Best Study Drugs and Nootropics | A-Z Guide

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Back in the day, there was no such thing as the best study drugs on the market.

There was Adderall. Some people took Adderall to enhance focus, study long hours, or bust out a lot of work.

There were no other options. If you wanted a cognitive enhancer, you took Adderall and accepted the potentially rough side effects the day after.

That’s just how it went.

Luckily, things have changed. Nowadays, there are hundreds of study drugs on the market. You could test a new nootropic out almost every day for a whole year and still not have tried them all.

Now, that’s not recommended.

So, what’s a college kid to do? Where can you find the best study drugs on the market?

That’s where we come in. Our team has tested and reviewed hundreds of study drugs and below, you’ll find everything you need to know about choosing the right study drug for you.

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This is not legal or medical advice. This article was strictly created for your entertainment. Please consult with your primary care physician or a medical professional with close working knowledge of your health -- before consuming pharmaceutical drugs or nootropics, like Modafinil. Please read my disclaimer.

What are Study Drugs?

“Study drugs” is a less scientific way to talk about “nootropics”, or substances that enhance cognition.

Study drugs come in all shapes and sizes and there are literally hundreds of them. They all have different effects, though. Some are more stimulants, some enhance your focus and concentration, some foster creativity, and some others help you remember everything you read.

They work through several different pathways to stimulate your brain to work better. But the trouble is knowing which is the right one for you and your needs. What are the best study drugs that will help you meet your goals?

Following years of research and testing, our team has found the absolute best study drugs and nootropics available.

If you’re a student or simply looking to enhance the mind, we’re confident the smart drugs listed below will help you. Using these study drugs, you’ll find:

  • Improved mental clarity
  • Increased production
  • Ability to focus for 12-15 hours straight
  • Improved memory and retention
  • Inability to fall asleep, which is ideal for all-nighters
  • Enhanced mood
  • …And more!

Sounds pretty solid, right?

You’ll find all of these great benefits when you take the best study drugs on the market, especially when cramming for a final, writing a huge paper, or simply looking to get more work done.

That’s exactly what study drugs are.

They’re smart drugs or nootropics designed to offer cognitive enhancement and make your life easier.

Nothing less. Nothing more.

Do NOT Take Adderall

Speaking of side effects, we really want to impress this upon you:

Definitely avoid taking Adderall!

Why?

Because it’s not worth it. Unless you have a diagnosis for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), it’s probably not going to work super well for you. Research finds that for most people that, unless you actually have ADHD, Adderall doesn’t really work [1]. There are certainly many more effective options.

You know what else?

Adderall has a ton of serious side effects. For example, it’s been linked to aggression, high blood pressure, seizures, paranoia, psychosis, stroke, heart attacks, and stomach problems, among a bunch of other nasty stuff [2].

So why would you put yourself at risk for all that for something that doesn’t really work?

You wouldn’t.

Instead, get something that works and that is probably safer for you. Check out some of the best study drugs in this guide and take your pick.

Best Study Drugs | 2020 Edition

Enough of the fluff.

Without further ado, here are the best nootropics and study drugs:

  • Modafinil

Modafinil is the king of smart drugs.

If you’re looking to take the best nootropic known to man, this is it. Cannot recommend it enough.

Modafinil is a medication that is usually used to treat sleep disorders like narcolepsy and sleep apnea [3]. While its main use is to promote wakefulness, research has shown that it offers significant cognitive enhancement benefits, too. For example, studies have found that Modafinil can have a significant impact on how well people learn [4], their memory [5], and their attention [6].

There’s a reason CEOs, cryptocurrency traders, hustlers, and students alike all take Modafinil these days:

Because this drug works so effectively.

Now, you’ll want to educate yourself about Modafinil and the minor risks associated with taking it, as it is a pharmaceutical drug designed to help those suffering from narcolepsy, shift sleep disorder, and more [3].

Also keep in mind that while it’s great for focus and getting work done, it’s not as good if you want a boost in creativity. In some studies, people taking Modafinil were found to have impaired scores on divergent thinking scores [7]. That means it might be harder to think of new or original ideas.

If you’re looking for nootropics that boost creativity, don’t worry, there are some. Check out our guide to the best nootropics for creativity.

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  • Mind Lab Pro

Mind Lab Pro is another great option if you just want to sit down and get through the mountain of work you have piled up. It not only increases your productivity and gives you a sense of mental clarity, it also boosts your mood, too. And in addition to all that, it improves your memory.

This is good stuff.

So what is it?

