If you suffer from ADD or ADHD, you know just how difficult it can be to focus and concentrate on a single task. Getting anything done when you have these attention deficit disorders is not easy.
Yes, there are clinically prescribed treatments out there that definitely work. However, these are not right for everybody, maybe because they don't work or maybe because they have negative side effects for you.
Whatever the case may be, another option you have to consider is known as nootropics. Nootropics are various dietary supplements and foods that are thought to improve cognitive function on a variety of fronts. There are multiple nootropics and supplements that may be able to help increase focus, concentration, motivation, memory, and more.
As you can tell, these benefits could very well apply to people who have ADHD and ADD. Today, we want to discover what the best nootropics for focus are, so that people with ADD and ADHD may be able to live a slightly more organized life. We'll talk about what nootropics are, and how they might be able to help with ADHD, and we'll take a look at some of the best nootropics out there for this purpose.
- Nootropics are naturally occurring or synthetic substances that are shown to help increase cognitive abilities, mainly related to focus, attention, and concentration.
- ADHD or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is characterized by a lack of focus, concentration, and attention, and is (in some people) combined with increased hyperactivity and impulsivity.
- The benefits of various nootropics may be able to help reduce or manage all of the symptoms associated with both ADHD and ADHD.
What are Nootropics?
Nootropics are dietary supplements, which may be synthetic or natural. They are designed to or naturally able to improve various aspects of cognitive function and performance. This may include but is not limited to, concentration, focus, and memory. These may also be referred to as brain supplements, brain drugs, or smart drugs because they are also said to help improve overall intelligence. They are supplements that help improve the functionality of your brain.
How Nootropics Can Help ADHD Symptoms
Although there is more research required on this front, it is believed that nootropics can help alleviate ADD and ADHD symptoms by increasing the levels of various neurotransmitters in the brain, such as norepinephrine and dopamine.
These are both neurotransmitters that are responsible for regulating impulsivity, focus, and attention, all issues that people with ADD and ADHD suffer from.
In people with ADD and ADHD, the increase of both of these neurotransmitters can also lead to an increase in overall cognitive performance, concentration, focus, and memory, and may also decrease impulsivity. Some nootropics can help people with ADHD and ADD sit still for much longer periods while focusing on a specific task.
What Is ADHD?
ADHD stands for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, whereas ADD stands for attention deficit disorder. ADHD is considered to be the much more severe version of ADD. This is a neurodevelopmental or neurological disorder that can affect adults and children alike.
This is believed to be a result of the imbalance of brain chemicals, specifically the norepinephrine and dopamine neurotransmitters. People who have ADD or ADHD usually have lower levels of both norepinephrine and dopamine, which leads to a lack of focus, attention, and increased impulsivity.
People with ADHD have trouble following instructions, keeping organized, paying attention, concentrating on various tasks, and completing any kind of task. Therefore, nootropics that can regulate these neurotransmitters may be beneficial for people suffering from ADHD and ADHD.
ADHD’s Brain Chemical Connection
Many different neurotransmitters in the brain can affect people's ADD and ADHD. The main takeaway here is that a class of neurotransmitters known as catecholamines is responsible for regulating behavior, mood, and attention.
The ones most closely associated with the symptoms of ADHD and ADD include epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine.
It is the imbalance of these brain chemicals that leads to the symptoms of ADD. It is believed that there are some nootropics out there that can optimize catecholamine neurotransmitters, particularly by increasing norepinephrine and dopamine levels.
How to Know if Nootropics Are Working
One of the most difficult aspects here is knowing whether or not the nootropics are actually working to help improve your symptoms related to ADHD. If you notice that you are more easily able to complete tasks, stay organized, focus, and concentrate, then it is likely that the nootropics are working.
The whole point of these nootropics is to help reduce or eliminate your symptoms of impulsivity, hyperactivity, and inattention. If you notice these symptoms reducing or becoming less severe, then it is likely that the nootropics are working.
Just keep in mind that everybody is different, and various nootropics can affect people in different ways, as can combinations of nootropics. Therefore, if you find that one nootropic is not working for you, you can always try another or a combination of any of the nootropics that we're about to discuss below.
Nootropics to Consider for ADHD
There are thirteen different nootropics that may all be beneficial for ADD and ADHD, so let's take a quick look at what all of them are.
