Sebastian Freidank - 27. July 23
Modafinil, Ritalin & NZT – effects, alternatives & caffeine
Modafinil, Ritalin or NZT, which of the three synthetic nootropics would you prefer? In this article we go into the smallest detail and examine the effects, side effects and alternatives to Modafinil and Ritalin. We also look at the possibility of combining different nootropics Ritalin and caffeine and give you valuable insights into many ingredients and their effect on your body and mind.
This article is purely informative and does not constitute advice.
Table of contents
- What is NZT? The Limitless Pill
- What are Nootropics?
- What is Modafinil? – the pill from Silicon Valley
- What is Ritalin? – the stimulant among students
Modafinil & Ritalin alternatives & effects
- Conclusion – Modafinil, NZT or Guayusa, what works best?
1. What is NZT? The Limitless Pill
NZT is a super pill from the Movie “Without Limit” in the English original “Limitless” with extraordinary abilities on the human brain.
In the film, the miracle pill causes not only an amazingly pleasant feeling of being awake and the associated longer work performance, but also extremely increased thinking performance, more creativity and a better and faster connection between the problem and the solution.
In addition, the ability to remember is to a certain extent unrestricted, so that even the smallest events from the past, which were only perceived subconsciously, can be reconstructed in one's mind at lightning speed.
The main advantage is that challenges in everyday life can be mastered much more efficiently by exploiting the brain's full potential.
2. What are Nootropics?
However, a look at the ingredients clearly shows that these are caffeine tablets with vitamins rather than actual nootropics. Caffeine tablets are made from extracted caffeine powder, which can have many side effects. More about this in the article “natural caffeine VS caffeine powder“. Accordingly, after taking a 400 mg caffeine tablet, you are more likely to experience a racing heart, headaches, confused thoughts, jitteriness and, in the worst case, even anxiety.
This has nothing to do with Limitless.
Caffeine is of course not generally bad, but it plays a big role in what form and in what quantity you consume it. In our contribution to Caffeine Benefits you can find out more about the positive properties of caffeine on your health. By the way, caffeine itself is for Pregnant women not fundamentally bad, more on that in the linked post and the post on Caffeine side effects.
2.1. Nootropics examples
You can find most of the clearly defined nootropics in the dietary supplements section. We looked around Amazon to give you some examples and our opinion.
Nuri Brain: The company offers all sorts of different supplements, including the product “Focus Brain Boosters“. It promises more mental clarity, focus, brain performance and it is scientifically based. The ingredients are: 130 mg caffeine, Ginko Biloba, tyrosine, Theanine, Bacopa Monnieri and vitamins.
- Our experience: 130 mg of caffeine is a good dose, and the combination with L-theanine and tyrosine is also excellent as it can balance the stress level. Bacopa Monnieri, on the other hand, is said to help with ADHD, and can therefore also help people without ADHD to concentrate better and maintain focus.
Zenement: The company also sells numerous nutritional supplements for a wide variety of areas. Including the product “Nootropic“. In addition to ingredients such as 40 mg caffeine, Ginkgo biloba extract, Bacopa monnieri extract, green tea extract, L-tyrosine.
- Our experience: The amount of caffeine may be too low and the lack of L-theanine is also not optimal. To do this, the company relies on other plant extracts, all of which are known to improve brain functions.
N2Natural: another well-known company for nutritional supplements offers the product “Memory“, which is intended to improve performance, concentration and memory. Ingredients include: Ginko biloba, green tea, Reishi, 100 mg caffeine and vitamins. But also anti-caking agents and copper complexes.
- Our experience: The caffeine content is approximately the same as that of a particularly strong drink prepared Guayusa-Tees, which is sufficiently strong. Additional green tea and ginkgo extract provide extra power. The Reishi medicinal mushroom, on the other hand, is more for health and less for focus and concentration, that would be the case Cordyceps medicinal mushroom make more sense.
2.2. Definition of nootropics
As a simple definition of nootropics you can say that:
“Nootropics are dietary supplements that aim to increase memory, focus and concentration, as well as general memory retention.”
It doesn't matter whether these dietary supplements are of natural or chemical origin, such as Ritalin and Modafinil. Also combinations such as Ritalin or Modafinil with caffeine, ginkgo extract or Guayusa and vitamins are conceivable and describe a nootropic.
