If you’ve been in college the last decade or so, you are probably aware of, have taken, or know someone who takes the prescription drug Adderall.
Used primarily to help treat symptoms of ADD/ADHD and narcolepsy, this drug is used to help improve focus, concentration, motivation, and even some aspects of memory.
It, and drugs like it, have become a VERY popular drug on college campuses as a study aid, and more often then not is abused by people who don’t even have a prescription for it.
This abuse can lead to a number of side effects such as insomnia, dependency, lose of appetite, and more.
Click Here to read more about how Adderall Works, its potential dangers, and pharmaceutical alternatives.
Recently over the last few years there has been a surge in all natural alternatives in supplement form that have attempted to “mimic” the effects of adderall, while being completely legal and available over the counter.
These supplements are called Nootropics, and they are designed to help produce similar effects, without the awful comedown and side effects.
I’ve recently begun testing a wide variety of these supplements for personal use, in an attempt to find the closest natural thing to adderall over the counter.
And then there’s a few that combinations that REALLY stood out for me, both in terms of results and effectiveness.
Here’s a few supplements / extracts / herbs that I’ve personally tested that work VERY similarly to adderall, while being completely legal for sale.
They are not ALL nootropics, but I do talk about a particular stack that seems to work very well later on in this article.
(Note: None of these supplements are sold in retail stores like GNC, Walmart, Walgreens / CVS, and the like.
However, they are all conveniently and legally available for sale online, and I recommend a few retailers that sell them)
My #1 Adderall Alternative – Phenibut And A Stimulant
Note: This is just a review.
Click Here to visit the official Optimind Website.
I first learned about Phenibut when a company that sells the substance asked me to test it out and leave a review.
If you’ve never heard of Phenibut, it’s actually a substance that was discovered by Russian scientists close to 30 years ago, and is a central nervous system depressant and derivative of y-aminobutyric-acid.
It has been shown in clinical studies to produce feelings of calm, euphoria, and works GREAT as an anti-anxiety supplement.
So notice I said above that Phenibut is a CNS depressant…“how could this work like Adderall if it’s a depressant?”, you ask.
From my personal experience, Phenibut in LOW doses (500 mg or less, spread out) AND combined with a stimulant seems to have the OPPOSITE effect.
It’s not a hyper, jittery, “I feel like I’m on an amphetamine” effect.
Rather it felt like I was hit by a focus and concentration freight train!
Remember the first time you used Adderall?
Remember that feeling of euphoria, laser focus, insane concentration, and overall good mood you got?
Well, it’s literally the same EXACT effect the first time you use this combo.
Specifically, I recommend you combine a QUALITY source of Phenibut along with another Nootropic supplement I’ve tested called Optimind.
Optimind contains 100 mg of caffeine, along with a great blend of ingredients including Alpha Lipoic Acid, Green Tea leaf extract, and Vinpocentine.
This combo, along with the Phenibut, will give you an INSANELY close feeling to adderall, giving you the ability to study harder, longer, and feel much less distracted.
HOWEVER, there is one very important key thing to note here…
It takes a VERY long time after dosing to start feeling this effect, probably close to 2 hours or so for it to kick in and about 4 hours before it reaches it’s peak.
The UPSIDE, however, is that the effect will last much longer then you think AND there is no crash at the end.
In fact, remember those depressant qualities I spoke about Phenibut earlier?
Well because the substance allows GABA to cross the blood brain barrier (GABA doesn’t do this on it’s own), you will have one of the best nights sleep you’ve experienced in recent times.
You can pick up 10 FREE capsules of Optimind on their official website, www.GetOptimind.com and the best phenibut brand that I’ve personally used is from the following website, www.AbsorbYourHealth.com.
How Should I Take This Combo?
This part is VERY important, however it’s also very complicated.
Because everyone’s individual body chemistry is different, it might take a little bit of experimentation on your part to find the coveted “sweet spot”.
It’s also important to note that you should NOT “chase” the feeling you get from it.
Because Phenibut takes so long to work (2 hours to feel it, 6 or so for it to take full effect), just because you’re not feeling it now doesn’t mean in a couple hours you won’t be.
Here’s the way I recommend you take it you’re very first time, and consequentially this is how I normally take it…
1.) First thing after waking up
Dose with 500 mg of Phenibut from AbsorbYourHealth.com on a COMPLETELY empty stomach.
