Although doctors generally prescribe drugs for treating ADHD, in some cases, those drugs may not work. For those drugs to work, you need to have a healthy supply of key neurotransmitters and your network of neurons needs to be intact. And that’s why it makes sense to give some nootropics a shot.
Nootropics and ADHD Management
Nootropics are supplements and, therefore, should never be used contrary to your doctor’s advice.
However, using ADHD pills alone may not yield the desired benefits. Therefore, depending on the severity of your ADHD symptoms, you can benefit a lot from the use of brain supplements since they provide you with the essential building blocks for healthy recovery.
The word "nootropics" was first coined in the 1960s when the first brain supplement, piracetam, was created in the labs. Over time, the world has seen the evolution of new smart drugs until now everyone is talking about Noopept which is 1,000 times more powerful than piracetam.
So, we have come far indeed and the good news is that this progress also opens new possibilities for you if you suffer from ADHD or even ADD.
What Is ADHD?
If you’re reading this, chances are that you already know what ADHD is, but for the avoidance of doubt, let’s clarify what it really is. The initials come from the word Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. So, it is an advanced version of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD).
Some of the symptoms of ADHD include (but are not limited to the following):
- Impulsive behavior
- Infrequent mood swings
- Difficulties multitasking
- Difficulties coping with stress
- Hot temper
If a doctor diagnoses you with this condition, they will also prescribe some stimulants for you mostly amphetamines or antidepressants. But of course, the severity of your symptoms will determine what they’ll prescribe for you.
Mild cases of ADHD can also be addressed through psychological counseling. Activities like cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) can also go a long way in helping put the situation under control.
But if you have tried all those and still ended up struggling with the symptoms, you might want to give nootropics a try.
The Role of Noots in ADHD Management
First off, we’d like to clarify the fact that most doctors recommend amphetamines as a good way to treat ADHD. One of those is Adderall which is actually a nootropic. However, Adderall is illegal to take without a doctor’s prescription. So, unless your doctor prescribes it for you or you risk to get it from the black market, chances are that you’ll have a rough time getting it locally.
And for that reason, we have our own set of recommendations to make. These are nootropics with Adderall like effects although safe for use at home and legal to obtain.
- Nootropics and ADHD Management
- What Is ADHD?
- The Role of Noots in ADHD Management
- Top Nootropics For ADHD & ADD in 2023
- Best Standalone Nootropics for ADHD
Top Nootropics For ADHD & ADD in 2023
Pine Bark Extract
Best Standalone Nootropics for ADHD
Here now is our list of the best standalone nootropics that we believe are well-placed to contain ADHD symptoms.
1. Mucuna Pruriens
This is a rich and powerful source of dopamine. It contains an amino acid known as L-Dopa which is capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier. In fact, it crosses this barrier in a way that’s better than what other dopamine-based supplements can.
Dopamine is one of the key neurotransmitters in the regulation of emotional responses. And, when you have low levels of it, you’re likely to suffer from ADHD.
As such Mucuna Pruriens provides you with this much-needed boost and, effectively, helps you to better cope with ADHD symptoms.
2. N-Acetyl L-Cysteine
Glutathione deficiency is one of the leading causes of ADHD and intellectual disability. Luckily, countless research studies show that N-Acetyl L-Cysteine can actually help boost the supplies of Glutathione in the body.
And, therefore, its benefits as a nootropic for ADHD management are pretty straight-forward. In fact, so beneficial is this smart drug that it is often recommended for reducing the negative effects commonly associated with the use of Adderall treatments.
However, to get optimal effects from it, you need to get up to 600mg of it every day – preferably spread out into 3 intakes per day.
3. Phosphatidylserine (PS)
If you’re planning to buy PS as a standalone brain supplement, we’d recommend stacking it with some Omega-3 fish oil. This combination works quite well even for kids.
PS is a form of phospholipid and its job is to promote cell repair. It also provides a fatty layer which surrounds the cells and cushions them from shock. In doing so, it helps enhance the fluidity of brain cells and that alone can translate to numerous benefits for ADHD sufferers among them:
- Low anxiety
- Better mood
- Enhanced memory
- Better cognition
- Being more alert & attentive
Lastly, PS boosts the flow of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and norepinephrine. It does so by enhancing the permeability of your brain cells. This, in turn, boosts the flow of the essential chemicals to the receptor sites for enhanced brain function.
It’s generally recommended to take at least 100mg of this nootropic per day – preferably 3-times a day or as directed by your physician.
4. Pine Bark Extract
There has been an interesting conversation on the fact that Pine Bark Extract can help in ADHD management in boys better than in girls. But while more studies need to be done to ascertain the validity of those claims, the truth of the matter remains that this extract contains Pycnogenol.
What is Pycnogenol? Well, this is an active ingredient found abundantly in the French maritime pine bark extract. Scientists have authoritatively confirmed that this natural supplement has the ability to relieve ADHD symptoms of young ADHD sufferers.
Besides that, it improves visual-motoric coordination and concentration which is an essential part of conquering psychiatric symptoms. And to crown it all up, pycnogenol boasts anti-inflammatory properties which come in handy in calming down the entire body including reducing hypertension.
Known in full as 5-Hydroxytryptophan, 5-HTP is one of the naturally-occurring amino acids. It’s particularly known for its ability to boosts serotonin production.
It is a well-known fact that ADHD is associated with low levels of serotonin in the body. And, therefore, by boosting its levels through this precursor, it is possible to turn things around and feel better.
5-HTP is also an intermediate in tryptophan metabolism. And thanks to this, it plays an important role in boosting your metabolism as well as the overall effectiveness of your brain.
