Adderall Alternatives: Are There Good Alternatives to Adderall?

In a world full of distractions and competition, wanting to strive for more is only natural. Adderall fits the bill when it comes to cognitive and physical enhancement. Some people use Adderall for medical purposes, while others don’t necessarily need Adderall to function normally, but are taking it to gain an edge in work or school.

There are safer and non-addictive ways of achieving the desired effects, as you will see after studying some alternatives to Adderall. But first, let’s focus on what Adderall is so that you know what to replace it with.

What is Adderall?

Adderall is a combination of drugs that contain four salts of the two enantiomers of amphetamine. Adderall is incredibly effective in boosting focus, improving concentration and aiding in increased performance, regardless of what you’re taking it for.

Still, Adderall is one of the most prescribed stimulants in the world, any many doctors view it as the optimal solution for managing narcolepsy, shift work sleep disorder and other sleep-related disorders. Still, its side effects are considered by many to be too much, causing Adderall to fix a problem while creating another.

Furthermore, Adderall is highly addictive, and there are many unfortunate cases of children checking into rehab for Adderall addiction. This is a real problem in the US and other countries around the world.

Fortunately, there are other substances that act in a similar way and are considerably safer than Adderall. While most aren’t as potent, a few of them are surprisingly effective and come quite close to achieving the same effects.

Why do people use Adderall?

There are people who have been prescribed Adderall, yet there are those who use it off-label. Of those using it off-label purposes may vary. Some people may enjoy its socially-enhancing effects, while others use it as a tool to achieve more in life.

You may be using it or intend to. The main question you should be asking yourself to get the best alternative is “What do I want to get out of the experience?”. You may find that some solutions work better for you than others and that potency isn’t everything.

Adderall alternatives: which one to choose?

Adderall is not a sustainable solution, whether it’s used to treat mental issues or as a cognitive enhancer to gain an edge in work or school. Also, it’s illegal to order Adderall online, which is why it’s best that you search for legal Adderall alternatives to fulfil your desires. You can easily get the same benefits with some of the best Adderall alternatives that are both safer and more effective for your purposes:

Natural Adderall alternatives

L-theanine + caffeine

L-theanine is an amino-acid that is widely consumed in the form of green tea. L-Theanine isn’t exactly known for its stimulating effects, although the way in which it is usually consumed would lead you to believe that it’s responsible for stimulation. Green tea also contains caffeine, which accounts for the stimulation part of the experience. L-Theanine produces a state of mindful relaxation through its action on alpha brain waves, the same that are impacted during meditation.

Still, the amount of L-theanine found in green tea is too low, and you would have to drink around four cups of tea to consume a moderate dose of L-theanine. This would make it hard for you to pinpoint the effects of L-theanine, as you would also be consuming copious amounts of caffeine. Supplementing L-theanine while drinking small sips of coffee is effective in increasing focus and energy levels in a similar way to Adderall, minus the “stimulant jitters”, which are canceled out by L-theanine.

Rhodiola Rosea

Rhodiola Rosea is a herb that grows in the arctic regions of Europe and Asia. It’s a traditional herbal remedy for fatigue and a general tonic for the mind and body. It’s popular in Scandinavian and Asian traditional medicine for its restorative properties. Studies have shown that Rhodiola effectively increases energy, enhances cognition and protects the brain from toxins.

Believed by many to be one of the best natural Adderall alternatives, Rhodiola is surprisingly effective when it comes to boosting energy levels. It can be used both by athletes performing physical activities and by workers or students who need a boost in wakefulness and cognition. In fact, Rhodiola Rosea is better than Adderall because it’s also an adaptogen through its ability to better help the body and mind deal with stress.

Nootropic Adderall alternatives


Noopept is a synthetic peptide that enhances memory and focus, produces subtle stimulation and also has neuroprotective properties. It also has a soothing effect on anxiety, and while it’s considerably different from Adderall, it can help serve the same purposes. It’s good for social anxiety, it can be used for studying and productivity. As opposed to being toxic for the brain, as is the case with Adderall, Nooepept encourages NGF and BDNF, two substances that help with the growth, maintenance and longevity of brain cells. On top of that, it’s very cheap.


