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Modafinil vs Alpha Brain: Which Nootropic to Choose?

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Modafinil vs. Alpha Brain: Which is better than the other? This is one question many people looking to get started with nootropics commonly ask, and it is an important one.

Modafinil vs Alpha Brain

While both drugs are generally known to provide cognitive-enhancing benefits, some people think they fall under 2 different categories of mental enhancers and thus have different side effects and safety levels. They categorize modafinil as a “smart drug” because it is a prescription medication and Alpha Brain as a nootropic because it is “safer.” But is there any real difference between these drugs? Let us find out!

What Is Modafinil?

Modafinil is a popular wakefulness-promoting drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat 3 main sleep disorders: narcolepsy, shift work sleep disorder (SWSD), and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) [1]. However, it is more commonly used off-label by healthy individuals from all walks of life for its cognitive-enhancing benefits, some of which are the following:

  • increased alertness;
  • improved focus;
  • enhanced memory;
  • increased energy.

Modafinil was first developed in France by Lafon Laboratories and neurophysiologist professor Michel Jouvet in the late ’70s. Following its effectiveness and high level of safety, the US FDA approved it in 1998 [1].

It has since become a very popular medication. In 2017, more than 900,000 prescriptions were filled in the US alone, making it the 328th most commonly prescribed drug in the country. It is available all over the world under different brand names including Modavinil, Provigil, Modawake, Modiodal, among others.

Modafinil is safe and works effectively, but it is only indicated for use in individuals who are 17 years of age and older.

What Is Alpha Brain?

Alpha Brain is a cognitive-enhancing dietary supplement produced by Onnit. The company created it to help healthy individuals from all walks of life achieve enhanced memory, increased alertness, improved mood, and laser-like focus. Although it is most popular for its memory-enhancing effects, many people take it to boost mental processing speed and improve sleep quality [2][3].

Alpha Brain is also safe, and the majority of reviews and ratings from people who’ve used it are positive.

Why Do Most People Prefer Taking Nootropics?

As stated earlier, many people wrongly place modafinil and Alpha Brain in 2 categories: “smart drugs” and nootropics. They consider products such as Alpha Brain that can be purchased over the counter (OTC) to be nootropics and those like modafinil that require a prescription to be “smart drugs” [4]. However, while “smart drugs” and nootropics are basically the same, we will stick to the misrepresentation for easy understanding.

So, why do most people prefer taking nootropics like Alpha Brain?

Well, one of the reasons many people prefer nootropics is that they are very accessible. As a dietary supplement, Alpha Brain can be purchased OTC with ease, unlike modafinil that requires visiting a doctor to obtain a valid prescription.

One other reason people like nootropics is because of their mild characteristics. Their effects are typically so mild that they do not affect sleep schedules. This makes them ideal for individuals looking to take cognitive enhancement products for the first time.


But lots of people love “smart drugs” too. Here’s why. Some “smart drugs” are super-effective and equally have a high level of safety. To put this in perspective, modafinil, one of the most popular “smart drugs,” is so safe that Oxford and Harvard researchers deemed it “the world’s first safe ‘smart drug’” [5].

Both products are actually good, but there is still a lot worth knowing. Let us explore the difference between them to ease your decision-making process. Read on.

Modafinil vs Alpha Brain: Difference Between…

Modafinil and Alpha Brain are both great products capable of enhancing cognitive function, and none is really better than the other. It is worth noting that both of them are just different in their own little way, so determining which one will be better for you depends on your situation and the results you are looking to achieve.

Here’s the major difference between these products…

Providing up to 12 straight hours of cognitive-enhancing benefits, modafinil is a much stronger product. This means that once taken, it will completely eliminate sleep throughout its duration of action, enabling you to get more tasks done. Modafinil is a prescription drug, and intending buyers require a valid prescription from a licensed doctor to purchase it.

On the other hand, Alpha Brain is a dietary supplement, and it does not require you to get a prescription in order to buy it. Its effects are milder, and as a result, it poses a lower risk of side effects. Also, its duration of action is short, meaning its effects will wear off long before modafinil’s effects do, assuming the nootropics are taken at the same time by two different individuals.

More differences between these products lie in their dosage and side effects. We will be discussing that in the following sub-headings. They will enable you to compare, contrast, and then easily decide which will be better for you.


