Adderall is a stimulant that, when taken, increases your ability to focus. It also boosts the ability to pay attention and regulate behavioral problems. Mainly, it is used in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
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This prescription drug requires a proper prescription from a licensed pharmacist. Even with the tremendous results, patients report having some severe side effects, especially when taken without a prescription or supervision from a medic.
These side effects include:
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Dizziness and headaches
- Diarrhea and fever
- Weight loss, dry mouth, and stomach pain
- Increased blood pressure or hypertension
- Blood flow problems, especially at the extremities such as toes and fingers
- Mental, mood, and behavioral change
- Change in sexual ability or desires
- Uncontrolled movements, among others
As the list above indicates, Adderall may not be the best treatment to help you focus. There are many side effects to consider and should only be taken after consultation with a doctor.
In this piece, we discuss natural alternatives to Adderall to boost your focus.
What Is Adderall, and How Does It Work?
Adderall has gained a lot of traction in the medical industry among patients looking to stay focused, complete tasks, or treat ADHD. You might have heard of it or used it.
So, What Is Adderall?
Adderall is a prescription drug that combines two central nervous stimulants to help reduce impulsivity while boosting focus. The Food and Drug Administration approved it in 1996.
How Does It Work?
Adderall alters some naturally occurring chemicals in the brain to help improve your concentration and attention. When taken, Adderall affects the functioning of neurotransmitters.
Since this is a prescription drug, different people will receive different doses from their doctors.
Adderall is also used to treat daytime sleeping sickness or narcolepsy to help you complete tasks.
Is Adderall Effective?
According to a survey conducted by the Cleveland Clinic, doctors who prescribed Adderall alongside their behavioral therapy sessions reported a 70% improvement in symptoms of their adult patients. These numbers range from 70-80% among children who reported an improvement in the symptoms of ADHD. So, you can say that Adderall is useful.
However, even with all the success in treating ADHD, there has been an emphasis on looking for the best vitamin-like Adderall alternatives. Why could this be?
The main reason behind the quest to find a safe alternative to Adderall is the side effects associated with the use of this pharmaceutical drug.
Well, the good news is that there are alternatives. Keep reading to find out more on 9 of the best healthy alternatives to Adderall to boost your focus:
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Methionine is an amino acid that plays a crucial role in brain chemicals. It is an antioxidant that helps protect you from the harmful effects of toxins that accumulate in the body.
Nowadays, it is used in its active form for ADHD treatment and complications resulting from depression.
Some of the foods rich in Methionine include:
- Meat and fish
- Sesame seeds
- Brazil nuts
- Seeds and cereal grains
How Does Methionine Work?
As mentioned before, Methionine is an antioxidant. And by preventing the accumulation of toxic material in your body, it helps to protect the brain from any damages.
Amino acid supplements tend to cause a negative nitrogen imbalance in the body. In turn, this affects your metabolism and makes your kidneys run in overdrive. Children who take Methionine could also experience some growth problems.
Other side effects of Methionine include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Dizziness and drowsiness
- Low blood pressure
2. Vitamin B-6
Pyridoxine or Vitamin B-6 is another natural Adderall alternative. It plays a crucial part in the making of serotonin, a hormone produced by the brain to regulate moods and induce calmness.
According to a study conducted on the effect of Vitamin B-6 for ADHD treatment, patients recorded improvements in their symptoms, including aggression, inattention, and hyperactivity.
Foods rich in Vitamin B-6 include:
- Poultry, such as chicken and turkey
- Soya beans
- Wheat germ and oats
- Fortified breakfast cereals
Possible Side-Effects of Vitamin B-6
There are no significant side effects reported after a subject takes vitamin B-6. However, when taken in an overdose, the supplement prescription could result in:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Diarrhea and stomach ache
- Loss of appetite
- Sleepiness and headaches
This is a brand name for extracts from pine bark. You can find the same compounds in grapes and some berries. This compound is an antioxidant and works to protect the brain while reducing inflammation and stress. As a result, it impacts favorably on the symptoms of ADHD by suppressing them.
