We all agree that Adderall is an effective drug to boost brain health, but it’s expensive and not available legally without a prescription. So how can you improve cognitive functions in a way that’s safe and affordable?
Natural Adderall is the answer you’ve been looking for.
In this article, we’ll give you nine of the best Adderall alternatives and explain precisely why we believe these vitamins, herbs, and supplements are the superior choice for students, professionals, and those with ADHD.
Key Takeaways: Natural Adderall
Natural Alternatives to Adderall
Here are the 9 best natural Adderall alternatives.
- Mineral supplements
- Bacopa monnieri
- Fish oil
- Ginkgo biloba
The most popular minerals used for treating ADHD are iron, magnesium, and zinc, each important for regulating neurotransmitters and other brain chemicals . Research finds that children with ADHD tend to have lower amounts of these nutrients, contributing to many of their symptoms.
Minerals like iron, magnesium, and zinc are necessary to enhance cognitive function. Some find that combining these natural Adderall alternatives with vitamins helps children with ADHD calm down by lowering their heart rate as well as their levels of stress and anxiety and may aid in more restful sleep .
Citicoline is a natural chemical compound with neuroprotective properties. It’s sold as a single ingredient nootropic or included in herbal supplements to enhance some of the more popular brain-boosting formulas.
This natural compound is a brain nutrient that can increase neurotransmitters and energy production levels to brain cells while providing protection from foreign substances .
Citicoline is a natural alternative that may help children with ADHD by raising dopamine levels that support cognitive energy, attention, and focus and improves overall better brain health.
Best Citicoline Nootropic
Mind Lab Pro is a non-prescription supplement that improves short-term cognitive function in various ways, including improving mood and mental energy and enhancing memory and focus. It contains 11 neuro-nutrients, including lion’s mane mushroom, essential vitamin B products, maritime pine bark extract, and 250 mg of citicoline.
This nutrient-dense formula is a popular Adderall alternative, especially if you’re looking for fewer chemicals and a more natural formula. Unlike Adderall, the side effects of Mind Lab Pro are low, with patients reporting headaches, digestion issues, and insomnia.
The price is another big reason why some prefer this supplement over Adderall to increase brain function. A single-month supply of Mind Lab Pro is only $69.00, hundreds of dollars less than a prescription of Adderall without insurance. For more information on the benefits of citicoline supplements, check out our Mind Lab Pro review.
Bacopa Monnieri is a medicinal herbal supplement that interacts positively with the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin, which helps to improve energy levels and alertness while reducing anxiety .
This herb is responsible for promoting communication between neurons by increasing the growth of nerve endings called dendrites that directly contribute to improved memory and general cognition .
Bacopa is non-addictive and has very few side effects, primarily related to upset stomach and fatigue. But its ability to regulate mood, increase attention span and focus while helping with learning and cognition makes this herb a natural Adderall alternative.
Best Bacopa Monnieri Nootropic
Alpha Brain is a nootropic formula aimed to support memory and cognitive functioning by stimulating neurotransmitters in the brain to enhance cognitive health. This stimulant-free dietary supplement uses ingredients like cat’s claw to improve concentration, mental focus, and mental speed.
Alpha Brain works by making more alpha waves responsible for reducing stress and creating a sense of calm, hence the name. This formula also supports the production of neurotransmitters, improving mental clarity.
Some have reported minor side effects, including headaches, nausea, jaw pain, body odor, vivid dreams, and mild insomnia. However, Alpha Brain is one of the safest nootropics, and with 100 mg of Bacopa Monnieri, Alpha Brain is one of the best Adderall alternatives.
Caffeine is the most commonly used psychoactive drug worldwide, and for a good reason. Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system leading to increased focus, wakefulness, and alertness, and is found in everything from soft drinks, teas, foods, and some medications .
There are a few drawbacks to caffeine, including restlessness, rapid heartbeat, and insomnia, but many people with and without ADHD find that caffeine helps them focus on specific tasks .
That being said, it’s important to note that caffeine is not a cognitive enhancing drug and does not make you smarter, only more awake.
L-tyrosine is an amino acid produced naturally in the body and used as a nootropic dietary supplement to enhance alertness, focus, and attention and encourage better cognitive function . The amino acid helps in the production of dopamine which converts into norepinephrine and epinephrine.
This powerful trio of neurotransmitters is highly effective in boosting brain function and performance. The result is a nootropic that improves memory retention, promotes mental flexibility and self-control, all of which are challenges for those with ADHD.
