromising the improved alertness and focus provided by caffeine .
Finally, it is important to remember what your end goal is while creating your ideal Modafinil stack. Nootropics and smart drugs are ultimately designed to achieve at least one or more of the following six outcomes :
- Enhance the efficiency of storing new information into your memory
- Optimize brain health via increased cognition
- Improve the processing of information (i.e. greater comprehension of information)
- Provide neuroprotective effects against harmful agents
- Increase your ability to sustain focus and attention for longer periods of time
- Be as free as possible of undesirable side effects
As long as you have all of the above information in mind when creating your Modafinil stack, you should be able to get the most out of any combination you use.
Here are a few popular Modafinil stacks:
Modafinil and Modafinil
When an individual takes Modafinil for the first time, they simply use a 200 mg dose early in the morning and work continuously for 15+ hours.
But there are some research subjects who find a 200 mg dose — the maximum amount any person should take in a single day for cognitive enhancement — to be too overwhelming.
An alternative dosing schedule would involve 100 mg of Modafinil in the early morning and an additional 100 mg of Modafinil right after a nutritious lunch.
This allows Modafinil's effects to remain strong throughout the morning, while sustaining them in the afternoon and therefore counteracting any tiredness one might feel after a large meal.
Modafinil and Coffee
This is by far the most popular Modafinil stack for anybody seeking the highest levels of unwavering mental focus over a 12-hour working day.
Based on feedback from our test subjects, the following dosing protocol works best for combining Modafinil and coffee:
- Take 200 mg of Modafinil approximately 45-60 hours after eating, no later than 10 AM
- Drink 1-2 cups of coffee (100-200 mg of caffeine) slowly over the course of the next 3-4 hours
- Coffee should NOT be consumed after 2 PM to avoid disrupting your natural sleep cycle
Many users subjectively report their productive daily output increasing by as much as 50-60% compared to what they normally get done without the use of any nootropics.
This is a sensible observation when you consider that Modafinil and caffeine in combination can increase the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which can significantly speed up your rate of learning and improve memory retention .
However, please be careful with this Modafinil stack if you are new to nootropics.
It is highly advisable to first become familiar with how Modafinil works for you before adding any strong nootropics.
For some individuals, the combination of Modafinil and caffeine leads to increased anxiety and stimulant withdrawal.
Modafinil and Nicotine
Up until recent times, nicotine was labelled as a “must-avoid” substance due to its supposed ability to make smoking far more addictive. Hence why “nicotine addiction” has become such a popular term in the healthcare industry.
But researchers who isolated the nicotine molecule away from tobacco and examined its molecular properties discovered several surprising benefits to human cognition.
These include shortened reaction time and possible enhancement of athletic performance.
When combined together, Modafinil and nicotine can safely boost your perceived energy levels :
“…200 mg modafinil dose combined with a 2 mg nicotine lozenge, increased the rating of energetic-tired in the direction of energetic on the POMS subscale”
The best way to take Modafinil and nicotine together is to first take nicotine gum (or lozenges) to get a rapid dopamine boost, followed by 200 mg of Modafinil to sustain high levels of energy and alertness throughout the day.
For adventurous users who want to experience an extremely potent Modafinil stack, do the following:
- 200 mg of Modafinil
- 2 mg of nicotine gum
- 200 mg of caffeine in the form of a double espresso
Please be warned that this combination should NOT be used more than 1-2 times a week, with a break of at least 48-72 hours to let your body “flush” out the drugs.
Modafinil and Choline
Modafinil and Choline is one of the more bizarre Modafinil stacks you will see promoted by avid nootropic users all over the Internet.
One of the unfortunate side effects of Modafinil is the onset of a migraine/headache, which is felt in the form of throbbing pressure inside the head.
Supposedly, supplementing Choline alongside Modafinil can be useful for preventing said headaches by addressing choline deficiency. One firefighter found that getting his choline intake via high egg consumption was effective for reducing headaches brought on by Modafinil :
“Eat 3 large eggs or 5 regular eggs before taking modafinil, the choline in eggs will prevent you from getting migraines. One of the primary functions of choline is helping brain cells in the production of acetylcholine, a key neurotransmitter for mental focus and learning.”
