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Modafinil, sometimes called “the king of all nootropics”, is a eugeroic compound (a wakefulness-promoting agent).
Caffeine is a stimulant. According to Wikipedia, it’s “the world’s most widely consumed psychoactive drug” (as weird as it is to think of caffeine as a drug).
Though caffeine and modafinil are actually somewhat comparable in the benefits they give, they produce some fantastic synergistic effects when stacked. The end result is much greater than what any of the two could provide just on their own.
What is Modafinil
Modafinil is a prescription drug initially intended as a treatment for sleep-related disorders such as narcolepsy or obstructive sleep apnea. Its most prominent nootropic effect is an increase in motivation levels, though that’s just scratching the surface. After all, there’s a reason it’s called the “closest thing to the Limitless pill.”
Anytime I use modafinil, my confidence goes through the roof, and problem-solving becomes much easier. It also makes me feel alert, awake, super focused and does wonders for my memory.
Modafinil is a popular choice among students, professionals, entrepreneurs, athletes and pro gamers. As is the case for many, my favorite source for getting it is online.
What is Caffeine
Caffeine is most commonly consumed as, of course, coffee. It’s the tool of choice for many “office monkeys” (of which I am one). It’s also a common drink among both straight A students and hungover frat boys alike.
There are two ways in which caffeine achieves its effects. It prevents brain cells from signaling that you’re tired. At the same time, it increases the levels of other energizing neurotransmitters such as serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine.
Caffeine produces feelings of alertness, sociability, confidence, and motivation. An increased attention span is something else you can look forward to.
Unlike modafinil though, caffeine is addictive. Prolonged use of it leads to chemical changes in the brain. Someone addicted to caffeine may feel tired or lethargic after skipping as few as one day of use.
Coffee, the world’s favorite caffeine vessel, also causes acid reflux and may lead to bad breath if you don’t hydrate properly.
Do note that both caffeine and modafinil are diuretics and both cause significant dehydration (so stay on top of your water intake).
Do Caffeine and Modafinil Mix
The short answer is: yes, yes they do. In fact, modafinil and caffeine work together exceptionally well.
Taking just one or the other substance can undoubtedly help. The effects modafinil gives all on its own are quite powerful and by no stretch something to sneeze at. But when you need that little extra boost, drinking coffee at the same time will take the experience to a whole new level.
In fact, before I started writing this, I have taken modafinil and my cup of joe is within arm’s reach. The two are helping me feel extra-focused and productive, noticeably more than I would solely from modafinil. In other words, I really, really feel like getting stuff done!
Don’t Overdo it
As well as the two substances work together, a bit of caution is also in order. The combination can quickly become quite strong and overwhelming.
Too much coffee while on modafinil can make you very jittery and anxious. This is something I have both experienced personally and have heard of many times from other users.
How to Stack Modafinil and Caffeine
My preferred approach when combining modafinil with caffeine is to take modafinil first. After it kicks in, I drink a low-to-medium strength cup of coffee by sipping it over a period of two to three hours. This allows me to control my mental state while gaining little boosts every 10 minutes or so.
I usually take between 50 to 100 mg of modafinil or drop it to 25 to 75 mg when taking it sublingually. That translates to 1/8 to 3/8 of a 200 mg tablet (which is the standard size when you get it from AfinilExpress). Some people would call that microdosing, but I find that even a lower dose of modafinil is plenty stimulating when mixed with caffeine.
Coincidentally, coffee is also the perfect aid after holding modafinil under your tongue for about 10 minutes (when going the sublingual route). Coffee is tasty, and modafinil is anything but.
While caffeine can be a great potentiator, it can be counterproductive if taken in excess. Too much of it may cause an increase in anxiety levels. It may also result in an increased heart rate and slight discomfort in the chest. In rarer cases, it can lead to depression, abnormal heartbeat, aggression, and mania.
When norepinephrine levels go up, the mind feels that something important is about to happen. Hence the state of alertness felt when taking either of the two substances.
However, too much norepinephrine leads to increased levels of stress hormones, resulting in the adverse side effects we touched on earlier. So be sure to dose correctly and when in doubt, less is better.
Also, remember to stay hydrated. You should always have a glass of water next to you, taking a sip or two every few minutes.
The Timing Around Stacking Modafinil and Coffee
Personally, I don’t drink coffee or take modafinil in the evening on a regular basis. The only times I ever do so is when I’m planning on pulling an all-nighter. When you’re suffering mental fatigue brought on by sleep deprivation, few things work better than the caffeine and modafinil combo.
My preferred way of stacking is to take modafinil in the morning and use the coffee to potentiate it as time goes on.
As you may or may not know, eating (especially heavy foods) decreases the effects of modafinil, so try to avoid doing so until later in the day as well.
A nice little trick many people don’t know about is that as modafinil reaches its half-life and starts wearing off, a big sip of coffee can reactivate it. It’s a very viable alternative to redosing. As cheap as modafinil is when bought online, I still prefer to conserve it when possible.
What If the Timing Is Off
On more than one occasion I made the mistake of having coffee late in the evening after taking modafinil during the day. It’s easy to do this accidentally, and unfortunately, it will typically cost you a good night’s sleep.
If you ever end up in such a situation, I find certain nootropic supplements such as Ashwagandha or Bacopa Monnieri do a great job of taking the edge off. They act a bit like an undo button, helping you go to sleep at night without staring at the walls for hours on end.
The Bottom Line
Caffeine is how you make modafinil more effective. They go together super well. The combination will make the whole experience much more meaningful and productive.
If you need an extra push, this is, in my opinion, one of the best ways to achieve it. You’ll feel motivated, ready to go and wanting to get things done now, now, now.