Is modafinil an alternative to caffeine? It is not uncommon for many people in the modern world to start their day with a hot cup of coffee. There really is nothing quite like the smell of roasted coffee beans as you walk past your local Costa, that alone is enough to tempt you into the shop to buy a take-out cup to kick off a day’s work.
And the result of that drink, assuming you did not go for decaff, is that within around 30 minutes, you will be feeling awake and alert. Coffee is not just consumed for the taste; it is also used by the everyday worker as a stimulant to aid them in their working day. And for those, who do not enjoy coffee, there are other alternatives used, such as certain teas, cola, and caffeinated energy drinks.
Consumption of caffeine has become the norm in modern society. Sometimes we are consuming caffeine unknowingly, as certain drinks, cold medicines, and even chocolate contain amounts of caffeine. We are so used to it, that we seem to have forgotten it is considered a drug, and as such, should be treated with caution.
Caffeine has an effect on the Central Nervous System, with the most noticeable effect being alertness. People often use energy drinks to combat tiredness and drowsiness. Too much caffeine, however, can have side effects, causing headaches, jitters, increased heart rate, nausea, diarrhoea, anxiety and sleep disorder. There are also side effects of caffeine withdrawal, as the body builds up a tolerance.
So what can we do when we are faced with a day when we need to buy some more “awake” hours, and to do so in a safe way?
Caffeine is surprisingly easy to overdose on, due to the fact its side effects wear off quite quickly, so we would need an option with something that has a longer lasting effect, and is safer to use. This is where Modafinil comes in.
It is safely prescribed by doctors to induce wakefulness, and has been shown to be considerably more effective than caffeine (gram for gram) for reducing performance degradation caused by sleep deprivation. Studies have demonstrated that 400mg of Modafinil was able to produce similar benefits to that of 600mg of Caffeine. To illustrate, 600mg of caffeine is the equivalent of 6 cups of coffee or Red Bull!
Excessive consumption of caffeine is known to result in overdose. Symptoms of an over dose can include confusion, breathing troubles, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle twitches, sweating, increased hear rate and anxiety.
Modafinil, on the other hand, can induce alertness and wakefulness in doses as small as 100mg (recommended dose for new users, with 300mg being the recommended maximum dose in one day). So in essence, you can achieve all the benefits of caffeine, with lesser side effects.
So just how safe is Modafinil? Thoroughly tested, it has been found to be completely safe to use with no major side-effects. There have been over 1300 studies conducted, and is considered well tolerated by humans. Most importantly, there have been no known deaths recorded in 17 years of Modafinil use in over 20 countries. This is not the case with caffeine, as severe overdose of caffeine has been known to produce convulsions, resulting in death.
Numerous scientific studies are available online that provide in-depth clarity on the safety of using Modafinil. For further information, click here for a scientific report on Modafinil, and here for results of a human research study on the effects of Modafinil.
With Modafinil being so well-tolerated, with minimal adverse events, and even a low risk to abuse; would it not make sense to swap Caffeine Packed chemical – filled energy drinks that do more harm than good to a safer alternative?