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Nootropics and Alcohol (Why Mixing Them Is A Bad Idea?)

Connor Sellers
Published by Connor Sellers
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: March 7, 2023
We personally test every product featured in our reviews and guides. By ordering products anonymously and getting a group of independent testers, we are able to get first-hand experience and provide data-driven recommendations. Learn more.

In some ways, using nootropic smart drugs is comparable to drinking alcohol because they both boost your confidence and provide a positive experience for a short period.

However, they do not mix since consuming alcohol and nootropics can harm your health, cognition, and fitness objectives.

To understand more about the effects of mixing the two, I scheduled a few sessions with a doctor and reviewed several materials on the subject.

In this article, I will cover all the most important information on why you shouldn't mix nootropics with alcohol.

Quick Summary

  • Drinking alcohol impairs cognitive abilities and mental function due to the hangover, producing severe migraines.
  • Consuming alcohol in conjunction with nootropics hurts mood and motivation, as well as lowering energy levels and contributing to cognitive impairment.
  • Modafinil, Piracetam, and Tianeptine are some of nootropics that interact negatively with alcohol.

Why Drinking Alcohol Is Bad News for Cognition

Drunk person pouring alcohol drink on his glass

Drinking alcohol is detrimental because it causes a hangover, negatively impacting cognition and mental function.

A glass of red wine may be beneficial due to its antioxidants but it's very simple to slip into unhealthy drinking and a hangover [1].

Factors influencing this include:

  • A large amount of alcohol consumption in a short period, like more than six glasses (alcohol abuse).
  • Sleep deprivation, which lowers brain and bodily recovery time.
  • Drinking on an empty stomach, as food, reduces the absorption of alcohol in your intestines.

Hangovers hinder focus and concentration, especially when accompanied by a severe headache. Victims may find it incredibly difficult to concentrate on a single job, let alone multiple.

Excessive alcohol intake also has a detrimental influence on mood and motivation since oxidative stress, as well as the stress hormone cortisol, have a negative effect on neurotransmitter levels within the brain.

Norepinephrine and dopamine are two examples of these neurotransmitters, and they both play important roles in maintaining a positive mood and motivation [2].

Binge drinking, when paired with a lack of sleep, reduces energy levels and adds to cognitive fatigue. When this happens frequently, it can develop into a chronic kind of brain fog, with fuzzy memory and poor brain functioning.

However, not all drinking sessions result in a hangover. Common hangover signs include low thinking, exhaustion, irritability, thirst, upset stomach, migraine, nausea, and reduced appetite [3].

Nootropics And Alcohol

Top view of a professional with gloves holding pills

Nootropic vitamins are well-known for a reason: they improve cognitive performance and help users complete tasks, whether they are for school, employment, or other parts of daily life [4].

Alcohol, in contrast, is commonly used to numb the senses and boost confidence. It is a means to socialize in many cultures, thus the phrase social drinking [5].

Nootropics and alcohol are typically not regarded as a good combination, as they may have conflicting effects.

Some claim that this is dependent on the kind of nootropic used.

These brain enhancers, for example, may be divided into natural and synthetic categories, such as herbal ingredients and minerals found in nature.

Examples of Nootropic-Alcohol Interaction

Holding nootropics and a line of glass of alcohol

Some argue that cognitive enhancement products and alcohol do not mix well and have opposite effects. This is arguable and largely dependent on the nootropic you combine it with, because alcohol interacts differently with each nootropic.

1. Aniracetam And Alcohol

Alcohol's major effect is affected by a rise in the amount of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA, which is present in the brainstem and spinal cord, as well as a decrease in its effect on mildly stimulating neurotransmitters [6].

This direct impact is increased when alcohol is taken with aniracetam, putting stress on the body with unexpected results.

Mixing alcohol and aniracetam lowers dopamine receptors in the brain, producing both physical and mental distress.

Higher doses of aniracetam and alcohol have a greater negative effect, but current clinical recommendations suggest that lesser amounts can be just as harmful, and there's no way to determine how aniracetam and alcohol will affect a person when they take it.

“Individuals who consume both alcohol and aniracetam will feel the effects of both. Much more aniracetam used with alcohol will result in drowsiness and lethargy, in addition to the synergistic actions of the two substances.”

- Michael Por, Doctor of Medicine.

2. Modafinil And Alcohol

Holding an alcohol and white pills with both hands

Modafinil is among today's most powerful nootropics. It lowers GABA levels while boosting orexin, glutamate, serotonin, histamine, and dopamine levels [7].

When it comes to GABA, Modafinil, and alcohol, have opposing effects, making the combo hazardous.

Modafinil's focus-enhancing qualities are considerably reduced, and side effects might be increased.