You can mix it in juice or water, there really is no difference.
Absorb Your Health provides a small scoop which when level contains 500 mg of Phenibut.
2.) 10 – 15 minutes later
Take 2 Optimind Capsules.
In about 30 – 45 minutes you should feel the initial effects kick in (feel more focused, concentrated, motivated to get work done)
3.) 45 – 60 minutes
There are no foods that will affect the potency of the Phenibut and Optimind, but I would recommend something lower in fat / grease because a high fat breakfast will make you feel lethargic.
4.) Wait about 1 1/2 hours an re-evaluate how you feel.
If you don’t feel too much than I would take another 500 mg of Phenibut and 1 – 2 Optimind capsules and WAIT IT OUT.
Like I mentioned earlier, It’s weird, but the effects of Phenibut seem to take a REALLY long time to kick in, so just because you’re not feeling it now doesn’t mean you won’t in an hour or so.
After about an hour or so you should DEFINITELY be feeling the effects. For me, those effects are AWESOME.
I feel my mood, focus / concentration, and motivation SKYROCKET, and the best part about it is the effects seem to last for HOURS.
“What’s the most phenibut I can take in a day?”
One thing I have noticed is that if you take larger quantities of Phenibut (2 grams or more, especially in one dose, the depressant effects of it seem to come out in full force, so it will simply make you tired and counteract the nootropic effects.
I’ve never take more then 1500 mg (1.5 grams) of Phenibut in a single day, but like I mentioned earlier everyones body chemistry is different so what works for me may or may NOT work for you. It’s all a matter of personal testing.
Do NOT, I repeat, Do NOT take Phenibut more then 2 X a week MAX, preferably with a 3 day break in between…
For some reason, this substance has a tendency to build a tolerance very quickly, so if you take it more then that the effects will be less pronounced over time and you’ll need more Phenibut to get the same effect.
You’re probably saying Really, only 2 times a week?
I want something I can take everyday!
Don’t worry, when you take the Optimind over a course of a few weeks you will see a DRAMATIC difference in your overall cognitive abilities.
I would reserve combining Phenibut and Optimind to just the days you need to get an INSANE amount of work / studying done.
Is this combo safe? Are there any side effects?
Personally speaking, I have NOT experienced any side effects from taking the combo of Phenibut and Optimind.
However, there’s always the possibility of side effects when you’re ingesting ANYTHING, so it’s wise to talk to your doctor before starting any supplement regiment.
Click Here to Read More About my experiment with Optimind and Phenibut.
Option #2 – Nootropics Stack Closest To Adderall
So earlier in this article I mentioned a particular stack of Nootropics that work very similarly to Adderall.
I’m not going to get into a huge discussion about what Nootropics are.
It’s way too long and complicated, and will just turn this article into a big scientific discussion.
However, if you’d like to learn more about what they are, what they do, etc, then Click Here to read my Ultimate Guide to Nootropics.
It explains everything in GREAT detail.
One thing I do want to mention here is that ALL of these compounds are SAFE to take.
I wouldn’t be recommending them if I wasn’t completely sure of it.
I’ve personally tested ALL of them, and never had any sort of negative side effect or withdrawal.
So What’s The Best?
From my personal experience and testing, the best nootropics stack is a combo of Adrafinil, Noopept, Alpha GPC, and Sulbutiamine.
This combo basically provides a step-by-step approach to giving you an Adderall-like effect.
Step 1: Adrafinil
The first time I took Adrafinil I was actually pleasantly surprised.
Unlike stimulants such as caffeine, DMAA (more on this below), and yohimbe, Adrafinil doesn’t make you hyperactive and jittery. Instead, it basically wakes you up.
It does this because it’s essentially the precursor to a drug called Modafinil (sometimes referred to as Provigil).
Modafinil is known as a “wakefulness-promoting agent”, and is used to treat things like narcolopsy and shift work sleep disorder.
However, Modafinil is only available via a prescription.
Adrafinil is NOT.
In fact, Adrafinil is BASICALLY the same thing as Modafinil, because it’s the precursor to it. What does that mean?
Well, essentially when you consume adrafinil, as it passes through the liver it is metabolized into Modafinil. So, it “turns into” Modafinil.
That’s step 1, getting you to wake up.
Step 2: Noopept
Though technically not a “racetam”, noopept is a nootropic that provides similar effects to Piracetam.
