10 Best Nootropics for ADHD & ADD in 2023

Updated on January 1, 2023
 by — reviewed by Jason Williams, PhD (Contributor: George Collins / Editor: Yoko Hill)

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIH), 4.2% of women and 13% of men will be diagnosed with ADHD during their lifetimes. The average age for diagnosis is 7 years old, but symptoms can appear as early as 3 or 6 [1].

Traditional treatments for ADHD and ADD include prescription medications such as Adderall, Ritalin, and Vyvanse. However, many individuals are seeking alternative options to these commonly prescribed meds. Enter nootropics.

Nootropics are a class of natural or synthetic substances that enhance cognitive function and improve brain health. They can improve focus, memory, mood, and overall mental performance without any of the harsh side effects of traditional ADHD medications.

This in-depth guide will take a closer look at the best nootropics for ADHD currently on the market. We'll look at the benefits and clinical studies to help you make an informed decision.

the best nootropics for adhd

What Are the Best Nootropics for ADHD and ADD?

So, what are the best nootropics for ADHD and ADD?

The 10 best nootropics for ADHD and ADD, according to our market research, are:

  • Vyvamind
  • Mind Lab Pro
  • NooCube
  • Modafinil
  • Phenylpiracetam
  • Ginkgo Biloba
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids
  • Choline
  • Noopept
  • Panax Ginseng

Let's take a closer look at each of these top nootropics and how they can benefit individuals with ADHD and ADD.

1. Vyvamind: The Best Nootropic Stack for ADHD

Vyvamind is a nootropic blend. Nootropic blends combine multiple nootropic ingredients, making them a convenient and effective option for ADHD. Vyvamind contains the following natural ingredients:

  • Vitamin B6 – 2.5 mg
  • Vitamin B12 – 50 mcg
  • L-Tyrosine – 300 mg
  • Citicoline – 200 mg
  • L-Theanine – 150 mg
  • Caffeine Anhydrous – 75 mg

According to the scientific literature, all of these ingredients have been shown to improve focus, attention, and cognitive function in individuals with ADHD. Especially L-Theanine and Caffeine have been shown to work synergistically to enhance focus and attention.

One study examined the combined effects of L-Theanine and Caffeine on cognitive performance and mood. The researchers found that the L-theanine and caffeine combination improved participants' speed and accuracy on an attention-switching task at 60 minutes and reduced their susceptibility to distracting information on a memory task at both 60 minutes and 90 minutes [2].

Taking Vyvamind daily improves focus, attention, and overall cognitive function in individuals with ADHD and can also improve mood and reduce stress levels.

2. Mind Lab Pro

Mind Lab Pro is another nootropic blend that is effective for ADHD and ADD. It contains 11 natural ingredients, including the following:

  • Citicoline - 250 mg
  • Phosphatidylserine (PS) - 100 mg
  • Bacopa Monnieri - 150 mg
  • Organic Lion's Mane Mushroom - 500 mg (Full-spectrum)
  • Maritime Pine Bark Extract - 75 mg
  • L-Tyrosine - 175 mg (N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine - NALT)
  • L-Theanine - 100 mg (as Suntheanine®)
  • Rhodiola Rosea - 50 mg (3% rosavins & 1% salidrosides)
  • B6-vitamin - 2.5 mg
  • B9-vitamin - 100 mcg
  • B12-vitamin - 7.5 mcg

Mind Lab Pro contains high-quality Citicoline, which is a natural compound that helps increase levels of acetylcholine (ACh), a neurotransmitter that plays a critical role in brain circuits mediating motor control, attention, learning, and memory [3].

It also includes Bacopa Monnieri, an adaptogen with multiple cognitive-enhancing effects that have been shown to improve attention and memory in people with ADHD. One study looked at the effects of standardized Bacopa Monnieri Extract in the management of symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in children.

The researchers found that a standardized extract of B monnieri was effective in alleviating the symptoms of ADHD and was well-tolerated by the children [4].