2.3. Use of nootropics
Nootropics, also known as smart drugs and nootropics in English, are mainly used in circles Biohackers, entrepreneurs and students. Biohackers strive to optimize their bodies and minds in order to utilize their full potential. Entrepreneurs and students want this too, but with the original desire to learn more, more productive to be and more successful in career and business to become.
Nootropics also have many friends among athletes, as they increase the body's general performance and sharpen focus, which has an enormous advantage during training.
2.4. Natural nootropic sources
The ingredients of the smart drugs mentioned above already give you an insight into what natural sources are available. We would still like to make it easy for you and give you a list of the best-known natural sources here.
- Green tea
- Bacopa monnieri
- Rhodiola rosea
- Gotu Kola
2.5. Synthetic nootropic sources
3. What is Modafinil? – the pill from Silicon Valley
Modafinil is a pharmaceutical that spread in the USA as a super pill among managers, CEOs and similar positions. Unlike over-the-counter dietary supplements, Modafinil is a medication. Actually developed to help patients with Narcolepsy, i.e. excessive sleepiness, from their problem, the pill was very popular with people who have to work 12 to 18 hours a day. Of course, Modafinil doesn't do what NZT does in the film, but it is said to have an enormous focusing effect that makes you work like a machine.
3.1. How does modafinil work?
Experience reports on Modafinil describe the effect as a kind of hyper-focusing with a dulled emotional state, which makes it possible to perform at work for 18 hours a day without being negatively affected by a lack of sleep.
This effect is understandably very tempting for entrepreneurs who are in the process of building a company worth millions or even billions.
Everyone has to decide for themselves whether the loss of emotions is an advantage or disadvantage or a side effect of Modafinil.
3.2. Modafinil side effects
Modafinil actually has no known side effects that have a lasting negative effect on the body. This means that side effects such as weight gain, heart problems, kidney problems, etc. are not known with Modafinil. The dulling of feelings and emotions, on the other hand, can certainly be seen as a side effect, but of course also as a positive side effect.
However, Modafinil is not a freely available nootropic, despite the fact that it has no known side effects, but must be prescribed by a doctor and “getting it” from dubious sources just to cope with the pressure to perform is probably not recommended.
4. What is Ritalin? – the stimulant among students
Ritalin is a drug approved in 1954, it was initially used to treat psychiatric disorders and is also known as methylphenidate. It was not until 1960 that placebo studies with Ritalin were conducted, which demonstrated that Ritalin helps with attention disorders such as ADHD, hyperactivity and impulsivity by acting on the central nervous system.
4.1. Effects of Ritalin
Ritalin is said to have an awakening and focus-sharpening effect and is therefore often used, especially in the USA, by schoolchildren and students to increase academic performance and cope with pressure. Unlike Modafinil, however, there are far-reaching side effects known, which you can see under 4.2. found in the article.
Ritalin for studying
Before we get to the possible side effects of Ritalin, let's look at the benefits that students see in taking Ritalin for learning. They describe the effect of Ritalin as promoting concentration. Where distraction, impulsivity and hyperactive behavior previously prevailed, a quiet, focused working atmosphere is created, similar to Modafinil.
Especially today, when children are growing up with smartphones, social media and other increasingly fast-paced areas of life, this feeling of calm and focus that Ritalin can provide can be relieving and helpful for learning.
However, it is clear that Ritalin is not a panacea for “learning better” because it neither works the same for everyone nor is it free of side effects.
4.2. Ritalin side effects & overdose
The side effects of Ritalin range from growth disorders, sweating and insomnia to convulsions, extreme heart rate and psychosis. According to reports, loss of appetite and nervousness, something that you actually want to get rid of by taking it, also occur.
An overdose of Ritalin can result in nausea, vomiting, tremors, seizures, increased heart rate, high blood pressure, hallucinations and, in extreme cases, even coma or death. It should therefore never be taken carelessly and without consulting a doctor.
The amount at which an overdose of Ritalin occurs depends on many factors such as weight, gender, age and metabolism. However, no amount over 60 mg per day is usually prescribed.
4.3. Ritalin dosage & duration of action
The dosage of Ritalin also depends heavily on your personal situation and should be urgently discussed with a doctor. Basically, a dosage of 5 mg to a maximum of 60 mg can be assumed for children and 10 mg to 60 mg for adults.
