What is Modafinil?
Modafinil is a eugeroic (wakefulness-promoting) drug that is FDA-approved to treat narcolepsy and COPD (Chronic-Obstructive Sleep Apnea). It is also approved for off-label use as a treatment for Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Attention Hyperactive Deficit Disorder (ADHD), and Shift Work Sleep Disorder (SWSD)., the majority of modafinil users take it for its cognition-enhancing properties – notably, its ability to
Despite the fact that modafinil is a wakefulness promoter, the majority of modafinil users take it for its cognition-enhancing properties – notably, its ability to improve concentration and motivation, and thereby, productivity.
The following sources report several recent clinical studies which led to modafinil’s being labeled the “first genuine nootropic agent” (‘nootropic’ = smart drug):
Live Science: “‘Smart Drug’ Modafinil Actually Works, Study Shows”
Quartz: “The World’s First True ‘Smart Drug’ Enhances Cognition and is Deemed Safe by Health Experts”
Scientific American: “A Safe Drug to Boost Brainpower: Rigorous Analysis Shows the Drug Modafinil Significantly Improves Cognition”
The Guardian: “Narcolepsy Medication Modafinil is World’s First Safe ‘Smart Drug'”
Modafinil has many on- and off-label benefits, which we discuss at length elsewhere. So, I will just mention the top few here:
promotes alertness by stimulating wakefulness centers in the brain
enhances focus & mental acuity
increases processing speed (Some users report feeling as if ‘time moves more slowly’ when they take modafinil because they are accomplishing so much more.)
enhances short-term memory
increases motivation & work ethic
Modafinil Side Effects
With all of modafinil’s amazing brain-boosting benefits, I would be remiss not to at least mention that there are a few side effects that you should watch out for when taking modafinil. These are fairly mild, do not occur in most users (less than 1% in most cases), and are only listed as a precaution.The benefits of Modafinil far outweigh any side effects that may occur. Typical side effects of Modafinil however include:
The benefits of Modafinil far outweigh any side effects that may occur, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t educate yourself about both sides. That’s why we put together a complete list of modafinil’s side effects and how to avoid them.
Following are the most typical side effects:
Increased thirst or dehydration
Increased effects of nootropics and other stimulants
Sensitivity to caffeine
The last side effect is worth noting if you are a coffee or tea drinker. Sensitivity to caffeine is one of the most common but least discussed modafinil side effects. Nevertheless, it is possible to get the maximum benefits out of both substances without having to endure any negative side effects.
Coffee fanatics often complain that adding modafinil to their morning routine, while enhancing their productivity throughout the day, can lead to headaches and sluggishness during the afternoon hours. Others have reported as severe negative effects as high blood pressure and/or increased heart rate when combining caffeine and modafinil.
If you fall into the second category, you should probably consult your doctor and consider dropping one or both substances. But if the most you have had to put up with is a few minor headaches, some indigestion, or a mid-day energy ‘crash,’ read on to learn how to eliminate these effects and get the most out of your modafinil-caffeine combo. . . .
Getting Most out of the Modafinil-Caffeine Combination
Alright, so you want to know how to use caffeine to enhance your modafinil experience. The answer is simple – just follow these three rules:
RULE #1: Only drink one cup of coffee.
One cup of coffee contains about 320 milligrams of caffeine. Any more than this, and you will be at a higher risk of headaches, dehydration, and in some cases, diarrhea.
RULE #2: Stay hydrated!
Most doctors recommend about 1.5 liters of water per day. If you are taking modafinil, you should definitely be drinking at least this much water if not twice this amount. Your actual daily water intake should be closer to 3 liters per day.
RULE #3: ‘Bulletproof’ your coffee.
‘Bulletproofing’ was a big-time fad about 2 or 3 years ago, but coffee drinkers don’t talk about it much these days. Bulletproofing refers to the addition of healthy, soluble fats to your coffee (or tea). This can be accomplished in the following way:
1.Start with 2 cups, or 16 fl. oz., or about 475 ml. of freshly brewed coffee.
Dave Asprey, the originator of Bulletproof Coffee, recommends using Bulletproof’s upgraded coffee beans.
2.Add 2 to 3 tbs. of grass-fed butter (my favorite is Kerrygold)
3.Add 1 to 2 tbs. Organic Coconut Oil or MCT Oil
By adding high-quality grass-fed butter and coconut/MCT oil to your morning joe, you allow the fat molecules to bind to the caffeine in your coffee, thereby reducing the immediate impact. The result is a long-term, sustained form of energy that will last all day – without the headaches, digestive issues, or afternoon come-down generally associated with caffeinated beverages.
To top it all off, the addition of modafinil to your morning regimen will only improve the cognitive-enhancing effects, thereby guaranteeing the clearest, most productive mental state possible.