Patients who used Pycnogenol as an Adderall alternative reported improved concentration, attention, and coordination, especially among children with mental conditions.
Foods rich in Pycnogenol include:
Side Effects of Pycnogenol
- Weight gain
- Mouth ulcers and
- Gut problems
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Citicoline works in a similar mode to phospholipids. These compounds work to repair the brain and reset it to standard functionality. Over the years, Citicoline, developed in Japan, has been used to treat:
- Memory loss
- Loss of vision due to glaucoma
- Parkinson’s disease and
- Bipolar disorder, among other mental health conditions
While Citicoline is used as a supplement in the US, it is a prescription drug in many parts of the world. You can take it as an injection or via the mouth.
The dosage depends on the condition and age of the patient. However, it would be best if you always talked to a doctor before you take any Citicoline.
Side-Effects of Citicoline
- Stomach problems
- High blood pressure or hypertension
- Constipation, diarrhea, and nausea
- Chest pains
- Blurred vision
5. Mineral Supplements
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, NCCIH, suggests that the lack of some minerals in the body could result in ADHD signs getting worse. In turn, they recommend that these minerals could help patients alleviate these symptoms.
These crucial minerals include:
You can correct the deficiency of these minerals by introducing them to your diet. Some of the food rich in these minerals include:
- Ancient grains
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Although these foods could be rich in these minerals, the optimal way to benefit from them as an Adderall alternative is to take mineral supplements.
Side Effects of Mineral Supplements
- Stomach bleeding
- Abnormal heartbeat
- Increased urination
- Muscle weakness
GABA or gamma-aminobutyric acid is a neurotransmitter that regulates the activities of neurons in the brain. It acts to soothe the brain by blinding neurons, which inhibits transmission in the brain. The result is a calm and relaxed nervous activity, which is significant in treating stress and anxiety.
In children, GABA helps reduce hyperactivity, aggression, and impulsivity, which are the symptoms of ADHD.
Side-Effects of GABA
- Muscle weakness
- Stomach issues and
7. Organic Lion’s Mane Mushroom
Another good addition to the list of Adderall alternatives is the organic lion’s mane mushroom. It offers a long-term effect in boosting the activity of the brain. The Chinese understood these beneficial attributes a long time ago and have since used this edible fungus for various health benefits.
Besides improving cognitive ability, it also helps you concentrate when studying.
The best part about this mushroom is the lack of verified side effects after animal testing, making it one of a kind.
8. Ginkgo Biloba
Over the years, people have been using Ginkgo Biloba to treat various health conditions such as:
- Memory loss
- Dizziness/ vertigo
- Cognitive disorders
- Cerebral vascular insufficiency, among others
It is also known to improve blood flow, which works well to enhance brain activity.
Side Effects of Ginkgo Biloba
- Stomach upsets
- Skin reaction due to allergies
This is a phospholipid compound used in the making of nerve tissues in the brain. It also plays a crucial role in optimizing the function of the brain and generating energy to fuel these activities.
While it improves immunity, it also promotes nerve growth.
Some side effects include insomnia and stomach upsets.
Where Can You Buy Natural Adderall Alternatives?
Before you go out buying all these supplements, make sure you consult your doctor for advice and recommendations. Once you have the proper prescription, you can buy these Adderall alternatives from your local or online pharmacy.
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While Adderall is a worldwide recognized drug used to treat ADHD and improve focus, it has severe side effects. Owing to this, communities are looking for better and more natural alternatives.
These natural alternatives provide a safer treatment. However, they also could result in side effects. These undesirable impacts make it very crucial that you consult your doctor before changing your prescription.
Finally, in your search for better Adderall replacements when treating hyperactivity, and inattention, always look for FDA-approved drugs.