Ashwagandha is a herb that is native to India and the surrounding area. This is a natural medicine that has been used for hundreds of years. It is believed to be an adaptogen, which means that it can help the body reduce and manage stress. It also has various properties that may help improve attention and focus, while also reducing hyperactivity.
Citicoline is one of the most researched nootropics out there, and it is known as being the precursor to the acetylcholine neurotransmitter, which is important for memory and learning. There is some pretty solid research that indicates that this neurotransmitter precursor can have a positive effect on increasing sustained attention, working memory, focus, and concentration, which could make it an effective remedy for people suffering from ADHD.
Yes, magnesium is a basic mineral, one that is found in leafy green vegetables, dairy, nuts, whole grains, and more, but it is also considered to be a nootropic.
Magnesium is known for helping to balance neurotransmitters and the nervous system, which therefore affects behavior and mood.
There is a study that showed that the addition of magnesium to the diet of children with ADHD showed great improvements in terms of anxiety problems, cognitive performance, and social conduct.
Whereas magnesium is a mineral, L-tyrosine is an amino acid. It is therefore one of the precursors or building blocks of various neurotransmitters, including epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine, which as you probably know by now, are the three important ones associated with ADHD symptoms.
There are recent studies that show that the supplementation of this amino acid can improve memory and cognitive function, as well as focus and concentration. There is great promise here for people with ADHD and ADD.
We obviously could not resist including CBD or cannabidiol on the list and for good reason. Cannabidiol is shown to be one of the absolute best nootropics for ADD and ADHD symptoms. It has been proven to improve mood, anxiety, focus, and concentration.
Even better is the fact that this is not a psychoactive compound, so you can reap all of the potential benefits of it, without getting high. If there is one nootropic you plan on trying for your ADHD symptoms, it is CBD we recommend going for first. If you’d like to try CBD, whether for ADHD or otherwise, check out our awesome selection of CBD Gummies.
Maritime Pine Bark Extract
We then have maritime pine bark extract, which as you can guess, comes from the bark of the maritime pine tree. This tree can be found in France, Morocco, Portugal, and Spain. Maritime pine bark extract contains pycnogenol, a very potent antioxidant. This has been shown to reduce symptoms associated with ADD and ADHD and it may help improve overall cognitive function, particularly related to memory and concentration.
We've looked at plant extracts, amino acids, minerals, and now for a vitamin, B6. There are studies that show that vitamin B6 can improve cognitive abilities, particularly in the elderly. Indeed, vitamin B6 is one of the most important vitamins for the human body, as it plays many crucial roles, and it may indeed be beneficial for people suffering from ADHD.
This supplement, taken from the ginkgo biloba tree, has been around for hundreds and hundreds of years, particularly in traditional Chinese medicine. This is a nootropic that is possibly able to increase cognitive abilities such as focus, memory, concentration, and more. There is also some research to suggest that ginkgo biloba could be an effective treatment to help manage symptoms associated with ADHD.
Caffeine is a stimulant found in many natural foods, such as cocoa, tea, coffee, guarana, and more. Caffeine is considered to be the number one most regularly consumed psychoactive substance in the whole world.
To put this in perspective, nearly 90% of all Americans drink at least one beverage with caffeine per day.
Caffeine may be an effective option for increasing alertness, motivation, concentration, and cognitive performance. Based on this, it may have beneficial effects for people suffering from ADHD. It's something that gives you energy and might just send your brain into overdrive.
Here we have another substance found in various natural foods, such as tea. This is an amino acid that has a variety of benefits.
What many people don't know is that those who suffer from ADHD often have nightmares. This amino acid is shown to help reduce the occurrence of these nightmares.
There is also some research that shows that L-theanine may be beneficial for people with ADHD as it could help improve overall cognitive performance while reducing anxiety simultaneously.
Lion's Mane Mushroom
Lion’s mane mushroom is a popular food and nootropic. It's another one of these natural substances that have been used in traditional medicine for hundreds of years, particularly in Chinese medicine.
There are a few recent studies that show that lion’s mane mushrooms can improve overall cognitive performance, particularly related to focus, concentration, memory, and problem-solving skills. There is also some evidence to indicate that it may be able to reduce anxiety.
This is a so-called phospholipid that occurs naturally in the body and the brain. This specific type of nutrient regulates neural activity in the brain and could be beneficial for reducing ADHD symptoms.