3. NooCube

NooCube is a nootropic blend containing 12 clinically proven ingredients that improve focus, attention, and overall cognitive function. It contains the following natural ingredients:

  • Bacopa Monnieri Extract - 250mg
  • L-Tyrosine - 250mg
  • Cat’s Claw Concentrate - 175mg 
  • Oat Straw Concentrate - 150mg
  • L-Theanine - 100mg
  • Alpha GPC - 50mg
  • Marigold Extract - 20mg
  • Resveratrol - 14.3mg
  • Pterostilbene - 140mcg
  • Vitamin B1 - 1.2mg (100% DV)
  • Vitamin B12 - 2.4mcg (100% DV)
  • Biotin - 50mcg (167% DV)

L-Tyrosine, in particular, is relevant for ADHD. It is a catecholamines dopamine (DA) and norepinephrine (NE) precursor that has been shown to enhance working memory, executive function, and creative flow states [5]. It also reduces stress, improves mood, and exhibits anti-anxiety effects.

4. Modafinil

Modafinil is a wakefulness-promoting medication that is used to treat individuals with narcolepsy, shift work sleep disorder, and obstructive sleep apnea.

Modafinil is also used off-label to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Researchers are not entirely sure how Modafinil works, but it is thought to work by increasing dopamine release in the brain.

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that plays an important role in cognition, motivation, and reward behavior.

Individuals with ADHD often have lower levels of dopamine in their brains [6]. By increasing dopamine levels, Modafinil can help to improve concentration and focus in individuals with ADHD.

Modafinil also works by increasing levels of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine, which helps to improve alertness and focus.

A meta-analysis aimed at assessing the efficacy and safety of Modafinil in treating children and adolescents with ADHD found that Modafinil significantly improved ADHD symptoms compared to placebo [7].

5. Phenylpiracetam

Phenylpiracetam is a nootropic drug that belongs to the racetam family. It was developed in 1983 in Russia and has been used for decades to improve cognitive function in individuals with neurological disorders, including memory and learning.

Phenylpiracetam has also enhanced physical performance and increased tolerance to cold temperatures [8]. Phenylpiracetam is often used off-label to treat ADHD, as it has been shown to improve symptoms of inattention and impulsivity.

6. Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo Biloba is an adaptogen. What is an adaptogen? An adaptogen is a natural substance that helps the body and brain to cope with stress and improve overall functioning.

Ginkgo Biloba is derived from the leaves of the Ginkgo tree and has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years to improve cognitive function and enhance memory.

Ginkgo Biloba has also been studied for its potential to improve symptoms of ADHD. A 2021 review found that the two major phytochemical components (flavonoid glycosides and terpene) in Ginkgo Biloba not only exhibit antioxidant and neuroprotective activities but also modulate dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine signaling [9].

Another randomized, placebo-controlled trial from 2015 found that Ginkgo Biloba improved symptoms of ADHD in children and adolescents. For 6 weeks, children and adolescents with ADHD took methylphenidate (20-30 mg per day) plus either G. Biloba (80-120 mg per day) or a placebo daily.

At the beginning of the study, week 2, and week 6, parents and teachers completed the ADHD Rating Scale-IV (ADHD-RS-IV). Treatment response was defined as a 27% improvement from baseline in the ADHD-RS=IV [10].

According to Shakibaei, Fereshteh, et al., scores for inattention and total ADHD-RS-IV parent rating and teacher rating inattention score were lower among those taking G. Biloba compared to the placebo group. Additionally, according to parent ratings, the response rate was higher for participants taking G. Biloba.

This suggests that Ginkgo Biloba may be a potential natural option for improving symptoms of ADHD. However, more research is needed to confirm these findings.

7. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats that the body cannot produce on its own, so they must be obtained through diet. These fats play a crucial role in brain function, and low levels have been linked to various neurological disorders, including ADHD [11].

