Alternatives to Adderall You Need to Try

When I was in 9th grade, I lost my best friend.

No, he didn’t die, but he started to take Adderall to help him with ADHD. It completely changed who he was. Suddenly he wasn’t as happy anymore, he didn’t want to hang out or goof around, and he barely laughed. Worse, he barely ate any food so his growth was severely stunted.

Today, he’s back, but he has never been the same. Mood swings and bitter depression plague him and CAT scans still have not been able to definitively determine the cause. We are all convinced it is Adderall.

As great as Adderall can be for improving concentration, motivation, and mental energy, it also has a dark side. Millions of people in the United States are prescribed this medication from a young age (as young as 8) yet this enhancer is an amphetamine salt. While there is large psychoactive differences, Adderall is structurally similar to methamphetamine.

This is one of the main reasons Adderall is so popular amongst prescribed and non-prescribed students. Millions of college students, Wall Street traders, and professionals are using Adderall to get ahead, have a good time, and stimulate themselves in some way.


Finding the Alternatives

Just because Adderall is effective doesn’t mean it is healthy for you, especially in the long run. While it can be a useful tool to improve concentration and focus, it is easy to become addicted, moody, and dependent.

Here are some of the nootropic alternatives to Adderall that you can use for your own benefit. Keep in mind that there are several different types of improved concentration so many of these nootropics will have different (but perhaps just as effective) effects on your ability to focus.

Caffeine + L-Theanine

If you are reading this, you’ve probably already heard of the caffeine and L-Theanine combination. It is one of the most well-studied nootropics currently being sold on the market. Caffeine can stimulate higher focus, concentration and motivation while the L-Theanine negates the drawbacks (such as increased heart rate and blood pressure).

Most importantly, L-Theanine improves on the concentration aspects of caffeine while removing jitters and anxiety. Numerous studies show how useful this combination is over that of each individual ingredient alone. It can also improve memory (through BDNF) by 25%. We created a caffeine and L-Theanine combination that also has a special ingredient to make it more powerful.


Discovered by a member of the Longecity community, CILTEP stands for chemically-induced long-term potentiality. In short, it combines forskolin and artichoke extract with well-received results.

Both Dave Asprey and Tim Ferriss have recommended CILTEP. Based on a 2004 study, the creator tested a theory, the community followed, and the results spoke for themselves. This is one of the few nootropic combinations that has been derived through the grassroots community as opposed to a for-profit company with a conflict of interest.

Rhodiola Rosea

If you read our previous article about nootropics armed forces use you will probably remember rhodiola rosea. This herb has been used by Viking cultures hundreds of years ago. In some instances, they were used prior to battle as they raided the countryside of England, Scotland, and Ireland.

Rhodiola is an interesting herb because higher doses can be used to promote anxiety-relief and calmness. Low doses of rhodiola can increase focus, concentration, and acts as a stimulant. It is particularly useful if you are trying to cycle off of caffeine or want to avoid caffeine. In fact, Sol Orwell, founder of has said “When cycling off of something like caffeine, I found Rhodiola Rosea made it a lot easier for the body.”

This adaptogen can be used daily (with around 50 mg) to avoid fatigue or stress. It can also be used in times of acute stress to reduce those feelings. While rhodiola alone probably will not be comparable to Adderall, it can still be part of a natural and herbal stack to prevent you from becoming dependent on this amphetamine.


If you have ever had a vitamin B12 supplement, you may have experienced how powerful and stimulating nutrients can be. Similar to B12, thiamine (vitamin B1) can vastly improve cognitive abilities, concentration, and memory. Japanese soldiers deficient in thiamine prompted scientists to find alternatives. In the 1960’s, sulbutiamine was discovered, which is the most bioavailable form of thiamine.

A lot of the data on sulbutiamine in studies is in Japanese or other languages, but suffice it to say, this synthetic substance is highly effective for improving focus and concentration. It also improves memory around 10.1% according to some studies. For those who lack a very healthy diet, it can be as effective as Adderall for boosting mood and concentration.