Depending on how well your personal metabolism works, Ritalin reaches its maximum effect after about 2 hours and wears off again within 4 hours. There is now also Ritalin with a long-term effect. The active ingredient is released over 6 to 12 hours, making it possible to take it once in the morning instead of taking several doses throughout the day.
4.4. Ritalin and caffeine – combined effect
The combination of Ritalin and caffeine is something you will often read about in your research. Both active ingredients stimulate the central nervous system and can therefore have a potentiating effect. However, there is no clear study on the interaction between Ritalin and caffeine and the reports range from a longer-lasting positive awakening effect to palpitations, nervousness and shortness of breath.
The most common way to take Ritalin and caffeine together is to dissolve the pill in a coffee or other caffeinated beverage.
This combination is generally not recommended by doctors and should be avoided or only used after consultation.
5. Modafinil & Ritalin Alternatives & Effects
Modafinil and Ritalin are two very well-known nootropics, and for good reason. They can have a positive effect on memory performance and thus lead to better performance in everyday life, work and sport. However, both are prescription medications and you should avoid taking them without a prescription.
In addition to these synthetic nootropics, there are fortunately completely natural alternatives, dozens of which we have already introduced to you above. In addition to the numerous Nootrpics on Amazon which are very expensive, there are also natural sources. However, you must note that although a single active ingredient such as caffeine is a nootropic, the effect is very limited. Only the combination of a few selected active ingredients leads to an effective supplement that can help you increase your memory, sharpen your focus and therefore work more concentratedly and efficiently.
Guayusa, also ilex Guayusa called, is a leaf from the Amazon rainforest of Ecuador. The leaves are from those who live there Kichwa Indians used for thousands of years before hunting. They say, that Guayusa puts them in a state of relaxed alertness, allowing them to hunt for several hours without feeling tired. In addition, the senses such as eyesight and hearing are sharpened, which makes hunting in the jungle successful.
A look at the active ingredients of Guayusa clarifies why Guayusa is the most effective natural nootropic. This is the drink that only became popular a few years ago most caffeinated in the world and also has the active ingredients L-Theanine, Theophylline, Theobromine and the antioxidant lutein, which affects vision and blue light absorption. It was found in particularly high quantities Guayusa proven and helps to keep the mind active and awake through the increased absorption of blue light. This phenomenon is known from the use of modern LED screens, which should be switched off or dimmed to a yellowish light about 30 to 60 minutes before going to sleep.
Guayusa is usually prepared and drunk as tea. What's also exciting is that Guayusa Tea does not taste bitter despite the high caffeine content no known side effects has. This means that the tea brings additional benefits to other caffeinated drinks.
You can find out the effect of the most important ingredients in our article “Active ingredients that give you limitless energy“ read up.
You can Guayusa tea either in our onlineShop buy or on Amazon order.
- Advantages Guayusa at GUYA in onlineShop to buy: Each pack is cheaper than on Amazon and with ours Newsletter voucher you get again 10% discountt.
- advantages of Amazon: Suitable for small orders of 1 to 2 packs, as as a Prime customer you don't pay any shipping costs.
5.2. Green tea & matcha
What many people don't know is that matcha is green tea, but it is particularly cultivated and processed. More about this in our Matcha VS Green Tea Comparison.
Matcha is along with Guayusa the only plant in the world in which L-theanine has been found so far. Green tea contains significantly more of the active ingredient, but this is not necessarily an advantage because too much theanine leads to a brain frequency that is too relaxed.
Matcha in particular has many antioxidants that can have a positive effect on memory and of course our general well-being. Antioxidants are measured using the ORAC value, which is only slightly higher for matcha than for Guayusa Tea. More on this in ours Matcha VS Guayusa Comparison.
However, the matcha effect is significantly less balanced than that of Guayusa, which has to do with the distribution of the active ingredients.
We do not have any matcha or green tea in our range. However, you will find many different varieties Tezen.
5.3. Yerba mate
Yerba Mate is a tea also from South America that also contains caffeine, theobromine and theophylline, but no L-theanine and compared to matcha and Guayusa very few antioxidants.
In addition, mate, like matcha, tastes very bitter and when it comes to quality, you have to be careful not to buy smoked mate tea, as it can be carcinogenic.