A systematic review of 16 randomized controlled trials, involving 1,514 children and young people with ADHD examined the role of omega-3/6 fatty acids in treating and managing symptoms.

Of the studies found, 13 reported positive effects on ADHD symptoms. These included improvements in hyperactivity, impulsivity, attention, visual learning, word reading, and working/short-term memory.

Out of the 4 studies that used supplements containing a 9 : 3 : 1 ratio of eicosapentaenoic acid, docosahexaenoic acid , and gamma-linolenic acid, 3 reported significant improvements in erythrocyte levels [12].

In addition to traditional medications, supplementation with this ratio of fatty acids has also been shown to be effective, lowering the dose and improving compliance with medications such as methylphenidate.

8. Choline

Choline is a nutrient found in various foods, including eggs, meat, and nuts. It plays a role in the production of neurotransmitters that have been linked to ADHD, including acetylcholine and dopamine [13].

A randomized controlled trial from 2019 published in the peer-reviewed journal: Journal of Attention Disorders gave 75 healthy males either 250, 500 mg of CDP-Choline, or a placebo. 28 days after the supplementation began, tests were recorded [14].

According to McGlade, Erin et al., CDP-Choline improved adolescent males' attention and psychomotor speed and reduced impulsivity. In other words, this suggests that people of all ages can benefit from taking CDP-Choline if they have ADHD or similar disorders.

9. Noopept

Noopept is a dipeptide analog of Piracetam that has shown promise in treating ADHD and ADD. Unlike other nootropics, Noopept does not increase the levels of dopamine or norepinephrine in the brain.

Instead, it appears to work by increasing the brain's neurotrophic factor (BDNF) level. This protein is essential for neuronal growth and survival and has been linked to improved cognition and memory [15].

In addition, Noopept has been shown to reduce inflammation in the brain, which may also contribute to its cognitive-enhancing effects [16].

One study looked at the therapeutic efficacy of nootropil (Piracetam) different doses in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Piracetam therapy proved to be successful in ADHD children by examining behavioral characteristics, motor coordination and attention. The response rate soared to 60% for patients who received 70 mg/kg of Piracetam, while the group that only received 40mg/kg had a 43% success rate [17].

The study found that higher doses of Piracetam had better therapeutic effects on children with ADHD, including improved behavior, motor skills, and attention span.

Since noopept is an analog of Piracetam, it is likely to have similar effects on ADHD and ADD.

10. Panax Ginseng

Panax ginseng, also known as Korean or Asian ginseng, has long been used in traditional medicine and is commonly found in supplements for cognitive enhancement.

Panax Ginseng is especially interesting for ADHD and ADD because it's a serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor. In other words, it can increase levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain.

A pilot study from 2001 looked at the effect of the herbal extract combination Panax and Ginkgo Biloba on attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

36 children aged 3 to 17 years who fit the diagnostic criteria for ADHD were given the Panax and Ginkgo combination for 4 weeks.

The Conner's Parent Rating Scale, which evaluates a broad scope of behavioral issues, was used to demonstrate ADHD symptom severity. Parents completed this questionnaire after 2 and 4 weeks, respectively.

The study found that the combination of Panax and Ginkgo significantly improved ADHD symptoms compared to the control group. In particular, participants showed improvements in hyperactivity and impulsivity [18].

Do Nootropics Really Help Treat ADHD Symptoms?

Increasing scientific evidence supports nootropics' use to treat ADHD and ADD symptoms.

According to our research for this list, several nootropics have shown promising results in clinical studies for improving symptoms of ADHD and ADD, such as improved attention span, behavior, and overall cognitive function.

Take Panax Ginseng as an example. This adaptogen has shown promise in treating ADHD and ADD. It works by inhibiting serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake, which can increase levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. A pilot study from 2001 found that children treated with Panax Ginseng showed significant improvements in symptoms such as hyperactivity and impulsivity.