There is one specific study that showed that children who took this supplement on a regular basis had massive improvements in terms of their hyperactivity, short-term memory, impulsivity, focus, and attention.
Let's round out the list in the same way we started, a herb that is native to India, one that's been used in Indian medicine for hundreds of years.
There are several studies that have been performed on this herb, with one of the most recent ones showing that children suffering from ADHD had considerable improvements in terms of impulsivity and attention when taking this substance daily for a full six months.
Choosing the Best Nootropic for You
What is important to note is that nootropics don't work the same way for everybody. Your overall health, genetics, age, and various other factors can all influence how effective these supplements are in terms of treating your ADHD symptoms.
For example, younger people with ADHD may benefit more from a variety of nootropics that are designed more for alertness, creativity, and focus, whereas older people may benefit more from nootropics that also support brain health, such as vitamin B6.
We recommend doing some extensive research into all of the nootropic herbs and substances that we've discussed today, to see which ones are beneficial for you.
We didn't even come close to listing all of the benefits of each of those individual nootropics. You may also want to do some research into the possible side effects of any and all of these nootropics.
Furthermore, also pay attention to the brand and source. You always want to go for a reputable brand name that produces high-quality products. Therefore, read up on the company, where they make their goods, and take a look at some reviews as well.
For instance, we here at Botany Farms have won a nootropic available for everybody, which is CBD or cannabidiol. We pride ourselves on producing very high-quality products that meet all standards and fall within all legal limits as set out by the US government.
If there is one nootropic we recommend starting with, it is CBD, in which case our own Botany Farms Live Resin CBD Tincture might be right for you. Click here in case you’d like to find out more about CBD and adaptogens!
Yet another important note here is that the research into nootropics as a treatment for ADD and ADHD is still extremely limited. In general, most research is not 100% conclusive, although there are strong indications that any and all of the nootropics discussed above can be beneficial for treating or managing the symptoms associated with these conditions.
First, we always recommend consulting a medical professional before starting any kind of supplement, particularly if you are looking to treat something like ADHD. The bottom line however is that nootropics show great potential when it comes to managing symptoms associated with ADHD.
Nootropics: Frequently Asked Questions
Before we wrap things up for today, let's take a quick look at some of your most recent frequently asked questions regarding nootropics and ADHD.
What Plant Nootropics Help With ADHD?
Some of the best plant nootropics that may help with ADHD include maritime pine bark extract, CBD, ashwagandha, bacopa monnieri, lion's mane mushroom, and ginkgo biloba.
What Are Natural Nootropics For ADHD?
Other natural nootropics that may help treat symptoms associated with ADHD include caffeine, L-theanine, citicoline, magnesium, L-tyrosine, and vitamin B6.
Do Nootropics Work For ADHD?
As you can see from above, although the research is not yet 100% conclusive, there are strong indications that nootropics help manage symptoms associated with ADD and ADHD.
What Are The Best Nootropics For ADHD?
The best nootropics for ADHD include CBD, maritime pine bark extract, lion’s mane mushroom, ginkgo biloba, ashwagandha, vitamin B6, caffeine, citicoline, magnesium, L-theanine, and L-tyrosine.
What Is The Best Nootropic Stack For ADHD?
An important note here is that nootropics work well singularly, but even Better Together. When you combine them, it is known as a stack. This is because the benefits of them are stacked together. If you're looking for the best stack for ADHD, we recommend combining vitamin B6, caffeine, citicoline, L-tyrosine, L-theanine, and lion’s mane mushrooms.
What Is The Difference Between Smart Drugs And Nootropics For ADHD?
Some confusion arises because people often use these terms, nootropics, and smart drugs, interchangeably. However, there is a notable difference. Smart drugs are generally considered prescription medications designed to increase cognitive abilities.
These can include but are not limited to, Ritalin and Adderall. These are two drugs commonly prescribed for people suffering from ADHD. On the other side of the coin, nootropics are supplements or naturally occurring substances, not prescription medications.
Can Children With ADHD Take Nootropics?
Although you should always consult the health care professional first, whether it is about you or your children taking nootropics, they should be perfectly safe for children and adults alike to try. Just remember that kids probably need smaller doses, but other than that, it should be perfectly fine.