Closest Thing To Adderall Over The Counter (OTC)

By: Rob Miller
3 User Reviews
MD Reviewed By: Helen Okoye, MD What's This?
Fact Checked On: 1-22-2020
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Option #1: My #1 Adderall Alternative
Option #2: Mind Lab Pro
Option #3: 1,3 Dimethylamylamine
Option #4: L-Theanine and Caffeine

There’s no doubt about it, Adderall is a hell of a drug.

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 other over the counter adderall alternatives, have become a VERY popular drug on college campuses as a study aid.

In many cases, it’s abused by people who don’t even have a prescription for it.

adderall abuse in college campuses

This abuse can lead to a number of side effects such as insomnia, dependency, lose of appetite, and more.

adderall side effects

Click Here to read
more about how Adderall Works, its potential dangers, and pharmaceutical alternatives.

Enter Over The Counter Adderall Alternatives

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.

All while being completely legal and available over the counter.

These supplements are called Nootropics, and they are designed to help produce similar effects.

Often times, this is without the awful comedown and side effects.

Want To REALLY Get Smarter?


Click Here to download my FREE "Complete Guide To Nootropics" eBook!!

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.

Some of these, like Addium and Adderin, were complete failures.

Others, like Geniux and Alpha ZXT, seem to work for some, but didn’t work for me.

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 products 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.

Quick Note!

(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.)

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Option 1 – #1 Adderall Alternative

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 Sign Up For my Ultimate Guide to Nootropics.

https://www.supplementcritique.com/wpIt 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.

It’s basically a homemade adderall recipe that I’ve personally been using for years.

over the counter adderall alternative

This combo basically provides a step-by-step approach to giving you an Adderall-like effect.

Step 1: Adrafinil

adrafinilThe 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).

What’s Modafinil?

Modafinil is known as a “wakefulness-promoting agent”, and is used to treat things like narcolepsy and shift work sleep disorder.

However, Modafinil is only available via a prescription.

Adrafinil is NOT.

adrafinil vs modafinil review
Adrafinil Vs. Modafinil

In fact, Adrafinil is BASICALLY the same thing as Modafinil, because it’s the precursor to it.

Related Article: Adrafinil Vs. Modafinil – My Personal Results And Recommendation

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.

In fact, I recommend it as quite literally the closest legal over the counter Modafinil alternative you can buy.

That’s step 1, getting you to wake up.

Step 2: Noopept

noopeptThough 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 help:

  • Improve memory
  • Improve learning capacity,
  • Increase focus and concentration.

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-gpcAlpha 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

sulbutiamineSulbutiamine is a natural compound that is actually a lipid form of Vitamin B1, commonly known as Thiamine.

Previous research has shown that a deficiency in thiamine can affect memory, so it makes sense that increasing your intake, would also help improve memory.

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.

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 2 – Mind Lab Pro

mind lab pro reviewMind Lab Pro is a supplement I’ve used off and on for years at this point, and it’s one of the most effective nootropic supplements I’ve ever come across.

Unlike the Absorb Your Health brain booster power pack above, Mind Lab Pro is not a combination of supplements.

Rather, it’s a single, daily use pill that’s designed to gradually improve all facets of your overall cognition, including:

  • Intense focus
  • Sharp creativity
  • Improved short and long term memory
  • Accelerated learning potential
  • Enhanced problem solving ability
  • Optimal brain health

Instead of using a traditional nootropic substance like adrafinil, Noopept, or Alpha GPC, Mind Lab Pro takes a slightly different approach.

The 4 primary ingredients they use to achieve all of this are as follows:

  • Citicholine
  • Phosphatidylserine
  • Bacopa Monnieri
  • L-Theanine

Here’s a quick snapshot of the ingredients label:

mind lab pro ingredients label - medium

I’m not going to get into a deep discussion about how all of these ingredients work.

You can see all of that in my official Mind Lab Pro review here.

What I will briefly talk about, however, is how it works.

How Mind Lab Pro Works

Unlike a lot of other over the counter Adderall alternatives that contain ungodly amounts of caffeine, DMAA, and other harsh stimulants, Mind Lab Pro takes a different approach.

It uses clinically proven extracts and substances that work to help you zone in on your work, pull up thoughts quickly, and drive your creativity through the roof.

What can I expect to feel?

While it takes a bit longer to start kicking in, once it does the effects are enormous.

You’ll not only have a keen ability to recall information quicker, but you’ll also be quicker on your feet in all facets of life.

This includes the boardroom, classroom, and playing field.

I would recommend taking it everyday to achieve the best results.

You can learn more about Mind Lab Pro in my official review here.

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.

addieup vs adderallOtherwise 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 (more on that below).

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 warning 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:

abilify commercial

Funny, right???

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:

EPH 100
Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals Black Widow
Hi-Tech Pharma Fastin
HydroxyElite
APS Nutrition White Lightning

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 for amphetamine on a drug test for meth!

So if you’re involved in NCAA / Professional sports, USE WITH CAUTION!

Or not at all!