But Choline is more than a headache-preventing substance. It comes with a wide variety of neuroprotective properties that make it a useful sidekick to Modafinil :
- Improved short-term and long-term verbal memory
- Proper fetal brain development during pregnancy
- Lowered anxiety
If you are looking for an innovative Modafinil stack to experiment with, Modafinil and Choline may be a viable option worth exploring.
Modafinil and Ashwagandha
Modafinil is purportedly an incredible agent for boosting focus and alertness, yet does not seem to be very effective for becoming more creative :
“These results indicate that modafinil might reduce divergent thinking of creativity in healthy individuals. They suggest that, rather than being a more general cognitive enhancer, modafinil might have negative and subtle effects on creativity”
For those of you who are reading the study and are confused by the term ‘divergent thinking', the authors provide some easy definitions to help you better understand what it means in the context of creativity:
convergent thinking: focused on narrowing possibilities to a workable solution.
divergent thinking: assesses the ability to generate multiple abstract ideas or solutions to a problem.
A possible way to counteract this lack of creativity is through the use of the essential herb Ashwagandha. As an adaptogen, it can help the body and mind adapt to various stressors.
One of its most notable effects is the ability to significantly reduce anxiety and stress, which in turn can allow for creative thinking to flow.
In a randomized clinical trial involving 75 healthy adults with moderate to severe anxiety, those receiving 300 mg of ashwagandha twice a day reduced their anxiety by 56.5%, versus 30.5% for placebo . They also experienced significant improvements in “mental health, concentration, fatigue, social functioning, vitality, and overall quality of life.”
Modafinil and Ashwagandha can be used if you are feeling overwhelmed and need to relax while getting important projects done. We would highly recommend having it available if you are stacking Modafinil and coffee together.
Modafinil and CBD Oil
Users of Modafinil need to be aware of its potential to disrupt their circadian rhythm and interfere with their regular sleep schedule.
When Modafinil is taken in the early afternoon, it is common for “Modafinil-induced insomnia” to take place. With enough Modafinil in your system, it will become increasingly difficult to become tired and fall asleep.
This is where the Modafinil and CBD oil stack comes in. The CBD oil serves the primary purpose of helping you fall asleep faster and enter a state of deep sleep.
Although the science is still somewhat mixed on the effectiveness of cannabidiol (CBD) to treat insomnia, some case reports show promising results. For instance, take this published scenario involving a ten-year-old girl with post-traumatic stress disorder :
“A trial of CBD supplements (25 mg) was then initiated at bedtime, and 6 mg to 12 mg of CBD sublingual spray was administered during the day as needed for anxiety.
A gradual increase in sleep quality and quantity and a decrease in her anxiety were noted.
After 5 months, the patient was sleeping in her own room most nights and handling the new school year with no difficulties. No side effects were observed from taking the CBD oil.”
Take Modafinil in the early morning as you usually would, and then use CBD oil 1-2 hours before bedtime for best results.
The Sleep Stack™
If you are a Modafinil user who has continually struggled to fall asleep at a reasonable hour, the following nootropic stack may help prevent accidental “all-nighter” situations and undo the effects caused by inappropriate dosage and/or timing of Modafinil.
After careful experimentation and rigorous testing with our test subjects, our results have demonstrated taking the following supplements together 2-3 hours before bedtime:
- CBD Oil – 66 mg
- Ashwagandha – 600 mg
- Tart Cherry Juice – 60 mL
- Chamomile Tea – 2 cups
Tart cherry juice contains a concentrated amount of melatonin, which regulates sleep . And chamomile tea is known to induce sleep through its high concentrations of the anti-oxidant apigenin .
Sleeping with Modafinil in your system is notoriously difficult, but these sleep supplements help more than most available solutions on the market.
Best Modafinil Stack | The Verdict
When it comes to creating your very own Modafinil stack, your health goals and desired level of mental performance have to be taken into account.
There is no such thing as the “best Modafinil stack” because it is entirely contextual.
Modafinil and CBD oil may be great for someone who wants to fall asleep before midnight, but an inferior choice for a university student pulling an all-nighter.
But in the majority of cases, Modafinil rarely needs to be stacked with other nootropics and supplements.
It is incredibly effective by itself and often provides users with all the cognitive enhancements they're looking for.
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