Racetams are popular among the nootropic community, and the one that comes closest to Adderall both in its effects and in its structure is Phenylpiracetam. Structurally, it’s a synthesized version of piracetam with an added phenyl group. It was developed by the Russian Academy of Sciences as a more potent version of piracetam that also creates noticeable stimulatory effects.

Phenylpiracetam’s chemical resemblance to Adderall is responsible for creating effects that can be compared to stimulants, although somewhat different. Phenylpiracetam is known to also decrease anxiety and help in treating depression. Aleksandr Serebrov used to take phenylpiracetam during his 200-day space travel. He regarded its effects as being an “equalizer of the whole organism” and praised its ability to “exclude impulsiveness and irritability”.

Modafinil vs Adderall

Modafinil is regarded as being the closest to Adderall in terms of short-term effects. Interestingly, Modafinil isn’t part of the stimulant class of drugs, as its effects may lead you to believe. Modafinil is a wakefulness-enhancing agent, and its mechanism of action is different than Adderall.

Adderall increases the activity of dopamine and norepinephrine and triggers the release of histamine, serotonin and epinephrine. This leads to a feeling similar to the fight-or-flight response and creates intense stimulation and arousal.

Modafinil inhibits the production of GABA and increases dopamine, norepinephrine, histamine and orexin, although in a considerably gentler way than traditional stimulants such as Adderall. The effects, in turn, are gentle as a consequence, with the peak effects lasting around 6 hours, while the whole experience up to 12, followed by a period of afterglow.

Is Modafinil a good substitute then?

With regards to the Modafinil vs Adderall “battle”, the winner is definitely Modafinil, and that’s for two reasons:

Firstly, Modafinil is as effective as Adderall. Some may even call Modafinil better for productivity and learning due to its non-euphoric nature, the laser-like focus one experiences and its prolonged effects.

Secondly, but not least, another reason why Modafinil is the best Adderall substitute is due to the fact that Modafinil has a low addictive potential, fewer side effects and an almost non-existent crash. Adderall causes changes in the brain after prolonged use, leading to addiction and damage which may take a long period of time to be mended.

In fact, if you go past a certain threshold when it comes to Adderall, you’ll experience difficulty in completing tasks. Furthermore, Adderall will make you feel drained when the effects have worn off, which occurs a few hours after the last dose. Cognitive dysphoria and mental fatigue usually follow, which isn’t exactly the best idea when it comes to productivity or studying for extended periods of time.

The half-life of Modafinil (the time it takes for half the substance to leave the body) is 15 hours and should be taken early in the day to avoid difficulty falling asleep at night. Even after prolonged use, if one would discontinue, one or two days of tiredness would be experienced. After that, it’s back to normal. Nothing like the depression and withdrawal symptoms of Adderall.

However, Modafinil is also a prescription drug.

What about Adrafinil?

Adrafinil is a prodrug to Modafinil, meaning that the body metabolizes it into Modafinil through the liver. This means that they are basically one and the same with regards to effects.

There are some differences, though.

Modafinil peaks somewhere around the 60-90 minutes mark, whereas Adrafinil may take around 2 hours to take effect, given that it must be processed by the liver first.

Adrafinil is reported to be approximately three times weaker than Modafinil. A typical Modafinil dose ranges between 100 mg and 200 mg, although lower or higher doses are just as effective for many people. Adrafinil doses vary between 300 mg and 600 mg, we don’t recommend taking more than 600 mg a day.


Adderall does indeed have a real therapeutic value, but the cost associated with its long-term and short-term side effects are too much.

The diversity of both natural and synthetic cognitive enhancers make experimentation a wiser choice, regardless if you’re currently using Adderall or are planning to.

With regards to choosing the best Adderall alternative, you must understand that there is no one-size-fits-all choice that can go well for everyone.

Hence, you should try out several alternatives and see which one works best for you, and remember to consult your physician beforehand.