However, it’s actually 1000 X more potent, and has been shown to help increase attention span by providing a subtle psychostimulatory effect.
It’s also been shown in several studies to improve memory, learning capacity, focus, and concentration, and on its own works very well.
But it’s most effective as a neuroprotective agent, which essentially means it protects your brain from stress.
That’s step 2, calming you down and increasing attention.
Step3: Alpha GPC
Alpha GPC is a choline containing supplement that helps with new memory formation and learning, and has been widely accepted as an effective nootropic.
Choline is often found in many of the foods we eat, however, most people are deficient in it. Alpha GPC fixes all that.
It’s primary purpose is to reduce cognitive decline, which is inevitable as we age.
Some studies have also shown that it can help DRAMATICALLY with attention span and focus, which is why I’ve included it in this stack.
That’s step 3, getting you dialed in and focused.
Step 4: Sulbutiamine
Sulbutiamine is a natural compound that is actually a derivative of Vitamin B1, commonly known as Thiamine.
You’ll notice that a lot of the nootropic supplements on the market often contain pretty high doses of Vitamin B1.
That’s great and all, but there’s one major problem.
It does NOT cross the blood brain barrier in effective doses.
That basically means you’re not getting it’s full effects.
However, with Sulbutiamine, the effects are WAY more pronounced.
The reason behind this is it DOES cross the blood brain barrierin much more concentrated doses.
It’s primary purpose is to enhance energy and mood, 2 things that are absolutely CRUCIAL when you’re trying to get stuff done.
That’s step 4, improving your mood AND giving you a big boost in energy.
So, just to recap.
Step 1: Adrafinil – will WAKE you up.
Step 2: Noopept – will CALM you down.
Step 3: Alpha GPC – will get you DIALED in and focused.
Step 4: Sulbutiamine – will IMPROVE your mood and give you energy.
How Should I Take It?
If you’re just starting off with nootropics, I would recommend that you take each one of these by themselves first to assess your reaction.
The suggested dose for each is as follows:
First Time Use
Adrafinil: 250 – 300 mg
Noopept: 10 mg
Alpha GPC: 250 mg
Sulbutiamine: 500 mg
Once you’ve taken all 2 at these low doses, then you can start to move up.
Intermediate Dose Range
Adrafinil: 600 mg
Noopept: 20 mg
Alpha GPC: 500 mg
Sulbutiamine: 500 mg
And if you’re a pro at taking this stuff, you can move on to even heavier doses:
Adrafinil: 900 mg
Noopept: 30 mg
Alpha GPC: 750 mg
Sulbutiamine: 500 mg
It’s VERY important to note that you should take all of these on a completely empty stomach, just like with the Optimind and Phenibut combo.
I would also highly recommend that you take them first thing in the morning.
If you take them later in the day you risk insomnia, especially from the Adrafinil.
My preferred vendor for all of these is AbsorbYourHealth.com.
I’ve tried probably a dozen different companies that sell these particular compounds, and they seem to produce the highest quality effects at a reasonable price.
You can buy all of these individually on their website, or you can purchase their Noootropics All-Star pack which comes with all of them.
Unlike many of the other vendors that sell these as a powder, they ALL come in capsule form.
There’s no measuring or “guessing” how much you need to take.
Check it out here: https://www.absorbyourhealth.com/product/brain-booster-power-pack/?ref=4349
What Can I Expect To Feel?
Within about 15 minutes of your first dose, you’ll start to feel the effects.
The best way I can describe it is like a fog being lifted from your head.
Instead of blindly staring at the computer screen, book, or whatever you’re doing, you’ll feel more engaged and motivated to start getting things done.
The effect is subtle at first, so much so that you might think it’s not working.
But it is, it just takes a little while to kick in.
Generally speaking, you’ll start to feel the best effects in about 45 – 60 min. This of course depends on the individual, but that’s been my experience.
One of the most pleasant surprises from taking this stack is, unlike with Adderall, you won’t get that hyped up, cracked out, aweful comedown feeling.
You’ll get the focus and mood enhancing effects similar to Adderall, without all of the unwanted effects.
When it comes to taking Nootropics, it’s all about the dosage and how your body responds to it.
Some people (like myself) get a good response from a relatively low dose, and some people need a massive quantity to get an effect similar to that of Adderall.
It’s always recommended that you start off with the lowest dose FIRST.