Best L-Tyrosine Nootropic
Performance Lab is a nootropic supplement designed to improve cognitive function and physical performance by increasing blood flow to the brain, which directly impacts memory retention, focus, energy levels, and motivation.
With ingredients like maritime pine bark extract and 250 mg of L-tyrosine, this nootropic aids in cognitive recovery, brain performance, and mental clarity, beneficial to students with ADHD symptoms who struggle to focus during classes and exams.
Only natural ingredients are included in the Performance Lab formula, with no harsh stimulants and virtually no side effects. This, as well as its low price point of $69.00 for a month supply, makes Performance Lab a better Adderall alternative and a more affordable drug option. Learn more about the benefits of this supplement in our Performance Lab Nootropics review.
Fish oil contains a combination of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), both omega-3 fatty acids influence the production of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin .
Omega-3 levels in children with ADHD tend to be lower than other children in the same age bracket . Amino acids like fish oil help improve attention while decreasing hyperactivity, aggression, restlessness, and impulsiveness. This makes fish oil a promising treatment for those with ADHD and a healthy addition to any diet.
L-theanine is an amino acid found primarily in black tea, green tea, and some mushrooms and is known for helping people relax. It’s used as a nootropic supplement to ease stress and anxiety and to combat insomnia, one of the many reasons so many people sip on tea before bed .
L-theanine affects the levels of some chemicals in the brain, including serotonin and dopamine, which influences mood, emotion, and sleep. People suffering from ADHD symptoms will benefit from this supplement’s improved mental focus and cognitive performance.
Best L-Theanine Nootropic
Brain Pill is an herbal nootropic supplement that promises to boost brain function, improve focus and cognitive abilities with no adverse effects. This supplement uses 12 natural ingredients, including 100 mg of L-theanine, to aid in mental alertness, improve mental focus and learning ability, and provide healthy brain blood flow and much-needed nourishment to prevent cognitive decline.
There is a chance of diarrhea, headaches, and insomnia if Brain Pill is overused, but there are virtually no complaints from Brain Pill customers.
For more information on Brain Pill’s benefits and usage, read this Brain Pill Review.
Ginkgo Biloba is one of the oldest living trees native to China and has been used in medicine for hundreds of years for its neuroprotective properties . It’s known to improve blood circulation and is most commonly used for focus and brain health.
This herbal supplement contains powerful antioxidants which protect the body from free radicals, slow down the effects of aging, prevent some cognitive diseases, and aids in the reduction of anxiety . It may also improve brain function and mental performance in healthy adults.
Best Ginkgo Biloba Nootropic
Qualia Mind is a natural smart drug supplement with a blend of 28 vitamins, herbs, amino acids, and other brain-boosting compounds, including natural stimulants like caffeine and 50 mg of Ginkgo Biloba. It’s made to increase focus, sustain energy, and promote mental clarity and brain functioning.
Unlike some nootropic supplements, Qualia works incredibly fast, with some users reporting feeling the effects in less than 40 minutes. Combining caffeine and L-theanine provides natural energy without anxiety or the inevitable crash that sometimes occurs with Adderall.
Qualia has no reported side effects, but some individual ingredients within this compound, if taken for an extended period of time or overused, may cause some discomfort. Make sure to talk to a medical professional before adding any supplements to your diet.
Overall, Qualia has proven to be a safe nootropic with a loyal customer base. Many believe this is one of the best nootropic compounds compared to Adderall.
Rosemary is a popular culinary herb used for so much more than just garnishing your favorite meals. This medicinal plant has been used for centuries to improve memory loss, but it’s also known to boost mood, alertness and reduce anxiety and inflammation in the body .
Rosemary acts as a cognitive stimulant, enhancing concentration and cognitive performance, and is a natural remedy for brain fog and fatigue while increasing mental speed and accuracy. The antioxidants found in rosemary are responsible for better circulation in the body and brain, which also helps in brain functions .
How Does Adderall Work?
Adderall is a prescription stimulant that works mostly in the central nervous system. The two active ingredients in Adderall are amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, which are responsible for stimulating the production of neurotransmitters in the brain, specifically dopamine and norepinephrine .
Dopamine is a key chemical in the brain’s reward center and plays a direct role in how we think, how we plan, general focus, energy levels, and attentiveness. Those with ADHD tend to have lower dopamine levels and are constantly seeking stimulation .
