The best substitutes for Adderall for adults are found in OTC supplements, natural foods, physical activities, proper rest, and from sessions with a psychological therapist.
Although none of these can be replacements for ADHD medications or cure Attention Deficit Disorder when it is caused by serious physical abnormalities of the brain, they can help more minor types of focus problems in a more natural way without a prescription. By combining these different methods we put ourselves in the best position to effectively improve our ability to pay attention better, remember things, and learn in a more efficient manner.
Psychological Issues Could Be Destroying Your Focus
Various different mental health problems don’t have to do with the physical look and usage of the brain and instead go back to emotional issues that we’re dealing with. An example of a mental health issue that can be mistaken for ADHD is Narcissism. By seeking out a trained psychologist we can have support in facing these issues that we can help us conquer this mental illness.
Narcissism Can Make it Hard to Focus
Narcissism is an emotional disorder where someone speaks over other people, lacks empathy for others, becomes overly sensitive to criticism, and tends to brag about their accomplishments. Just like the famous image of someone looking at themselves in the mirror suggests, all of the attention is on themselves. By focusing on only themselves it disables their ability to properly focus on the external world. For this reason this mental condition can lead to symptoms and issues that can be misdiagnosed for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and can even be mistakenly treated with prescription drugs such as Adderall and Ritalin. Because many of our personality traits are learned from our parents it can be quite difficult to overcome behaviors such as narcissism. By first recognizing where we developed this behavior it puts us in a position of awareness to tackle this troublesome issue. One way we can possibly say our society teaches us to be narcissistic is how taking selfies in an incessant manner can be considered normal by manypeople. Another way we are raised to be narcissists is how children can be overly praised when we are young as it harbors a feeling superiority when it is not necessarily true.
Over the Counter Supplements Like Adderall Can Help
Drugs similar to Adderall work from their ability as some of the best and most powerful stimulants in the body. More specifically they work by increasing the amounts of certain neurotransmitters in the brain which improve energy levels and enhance our ability to think more clearly. OTC supplements are not as powerful as prescription drugs, but do have some characteristics that are comparable.
Stimulating supplements such as caffeine are found in herbal sources such as Guarana, Yerba Maté, Cola Nut and cacao (chocolate). These over the counter energy boosters do so by increasing the levels of adrenaline and dopamine by attaching to the adenosine receptor in our brains giving us energy. It gives energy not by mimicking the effects of adenosine, but instead by attaching to the adenosine brain receptor which stops it’s effects us making us feel tired. Some of the other best energy supplements over the counter include herbs like yohimbe and bitter orange, while other pills have become banned such as geranium and ephedra. As an added benefit to these natural stimulants supplement companies also add in other ingredients to magnify the stimulant effects such as tyrosine, carnitine, and vitamins such as B-12. Nootropics also seem to help energy boosting pills as well from their possible ability to help prevent a crash of energy. These products though are more well known for their abilities to improve cognitive functioning.
Nootropics are safe ingredients that help our brains function more efficiently from the increased connectivity of our neurons. Although script drugs such as Adderall and Ritalin are also considered nootropics along with OTC stimulants like caffeine, in general, when people are speaking about nootropics they are usually talking about non stimulant options like “choline and acetylcholine intermediates” that are legal to buy over the counter and not “smart drugs” like Adderall or Modanifinil.
Are a type of nootropic which increases the levels of acetylcholine in the brain or is so chemically similar that it acts like acetylcholine in the brain. Acetycholine works within the cholinergenic system throughout our bodies, but more specifically in our brain where this neurotransmitter is involved with attention, memory, and mood. Choline, Carnitine, and DMAE are all examples of supplements that increase acetylcholine levels providing these positive benefits. Other types of acetycholine enhancers include racetams which instead of increasing the amount of acetycholine acts on the acetylcholine receptor thereby giving similar nootropic effects in the brain. The last type of acetylcholine enhancer are acetylcholine inhibitors which stop the break down of this neurotransmitter in our brain therefore improving our cognitive abilities.
Dopamine is the neurotransmitter that most people associate with ADHD as it is increased in a large amount by Adderall. Dopamine controls our motivation, memory, and alertness which is why it is so important for helping ADHD and why even people who don’t have Attention DeficitDisorder seek dopamine boosting drugs similar to Adderall for improved studying for college exams and papers. Supplements that can help naturally increase our dopamine levels and thus can possibly improve our focus include supplements like l-tyrosine, l-phenylalanine, and l dopa (mucuna pruriens) as they eventually break down into this neurotransmitter.
OurDiet Plays a Tremendous Role in Our Ability to Pay Attention and is One of the Best Adderall alternatives
Whether we are eating foods that help or hurt our mental state has a tremendous effect on how we can control our focus. By eating unhealthy foods they act in a negative way towards our body in multiple ways. By eating a controlled amount of low glycemic carbs, eating healthy fats, and being sure to eat enough essential amino acids we make our brain a well oiled machine that can boost our productivity.