You can always move up, but once you’ve taken a dose you can’t go back!
Option #3 – 1,3 Dimethylamylamine (DMAA)
1,3 Dimethylamylamine is a stimulant that was VERY popular in a wide variety of pre workout supplements, fat burners, and weight loss pills, mainly because of one reason…it works!!
In fact, a number of Nootropic supplements I’ve tested in the past such as AddTabz and Addieup contained a significant quantity of the stuff, and at the time they were probably the closest thing to adderal I tested.
Otherwise known as DMAA, 1,3 dimethylamylamine was first invented by the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly in 1944 and used in inhaled nasal decongestants.
It was voluntarily withdrawn from the market in 1983, and since 2006 was sold as a dietary supplement when the substance Ephedrine was banned. (Source: 1)
By all accounts, DMAA was a GOD SEND for athletes and students across the country.
Users reported an insane increase in energy, mood, and concentration, and became so popular that the NCAA banned it from use in collegiate athletics.
All the major retailers like GNC, Vitamin Shoppe, Walmart, Walgreens and CVS were carrying what some people were calling the “next best thing to adderall” you can buy in stores.
However, as a result of a couple of random deaths and cardiac related events that were attributed to DMAA use, the FDA issued a nationwide ban on the substance, effectively taking it off of the market forever.
It’s important to note the irony in that last sentence…
You know when you watch TV and a commercial pops up for a drug and they talk about how great it is?
Then they quickly follow with the potential side effects, which sometimes sound worse then the actual ailment it’s treating…
In my personal opinion, the FDA is in cahoots with the pharmaceutical companies because every SINGLE time the supplement market comes out with something that ACTUALLY works, it is quickly withdrawn / banned from the market because a couple people had some adverse reactions.
Meanwhile, the FDA actually approves drugs with KNOWN side effects like “an increased risk of death or stroke, uncontrollable muscle movements, coma, decreases in white blood cells, trouble swallowing, etc.”
For example, watch the commercial for Abilify and listen to the potential side effects:
Well, it turns out after I did a bit of research there are still a handful of products sold online that actually STILL do contain 1,3 Dimethylamylamine.
Here’s a few I recently found on A1supplements.com:
It’s not clear how long they will be selling them on there, but as of this update (5/31/2016) they are all available for sale. At pretty decent prices too!
One thing you should note is that because 1,3 dimethylamylamine is structurally similar to amphetamines, it WILL give a false positive on a drug test.
So if you’re involved in NCAA / Professional sports, USE WITH CAUTION!
Option #5 – L-Theanine and Optimind and / or just straight up caffeine
The last combo I would recommend that produces effects similar to those of Adderall would be the combo of L-Theanine and Caffeine.
Like Phenibut, L-Theanine is a stress and anxiety relief supplement that has .
The combo of L-Theanine and Caffeine has actually been shown to promote faster simple reaction time, faster numeric working memory reaction time and improved scientific verification accuracy.(Source: 3)
Remember how I said before that you shouldn’t take the combo of Phenibut and Optimind more then 2 times a week?
Well, the combo of L-Theanine and Optimind is EXACTLY what I take on the days I’m not taking Phenibut.
Does it work close to the combo of Phenibut and Optimind?
It’s close, but the effects are nowhere NEAR the effects you’ll get with the Phenibut.
It gives a slightly enhanced euphoria, and in my opinion improves overall thinking ability, motivation, and focus / concentration.
Basically, L-Theanine seems to work on counteracting the negative effects you get with taking too much caffeine / stimulants, allowing for a better overall high.
How Adderall Works
In the United States, Adderall is a pharmaceutical drug that contains a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine stimulants and keeps the dopamine and norepinephrine neurotransmitters functioning in the brain.
Adderall works by increasing the release of those two neurotransmitters, which are reported to be involved with ADHD.
Stimulants, such as Adderall, increase attention, alertness and energy.
They release feel-good chemicals into the brain, producing euphoria and the feeling that one can achieve whatever they set out to do.
Historically, stimulants were used to treat respiratory problems such as asthma, obesity, neurological disorders and other medical conditions.
However, stimulant use started to decline in medical settings when their potential for abuse became transparent.
Today, stimulants are prescribed only for specific health issues, including ADHD and narcolepsy.
Adderall comes in both an instant release and extended release form.
The instant release form starts working quickly, but has a tendency to fall off quickly.