When you drink alcohol while taking Modafinil, it is detrimental to productivity, and it is nearly unlawful to misuse Modafinil in this way.

Both substances cause dehydration, and the interaction may result in severe thirst accompanied by migraines.

3. Noopept And Alcohol

Noopept is a powerful nootropic that stimulates productivity and motivation while promoting the formation of new neurons [8].

It has established itself as one of the most renowned and respected nootropic pills available due to its tremendous advantages and lack of severe side effects.

Noopept belongs to the racetam nootropic group, which boosts brain metabolism.

Apart from amplifying the impacts of alcohol, Noopept changes the experience by enhancing mental clarity and preserving normal physical control.

A higher dose of Noopept will cause the "drunk sensation" to fade. Users have noticed a reduced urge to consume alcohol after using this nootropic. Noopept can also eradicate hangovers.

4. Phenibut And Alcohol

Holding white pills and wine

Phenibut is a nootropic with a wide relaxing and sociability action that boosts confidence and extroversion while decreasing the symptoms of anxiety and tension [9].

It is commonly employed as a medium-duration sleep aid, socializing tool, and mood brightener and is regarded as producing a sensation of calm without drowsiness.

In addition to its positive effects on moods and extroversion, it has moderate cognitive ability advantages such as improved focus and memory.

Alcohol and Phenibut are two substances that should not be combined.

This combination is risky because Phenibut may be absorbed faster on certain days than others, making it harder to get the desired outcomes.

Both compounds raise GABA levels within the brain and exert a potentiating impact on the brain's major inhibitory neurotransmitter.

Both substances produce slowed breathing, often known as respiratory distress, and a significantly decreased heart rate.

When breathing decreases, oxygen to the brain is cut off, resulting in hypoxia. Even if there is no fatality, there remains the possibility of permanent injury and lifetime effects.

5. Piracetam And Alcohol

Holding white pills and an alcohol glass on table

Piracetam, the original and traditional nootropic, has a long history of providing safe and beneficial effects on memory and brain function.

It is widely acknowledged as having pioneered new ground in cognitive improvement, with over forty years of peer-reviewed research attesting to its abilities [10].

Piracetam has a broad impact profile, delivering advantages that differ depending on the individual.

Its benefits for focus, memory, and clarity of mind are frequently highlighted, making it great for academics and tedious jobs that demand your undivided attention.

It remains an excellent everyday tool for bursts of work, with an optimum duration of seven hours.

Furthermore, research has indicated that Piracetam enhances reading fluency in people with dyslexia [11].

Despite the advantages of Piracetam after alcohol use, mixing them is still a terrible decision.

Piracetam is generally safe to use with most other drugs, with alcohol being one of the rare exceptions.

Piracetam, combined with alcohol, might cause intoxication. It also increases the effects of drunkenness caused by alcohol.

Alcohol tolerance is considerably reduced, and one drink might seem like two or three. Alcohol consumption while taking Piracetam may also lead to sleepiness.

6. Tianeptine And Alcohol

Staring at pills thinking twice before consuming

Tianeptine is a powerful mood enhancer and nootropic known for its impact on wellness and cognition, delivering immediate and long-term advantages [12].

It promotes mental fitness and clarity within an hour of usage, acting as a medium-term productivity aid.

Furthermore, its good benefits build up over time, leading to a long-term impact that decreases feelings of stress, depression, and social anxiety.

Tianeptine and alcohol can produce severe drowsiness, especially if the dosages are incorrect.

Additionally, drinking alcohol while taking tianeptine may render its benefits ineffective and induce any underlying stress or depression.


Can Nootropics Help Brain Damage?

Yes, nootropics help with brain damage as they can improve rehabilitation results and can speed recovery.

Can You Drink Alcohol With Nootropics?

No. You cannot drink alcohol with nootropics, as the interaction between them and alcohol may cause serious adverse effects like intense sedation.

Can Nootropics Help With A Hangover?

Yes, nootropics can help with hangovers as they increase the body's antioxidant capacity against oxidative stress and the effects of alcohol withdrawal.

Can I Have One Drink On Modafinil?

No. You cannot have one drink on Modafinil as the interaction may cause blackouts.

Our Final Verdict

Consuming alcohol and nootropics in excess can be harmful. And, combined together, it may be far worse.

So, when it comes to boosting your cognition and reducing feelings of sadness, anxiety, and depression, nootropics are the best way to go.

We tested a lot of nootropics and came up with a selection of high-quality ones that can help you achieve your goals.

Unlike some other products on the market, which rely on excessive stimulants and potentially harmful components, the nootropics we've tried rely on natural substances to improve cognition, attention, and energy required for optimum operation.


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