Can a pill make you smarter? Can you open a bottle, swallow a little silver oval, and become more intelligent? Just take a moment to imagine that. Doing better on tests. Doing better at work. Getting more done. All from an affordable little pill, taken once a day.
Is that even possible?
I’m here to tell you, yes. Yes it is.
There are safe, non-addictive, and 100% legal nootropic drugs you can take right now that will make you smarter and more alert. These are drugs used by the military, tech CEOs, and stock brokers. These drugs are tested, and clinically proven to work, with limited to no serious side effects.
These drugs are safe, and most importantly, they work.
I know because I’ve tried them.
I’ve never bought into IQ tests, brain games, or written measurements of intelligence. From what I’ve seen, all those were built to make people feel good about themselves, to cash in on feeling special. And there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just the way we are.
I’ve never met someone who didn’t think they were smarter than the average guy. “The average American thinks he or she is smarter than the average American,” reported a Yougov survey, where 55% of Americans described themselves as intelligent.
But the intelligence we use in everyday language has nothing to do with tests, and everything to do with results. The “smart” people are the people who are present, quick, engaged, and get things done. We can’t see into someone's head. We can only see what comes out of it. So that makes intelligence a perceptible state, like being sleepy, awake, happy, or sad. And state can be changed with drugs.
When your brain feels awake and interested, you can pull facts out of your head and solve problems with lightning speed. When you’re tired or bored, ideas drip in and out like a leaky faucet. That’s perceptible and measurable. That’s intelligence.
So the intelligence we think of and use in everyday language is a reflection of state. And you already know pills can change that.
I’ve left a list of drugs that will put you into that state, in order of my preference, below. I’ve included pros, cons, and experiences.
When I took my first tablet of Modafinil, I finished 50 pages in three hours. Then I knocked out a two hour gym session, sold all my old electronics online, gave an improv speech on tigers, and had time to make a freaking roast turkey.
Amazed didn’t come close to describing the feeling.
I’d heard Modafinil didn’t have a crash when I’d gotten my hands on a bottle, and just assumed Modafinil was weaker Caffeine. So that morning, like a total dumbass, I gobbled them like candy. Polished off a third of the bottle.
That was dumb for a whole bunch of reasons. First, modafinil is pricey as hell. Second, one pill lasts 14 hours on its own. Lastly, Modafinil makes a triple espresso look like a cup of water.
So what is it then? Wikipedia describes Modafinil as a “wakefulness-promoting drug used for treatment of disorders such as narcolepsy, shift work sleep disorder, idiopathic hypersomnia, and excessive daytime sleepiness associated with obstructive sleep apnea.” It’s a clinically proven drug to make you more alert, which to me, is the most important and measurable component of intelligence.
Modafinil is aderall’s legal, non-addictive cousin, and a massively popular study drug. It’s silicon valley approved and a wall-street favorite. It’s Monster Energy meets Limitless’s imaginary NZT, with a sprinkle of green tea thrown on top. It’s almost a crime that so few people know about it.
Unfortunately, in the US, it’s also a crime to sell. Modafinil is a schedule IV controlled substance. That means it’s not necessarily illegal to use, but it’s not bought or sold in the United States either, due to concerns about addiction potential. If you want to buy modafinil, you’ve got look overseas, and even then, there are legal issues with importing large quantities to the states. That means compared to caffeine, it’s expensive. About $1.50 per pill.
I’m not going to sugar coat it: Modafinil can be addictive. Maybe not chemically addictive, but it’s easy to develop a dependence. I’m a big believer in not needing anything, which is why I don’t use Modafinil much, if at all. That, and because I’m cheap as hell.
But let me repeat: Modafinil is NOT chemically addictive. It’s about as addictive as caffeine. You can get hooked, but only mentally, never physically.
Modafinil is really unique in its effect on dopamine amongst wakefulness drugs. It releases a limited amount of dopamine to increase a sense of accomplishment and reward, but binds it to your receptors differently than traditional amphetamines, meaning there’s no chemical addiction formed. So don’t be scared away. Modafinil is safe.
-Increased Efficiency, Energy, and Happiness
-Lasts up to 14 hours
-Not sold in the US
Adrafinil is the weaker, over-the-counter version of modafinil. It’s exactly the same as modafinil, just considerably less powerful, and easier to get your non-narcoleptic hands on.
If Modafinil is Dr. Evil, then Adrafinil is Mini Me.
Adrafinil is so similar to modafinil, because in the body, it becomes Modafinil. After being ingested, adrafinil is metabolized in the liver, where it’s then converted into modafinil, with the remainder being metabolized into the inactive modafinilic acid. Since adrafinil is a precursor to modafinil, both drugs very similar effects and benefits
However, since Modafinil doesn’t have to go through the extra step in the body, it’s significantly more potent, almost twice the strength of adrafinil. Modafinil also lasts twice as long.
Because adrafinil is metabolized in the liver, however, it has the potential to seriously screw you up if dosage is abused.
Again, don’t let this scare you away. While elevated liver enzymes are sometimes associated with adrafinil use, liver toxicity resulting from adrafinil is super rare, and brought on by high-dosage abuses.
But for God knows what reason, Adrafinil is totally unregulated in the US, and available at your local drug store. Go figure.
-Increased Efficiency and Energy.
-Lasts up to 7 hours
-Easy to buy at US pharmacies
-Potential health risks
3. Caffeine Pills
Caffeine pills are espresso in tablet form. If you’re dropping $20 bucks a week on lattes and fancy drinks, consider switching to pills. They’re more affordable, more effective, and last longer.
It’s no secret that caffeine makes you more alert. Even if caffeine doesn’t actually make you quicker, it makes you feel quicker, and that’s enough to get results.
Caffeine pills also don’t have come with the sugars and long lines that you’d find in a starbucks.
Caffeine pills are a great option if you’re a broke student and need to power through final exams. They’re cheap, easy to buy, and effective.
-Lasts up to 5 hours
-Less satisfying than traditional caffeine drinks
4. Smart Drinks, Shakes, and other commercial smart products
Don’t. Just don’t.
In my humble opinion, most smart drinks, shakes, and supplements sold in supermarkets or on big online retailers are pure bullshit. I’ve never seen one with real, measurable results or recognizable ingredients. Maybe there are some out there that work.
But I haven't found any.
From what I’ve seen, these commercial smart drinks are expensive as hell, filled with processed sugars, and just terrible. I’m sorry to any smart drink or shake retailers out there, but it’s true. Back to the drawing board, guys.
If I were you, I’d just stay away from these entirely.
-Not clinically tested
-Boatloads of Sugars and other Carbs
So, there you have it. My list of smart drugs you can buy and use today.
I’d remind you that I’m not a doctor, but I mean, come on. If you’ve come this far, there’s no way you’re giving me that much credit.
Drugs and self-medication can be dangerous. It’s not the sort of thing to be taken lightly. Before taking anything, please do your own research, and make sure you know what you’re doing. So, I will say for legal reasons:
I am not a licensed medical professional. I’m not allowed to prescribe drugs to friends, family, or even pets. So don’t take my word for things.
Drugs can be bad. Don’t use them, and definitely don’t abuse them. There. You’re welcome, America.
1. “Modafinil.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 14 May 2018, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modafinil.
2.“Adrafinil.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 14 May 2018, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adrafinil.
3.Matyszczyk, Chris. “Average Americans Think They're Smarter than Average Americans.” CNET, CNET, 13 May 2014, www.cnet.com/news/average-americans-think-theyre-smarter-than-average-americans/.