The extended release comes on a bit slower, but lasts longer.
Potential Dangers of Adderall
Although Adderall can make you more efficient, it has been associated with a number of alarming risks, including “come-down” or “crashing” effects.Adderall releases the chemicals serotonin, dopamine and adrenaline into the brain.
These chemicals are naturally stored in the brain and are released whenever you feel happy about something.
When you take Adderall, the drug releases those chemicals from storage, giving you a pumped-up feeling.
When the drug wears off, you may experience withdrawal symptoms, including acute cravings, sleep problems, fatigue, depression, excessive hunger, panic attacks and suicidal thoughts.
Like many other powerful stimulants, Adderall makes you want to consume more of it.
This is because Adderall prevents dopamine from replenishing itself, which creates the need to take more of the drug.
Ultimately this leads to dependence as you build a tolerance to it.
Other side effects of Adderall may include:
- Dry mouth
- Increased heart rate
- Loss of appetite
Other Pharmaceutical Alternatives To Adderall
Other stimulants which are designed to treat ADHD and improve mental functioning and behavior include:
These stimulants have the same goal as Adderall, but they don’t always share the same mechanism of action.
For example, Adderall prolongs the action of the dopamine and norepinephrine neurotransmitters for four to six hours.
Ritalin, however, is shorter-acting (two to three hours).
In my experience, there is a fairly big difference in Vyvanse Vs. Adderall.
For me, Adderall seemed to help more with focus and concentration, and getting things done.
On the contrary, Vyvanse seemed to just give me a huge burst of physical energy, and not as much in the focus / concentration department.
Non-stimulants prescription drugs impact the brain differently from stimulants.
They affect neurotransmitters, but they do not raise dopamine levels.
Non-stimulants usually take longer to produce results, but they typically have a smoother, longer-lasting effect than stimulants.
Kapvay and Intuniv are usually prescribed for people who react poorly or have difficulty tolerating Strattera.
Although non-stimulants do not tend to cause stimulant side effects, such as sleeplessness and agitation, there may be exceptions.
For example, Strattera might cause loss of appetite, nausea, dizziness and fatigue.
Generally, non-stimulants can be used if you would like to avoid the adverse effects of stimulants, or when stimulants prove ineffective or unsafe.
It’s no surprise that there’s tons of people looking for a supplement over the counter that works just like Adderall, as this drug has become REALLY popular but often hard to find without a prescription (which you shouldn’t be taking anyway if you don’t have a prescription!).
That said, I personally think that if you’re looking for something to help get the enhanced concentration and focus you get from Adderall, without the annoying comedown, then I would REALLY suggest you try the combo of Phenibut and Optimind.
You’ll find that the results are more then worth it!
- Methylhexanamine – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methylhexanamine
- DMAA in Dietary Supplements – http://www.fda.gov/Food/DietarySupplements/QADietarySupplements/ucm346576.htm
- Theanine – Supplement Use – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theanine#Supplement_use
Our Top Choice For Nootropics – Optimind
It’s made up of a high quality combination of all natural ingredients that are designed to promote laser focus, increase memory, cognition, and energy, and help to improve overall concentration.
Click Here to learn more in my official review.
How People Found This Review:
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User Questions and Answers
User Questions and Answers
How would you think this combo works with Wellbutrin? -Tracy
Whenever you're taking prescription medications, you should consult your doctor about how it would interact with any supplement you're thinking about taking.- Rob
7 out of 9 people found this question helpful.
Would it be save to take optimind with green tea in the days i don't take the phenibut -juan
Yes, it would be safe. You just want to make sure you keep an eye on your caffeine intake. Optimind has about 100 mg (the same as a cup of coffee) while green tea has about half that.- Rob
6 out of 7 people found this question helpful.
How well would it work to take phenibut with l-theanine & caffeine? -Sarah
6 out of 8 people found this question helpful.
Does Phenibut come in pill form, and where can I find L-Theanine? -John
2 out of 2 people found this question helpful.
If I took the recommended dosage of phenibut and not optimind, what would the effects be? What if i took just optimind? -Lard Fatson
In a nutshell, Phenibut relieves anxiety and makes you feel relaxed, while Optimind gives you energy, focus, and concentration. Here are my full reviews of each in case you want more detailed information: Phenibut, Optimind.- Rob
1 out of 1 people found this question helpful.
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