Nootropics for ADHD | The Nootropic Press Blog
Looking for Adderall Alternatives? Try These Nootropics for ADHD Brains!
In people with ADHD, the frontal lobe may develop later. In these individuals, crutches such as Amphetamine class drugs (ritalin, dextroamphetamine and co) and other dopaminergic stimulants are used to control attention, despite the often harmful side effect and tolerance profiles of these drugs11.
Handily, a range of alternative treatments exist to traditional amphetamine salts for ADHD.
What is even better is: they typically lack the intense side-effect profile of traditional medications.
Nootropics for ADHD are generally better tolerated, healthier and safer Adderall alternatives – don’t delay, read up and improve your focus naturally today!
ADH, ADHD, SCT and CDD – What They Mean
These terms are rising in popularity, and thankfully now a lot of people who previously would have been unaffected by traditional ADH medicines are starting to realise why! SCT is also known as Concentration Deficit Disorder (CDD). Both CDD and SCT seem to be unresponsive to traditional treatments for ADH of amphetamines, however very little is known about the prospects for treatment for these conditions, at this stage.
It’s important to value other aspects of people besides their fast thinking abilities, and we should be wary of trying to medicate everything. Nevertheless, since you are here, we’re going to cover some alternatives that might help you.
I’ve had difficulty concentrating since I was a child. It wasn’t until university that I finally understood that my brain chemistry was different from a lot of others. As such, I have begun trying to first understand how it differed, and what I could do to help myself without resorting to drugs like Adderall, mainly because I did not enjoy how they made me feel, or the dependence.
That’s not to say amphetamine medications for ADHD don’t work although the results can be quite spurious, often they perform little better than controls in studies. That’s not to say I didn’t dose methylphenidate – especially for exams – but I supplemented my body in order to allow it to better be able to cope with the effects of those strong amphetamine salts.
The symptoms of ADHD are thought to result from having a lower than usual amount of circulating dopamine (the reward and motivation chemical) in the brain. The brains of people with ADHD are theorised to have lower concentrations of dopamine transporters, and as a result, completing tasks, planning them and even getting started feels a lot less urgent and important to individuals with ADHD.
The other theory is that people with ADHD have a lower than average amount of gray matter in their brains.
Gray matter vs White Matter in the Brain
Gray matter makes up a lot of our brain. It connections many regions of the brain, and is responsible for communicating impulses, for example through the myelinated dendrites which it makes up.
In people with ADHD, there is thought to be less gray matter, leading to reduced connectivity and a lessened ability to regulate impulses.
There is hope, however, as diet and over the counter supplements can be used to improve the condition of the gray matter. Grey matter is mainly fatty matter in the brain which makes up neuronal cell bodies.
If you want to feed your brain properly, including a lot of healthy fats from oily fish and nuts is the way to go. These nutrients aid the building of fatty sheaths in neurons, which in turn enable faster communication of the brain by facilitating the travel of electrical impulses across the brain.
Treating ADH/D through Diet
Having an ADHD friendly diet can help both if you are receiving a traditional ADH treatment, such as medication with Methylphenidate. The first step is to incorporate slow-release energy foods into the diet, such as whole grains. This keeps the release of energy from your diet consistent and avoids spikes and dips which can be detrimental to the sustained and consistent work that ADH sufferers already have to cope with.
Magnesium-rich foods like nuts, tofu and whole grains are great for ADH. Not only are they helpful in avoiding the comedown and sadness that comes with methylphenidate usage, but they also help to potentiate the effects of amphetamine drugs which can be useful if you are rapidly building tolerance. Try to avoid magnesium until you know how hard your dose will ‘hit’.
These contain high levels of DHA and Omega-3, which have been shown through meta-analysis to have positive overall benefits on all types of ADHD, especially on the mildest kinds. Additionally, they have low side effect profiles and are very well tolerated- they may even have numerous benefits outside of ADHD such as on ageing, but that is outside the scope of our discussion here.
Protein is especially important to people with ADHD, as our bodies require it in order to build just about everything, including our neurotransmitters. When we consume protein, our brain starts to secrete neurotransmitters like dopamine that liven up our 2minds and are necessary for focus. Chicken is a particularly great source of protein for ADH sufferers because it is packed full of l-tyrosine, a direct precursor to dopamine.
When creating a meal for someone with ADH, try and stick to this rule. 1/2 a plate of fruit and vegetables, 1/4 wholegrain, slow-releasing carbohydrates, and 1/4 plate of protein.
Supplements for ADH and ADHD
Even if you take Adderall, Methylphenidate or other drugs in this class- these supplements are worth knowing about. They can reduce some of the side effects of the medications, such as neurotoxicity. These may also help with SCT, although not enough is known about the condition for us to make a reliable claim.
B vitamins (especially B6): Increase levels of dopamine in the brain and higher levels in the body are correlated with higher IQs. They have been shown to reduce aggression and anti-social behaviour in children.
We recommend: Vitamin B6 by Solgar
Why Solgar? – Both are well-regulated brands who use well-sourced, clean products. They declare all the ingredients, and in our experience have produced consistent and well-priced products that really work for us. Many of their products are vegan, and because of their large manufacturing arm, they have lower energy ways to manufacture these supplements which can otherwise be quite environmentally harmful. If you’re interested in how some vitamins make you sick – especially the unregulated Amazon kinds, then check out our article!