The amphetamines in Adderall encourage the release of dopamine in the human brain, which helps to hold focus for longer periods.
What Is Adderall Used For?
Adderall is a prescription drug used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy, a sleep disorder that causes daytime sleepiness.
Prescription medications like Adderall help those with ADHD by improving mental focus, clarity, and concentration while reducing hyperactivity, improving how long you can pay attention to a specific task.
Adderall also aids in boosting levels of norepinephrine . For those suffering from narcolepsy, this stimulant increases the heart rate and promotes general wakefulness helping patients stay awake during the day.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is one of the most common mental disorders affecting children and lasts through adulthood in most people . The three symptom groups of ADHD are as follows:
- Inattention – Disorganization, lack of focus, forgetfulness, easily distracted, etc.
- Hyperactivity – Being fidgety, restless, and excessively talking.
- Impulsivity – Impatience, interrupting, not being able to wait your turn, mood swings.
Adderall is specifically designed to aid in improving attention span, hyperactivity, and impulsive behavior.
Patients using Adderall for ADHD may experience the following:
- Higher energy levels
- Increased alertness
- Improved focus
- Longer attention span
- Decreased restlessness and fidgeting
What Happens If You Take Adderall Without ADHD?
Let’s start by saying that taking Adderall without ADHD or a medical prescription is not advised. Those who do will experience some of the same feelings of increased alertness, energy, and focus. But there’s also a chance of intense euphoria, mania, and even hallucinations.
Adderall abuse is common among college and university students and can be very dangerous, especially with an underlying medical condition. Over time, the more Adderall you take, the less effective the drug will be, leading to overuse, dependency, and addiction.
Narcolepsy is a rare neurological disorder affecting an estimated 16% of the population worldwide . People with this chronic disorder cannot maintain a healthy sleep cycle and may experience uneven or interrupted sleep at night and excessive sleepiness during the day.
Narcolepsy is usually diagnosed in childhood or early teens and seems to affect men and women equally.
Common symptoms include:
- Sleep paralysis
- Disrupted nighttime sleep
- Cataplexy (acute loss of muscle control)
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Sleep-related hallucinations
Treatment for narcolepsy includes nervous system stimulants like Adderall that will boost levels of norepinephrine and help people stay awake during the day.
Although Adderall is known for helping with focus and attention, which is why it’s a popular drug among college students and professionals, it’s not meant to be used by people who do not suffer from ADHD or narcolepsy. In fact, taking Adderall without a doctor’s supervision is dangerous .
However, natural nootropics supplements are a safe herbal alternative to Adderall and will provide the same mental boost without the danger of a prescription drug. Some nootropic brands are geared towards students and busy professionals looking for the same “buzz” you might find in Adderall.
There are a few more questions we found on the internet that many people are asking about Adderall alternatives and improving brain health.
What’s a Good Alternative to Adderall?
Natural nootropics like citicoline, lion’s mane mushroom, cat’s claw, and maritime pine bark extract are great alternatives to Adderall. These can be taken individually, or you can find effective combinations in natural Nootropic supplement products, like Mind Lab Pro and Performance Lab.
Does Adderall Help With Anxiety?
Taking Adderall does not help with anxiety. In fact, some symptoms of Adderall can intensify unpleasant side effects, including anxiety and depression. If you need help controlling anxiety, other medications will work better than Adderall.
Does Adderall Help With Motivation?
Yes. Adderall may increase your cognitive motivation by increasing dopamine levels in the brain, the neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and motivation. Check out our review on Nootropics for Motivation for more options.
Can I Get Adderall Over the Counter?
No. Medications like Adderall are only available as prescription drugs given by a doctor and only for the treatment of ADHD and narcolepsy. If you’re looking for safe ways to boost your brainpower, take a look at the info we gathered on OTC Adderall.
Adderall is a strong prescription medication used to enhance brain health but is only prescribed to treat ADHD and narcolepsy. However, many people, such as students, professionals, and athletes, seek the benefits of this kind of stimulant.
Fortunately, there are many natural products in the form of nootropic supplements that are better and safer alternatives to taking Adderall. These herbs, plants, and vitamins have what it takes to keep you focused, alert, and ready in any situation.
If you have questions about the use of Adderall for ADHD and narcolepsy or if you’re concerned about the likelihood of Adderall abuse, contact your local physician or any medical professional.
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