Alpha Brain is available in both capsule and powder forms. For the capsules form, adults are required to take two capsules per day, preferably with a light meal. However, they can be taken on an empty stomach. On the other hand, one sachet of Alpha Brain Instant is to be mixed with a beverage or reasonable quantity of water [3].

Take Modafinil

At this point, it is worth noting that taking more than the stipulated dosage could cause side effects. Note also that it is inadvisable to combine this product with other dietary supplements, energy drinks, or coffee.

The initial recommended dosage of modafinil is one 200 mg tablet to be taken once per day. It should be swallowed whole with a substantial amount of water and shouldn’t be split, crushed, or dissolved in water. For this product, the time of administration matters greatly, and it depends on the condition looking to be treated.

For narcolepsy and OSA, one pill should be taken very early in the morning, as taking it late in the day could disrupt a night’s sleep. For SWSD or study purposes, one tablet should be taken about 1 hour before the start of a night shift or study time, respectively. Note that taking more than the recommended modafinil dose is bound to lead to severe adverse effects [6].

It is advisable to consult a doctor before taking any of these products.

Side Effects & Safety

As Paracelsus rightly said, everything is poison, and nothing is without poison unless taken in the right dosage. This is true for both modafinil and Alpha Brain. Even when taken at the right dosage, some side effects may still occur. But the good news is that they are usually mild and tend to disappear without any treatment.

It is worth noting that both products have similar side effects. However, modafinil is more likely to cause mild side effects, especially in individuals taking the drug for the first time. This is due to the fact that it has a much higher strength compared to Alpha Brain.

So, the adverse effects associated with these products are as follows [7][8]:

  • headache;
  • nausea;
  • nervousness;
  • dizziness.

Furthermore, Alpha Brain may equally cause fatigue as its effects wear off, but this is not the case with modafinil – another reason a whole lot of people prefer it. More serious adverse effects such as irregular heartbeat, anxiety, rashes, among others, can result from misusing or abusing modafinil; thus, it is important to strictly adhere to the doctor’s recommendations and drug’s instructions for use.

Note that the unwanted adverse reactions associated with these products are more common among individuals who take them in high doses. Consult a doctor before taking either Alpha Brain or modafinil.

Modafinil vs Alpha Brain: Benefits & Downsides

Modafinil is probably one of the most popular and strongest “smart drugs” in the world, and this is due to its immense benefits and safety. Alpha Brain is also a popular medication, and it is cherished by many individuals who like nootropics. While both products offer lots of benefits, they equally have downsides too.

Modafinil vs Alpha Brain Pills

Read on to discover the benefits and downsides of modafinil and Alpha Brain. Knowledge of this will help you come much closer to choosing which one is better for you.

Benefits of Alpha Brain

Here are the major benefits of Alpha Brain:

  • proven effectiveness: Several scientific studies have indicated that Alpha Brain can actually help enhance cognitive function. And many people who use it have reported achieving increased productivity after taking it [9];
  • accessibility: Unlike modafinil that requires a prescription, Alpha Brain is easy to get. It can even be ordered online from certain online stores like Amazon;
  • safe for regular use: Unlike modafinil that is better used 3 days per week, this product can be taken every day of the week without causing any serious adverse effects;
  • short duration of effects: Alpha Brain offers just 5+ hours of cognitive enhancement, meaning that you can take it late in the day to quickly complete a task and still enjoy a wonderful night’s rest;
  • improved sleep quality: Unlike most other products that can affect the quality of sleep, Alpha Brain actually improves sleep quality. Some users have even reported experiencing vivid dreams.

Although this product is not the strongest nootropic on the market, its benefits stand out, and unless you are looking to pull an all-nighter, it is definitely a good pick.

Downsides of Alpha Brain

Alpha Brain’s short duration of action, which serves as a great benefit, is often regarded as one of its disadvantages. With just 5+ hours of cognitive enhancement, this product may not be suitable for carrying out and completing certain tasks that require you to be awake for much longer. One example is pulling an all-nighter to study for an exam.

Another of its downsides is the fact that it does not pack a punch. Thus, if you’ve used more powerful cognitive-enhancing drugs like modafinil or are even a regular drinker of coffee, chances are that you may find it ineffective.