Option #4 – L-Theanine and Caffeine

optimind and l theanine stack

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 in clinical studies to promote faster simple reaction time, faster numeric working memory reaction time and improved scientific verification accuracy.

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.

You can find a few great brands of L-Theanine on Amazon, and I highly recommend the Suntheanine L-Theanine 200 mg brand.

It’s a very high quality theanine that synergizes well with caffeine, and has been my go-to for years.

It’s relatively cheap as well!

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.

adderall alternativesStimulants, 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:

  • Irritability
  • Dry mouth
  • Increased heart rate
  • Restlessness
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite

Click Here to see a full list of side effects.

Other Pharmaceutical Alternatives To Adderall

Stimulant Alternatives

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-Stimulant Alternatives

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.

Non-stimulants include:

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.

Recommendation

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 Absorb Your Health Power Pack!

You’ll find that the results are more then worth it!

Other References

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd-the-basics/index.shtml

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3604470/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4594160/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16971751

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2756298/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2855614/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4160700/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29183836

https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/adrafinil

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3286657/

Check out our other “Over The Counter” series articles below:

Our Top Choice For Nootropics – Optimind

optimind reviewOptimind is the closest thing to Aderall that I’ve tested, and I’ve tested ALOT of these supplements.

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.

Top 3 Adderall AlternativesAffiliate Disclosure

Optimind

Optimind

Optimind is the closest thing to Adderall that Ive tested, and Ive tested ALOT of Nootropics.

Click Here To Learn More »

Noots All Star Pack

Noots All Star Pack

The Nootropics All Star Pack is a GREAT combo of supplements that will improve focus, concentration, and mood.

Click Here To Learn More »

Mind Lab Pro

Mind Lab Pro

Mind Lab Pro takes a longer, but equally as effective, approach to increasing focus.

Click Here To Learn More »

How People Found This Review:

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User Reviews


Have you used this supplement?

Rachel's Review


By Rachel,  Jun 3, 2017

I was diagnosed 5 years ago with ADHD, and am prescribed Vyvanse.  It helps, but induces my anxiety and I have more frequent panic attacks. I tried the Absorb Your Health brain pack (www.AbsorbYourHealth.com) you talked about above and HOLY S$%T. I've never felt better. I'm happy, energetic, focused with ZERO anxiety. Thank you SO much for this post, it's a life saver.



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23 out of 31 people found this review helpful.

Decent, but not the same


By Alicia McIntyre,  May 22, 2017

I ordered the Mind Lab Pro and was super excited to try it out.



Do I feel energized? YES.

Do I feel focused?

 

Not so much.



I will try it again, as this is my second time trying it. I do have other "things" going on in my life that may be affecting the effectiveness... so I won't say this doesn't work.



I'm just not convinced yet.

 

I may have to try it for longer to see if it will work better in the long term.

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5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.


By Tony,  May 8, 2017

I tried that Nootropics all star pack you talked about up above and it was great.

Felt very calm, yet focused enough to write a 10 page paper as part of my final.

The only downside was I had a little trouble falling asleep that night, I think I just need to take it earlier in the day next time.


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3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.




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User Questions and Answers



Will the Nootropics Stack show up on a drug urine test ? -Sarah


No, there's nothing in the stack that should show up on a drug test.- Rob

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I cannot order online. What stores can I buy adderall alternatives? -Janet


Unfortunately none of these are sold in stores.  The closest adderall alternative you might be able to find in stores like GNC, Walmart, Walgreens, CVS, would be anything containing DMAA.  However, you might be hard pressed to find this at all because most retailers have taken it off the shelves.- Rob

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Will the Nootropics Stack show up on a drug urine test ? -Sarah


There's nothing in it that would pop on a drug test.- Rob

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Which product would you recommend for someone looking for increased focused and attention? -Todd


If you're strictly looking for increased focus and attention, go with the Nootropics All Star Pack (www.AbsorbYourHealth.com).- Rob

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How many mg of L-Theanine should we take? -John


200 mg a day is a good place to start. Then you can adjust from there if necessary.- Rob

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Author: Rob Miller

Supplement Critique

Rob Miller founded SupplementCritique.com over 7 years ago, and has been the chief editor ever since. He has a diploma in Advanced Dietary Supplements Advisor, and worked at GNC for 3 years. He KNOWS supplements, both inside and out. Rob currently resides in Jupiter, FL, with his wife of 4 years.  Learn more about him in his Bio here. Follow him on Twitter , Facebook, LinkedIn, or find him on Google +.

Medical Reviewer: Helen Okoye, MD

Dr Okoye

Dr. Helen Okoye is an American Public Health Physician, Health Care Executive, Researcher, Entrepreneur with a Doctor of Medicine Degree (MD), an MBA in Healthcare Management, and a Masters in Epidemiology/Public Health). Her specific responsibilities for Supplement Critique including reviewing previously published articles for accuracy and relevancy. Her expert opinion was featured on NBC News for the President’s physical exam. Learn more about Dr. Okoye here. Follow here on Twitter and Instagram.