Nootropics – or smart drugs, as they’re also known – have been all the rage in recent years. There are a lot of benefits that nootropics can provide.
- They can enhance cognition by improving memory, mental quickness, verbal fluidity, comprehension, and other aspects related to intelligence
- They can help eliminate all forms of anxiety that are counterproductive to living a good life – social anxiety, work-related anxiety, stress in general, and even existential anxiety (although therapy should also be included for the latter).
- They can help to give you that extra kick in the morning to get you out of bed and get you excited to go to work.
- They can eliminate a lot of built-up symptoms that can be a barrier to living life properly: brain fog, lethargy, etc.
Today we’re going to be looking at the best supplements for lack of motivation. There are many, but some work better than others. It’s also good to pick one that works best for you – just because a nootropic is ‘motivating’ doesn’t mean that its duration, its other effects, or its intensity are suited for you.
Before we start talking about best nootropics for motivation, I need to provide a medical disclamier.
All information in this article is intended to be used for educational and information purposes only, and not as a substitute for advice from your health care provider.
What are the Best Nootropics for Motivation?
Modafinil is one of my personal favourite nootropics because it works in a very unique manner. Instead of being considered a stimulant, like most motivating nootropics that include caffeine or Adderall, Modafinil, to me, best suits the term “wakefulness promoting agent.”
All stimulating nootropics can be considered wakefulness promoting agents, but to me, that’s just corporate jargon that means, “this stuff will keep you awake all night.” Modafinil is interesting because it doesn’t keep you awake all night – it just gets rid of feelings of fatigue and lethargy.
On its own, it’s not even particularly stimulating. You won’t feel jittery, like you might feel after drinking too much coffee, and you won’t feel amped out like you do on amphetamines. It truly is the best and most effective wakefulness promoting agent, because it does just that and nothing more.
If you really want to experience the maximum benefit of this compound, you should consider building a Modafinil stack. Modafinil works quite well with a number of other compounds.
- Modafinil and Caffeine. This stack is nice because the Modafinil can counteract the typical crash that one experiences when drinking caffeine, and the caffeine can provide the punch in the morning that Modafinil may not.
- Modafinil and L-theanine (with or without caffeine). Modafinil doesn’t cause me any anxiety, but some people report that it does cause mild anxiety issues. L-theanine is a mild anxiolytic with few side effects, and I’d suggest it as an ideal solution to any Modafinil-induced anxiety.
In terms of sheer physical energy, Noopept may not be the best nootropic for motivation. However, it’s a great compound for providing mental motivation and stimulation, and this tends to carry over into your waking life and your activities.
Noopept can be considered the primer that allows people to take hold of themselves mentally, dedicate themselves to an idea, and develop the drive to complete it. Modafinil, as we’ve mentioned, is a great wakefulness promoting agent, but it doesn’t do a whole lot to your mental game. I think Noopept, while not traditionally stimulating, is among the best nootropics for motivation because it allows you to clear your head and identify what it is that you really want to get out of the day, the week, the month, or your whole life.
Like most nootropics, Noopept shines brightest when it’s combined with other similar nootropics to form a stack. On its own, it’s a potent cognitive enhancer that improves verbal fluidity, memory, and comprehension. If that sounds great, you’re right – but it can become even more powerful when mixed with other substances.
- Noopept and Phenylpiracetam. You’ve probably heard of the racetam family. Piracetam, aniracetam, and oxiracetam are among the most common compounds in this family. If those work for you, then they’ll probably work great as part of a nootropic stack. However, in terms of sheer motivation, Noopept is best combined with Phenylpiracetam. Of all racetam nootropics, Phenylpiracetam is by far the most stimulating. It’s known to cause the jitters at high doses, so it’ll take a bit to figure out your ideal ratio. However, once you do, this combination will have you jumping out of bed to tackle the world every morning.
- Noopept and L-theanine (with or without Phenylpiracetam). For the same reason that theanine can be a useful addition to a Modafinil stack, it can be useful for a Noopept stack – especially if you’re using Phenylpiracetam. Theanine light anxiolytic effect is great for those who are looking to eliminate the stimulatory anxiety from these compounds without overshadowing their positive effects.
- Noopept, Choline, and a -racetam. A choline source is recommended by many, and some people suggest that it’s even necessary, when taking Noopept or a -racetam (the racetams and noopept are very functionally similar). Choline is the brain’s ‘smart’ neurotransmitter that’s responsible for all things cognitive. Using nootropics like a -racetam can cause your brain to more quickly use up your choline reserves, so it’s important to make sure you replenish frequently. Good choline sources include citicoline and alpha-GPC.
Adrafinil is an analogue of Modafinil, and thus functions quite similarly. The main difference between the two compounds is that Modafinil is significantly more potent – you’ll only need about half as much Modafinil as you would Adrafinil to receive essentially the same effects.So why would you choose Adrafinil? Well, the main reason is that it’s easily available online. In many places, Modafinil is only available by prescription, which makes it immediately difficult for people who don’t have family doctors or who believe that they could find the stuff useful even if their doctor doesn’t.This is because Adrafinil is actually a prodrug for Modafinil. That means it’s converted by the body into Modafinil. You need more Adrafinil because not every bit of it can be converted, hence why doses of 200-400 mg are recommended for people who only use ~100mg of Modafinil.
