Today I want to talk about what supplements help with ADHD or ADD.
I myself just discovered that I have ADD, and decided to use nootropics to manage my condition as opposed to prescription drugs.
True, I can’t claim the cost of supplements on my health care plan, but nootropics are much easier on my body.
When I was first diagnosed with ADD in April of 2019, my doctor put me on Adderall, which is composed of amphetamine salts.
They’re potentially addictive, and have pretty strong side effects.
I found that I was always thirsty, kind of anxious, and often felt dizzy. The worst thing, though, was how angry I got later in the day once the drugs wore off.
I was an absolute GRUMP with my family!
It wasn’t long before I started fishing around to find out what supplements help with ADHD. I didn’t want to live like that forever.
There are some folks with ADHD or ADD that will choose to do what I did; use nootropics instead of prescription drugs to stay focused.
However, some people are using nootropics AND prescription drugs together for maximum effect.
The choice is up to you, but I would recommend keeping an ongoing dialogue with your doctor, just to be cautious.
Let them advise you, and track your progress. Appreciate their medical expertise, and when in doubt, do more research.
Which leads us to the next question; how do we manage ADHD?
What causes ADHD & ADD? Do we know?
The answer is that we have a pretty good idea, but it can vary from one person to another.
Generally speaking, ADHD and ADD are directly linked to an imbalance of a group of neurotransmitters known as the catecholamines.
Catecholamines are significant to specific brain activities commonly referred to as our executive brain functions. These include attention, working memory, and impulse control.
The 3 neurotransmitters we know of as catecholamines are epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine.
However, the 2 neurotransmitters we know to have a direct relationship to ADHD are norepinephrine and dopamine.
Essentially, norepinephrine affects the ‘inattentive’ form of ADHD, while dopamine is connected to the ‘hyperactive’ variety.
Typically, most medical professionals will prescribe some kind of stimulant to boost your levels of norepinephrine and dopamine, hoping that this will make people better.
Prescription Drugs vs Nootropics to treat ADHD & ADD
The problem with prescription drugs in general is that they are stimulants that hit your body hard, and when they wear off, you crash.
The issue with ADHD is that the underlying causes of the disorder can sometimes be multi-faceted.
Yes, there may be a shortage of norepinephrine and dopamine in a persons’ system, but they may also have neuroreceptors that are in need of repair.
Simply taking a stimulant may or may not help their condition.
This is why I believe that taking nootropics is a much more effective solution to treatment for ADHD & ADD.
Nootropics are usually naturally sourced substances that provide numerous benefits, and they typically have synergistic effects when taken together.
Which Individual Nootropics are Best for ADHD?
There are 13 stand alone nootropics I know of that can help with ADHD and ADD.
I’ll provide a short list here, with a brief description of how they can counteract ADHD symptoms.
- Ashwagandha – provides users with a relaxed state of mental focus without becoming drowsy. Ashwagandha provides protection from stress hormones like Cortisol, and improves overall mood.
- Bacopa Monnieri – enhances focus, memory, and mood. Bacopa protects brain cells from antioxidants, and promotes relaxation.
- B-Vitamins – improved blood circulation to the brain, assist in neurotransmitter genesis, and the repair of nerve tissues.
- CDP Choline – Choline aids with memory and attention by facilitating the production of norepinephrine and dopamine.
- Ginseng – acts as a norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitor, thereby enhancing focused attention. Also an antioxidant.
- Lions’ Mane Mushroom – promotes the production of Nerve Growth Factor(NGF) and Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor(BDNF), allowing the brain and nerve tissues to heal. Lion’s Mane also boosts immune system function.
- L-Theanine – helps boost dopamine levels, and promotes a state of relaxed focus. L-Theanine improves mood, and can help people with ADHD & ADD struggling with depression.
- L-Tyrosine – a precursor to norepinephrine and dopamine production in the brain. Clinical trials have shown L-Tyrosine to improve regulation of attention, stress resistance, and multi-tasking ability.
- Noopept – supports memory, mood, and focus. Noopept also encourages production of Nerve Growth Factor(NGF) and Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor(BDNF), allowing the brain and nerve tissues to regenerate.
- Pine Bark Extract – has been shown to inhibit the reuptake of dopamine and norepinephrine, thereby providing improved focus, and reduced hyperactivity. Pine Bark Extract also increases cerebral blood flow by increasing the concentration of nitric oxide in the bloodstream.