We have no affiliation with Solgar. If you have any positive or negative experiences you would like to share, please email firstname.lastname@example.org – we want to know what you think!
Gingko: An ancient Chinese folk remedy that is useful for a remarkable number of conditions. Gingko is especially effective for treating ADHD and concentration problems in children, who it may be less harmful to than traditional stimulant medications.
We recommend: Ginko by Solgar
Vitamin C: Along with acidic foods can be especially good for ending the effects of methylphenidate and other amphetamines by increasing the pH of the stomach, and lowering its absorption. Vitamin C is also a useful antioxidant and will reduce the oxidative stress damage wrought by amphetamines on the brain.
We recommend: Vitamin C by Solgar
Zinc: Has been shown to improve symptoms of hyperactivity in ADH sufferers. In general, zinc levels are much lower in people with ADH than those without and merely having the deficiency can mirror the developmental delays brought about by 3ADHD.
We recommend: Zinc by Solgar
Quite interesting: a caveat is that more boys than girls (over double, according to some statistics) have ADH symptoms. ADH symptoms tend to appear frequently at adolescence. Excessive masturbation and frequent sex are one of the main causes of zinc deficiency. The guys at NoFap have some interesting conjecture here, relating to the tie between elevated dopamine during porn, masturbation and orgasm, and the depletion of zinc in the body. In any case, if you think this might be you- zinc may be the quick fix you’re looking for.
Foods to avoid if you have ADHD: Try to avoid sugary and highly processed foods. These can make anyone feel sluggish and unfocused and should be especially avoided by people with ADH/ADHD and autism because they cause peaks and crashes in energy levels, leading to less consistent focus and work.
The Best Nootropics for ADHD
If you’re satisfied with your diet, but still want an added boost to help with the treatment of your ADHD/ADH symptoms, there are some nootropic drugs available. If they interest you, check them out with your doctor first to be safe.
- Semax® – A peptide fragment of a naturally occurring neuropeptide called ACTH. It raises BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic growth factor) and thus has a greatly positive impact on learning. In Russia, the drug is used to treat a number of cognitive impairments including stroke, ADHD in children 7+, prevention and treatment of circulatory illnesses to name a few. The drug has won numerous awards.
- Hopantenic Acid / N-pantoyl-GABA (Brand names Pantogam, and Pantogam Active)– Often prescribed by doctors in Russia and Ukraine for developmental disorders in children. Pantogam crosses the blood-brain barrier and produces a GABAnergic effect. It increases mental and physical energy, relieves chronic fatigue and improves memory and attention.
- Modafinil – Better tolerated than amphetamine drugs in adults, it is a well known and researched drug that makes you feel more awake, and better able to finish tasks. Check out our Modafinil fact sheet – if you’re looking for a safe and legitimate seller we recommend reading our Online Pharma Modafinil review
- Fish Oil / DHEA / EPA / Omega 3 – fish oils have been shown to have a positive effect on treating ADH, especially the milder forms. It is also beneficial when taken alongside ADH medications such as Adderall.
- L-Tyrosine – A precursor to dopamine that’s found in chicken. We recommend taking this sparingly, as it can disrupt neurotransmitter levels, especially of serotonin and melatonin, leading to poorer sleep. L-Tyrosine increases dopamine in a subtler way to amphetamine salts and is useful for replenishing the neurotransmitter at the end of an amphetamine fueled day.
Further Reading and Resources:
https://www.addysafe.org/ – Harm reduction from Adderall
Microdosing mushrooms for ADHD – Potential use case for psychedelic drugs in treating ADH
A note from the author:
Always try and get an in-depth evaluation of all of your symptoms, that takes into account your environment and current situation. ADH symptoms are mirrored by a lot of common illnesses such as depression and anxiety, autism spectrum disorders, poor diet, and many others besides.
Your GP may be willing to help you out, and if not many trusts and charities exist that could help you to get funding. Have a Google for ADH trusts and services near you, if you’re one of the lucky ones who has a well funded local service it will be of great benefit.
1. Cortese, Samuele et al., Comparative efficacy and tolerability of medications for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in children, adolescents, and adults: a systematic review and network meta-analysis. The Lancet Psychiatry, Volume 5, Issue 9, 727 – 738. Aug, 2018 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S2215-0366(18)30269-4
3. Bloch MH, Mulqueen J. Nutritional supplements for the treatment of ADHD. Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am. 2014;23(4):883–897. doi:10.1016/j.chc.2014.05.002
3. Journel M, Chaumontet C, Darcel N, Fromentin G, Tomé D. Brain responses to high-protein diets. Adv Nutr. 2012;3(3):322–329. Published 2012 May 1. doi:10.3945/an.112.002071
4. Königs A, Kiliaan AJ. Critical appraisal of omega-3 fatty acids in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder treatment. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2016 Jul 26;12:1869-82. doi: 10.2147/NDT.S68652. PMID: 27555775; PMCID: PMC4968854.