Benefits of Modafinil

Some of modafinil’s biggest benefits are its relatively high level of safety and low potential for addiction when compared to other “smart drugs.” While providing unparalleled cognitive enhancements, modafinil does not pose any serious risk of side effects to a user. Another important benefit of this drug is its long duration of action that can sometimes be up to 15 hours. If your work or lifestyle requires you to stay awake, alert, and productive for that long, then modafinil is definitely your ideal choice.

Downsides of Modafinil

One of the major downsides of this product is that it is relatively hard to come by. Because it is a prescription medication, anyone looking to use it has to visit a doctor and may even need to undergo a sleep study before getting a prescription for it.

While a relatively easy method of getting it involves going through online stores, it is not available in regular stores such as Amazon, Shopify, and the like. You can only get it from some specific online pharmacies without a prescription, but you will have to be careful to avoid falling victim to scammers. We will shed light on the best places where one can get high-quality versions that are safe and effective.

Another problem with this product is that it can make sleeping very challenging. Its effects last for 12+ hours, so it is important to do some calculations to know how early to take it so it won’t disrupt your regular sleep schedule. Also, although modafinil generally has few adverse effects, it has more compared to Alpha Brain.

Can You Mix Alpha Brain with Modafinil for Better Results?

Although modafinil is a “smart drug,” mixing it with Alpha Brain is scarcely a smart thing to do. Both drugs work by altering the levels of certain chemical substances in the body. Thus, taking them concomitantly could lead to overstimulation and ultimately increase the risk of side effects.

The best way to go is to determine which product best suits your lifestyle or the kind of work you do and stick with it. If you have tried Alpha Brain or other nootropics and did not seem to get the desired results, you may find results with modafinil. However, if modafinil also proves ineffective after using it as recommended, talk to your doctor.

Do not stop or change your modafinil dose without first seeking medical advice to avoid experiencing any discomfort.

Where to Buy These Smart Drugs Online?

Alpha Brain can be purchased from Amazon or via the company’s official website. But this isn’t the case for modafinil.

Buy Pills Online

Modafinil can be gotten from a walk-in pharmacy but with a valid prescription from a licensed medical doctor. Because getting a prescription can be difficult even for patients with sleep disorders (whom the drug is meant for), most people prefer getting it from online pharmacies. If you also decide to order modafinil online, be sure to get it from a trustworthy and reliable vendor so you won’t get sold a counterfeit.

Some vendors you can bank on for genuine modafinil pills include,, and These pharmacies all have a couple of good characteristics in common: they source their products directly from reputable manufacturers and offer a 100% money-back guarantee. Thus, you can always request and get a full refund or have your products reshipped if they do not get to you.

Modafinil vs Alpha Brain – Which One Is Better for You?

As stated earlier, none of these products is better than the other. Which one is better for you depends on how long you intend to stay awake, active, and productive.

If you have a lot of work to get done, need to stay up for 12+ hours, and do not mind experiencing minor side effects (not always), modafinil is definitely better for you. Furthermore, it may be an ideal product for you if you have tried other nootropics and are looking to step up to something stronger. Just be sure to seek medical advice before starting treatment with it.

However, if you are entirely new to the world of biohacking and are looking for something with mild effects, Alpha Brain may be better for you. It will not disrupt your sleep schedule, but it may not help you get a lot of stuff done.


  1. Modafinil. Retrieved: July 29, 2021.
  2. Experimenting with Nootropics to Increase Mental Capacity, Clarity. By Ari LeVaux. Retrieved: July 29, 2021.
  3. Alpha Brain: Nootropic to Support Brain Function. Retrieved: July 29, 2021.
  4. What Is the Difference Between Smart Drugs and Nootropics? By Icrowdnewswire. Retrieved: July 29, 2021.
  5. My ‘Smart Drugs’ Nightmare. By Benjamin Zand. Retrieved: July 29, 2021.
  6. Modafinil Oral: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Pictures, & Warnings. Retrieved: July 29, 2021.
  7. Alpha GPC Benefits, Uses, and Side Effects. Retrieved: July 29, 2021.
  8. Modafinil Side Effects by Likelihood and Severity. Retrieved: July 29, 2021.
  9. A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Parallel Group, Efficacy Study of Alpha Brain® Administered Orally. By Todd M. Solomon, Jarrett Leech, et al. Retrieved: July 29, 2021.