- Phosphatidylserine(PS) – clinical trials have shown that PS optimizes brain cell membranes, allowing more efficient firing of neurons. The overall effects are better focus, faster reaction times, and reduced hyperactivity.
- Rhodiola Rosea – helps protect the brain from stress hormones like cortisol by inhibiting their release. Rhodiola also reduces fatigue and anxiety while improving attention.
- Uridine – increases neuroplasticity by encouraging more neurons and synapses to be generated in the brain. Uridine also facilitates neurite growth, which builds connections between brain cells, and allows them to communicate with one another.
The next question of course, is how do you take these nootropics to manage ADHD & ADD?
Nootropics for ADHD – Recommendations for Best Results
Personally, I take an all-in-one nootropic stack I like called Mind Lab Pro, because it already contains 9 of the 13 individual nootropics I just discussed.
I also take some ginseng or ashwagandha if I feel I need an extra boost.
I would highly recommend Mind Lab Pro to anyone that has ADHD or ADD, because it works really well for me.
Another good option would be to use Awaken or Awaken Gold from Awakened Alchemy.
Awakened Alchemy takes a different approach to their nootropics formulations from that of Opti-Nutra; the company that makes Mind Lab Pro.
They use less herbal extracts in their lineup, but the ingredients are still extremely high quality.
Awaken Gold only contains 7 of the 13 nootropics I recommend for people dealing with ADHD or ADD, but you need to take this with a grain of salt.
Awaken Gold also contains nutrients that serve the same purpose as those found in Mind Lab Pro, so don’t think of it as being deficient by comparison.
For example, Awaken Gold does not contain Lions’ Mane mushroom, but it does contain noopept.
Lions’ Mane Mushroom and Noopept both boost levels of Neural Growth Factor(NGF) and Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor(BDNF).
Different ingredients, similar effect.
Although Opti-Nutra and Awakened Alchemy have both done their own research on nootropics supplementation, their findings have found some common ground.
On the other hand, their data also diverge at certain points, and that’s why we are seeing that they have different ingredients in their formulations.
I’ve tried both Mind Lab Pro and Awaken Gold, and I think they are both great products.
I found that Mind Lab Pro worked a bit better for my body chemistry, but you might find that Awaken Gold is your best ‘go to’ stack.
The Best Nootropics for ADHD – Takeaway
I hope you’ve enjoyed finding out what supplements help with ADHD symptoms.
The decision to manage your ADHD or ADD with prescription drugs, nootropic supplements, or both is a very personal one.
I found that using nootropics instead of prescription drugs works better for me, but I’m not everybody.
I know I sound like a broken record, but I would encourage you to keep in close contact with your doctor or another medical professional to find the best treatment strategy FOR YOU.
The causes of ADHD and ADD can be more complex than simply a shortage of norepinephrine and dopamine. You may have to experiment to find the right solution.
I’ve wanted to write this article since I started nootropicscoach.com, because ADHD and ADD can be very tricky to deal with, and most people don’t understand how ADHD really works.
The social, emotional, and economic effects of this disorder are potentially very far reaching.
Before I was diagnosed, I often felt that despite my best efforts, I was wrestling against an unseen enemy.
The problem was, I didn’t even know that I was in a wrestling match to begin with, and things just went wrong without me knowing why.
A very good book on the subject is, Change your Brain Change your Life, by Dr. Daniel Amen. I’ve read it, and found the information in this book extremely helpful.
Dr. Amen has 5 sons, 4 of which have ADD. Needless to say, he’s pretty motivated to help people manage their ADHD!
There is a very notable stigma attached to ADHD and ADD, and I firmly believe that knowledge is the cure.
Those that know how these disorders work will be less likely to take offense if someone with ADHD unconsciously ignores them, for example.
Which I have done on a few occasions, and yes, it rubs a lot of people the wrong way.
But being diagnosed has given me the ability to fight back; to manage my ADD and take my life back!
I can’t tell you how good it feels to know that I can make things better, because before I was diagnosed, I didn’t even know where to look for a solution.
I sincerely hope that you have found this article helpful, and if you have any comments or questions, I would really like to hear from you!
In my next post, I will be looking at the best nootropics for studying!
See you next time!