More about this in our article on Mate tea and its effects.
When it comes to mate tea, we can name you a trustworthy manufacturer because we have often met them at local organic trade fairs and were able to convince ourselves of their quality. You find them. products from Caa-Mate on Amazon.
5.4. Cordyceps, Reishi & Hericium
We have covered each of the three medicinal mushrooms in separate and extremely detailed articles. Each mushroom has its own specific effect and can be taken either alone or together with another nootropic.
- Cordyceps: The medicinal mushroom for more performance of the body and mind. Cordyceps can shorten recovery time after exercise and increase oxygen uptake. In addition, the mushroom is said to have the ability to sustainably improve heart health.
- Reishi: Also called the mushroom of immortality because it strengthens the immune system, cardiovascular system and psyche by reducing stress and improving sleep.
- Hericium: An efficient medicinal mushroom to improve digestion, strengthen the immune system and improve cognitive abilities.
At our Partner Smaints You can find all three medicinal mushrooms in different versions, as powder, liquid and mix with cocoa. We recommend the liquid, as you can easily do this with one of the other natural nootropics like Guayusa You can combine tea.
Coffee, along with tea, is probably the most well-known caffeinated drink, but it is far from the best from a nootroika perspective and, taken alone, is not a good alternative to Modafinil or Ritalin. The caffeine in coffee is almost free and therefore has a similarly aggressive effect as synthetic caffeine. In addition, coffee does not contain any significant other active ingredients that could work in synergy with caffeine.
But here too it is a good idea to find several nootropics together. For example, you can use ours 50/50 mix of Robusta coffee and Guayusa tea to use. This quickly catapults you to an intense alert level without heart palpitations, jitteriness and monkey mind. The effect also lasts for several hours and allows you to work with concentration and focus.
If you want to avoid coffee completely, you can follow our guide "This is how giving up coffee works" consequences.
5.6. More natural Modafinil & Ritalin alternatives
The effect of Modafinil and Ritalin is very intense, which cannot be achieved with weaker nootropics such as mate and matcha because the active ingredients are not sufficiently balanced. Guayusa On the other hand, it produces an almost identical effect, but without cooling down the emotions.
As a single nootropic is Guayusa therefore the best and most natural alternative to Modafinil and Ritalin.
If you would still like to find out more about other natural nootrpics, you can read our free e-book "Stimulant Comparison" and compare many natural alternatives to Modafinil by finding out more about the effects and ingredients. You can do that Free e-book with every order pack it or in ours Download newsletter.
6. Conclusion – Modafinil, NZT or Guayusa, what works best?
Modafinil and Ritalin undoubtedly fall into the category of nootropics in terms of effect and definition, but they should not be the first choice for someone who is physically and mentally healthy. The dream of the well-known NZT pill will not be fulfilled even with the Modfinil or Ritalin effect and, in the worst case, could turn into a nightmare due to the side effects.
However, if you have already tried Modafinil and Ritalin and would like to have a similar effect without any risk, you can use alternatives. Either in the form of extract mixtures in pill form, which we presented at the beginning of the article, or in the form of natural nootropics such as Guayusa, Matcha, Ginko, Yerba Mate etc.
We do not recommend a combination of caffeine with Ritalin or Modafinil, as can often be found as a tip on the Internet, as this can lead to even more serious side effects than these medications already cause.
6.1. Personal feedback from GUYA-Founder Sebastian Freidank
Before the founding of GUYA I experimented with Modafinil and all sorts of nootropics during my studies. The ones back then Nootrpics from Amazon were significantly less balanced than today's.
I preferred the effects of Modafinil to all the “brain enhancement” products at the time because it was the only one that allowed me to work/learn clearly and focused throughout the day. Only when I Guayusa discovered and tried it out through Leonardo DiCaprio's donation project and the behind the scenes for Channing Tatum's Magic Maik film, I suddenly stopped using Modafinil.
The effect of Guayusa Tea is surprisingly extremely similar to the focusing and performance-enhancing effects of Modafinil, and does not pose the risk of side effects of the medication Modafinil appearing in a few years.
I can only recommend it to everyone Guayusa Try it out and experiment with the different dosages. The effect is amazing and led me to drop out of my studies in 2016 and start a company Guayusa imported directly from the indigenous people of Ecuador to Europe.
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