Mind Lab Pro is a proprietary blend of 11 natural nootropics. Three of the main ingredients are actually Vitamin B6, B9, and B12, each of which has been scientifically proven to improve cognitive function.

The other ingredients include Citicoline and Bacopa Monnieri, which is a traditional plant often used in Ayurvedic medicine and has been found to reduce cognitive decline in some populations and in animal studies [8]. There’s also Lion’s Mane Mushroom, which, again, has been shown to have powerful mood-boosting and brain function support effects [9].

Users and doctors alike say that Mind Lab Pro really works: they notice that their mental sharpness increases, their memory becomes much better, and they generally feel healthier.

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  • Armodafinil

Armodafinil is like Modafinil’s little cousin. Like Modafinil, Armodafinil is another drug that is typically used to treat sleep disorders [10]. The two are quite similar to each other, except you don’t have to take as much to see similar effects.

While Armodafinil is similar, it’s not as strong as Modafinil in a couple of ways.

First, Armodafinil doesn’t last as long as Modafinil. For example, 200 mg of Modafinil typically lasts 10-14+ hours, whereas 150 mg of Armodafinil, which is the dosing equivalent of 200 mg of Modafinil, tends to last only 8-12+ hours.

Now, this is just our experience, but most people have a similar experience when they test these two nootropics.

So, how do you use this information to your advantage? If you want to crush 8-12+ hours of studying or writing, then stick with Armodafinil. If you plan to pull an all-nighter and study for 12+ hours, you’ll want Modafinil.

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Legal Study Drugs | 2020 Edition

The best thing about the nootropics in this article? You can purchase all of them online. But some of them, like Modafinil, may still be in a legal “grey area” in your country.

While laws differ from country to country and even state to state, the following legal study drugs can be found legitimately online and they can be shipped anywhere.

In this next section, we’ll go over the best study drugs that are 100% legal. These are the best nootropics for students as they are natural dietary supplements.

  • Gorilla Mind Rush

Gorilla Mind Rush is one of our favorite study drugs for a number of reasons.

Like other nootropics, Gorilla Mind Rush increases our productivity and shifts our memory into full gear. However, it also helps our creativity and gets us thinking outside the box. So it’s great for both grinding away, but also doing creative work.

One of the things we like the most about this nootropic is that it’s not just a stimulant. Lots of nootropics have fancy labels but are actually just mostly caffeine because caffeine is cheap. So while they might give you some energy, but not much else.

Gorilla Mind Rush is different. It actually includes ingredients that have been shown to have a real effect on cognitive performance but without side effects like anxiety.

There are two ingredients that are responsible for this: L-Theanine and DMAE.

  • DMAE, short for Dimethylethanolamine, is an organic compound with nootropic effects [11]. It’s been shown to help reduce anxiety and promote relaxation [12]. When taken together with other nootropics, DMAE keeps you relaxed while also helping you focus.
  • L-Theanine is found naturally in green tea and fosters relaxation [13]. Studies have found that it can help you focus and improve cognition [14] as well as keep you feeling chill and less anxious.

These two natural nootropics help you focus but aren’t stimulants. In other words, they won’t give you jitters. That means you get a nice relaxed focus that’s great for deep, creative thinking.

In our opinion, Gorilla Mind Rush is head and shoulder above 99% of other natural study drugs out there because it helps you focus without making you feel “wired” or jittery.

Gorilla Mind Rush is also cheap!

Gorilla Mind Rush is a potent nootropic and reasonably priced.
  • Qualia Mind

Qualia Mind is an extremely advanced and effective mental performance aid. It brings focus, clarity, and energy.

Members of our team experience significant benefits from this nootropic right from the start, and that’s exactly why we recommend it so highly. We noticed huge increases in our energy and mental performance, but interestingly, one of the biggest things we noticed was a boost in our creative energy. We had way more ideas and just felt far more eager to really explore and think about new things.

And when we say energy, we mean energy. Imagine you were at a coffee shop studying for 8 hours. By the end of it, you’d go home and your brain would basically be mush, right?

Well on Qualia, we felt like we had insane mental energy. We’d be able to spend 8 hours at a cafe and then go home and still crush it. We felt like the energizer bunny.

But it was also productive energy. When you take too much coffee, you get the jitters and feel a bit out of control. But not on Qualia. We felt like we were on hyperdrive but still able to control the energy.

Why?

Because it’s caffeine-free.

In place of caffeine, Qualia has a natural alternative that perks you up without feeling ‘wired’. It really helps. For example, we love to meditate. With some stimulants, we find that we can’t get in the zone properly. They give you too much uncontrollable energy and this makes it difficult to concentrate. With Qualia, we had no problem getting in the meditation zone when we wanted to.

