How Do Modafinil and Caffeine Interact?

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This article looks at how modafinil’s effects differ when taken alone vs. when combined with caffeine. It also examines the pros and cons of each substance in its own right. Finally, we provide a morning regimen for those looking to get the most out of the modafinil + caffeine combo.   Medical Disclaimer This article is intended for educational purposes only. Research has shown that modafinil is highly effective at enhancing cognition with few to no serious side effects. Nevertheless, doctors will only prescribe it as treatment for specific conditions: namely, narcolepsy or other sleep disorders. For this reason, many students and professionals choose to purchase modafinil online. As with any supplement or drug, of course, you should consult your doctor or other health care provider before taking modafinil.   What is Modafinil? Modafinil is a eugeroic (wakefulness-promoting) drug that is FDA-approved to treat narcolepsy and COPD (Chronic-Obstructive Sleep Apnea). It is also approved for off-label use as a treatment for Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Attention Hyperactive Deficit Disorder (ADHD), and Shift Work Sleep Disorder (SWSD)   Despite the fact that modafinil is a wakefulness promoter, the majority of modafinil users take it for its cognition-enhancing properties – notably, its ability to improve concentration and motivation, and thereby, productivity.   The following sources report several recent clinical studies which led to modafinil's being labeled the "first genuine nootropic agent” (note: ‘nootropic agent' = smart drug):   Modafinil Benefits Modafinil has many on- and off-label benefits, which are discussed at length elsewhere. So, we will just mention the top few here:
  • promotes alertness by stimulating wakefulness centers in the brain
  • enhances focus & mental acuity
  • increases processing speed (Some users report feeling as if 'time moves more slowly' when they take modafinil because they are accomplishing so much more.)
  • enhances short-term memory
  • increases motivation & work ethic
  • heightens mood
  Modafinil Side Effects With all of modafinil's amazing brain-boosting benefits, we would be remiss not to at least mention that there are a few side effects that you should watch out for when taking modafinil. These are fairly mild, do not occur in most users (less than 1% in most cases), and are only listed as a precaution. The benefits of modafinil far outweigh any side effects that may occur.   Following are the most typical side effects:  
  • Diminished appetite
  • Headache
  • Increased thirst or dehydration
  • Jitters
  • Insomnia
  • Increased effects of nootropics and other stimulants
  • Sensitivity to caffeine
  Modafinil-Caffeine Interaction The last side effect is worth noting if you are a coffee or tea drinker. Sensitivity to caffeine is one of the most common but least discussed side effects of modafinil. Nevertheless, it is possible to get the maximum benefits out of both substances without having to endure any negative side effects.   Coffee fanatics often complain that adding modafinil to their morning routine, while enhancing their productivity throughout the day, can lead to headaches and sluggishness during the afternoon hours. Others have reported as severe negative effects as high blood pressure and/or increased heart rate when combining caffeine and modafinil.   If you fall into the second category, you should probably consult your doctor and consider dropping one or both substances. But if the most you have had to put up with is a few minor headaches, some indigestion, or a mid-day energy 'crash,' read on to learn how to eliminate these effects and get the most out of your modafinil-caffeine combo. . . .     How to Get the Most out of Modafinil + Caffeine If you want to know how to use caffeine to enhance your modafinil experience, the answer is simple. Just follow these three rules:   RULE #1: Only drink one cup of coffee.   One cup of coffee contains about 300 milligrams of caffeine. Any more than this, and you will be at a higher risk of headaches, dehydration, and in some cases, diarrhea.   RULE #2:  Stay hydrated!   Most doctors recommend about 1.5 liters of water per day. If you are taking modafinil, you should definitely be drinking at least this much water if not twice this amount. Your actual daily water intake should be closer to 3 liters per day.   RULE #3: 'Bulletproof' your coffee.   'Bulletproofing' was a big-time fad about 2 or 3 years ago, but coffee drinkers don't talk about it much these days. Bulletproofing refers to the addition of healthy, soluble fats to your coffee (or tea). This can be accomplished in the following way:
  1. Start with 2 cups, or 16 fl. oz., or about 475 ml. of freshly brewed coffee.
    Dave Asprey, the originator of Bulletproof Coffee, recommends using Bulletproof's upgraded coffee beans.
  2. Add 2 to 3 tbs. of grass-fed butter (my favorite is Kerrygold)
  3. Add 1 to 2 tbs. Organic Coconut Oil or MCT Oil
  By adding high-quality grass-fed butter and coconut/MCT oil to your morning joe, you allow the fat molecules to bind to the caffeine in your coffee, thereby reducing the immediate impact. The result is a long-term, sustained form of energy that will last all day – without the headaches, digestive issues, or afternoon come-down generally associated with caffeinated beverages.  

To top it all off, the addition of modafinil to your morning coffee regimen will only improve the cognitive-enhancing effects, thereby guaranteeing the clearest, most productive mental state possible.