While every school child and adult loves chocolate, few get enough to see real stimulating benefits. Cacao is filled with a stimulant called theobromine, which acts similarly to caffeine without the crash. More importantly, it is filled with many nutrients, like iron and magnesium, that most people are lacking in their diet. It isn’t unheard of for people to use cacao and feel euphoric because their body is lacking in essential nutrients.


Facing Off with Adderall

All of these 5 ingredients are great, but let’s be real… Adderall is an amphetamine and it’s hard to compete with that.

Here is a place to begin when creating a stack that might compare with Adderall. Try with small doses of each and then build upon that depending on your size and needs.

  • 80 mg  Caffeine
  • 160 mg L-Theanine
  • 250 mg Rhodiola rosea (3% rosavins)
  • Eat 2-3 eggs per day

That should help you compare with Adderall. If you feel a headache, it might be time to increase choline consumption with either CDP or alpha GPC choline. Also, keep in mind that some ingredients can build a tolerance (as can caffeine).

If you take this stack as-needed, it will help give you most of the benefits of Adderall without the drawbacks.

5 thoughts on “Alternatives to Adderall You Need to Try

  1. Rollie says:

    Hi Eric, I just came across this website when looking for an alternative to adderall/ritalin. I personally don’t like how I feel with caffeine, give me jitters and I get a little hipper, but don’t feel much difference in focus. Since I’m currently not on any drugs, I’m a bit worried about all the recommended nootropics you recommend to stack. I eat pretty clean, so where can I start if my goal is focus/memory? It is affecting of course several areas in my life, but I need to improve in school so I can get better grades/learn well.

    • Eric Balaster says:

      Hi Rollie,

      Disclaimer: We are not doctors and cannot give medical advice. Honestly, it can be hard to replace something like Adderall/Modafinil completely, as they are pharmaceuticals. However if you don’t like caffeine a good alternative would be to try Theacrine (we offer the branded version Teacrine), as it is generally promoted as a caffeine alternative. The combination of caffeine + l-theanine (like in our 1-2-Go product), has been widely studied and is considered one of the best basic nootropic stacks (in fact it’s the cornerstone of several big name nootropic blends on the market). The caffeine l-theanine combination is supposed to tapper off the side effects of the caffeine (like the jitters, increased blood pressure). Phenylpiracetam also has been known to have a stimulating effect, we recommend starting off with the powder so you can find the proper dosage. Of course if you make a purchase from us and don’t like the product, we do offer a money back guarantee, as we genuinely want you to find something that works for you.

  2. Hellena says:

    I used Alpha Brain and really worked for me perfectly for mood stability that allows total concentration. I can also recommend it to other people but the longer you take the product the more you notice the difference it makes in concentration and productivity

  3. wwhardy5 says:

    Hi, After 8 or 9 years of Adderall on a daily basis, I stopped completely 5 weeks ago, and I feel GREAT (plus, I stopped coffee at the same time because my blood pressure was going through the roof, but now my blood pressure is totally fine and some coffee is OK)! Focus is still an issue as I’m a software programmer, but I’m just starting with Phenylpiracetam and L-Theanine (wow, I’ve used them 2 days and I very much feel their effects for enhanced focus). Also, I find Bacopa Monnieri to be very helpful, I’ve been taking it for a week with noticeable effects. Modafinil is great to help with the transition off of Adderall or Ritalin, but my sense was to not take it on consecutive days as I wanted to be free of pharmaceutics and not replace one addiction with another (it’s good to have on hand if you’re worried about withdrawal symptoms, though). Anyways, just a comment to thank you guys for these great articles, and for your products, and perhaps also to inspire others to go this route. There are lots and lots of options without Adderall or Ritalin that are not harmful to the body, and it’s kind of fun exploring them. I can’t see that I would ever go back now that I feel free from the drug, and I’m feeling this deeper physical vitality now for sure. Cheers, Walter

  4. Patrick says:

    Hey Eric,
    Thanks for putting this up, and sorry that you had to lose your friend to adderall. For anyone still looking for adderall alternatives, I’d recommend Melatonin, which dampens the effects of catecholamines and is particularly effective at night, and
    Vitamin C, which promotes the clearance of Adderall from the nervous and blood systems.

Comments are closed.