One downside for students is that Qualia is a bit more expensive than other study drugs, but for us, it was really worth it. If you’re into productivity and are trying to optimize your life, Qualia is definitely going to be worth it for you. You’ll see the world in a completely different way and will enhance all aspects of your life, not just your studying.

But if you’re just trying to supplement your way out of a bad diet and poor sleep… it might not be worth it for you.

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  • Adrafinil

Adrafinil is an interesting study drug. It’s technically legal to purchase over the counter, yet it metabolizes into the same active ingredient as Modafinil after ingestion. It was developed in France to be a wakefulness medication but doesn’t have the same negative side effects as Modafinil and many other stimulants [15].

What does this mean?

Our team has found that Adrafinil offers Modafinil-like effects for 6-8+ hours and then quickly wears off. In our experience, this nootropic simply isn’t as potent as Modafinil. Its main benefit is that you can legally purchase it over the counter and/or mail it to your dorm room.

Adrafinil has definitely grown on us over the last year or so, as the side effects are nearly non-existent and we’ve found that we can get a great workout in after the half-life wears off. The truth is that Modafinil is great for days when we need to get 12+ hours of work in, but for regular days, Adrafinil is ideal. We can crush it for 6 hours and then easily wind down and enjoy ourselves in the evening.

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One More Thing…

Natural nootropics like Mind Lab Pro, Gorilla Mind Rush, and Qualia Mind are 100% legal because they are drug-free. You can get them sent to your on-campus dorm or apartment, no problem.

But…

Never send pharmaceutical drugs, like Modafinil, to your on-campus dorm or apartment.

EVER.

That’s bad form and can cause more problems than any smart drug could solve.

Just. Don’t. Do. It.

What can you do instead? Easy. Rent a PO box from a store in town and use a ‘reshipping’ service. If you do decide to order smart drugs, get them sent to the address given to you by the reshipper, and they’ll post them to your PO box, where you can pick them up.  

And again, we’re not lawyers and this isn’t legal advice, ladies and gentlemen. Be smart about things. Don’t take unnecessary risks.

If in doubt, stick to natural nootropics.

That being said…

There’s a reason pharmaceutical study drugs are so damn popular.

Because they work.

When you take legit study drugs like Modafinil, you will study longer, stay focused, and ultimately, get better grades.

Study Drugs Side Effects and Safety

In this guide, we’ve introduced you to the best study drugs on the planet, including Modafinil, Mind Lab Pro, Armodafinil, Gorilla Mind Rush, Qualia Mind, and Adrafinil. Each of these products has its own set of side effects, so what do you need to know?

In the simplest possible terms, the following products are 100% legal, drug-free, dietary supplements:

  • Mind Lab Pro
  • Gorilla Mind Rush
  • Qualia Mind

These are some of the safest cognitive enhancers that we know of as they contain natural, well-researched ingredients. They are ideal for students and shouldn’t cause any side effects when taken at the recommended dosages. They contain no drugs or pharmaceutical ingredients, so, unless you are allergic to one of their ingredients, you should be absolutely fine.

The only ingredient that could potentially cause issues is caffeine, which has been shown to cause anxiety, hallucinations, and dizziness if consumed in very high dosages [16]. If you don’t get along with caffeine, try Qualia – it’s caffeine-free.

But what about Modafinil, Armodafinil, and Adrafinil?

Here’s what you should know:

Modafinil and Armodafinil are pharmaceutical products that require a prescription in most countries. Adrafinil converts to Modafinil when you take it, so it falls into a legal ‘grey area’ and could be legal where you live. However, all three of these study drugs have similar side effects.

These include things like headaches, dizziness, nausea, thirst, dry mouth, sweating, and stomach pain. Most people experience mild side effects when they take the recommended doses:

  • Modafinil: 100-200mg
  • Armodafinil: 150mg
  • Adrafinil: 300-600mg

These drugs increase alertness by stimulating the brain to make more “histamine” [17]. This helps with things like alertness and concentration [18]. But in rare cases it can also cause side effects like uncontrollable shaking, and, in extremely high dosages, rapid or irregular heartbeat, and anxiety.

Another thing you should know is that these study drugs increase dopamine in the brain [19]. This is why they make you feel better and help you remember things more clearly [20]. As with any drug that increases dopamine, addiction and dependence are a concern. However, there have been zero reported cases of people becoming addicted to Modafinil, Armodafinil, or Adrafinil.

That being said, you must be especially careful to limit your dose when taking any study drugs. They shouldn’t be used to replace sleep. You should take them a maximum of 1-2 times per week and give your body a complete 2-week break every two months.

