Have you ever felt like you were juggling ten thoughts at once -- but when you try to focus on one, they all disappear?
If you have experienced this or other symptoms of adult Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), then you know how this cognitive concern can limit your quality of life.
Stimulants are often used for ADHD, but they aren't right for everybody. Brain-boosting nootropics for ADHD represent a safe, natural and stim-free alternative therapy that may help to improve attention and more.
What is ADHD?
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a genetic brain health issue marked by an ongoing pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity.
Adults with ADHD may experience an additional range of cognitive and behavioral issues including:<1>
- Multitasking difficulty
- Inability to concentrate
- Poor planning
- Hot temper; mood swings
- Trouble coping with stress
ADHD is relatively common. It also lasts a lifetime. If you have it, then you are likely familiar with ADHD's far-ranging negative impact across mental performance, academics, professional productivity and social relations.
As frustrating as ADHD can be, there are options to help control its symptoms, including smart supplementation with natural brain-boosting nootropics.
To understand how natural nootropics for ADHD might work, let's first delve into what is believed to cause attention problems in the first place.
ADHD's Brain Chemical Connection
While researchers do not yet know exactly what is behind ADHD, one popular hypothesis involves three thought-regulating neurotransmitters, collectively known as catecholamines:
- Norepinephrine: Manages attention, vigilance and sleep cycles
- Dopamine: Drives motivation and reward/gratification functions
- Epinephrine: Stimulates brain for sharp, quick thinking under stress
Unbalanced catecholamine levels are associated with ADHD.
This might be because healthy catecholamine levels are critical for our brains' ADHD-linked executive functions, including attention, working memory and impulse control.
Considering catecholamine neurotransmitters' specific impact on the brain's executive functions, it's easy to see how a disruption of the catecholamine system might affect focus, decision-making, mood, social interaction, and other ADHD (as well as ADD) markers.
"Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is believed to be a result of
abnormalities... Underpinning these abnormalities are disturbances of catecholamine neurotransmission."<2>
How Might Nootropics Help with ADHD?
Conventional ADHD therapies typically target the catecholamine brain chemicals most closely associated with attention: Norepinephrine and dopamine.<3>
In theory, nootropics that support those same brain chemicals might help with attentional performance, as well as other executive functions that may be affected by ADHD.
Catecholamine-optimizing nootropics may help to sharpen attention safely, naturally and without the use of stimulants.
In addition to supporting attention-related brain chemicals, nootropics may indirectly help with other ADHD-related mental performance issues like memory, motivation, relaxation, energy and more. Let's check out some of the best.
Mind Lab Pro® Nootropics for ADHD
One of the most effective memory enhancers, PS is a multi-tasker for brain health. Among its many bioactivities, PS helps optimize brain cell membranes. This may be important for ADHD because brain cell membranes "fire" with catecholamine neurotransmitters to enable sharp attention.
PS is one of the few nootropics with supportive research for ADHD, specifically. In one small, early study, researchers suggested that PS appeared to be effective in helping young people with attention, hyperactivity and memory performance, and seemed to work by activating brain chemicals for attention.<4>
Maritime Pine Bark Extract
Maritime Pine Bark Extract supplies a powerful antioxidant complex, including OPCs that have been suggested to help sustain dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain -- thereby maintaining neurotransmitters needed for sharp attention.
Supplementation with Maritime Pine Bark Extract has been investigated for ADHD, with some early research suggesting it may help with attentional performance, concentration and hyperactivity.
While it has not yet been studied for ADHD, L-Tyrosine seems well-suited for helping with attention. That's because L-Tyrosine is a building-block precursor that is needed to synthesize norepinephrine and dopamine, the key catecholamines involved in ADHD.
Studies suggest that L-Tyrosine's other cognitive benefits for stress resistance, multitasking and overall mental performance may bring complementary support for a sharp, focused mindset in people with attention problems.<5>
N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine is the preferred, bioavailability-enhanced form of this nootropic.
Citicoline is most well-known for its brain energizing effects, which can promote sharp mental processing for anyone. However, Citicoline also supports norepinephrine and dopamine, suggesting more issue-specific help for ADHD.
Although it has not yet been researched for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, Citicoline's bioactivities and research-backed benefits for attention seem to position it as a versatile and promising nootropic for ADHD and overall mental performance.
This natural amino acid found in green tea is mostly known for its "wakeful relaxation" benefits, which result from its Alpha brain wave promoting activity. But L-Theanine has additional benefits for restful sleep which might be helpful for those with ADHD, considering:
- Research has suggested 1 in 3 with ADHD have sleep issues
- Stimulant-driven ADHD therapies may have sleep-disruptive side effects
B-Complex vitamins are good for general brain health. But some early research suggests that vitamin B6, in particular, may have additional promise for supporting attention.
Researchers have suggested that Vitamin B6 -- when combined with magnesium -- appears to have a calming effect on the nervous system in younger populations, suggesting it may be a promising alternative therapy for ADHD.<6>
Mind Lab Pro® supplies research-backed nootropics for ADHD along with extra support for focus, mood and memory.
The first Universal Nootropic™, Mind Lab Pro® is also designed as a whole-brain optimizer supplement – going beyond sharper attention to promote learning, stress resistance, relaxation, brain health and more.
- Prince J. Catecholamine dysfunction in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: an update. J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2008 Jun;28(3 Suppl 2):S39-45.
- Hinz M. ...of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder with monoamine amino acid precursors and organic cation transporter assay interpretation. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2011; 7: 31–38.
- Hirayama S, et al. The effect of phosphatidylserine administration on memory and symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. J Hum Nutr Diet. 2013 Mar 17.
- Neri, DF, Wiegmann D, Stanny RR, Shappell, SA, McCardie A, McKay, DL. The effects of tyrosine on cognitive performance during extended wakefulness. Aviat Space Environ Med. 1995 Apr;66(4):313-9
- Mousain-Bosc M. Improvement of neurobehavioral disorders in children supplemented with magnesium-vitamin B6. I. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorders. Magnes Res. 2006 Mar;19(1):46-52.