Last but not least, this nootropic boasts appetite suppression and antidepressant properties. As such, it is also highly recommended as a sleeping aid – plus it’s safe for adults and kids.
The American Ginseng is yet another one of the extremely powerful herbal remedies available out there. Historically, this herb is renowned for its ability to stimulate brain function.
Please note that there is a huge difference between the American Ginseng and the Asian one. The former works best when one needs to relax while the latter is reputed for its invigorating effects.
So, when it comes to managing the ADHD symptoms, your best bet is the American ginseng which goes by the scientific name of Panax quinquefolius.
Besides helping you relax, it helps stabilize mood and protect brain cells against the damage of free radicals.
7. Ginkgo Biloba
Ginkgo works best when stacked with the American ginseng. The effectiveness of this stack was reported in a small study done in Canada showing that children with ADHD which took a mixture of these two experienced improvements in impulsivity and social problems.
We have already discussed the numerous benefits of the American ginseng and likewise, Ginkgo is a rich source of nutrients for the brain. It particularly contains the terpenoids and flavonoids antioxidants which protect brain cells from free radical damage.
Above all Ginkgo is a go-to source of enhanced cognitive power and is also highly recommended for the improvement of social behavior.
8. Rhodiola Rosea
Rhodiola rosea is traditionally associated with the management of stress and fatigue and it’s only recently that scientists started considering it as a possible way of managing ADHD symptoms. So far, the results seem quite promising.
At the heart of this success is the fact that this “golden root” has the ability to improve the balance between norepinephrine and serotonin. On top of that, it raises the levels of feel-good opioids such as beta-endorphins – in so doing, it improves mood.
Last but not least, it boasts immense benefits in regards to neurogenesis. In so doing, it repairs and supports the growth of new neurons.
There’s no smart drug that is more effective at stabilizing brain function like L-Theanine. It does this by streaming the alpha and theta brain waves. In so doing, it provides just the perfect, harmonious environment for optimal brain function.
The suggested dosage per day is 250 to 500mg, especially for ADHD recovery. Worth noting is that this supplement also boosts your dopamine, serotonin, and GABA levels. That alone goes a long way in promoting ADHD recovery.
Recommended Pre-Made Stacks For ADHD
We are going to kick-start this list by recommending the best ready-made stacks for managing attention deficit and hyperactivity symptoms. One good thing with pre-made stacks is that they are quite powerful because they contain a healthy supply of essential nutrients. Our top 3 picks are as follows:
Mind Lab Pro
Mind Lab Pro is a universal nootropic that’s designed to provide your brain with a healthy balance of key neurotransmitters i.e. norepinephrine, dopamine, and epinephrine.
One thing we really like about it is that it contains a wide variety of ingredients that help restore calm. In particular, it contains non-soy Phosphatidylserine (PS). Most other sources of PS on the market us Soy sources – yet soy actually aggravates ADHD symptoms.
Beside the non-soy PS, Mind Lab Pro comes with the Maritime Pine Bark Extract (helps sustain dopamine-norepinephrine balance), L-Tyrosine (enhances stress resistance), Citicoline (renowned brain energizer), and L-Theanine (a wakefulness promoter).
The stack also contains Vitamin B6, a well-known supporter of attention. Multiple studies suggest that when combined with magnesium, B6 can have long-lasting calming effects on a hyperactive nervous system.
Considering its ingredient list, reasonable pricing, and positive reviews, we’d like to single out Mind Lab Pro as probably one of the most effective ADHD choices on the markets currently. But it has still got competition so read on to find out more about that.
This is the closest competitor to Mind Lab Pro currently. It contains pretty much all of the ingredients found in Mind Lab only that they are generic while its competitor comes with high-quality, patented ones.
But still, we happen to believe that Qualia Mind is the best stack there is in the market for focus building.
And because ADHD is often associated with the inability to focus, it’s great to see that Qualia Mind is perfectly positioned for that
Within this product are 28 ingredients which are meant to tackle numerous pressure points at once. So, odds that are that the product would work for whatever goals you might be having in mind – be they energy-related or attention-related.
Worth noting is that Qualia Mind contains Phosphatidylserine from the sunflower lecithin and is, therefore, soy-free. However, it also contains Alpha GPC and, yet the manufacturer does not specify whether it is obtained from soy or sunflower.
Also, it contains Organic Coffeeberry, 90 mg of it. Some studies have found out that caffeine has the potential to boost the ability to focus among ADHD sufferers. Unfortunately, it can also cause addiction or even anxiety. So, it’s a mixed bag of fortunes as far as Qualia Mind goes although its benefits seem to heavily outweigh any potential downsides.
Performance Lab Mind
This is a smaller brother to Mind Lab Pro (both are made by a company known as Opti Nutra). One thing we really like about Performance Lab Mind is that it has all the essential ingredients for ADHD and is also cheaper.
In particular, it contains an important source of brain energy i.e. Citicoline (in the form of Cognizin). Besides that, it comes with 100mg of Phosphatidylserine which is in the form of the patented Sharp-PS Green which is sourced from sunflower lecithin.
On top of that, you also get 75mg of Maritime Pine Bark Extract which as we’ve already mentioned is an important antioxidant and dopamine-norepinephrine booster. And lastly, you also get the all-time fantastic N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine which has been associated with short-term ADHD relief.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) should never dictate how you live your life or interact with other people. And as we have demonstrated above, nootropics might just be the change you need to rise above this challenge!
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I’m Daniel. Just an average guy trying to share his love for nootropics, biohacking, and life optimization. Follow me on my journey to learning how I use nootropics on a daily basis.