The other main difference is that Adrafinil takes a bit longer to hit the body, due to the conversion process that it has to undergo in the liver. Modafinil usually peaks within an hour or so, but Adrafinil can take a couple hours before the effect is really noticed. When I’m using Adrafinil, I like to set my alarm an hour and a half before I’m supposed to wake up, take 250mg, and then go back to sleep. By the time I wake up, it’ll be kicking in, and I won’t have to deal with morning fatigue.
- I like to combine Adrafinil and phenylpiracetam. On its own, Adrafi
- nil isn’t known for causing improved cognition in the same way as the -racetams. It certainly alleviates brain fog and gets rid of fatigue that can be a hindrance to mental functioning, but it doesn’t provide the same enhanced verbal fluidity and comprehension / creative skills that phenylpiracetam does.
It’s important to note that Adrafinil is considered more toxic than Modafinil because the liver has to work very hard to process it. However, most instances of toxicity have occurred only after repeated use at the higher end of the recommended dosage scale. This means that if you’re going to use Adrafinil, cycle it and use it as infrequently as possible to prevent liver toxicity.
Dopaminergic drugs are known for being stimulatory in nature. For example, the amphetamine class of drugs which are primarily prescribed to children with ADHD, function largely by causing a release of dopamine which causes motivation and euphoria.
Dopaminergics are also useful for the treatment of cognitive diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, which can develop as a result of excessive dopamine being broken down by MAOs in the brain’s synapses and causing problems with cognition. For this reason, many of these nootropics can be prescribed to help slow the onset of these conditions.
It’s important to note that dopaminergic nootropics tend to carry more risk of abuse and addiction than other types because they usually have some sort of effect on your mood. Some of them are potent enough to cause serious bursts of euphoria, which can lead to people ‘chasing the dragon’ and trying to recreate the initial buzz they got from using the drug in the first place.
Even if you’ve never heard of Selegiline, nootropic seekers will find themselves excited about the prospect. Selegiline, also known as Deprenyl, is a pharmaceutical drug that’s for treating Parkinson’s disease. This is because it’s an MAOI, or an MAO inhibitor. Remember, MAO is the stuff that breaks down dopamine and can lead to the emergence of these sorts of cognitive issues.This doesn’t mean that Selegiline is only useful for people suffering from cognitive problems, though. MAOIs, particularly those that aren’t extremely powerful, can have immense benefits as nootropics. In this case, Selegiline shines in three particular areas: promoting the general health and communication ability of the brain, enhancing memory, reasoning, and logical ability, and boosting focus & thought clarity. You may notice that these benefits are similar to those that are needed by patients suffering from ADHD, and you’d be absolutely right. As a dopaminergic, Selegiline functions in a similar functional manner as some of the drugs prescribed to treat ADHD – with a much less significant profile of side effects.
- Selegiline is generally taken with L-dopa or L-Tyrosine. I prefer to use L-Tyrosine because there’s a lot of debate on the internet as to whether L-dopa actually crosses the blood-brain barrier. Regardless, both of these compounds are precursors to dopamine. L-tyrosine is metabolized into L-dopa, which is then metabolized into dopamine. Taking a dopamine precursor prior to taking a dopaminergic will greatly enhance the effects, but be careful when doing this, because you increase the risk for downregulation. Dopamine downregulation is the process that results in tolerance, dependence, and withdrawal from dopaminergic drugs.
Though I’ve never used Sulbutiamine, nootropic users abound report its efficacy as a fantastic substance. I was hesitant as to whether or not to list it here in the dopaminergic section, because it’s not actually a significantly potent dopamine releaser. Instead, Sulbutiamine upregulates the dopamine system.
If you read the last paragraph about dopamine downregulation, then you can probably ascertain what upregulation is. Instead of desensitizing your dopamine system (which is really what’s happening when a person becomes more tolerant to dopaminergics, for example, when someone needs to increase their dosage of Adderall because it’s not working anymore) Sulbutiamine sensitizes it.
This can be good or bad, depending on your current situation.
- Sulbutiamine can be used, in moderation, to slow the development of tolerance to other dopaminergic drugs. This means that it can be used in small doses alongside prescribed medications that affect dopamine, but be very cautious when doing this because it will also significantly enhance the effects of the drug. That means all of the effects of the drug. Don’t use Sulbutiamine to ‘potentiate’ medically prescribed drugs for recreational use, because you’ll also potentiate the negative side effects of these drugs and put yourself more at risk for developing health problems.
- Sulbutiamine is a fantastic motivation and mood enhancer, and it does this through dopaminergic action. As we’ve mentioned, dopaminergics are more likely to be abused than other classes of drugs due to the way they provide euphoric feelings. Fortunately, as a dopamine upregulation, Sulbutiamine won’t cause dependency as easily as other substances.
Generally, it’s best to be cautious with Sulbutiamine because it can cause some serious effects if it’s mixed with the wrong substances. If you’re taking anything else that interacts with dopamine, you’d be best off avoiding this stuff.
There are a lot of different substances out there that can be used to enhance motivation. However, instead of just running to the store and picking up a bunch of supplements, it’s important to do your research online. Some of these substances, while fairly benign on their own, may have serious interactions with other over-the-counter medication. Hopefully we’ve been able to give you enough information to help you make a proper decision today.