Natural Supplements for ADHD
This is a complete guide to natural and effective alternatives for treating ADHD. We’ll also look specifically at both adult ADHD and ADHD in children.
New research proves that ADHD should be viewed on a spectrum. Everyone’s condition is unique. Medical professionals are also now realizing that more and more adults fit into this ADHD spectrum – it’s truly not just a condition for children.
Different supplements work differently for each person. The key is in finding the supplement or combination of supplements that are most effective for you.
The two most common classes of medications or supplements used to treat adult ADHD (and for children) are stimulants and antidepressants.
We’re going to look at natural supplements that work like the popular stimulant ADHD medications – like Adderall, Vyvanse, and Ritalin. We’ll also look at ones which are similar to the antidepressant classes of ADHD medications like Wellbutrin, Lexapro, and Zoloft.
The reason an increasing number of people are turning to natural alternatives for their condition is that they are realizing that the highest quality herbs and amino acids are incredibly effective, can be a lot safer, less addictive, and have less side effects than pharmaceutical medication.
We are by no means against pharmaceutical medications. Many people experience great success with them. We only wish to provide legitimate alternatives for people who are afraid of the side effects or potential dependency of long term use of these medications.
We actually developed a powerful combination supplement that was originally intended to be a non-drowsy anti-anxiety supplement which could help people increase their focus and concentration. It’s been very successful for that purpose. But an added benefit we’ve encountered is that many adults and children with ADHD have been experiencing great results using it. In retrospect it makes sense because we combine stimulant-like herbs and adaptogens which sharpen mental focus, with anti-anxiety/anti-depressant like herbs and amino acids which work in similar ways to another major class of ADHD medication.
This product is called Zen+ and it may be of interest to you to take a look at.
Now let’s discuss individual supplements.
L-Theanine is an amazing and powerful amino acid. It’s found naturally in green tea, and it’s responsible for making tea feel much more calming than coffee, despite its caffeine.
Many people take L theanine to reduce anxiety and improve mood. It is also getting a lot more recognition to help both adults and children with ADHD.
It’s non-drowsy when taken during the day and gives people a very relaxed and “smooth” feeling. It’s also fast-acting and synergistic with caffeine. When taken with a morning coffee (or any other caffeine source) it’s excellent at improving mental focus. It increases both focus and concentration more than caffeine alone, and it will make you feel much less nervous and “jittery” than having coffee alone. It’s a simple combination, but one of the most effective. It’s a great place to start for ADHD if you would like to improve mood, increase mental focus, concentration, and productivity.
We use an incredibly pure, pharmaceutical grade, L-Theanine in our combination formulas and we sell it as a pure single with no added fillers.
Rhodiola rosea is a powerful adaptogen. It helps restore the body to its natural state. It is well-known for increasing energy and improving concentration. It’s a great alternative to caffeine because it provides a lot of energy, but it does so without the nervous jitters or the crash.
Many people swear by rhodiola for ADHD. An increasing number of parents are looking into both rhodiola and/or ashwagandha to help their children with ADHD. Adults can benefit greatly as well. It can be taken alone or in combination with other herbs and aminos.
Rhodiola is a natural herb. The quality of the plant, where it’s grown, and which active ingredients the extract is standardized to matter a lot.
We use an organic rhodiola which is grown at high altitudes in Tibet. We standardize the plant into 3.5% rosavins and 2.5% salidrosides (the main active ingredients of rhodiola rosea).
It’s very pure and strong. A dose of only 100-200 mg is effective.
We offer our organic Tibetan rhodiola as a single ingredient with no added fillers, and in our new anxiety/focus blend, Zen+.
Ashwagandha is another adaptogen, but its effects are different than those of rhodiola. Ashwagandha has more relaxing, anti-anxiety, and anti-depressant like effects than rhodiola.
So if you would like a more energizing type of focus for your ADHD symptoms, you may wish to try rhodiola, but if you would like more of a relaxation type focus, then ashwagandha may be the choice for you.
We use a certified organic ashwagandha root extract. It has the most scientific research backing it up and is especially effective for reducing anxiety, depression, and enhancing mental cognition. It contains 5% withanolides (the active ingredient class of ashwagandha).
Ashwagandha is also synergistic with rhodiola. Many people love taking the 2 together.
We actually use them both in Zen+, our mental focus enhancing supplement.
5-HTP & L-Tryptophan
5 HTP and L Tryptophan are both amino acids known for their ability to increase serotonin levels. Many people use either one to help alleviate their depression.
Their anti-depressant effects make them very useful for some people with ADHD. They can also be combined with stimulant-like supplements such as rhodiola rosea.
Some say that 5 HTP is better because it crosses the blood-brain barrier whereas l tryptophan doesn’t. But we believe that it really depends on the person. Some prefer 5 HTP, some prefer l tryptophan. We use both in our natural sleep aid and our anti-anxiety supplement.
Be careful not to take too much 5 HTP or L Tryptophan. These are very strong supplements. It’s often the case that 15 mg is more than enough 5 HTP for a person. People’s tolerances vary quite a lot on these, but please be careful. Start small and build up if you truly need to.
Caffeine is the world’s most popular stimulant. A lot of the most popular ADHD medications like Adderall and Vyvanse are also stimulants.
We don’t believe in including caffeine in our supplements because everyone has a very different reaction to it. Some people can take quite large doses, and other people prefer to have none at all. It’s also probably the easiest supplement to get naturally by just consuming tea or coffee with your supplementation regimen. Then you can really control the amount you are intaking.
As mentioned above, it has been proven to be very effective and synergistic when taken along with l theanine to improve mental focus. Again, our l theanine is sold as a premium and pure single, and it’s in Zen+.
Acetyl l carnitine or ALCAR is another powerful amino acid. If you are using carnitine for improving cognition and mental focus, make sure it’s in the “acetyl” form. Another popular form of l carnitine is “L carnitine tartrate”. Tartrate is generally the form that helps with weight loss. They are very different so be careful.
ALCAR has been shown to help children reduce symptoms of ADHD in a controlled study. It’s very energizing. A lot of bodybuilders take it before a workout to give them a boost of both physical and mental energy.
Vitamin B3 (niacinimide form), Magnesium (magnesium bisglycinate form), and standardized ginkgo biloba extract all show some promise for helping with ADHD symptoms. So do omega 3 fish oils.
The reason we don’t include them in the list above is that these are probably less noticeable in the short term. It’s unlikely that someone with strong ADHD symptoms will immediately notice huge results immediately after taking fish oil. But that’s not to say it’s impossible. We just don’t want to put them in the same category.
But fish oils and other omega 3 oils have been shown to be incredibly beneficial to health, as is magnesium supplementation. So these may be things you may wish to look into taking for long term health benefits, in addition to just helping with your condition.