We Need to Watch Our Carbohydrate Intake
Foods that contain carbs andsugar cause unnatural spikes in our blood sugar levels that can make us feel sluggish which decreases our mental acuity as some studies are showing. In order to maintain steady blood sugar levels we need to eat low glycemic carbs like vegetables, brown rice rice, and sweet potatoes while also getting enough fiber. Insoluble fiber is an indigestible form of carbohydrate that slows the digestion process and therefore helps keep blood levels stable.
Eating The Right Types of Fat is Important
Unlike carbohydrates fats and proteins are essentially needed for survival which means not consuming them at all can have far more negative effects on our body, including in our brains which is made of 60% fat. Getting the correct forms of fat inour diet is vitally important as essential fats have positive effects, while other types such as trans fats have been shown to hurt brain function in some studies. Saturated fats from plant sources such as coconut oil also have a positive effect on our brain. The effects of animals fats in the human is a hotly contested debate and could depend on which animal we are eating at the time.
Getting Protein is Vital For Our Brains
Most neurotransmitters in our brain are made of amino acids which come from the protein that we eat. When we eat protein our body breaks these nutrients down intoamino acids. L-Tyrosine and L-Phenylalanine are amino acids that eventually convert into key neurotransmitters known as catecholamines such as dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. Another amino acid in L-Tryptophan that converts into the brain chemical known as serotonin which is responsible in part for learning, memory, and the way we perceive the world.
Exercising is an Underrated Alternative to Adderall
When we exercise our brain releases various hormones in our body including dopamine and endorphins. This release of hormones can help regulate our ability to help pay attention as recent studies are showing. In fact the studies specifically looked at focus abilities in both children with and without ADHD.
Interestingly, 20 minutes of exercise helped improve both the children who had ADHD and the children who did not. Their improved attention skills also translated in increases in their ability to read and do math problems as well. This means that exercise will most likely also have these positive effects for adults who partake in these activities.
Getting proper rest is not always possible, but if we do not get the proper amount of rest needed we can expect to have a decrease in our brain power, ability to focus, and feel depressed. While taking over the counter and prescription stimulants can give someone a temporary boost, longterm this strategy can lead to unwanted side effects such as tiredness, anxiety, and an increase in the stress hormone cortisol which can weaken our immune system.
Studies show that people who are rested have higher levels of dopamine as compared to those that are tired. Dopamine is well known as the neurotransmitter that is most boosted by the prescription medication Adderall which is associated with increased levels of focus, concentration, learning, and motivation. Although Adderall is immensely powerful at boosting dopamine it shouldn’t be looked at as a long term solution as it is an addictive drug. Taking powerful stimulants such as Adderall and Ritalin on a daily basis can lead to a state where the user needs more of the drug in order to get the same level of focus. (It is important to note that some people take ADHD medications for the opposite reason though as they already produce an excess amount of dopamine and taking Adderall actually gives the opposite effect of reducing the overabundance of dopamine in the brain)
Tips for Getting More Rest
Getting Better Sleep at Night
Once we fall asleep our breathing can be obstructed in various ways which can effect the restfulness we feel the next day. Getting tested for sleep apnea, if we suspect that we are suffering from this condition, is one way we can be sure to get a better nights sleep. Sleep Apnea is a condition where someone unknowingly stops breathing for short periods whilethey sleep. Another condition that can harm our breathing is a deviated septum which is a blockage in our nose that restricts proper breathing. By being aware of these issues we can then address them to improve our night time breathing which will make us feel more awake, alert, and focused the next day.
Don’t Consume Stimulants Too Late
Cutting off any prescription and non prescription stimulants by 3pm is an important tactic in order for us to be able to fall asleep at a reasonable time. The half life of caffeine for example is 6 hours which means after 6 hours you still have 50% of that drug still active in your body which would make it hard for us to fall asleep on time.
Because of the hectic schedules that many of us lead getting the proper amount of sleep at night can be difficult. Whether sleeping in our car during our shift break at work or taking a nap mid day after working from a home office, taking a nap is valuable tool to help us feel energized and focused. In fact studies actually back this up showing that napping boosts cognitive performance. These studies also found that:
- People Who Took Naps On A Regular Basis Get Better Results
- The Longer You Have Been Awake The Longer The Nap YouNeed
- Early Afternoon is the Best Time to Take a Nap
Natural Alternatives to Adderall Really do Work
For some people drugs like Adderall are the only way to increase energy, boost focus, and improve their ADHD symptoms. These methods mentioned though have studies showing their effectiveness and with the large demand to attain Adderall illegally it may be a better option than taking a physically dangerous and addictive stimulant drug. These natural adderall alternatives are available to anyone and are worth a try if you feel the need increase the power of your brain through improved attention, memory, concentration, and learning.