Best Study Drugs | The Verdict

That’s it! Everything you need to know about the best study drugs for students. Hopefully, this information will help you find the best nootropics for your needs.

Whether you’re cramming for finals or writing a thesis, these nootropics are sure to help you succeed.

Which one is right for you? It depends on what you’re looking for. In our experience, the creativity from Qualia Mind is hard to beat but when it comes to churning through work, Modafinil is our go-to smart drug.

If you’re looking to get better grades, we can’t recommend these nootropics enough.

And here’s the kicker:

Many of your classmates are probably already taking them.

If you’re playing to win, aka get the best possible grades, then the study drugs listed above are exactly what you need to succeed.

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References

  1. Peachman, R. (2018). Why You Should Skip Adderall as a Study Drug. Consumer reports. https://www.consumerreports.org/drug-safety/skip-adderall-as-study-drug/
    National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018). Prescription Stimulants DrugFacts. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/prescription-stimulants
    Drugs.com. (2019). Modanifil. Drugs.com. https://www.drugs.com/monograph/modafinil.html
    Pringle, A., Browning, M., Parsons, E., Cowen, P. J., & Harmer, C. J. (2013). Early markers of cognitive enhancement: developing an implicit measure of cognitive performance. Psychopharmacology, 230(4), 631-638.
  2. Gilleen, J., Michalopoulou, P. G., Reichenberg, A., Drake, R., Wykes, T., Lewis, S. W., & Kapur, S. (2014). Modafinil combined with cognitive training is associated with improved learning in healthy volunteers–a randomised controlled trial. European Neuropsychopharmacology, 24(4), 529-539.
  3. Baranski, J. V., Pigeau, R., Dinich, P., & Jacobs, I. (2004). Effects of modafinil on cognitive and meta‐cognitive performance. Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental, 19(5), 323-332.
  4. Mohamed, A. D. (2016). The effects of modafinil on convergent and divergent thinking of creativity: a randomized controlled trial. The Journal of Creative Behavior, 50(4), 252-267.
  5. Vollala, V. R., Upadhya, S., & Nayak, S. (2011). Enhancement of basolateral amygdaloid neuronal dendritic arborization following Bacopa monniera extract treatment in adult rats. Clinics, 66(4), 663-671.
  6. Nagano, M., Shimizu, K., Kondo, R., Hayashi, C., Sato, D., Kitagawa, K., & Ohnuki, K. (2010). Reduction of depression and anxiety by 4 weeks Hericium erinaceus intake. Biomedical Research, 31(4), 231-237.
  7. Garnock-Jones, K. P., Dhillon, S., & Scott, L. J. (2009). Armodafinil. CNS drugs, 23(9), 793-803.
  8. Vollala, V. R., Upadhya, S., & Nayak, S. (2011). Enhancement of basolateral amygdaloid neuronal dendritic arborization following Bacopa monniera extract treatment in adult rats. Clinics, 66(4), 663-671.
  9. Nagano, M., Shimizu, K., Kondo, R., Hayashi, C., Sato, D., Kitagawa, K., & Ohnuki, K. (2010). Reduction of depression and anxiety by 4 weeks Hericium erinaceus intake. Biomedical Research, 31(4), 231-237.
  10. Garnock-Jones, K. P., Dhillon, S., & Scott, L. J. (2009). Armodafinil. CNS Drugs, 23(9), 793-803.
  11. Frauenkron, M., Aktiengesellschaft, B. A. S. F., RUIDER, G. N., & HO, H. (2012). Ethanolamines and propanolamines. Environmental Protection, 421, 8.
  12. Dimpfel, W., Wedekind, W., & Keplinger, I. (2003). Efficacy of dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE) containing vitamin-mineral drug combination on EEG patterns in the presence of different emotional states. European Journal of Medical Research, 8(5), 183-191.
  13. Kimura, K., Ozeki, M., Juneja, L. R., & Ohira, H. (2007). L-Theanine reduces psychological and physiological stress responses. Biological Psychology, 74(1), 39-45.
  14. Park, S. K., Jung, I. C., Lee, W. K., Lee, Y. S., Park, H. K., Go, H. J., … & Rho, S. S. (2011). A combination of green tea extract and l-theanine improves memory and attention in subjects with mild cognitive impairment: a double-blind placebo-controlled study. Journal of Medicinal Food, 14(4), 334-343.
  15. Milgram, N. W., Callahan, H., & Siwak, C. (1999). Adrafinil: a novel vigilance promoting agent. CNS Drug Reviews, 5(3), 193-212.

Table of Contents

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