What Is A Natural Alternative To Adderall?
Adderall is a prescription stimulant used to improve focus, attention, and energy. Its cognitive-boosting function makes it a common recommendation for Attention Deficient Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) patients.
Sadly, Adderall is widely abused, a practice that poses an increasing concern to the medical community. Still, when used as prescribed, Adderall is highly effective for ADHD-related symptoms.
However, there are numerous natural alternatives to the prescription drug that can be used, in many cases, to curb the use of Adderall which we'll discuss here.
How exactly does Adderall work?
Adderall influences the release of some brain chemicals – notably Dopamine and Norepinephrine. These naturally-occurring substances dictate the speed of the brain’s activities. So by increasing the availability of these compounds in the brain, Adderall in turn helps stabilize overall brain function.
Adderall is administered in a range of doses – from between 5mg to 40 mg. It's usually administered orally, twice daily. Besides ADHD, Adderall is a common prescription for attention disorders and sleeping anomalies.
Typically, the drug’s effects last for between four to six hours, after which the functionality gradually lessens.
Chemical structure of the amphetamine, Adderall.
Side effects of Adderall
Adderall, in excess consumption, may cause overstimulation in the brain. Even within recommended doses, Adderall may trigger:
- Weight loss
- Mouth dryness
Even regardless of dosage, Adderall comes with specific adverse effects. First, its amphetamine content is highly addictive and prolonged usage may cause dependency. Furthermore, such long-term administration can be risky to the nervous system.
Thankfully, there is a long list of more natural supplements that may help handle ADHD symptoms. With or without ADHD, these safer alternatives can help manage stimulation and increase focus.
Natural Alternatives to Adderall
Research shows that caffeine helps improve concentration and focus. This makes it an excellent natural alternative to Adderall.
As a stimulant, caffeine helps the brain release dopamine. This substance is also considered a vasoconstrictor – that is, as with Adderall, caffeine narrows blood vessels in the brain’s hyperactive areas. This effect promotes the stability of brain functions.
That said, caffeine is not advisable for use within six hours before bedtime, as its stimulant properties may disturb sleep patterns.
Here’s one of the best natural Adderall alternatives. Alpha GPC, or alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine, is a choline supplement that interacts with the brain and boosts acetylcholine levels (a neurotransmitter that promotes learning and focus). A 2011 research shows that kids with ADHD had acetylcholine deficiencies of up to 50%.
Therefore, for improved concentration and focus, Alpha GPC has been widely recommended as a healthier alternative to Adderall.
Talking brain health, Ginkgo biloba is a prominent name. The herb has been widely used for kids with ADHD. Ginkgo helps sustain a balanced production of the brain’s neurotransmitters including Dopamine, acetylcholine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. This increase helps boost focus and reduce impulsiveness.
One study links the use of Ginkgo supplement to a dramatic reduction of ADHD symptoms. The research reports that the herb can be a more natural and effective alternative to Adderall.
This non-essential amino acid comes with a wide range of health benefits. This natural alternative helps relieve anxiety and stress by increasing glycine and GABA levels. Glycine and GABA are both neurotransmitters that helps calm hyperactivity in the brain. This effect induces calm and relaxation in users, thereby diminishing ADHD symptoms.
In fact, studies rate L-Theanine as one of the most effective OTC replacements for the addictive Adderall. Authors of the study report L-Theanine as dramatically improving symptoms of those with mild cognitive impairments.
This is a naturally occurring chemical that produces serotonin, a "feel-good" neurotransmitter. As with other over-the-counter ADHD options, 5-HTP contributes positively to the brain’s serotonin. This effect, in turn, helps relieve depression and improve mood. An increase in serotonin levels may usher in happiness and a general sense of wellness.
Thus, an increase in 5-HTP helps promote concentration, focus, and creativity.
Some literature recommends L-Tryptophan (a chemical that helps the body produce 5-HTP) over 5-HTP for ADHD symptoms.
However, since L-Tryptophan promotes protein development or may be converted to niacin, 5-HTP remains a better option for the management of ADHD-related symptoms.
Phosphatidylserine supports cell membranes and to aid in brain health. This vital supplement also aids memory function.
Abundant evidence shows the effectiveness of Phosphatidylserine on thinking and learning processes. Phosphatidylserine has been shown to help control mood disorders, reducing depression and anxiety.
Research shows that Phosphatidylserine supplementation results in significant enhancement of auditory memory and impulsivity. Other studies linked the supplement to mental accuity and cognitive processing.
Huperzine A is a common herbal supplement in the Chinese medical community, particularly for the improvement of cognitive functions. The herb works well for adults and children alike. Huperzine works like Alpha GPC as an indirect acetylcholine booster.
This herb comes with a synergistic effect on cognitive functions when administered with Alpha GPC.
Bacopa Monnieri has been researched as an effective and more natural alternative to Adderall. The herb has been used over time across many communities active in traditional medicine.
Like other over-the-counter drugs, bacopa binds with the body’s Dopamine and serotonin receptors. This interaction improves energy levels and alertness.
Bacopa helps boost neuron interaction through the brain’s nerve endings. As such, the natural herb can boost cognition and memory formation. Studies say the herb can modify mood and increase attention span.
Other Supplements for concentration and focus
With or without ADHD, people may have issues with concentration and focus. If that sounds like you, the following supplements may come handy:
- Vitamin B-12 shields and protects the functions of brain nerves
- Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, a substance which provides brain protection
- Mint is widely used for memory improvement
- Rosemary helps boost alertness and memory
- Cocoa seeds are high in antioxidants which help improve brain health
- Flax seeds and related vegetarian sources offer beneficial nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids
- Sesame seeds contain high tyrosine levels; besides this, they are also a rich source of zinc, vitamin B-6, and magnesium-- key contributors to brain health.
- Moxe Happy Diffuser. This organic essential oil is another natural alternative to Adderall. The product contains natural ingredients, including thyme, cinnamon, fennel, and sage, all of which offer aromatic, mood-lifting, and energizing properties. The rich blend of these natural essentials leaves you feeling happy and more focused.
Adderall arguably ranks top among prescription therapies for the treatment of ADHD – both in adults and children alike.
However, the drug has been overly prescribed and abused, which has left many users with severe consequences such as drug addiction and eventual dependency. Adderall is not widely tolerated and may pose some adverse reactions.
Thankfully, these options above can be effective and more natural alternatives to Adderall.
Note that these natural supplements may cause some minor side effects and, perhaps, adverse drug interactions.
Discuss with your physician before you proceed with any new prescription or supplement.