Nootropics are definitely worth exploring if you're looking for a natural option to treat ADHD symptoms without relying on Adderall or Ritalin.

However, it's important to note that more research is needed and individual results may vary. That's why we always recommend consulting with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen.

Additionally, nootropics should never be used as a substitute for proper medical treatment or therapy.

Conclusion

So what do we know about the best nootropics for ADHD and ADD?

Nootropics such as Vyvamind, Noopept, and Panax Ginseng have shown promising results in improving symptoms of ADHD and ADD. They all work in different ways, from increasing levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain to improve overall cognitive function.

If you're looking for a place to start, we highly recommend looking at Vyvamind, which is a natural nootropic blend containing potent ingredients that work synergistically to improve ADHD and ADD symptoms.

The great thing about Vyvamind is that you don't need a prescription, and it's non-habit forming.

References

References
1“Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).” National Institute of Mental Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd.
2Owen, Gail N et al. “The combined effects of L-theanine and caffeine on cognitive performance and mood.” Nutritional neuroscience vol. 11,4 (2008): 193-8. doi:10.1179/147683008X301513
3, 13English, Brett A et al. “Choline transporter gene variation is associated with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.” Journal of neurodevelopmental disorders vol. 1,4 (2009): 252-63. doi:10.1007/s11689-009-9033-8
4Standardized extract of B monnieri was found to be effective in alleviating the symptoms of ADHD and was well-tolerated by the children
5Jongkees, Bryant J et al. “Effect of tyrosine supplementation on clinical and healthy populations under stress or cognitive demands--A review.” Journal of psychiatric research vol. 70 (2015): 50-7. doi:10.1016/j.jpsychires.2015.08.014
6Gold, Mark S et al. “Low dopamine function in attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder: should genotyping signify early diagnosis in children?.” Postgraduate medicine vol. 126,1 (2014): 153-77. doi:10.3810/pgm.2014.01.2735
7Wang, Sheng-Min et al. “Modafinil for the treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: A meta-analysis.” Journal of psychiatric research vol. 84 (2017): 292-300. doi:10.1016/j.jpsychires.2016.09.034
8Kim, S et al. “Determination of carphedon in human urine by solid-phase microextraction using capillary gas chromatography with nitrogen-phosphorus detection.” The Analyst vol. 124,11 (1999): 1559-62. doi:10.1039/a906027h
9Sharma, Garima et al. “Protective Potential of Ginkgo biloba Against an ADHD-like Condition.” Current molecular pharmacology vol. 14,2 (2021): 200-209. doi:10.2174/1874467213666200424152454
10Shakibaei, Fereshteh et al. “Ginkgo biloba in the treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children and adolescents. A randomized, placebo-controlled, trial.” Complementary therapies in clinical practice vol. 21,2 (2015): 61-7. doi:10.1016/j.ctcp.2015.04.001
11Richardson, Alexandra J. “Omega-3 fatty acids in ADHD and related neurodevelopmental disorders.” International review of psychiatry (Abingdon, England) vol. 18,2 (2006): 155-72. doi:10.1080/09540260600583031
12Derbyshire, E. “Do Omega-3/6 Fatty Acids Have a Therapeutic Role in Children and Young People with ADHD?.” Journal of lipids vol. 2017 (2017): 6285218. doi:10.1155/2017/6285218
14McGlade, Erin et al. “The Effect of Citicoline Supplementation on Motor Speed and Attention in Adolescent Males.” Journal of attention disorders vol. 23,2 (2019): 121-134. doi:10.1177/1087054715593633
15Ostrovskaya, R U et al. “Noopept stimulates the expression of NGF and BDNF in rat hippocampus.” Bulletin of experimental biology and medicine vol. 146,3 (2008): 334-7. doi:10.1007/s10517-008-0297-x
16Alekseeva, S V et al. Eksperimental'naia i klinicheskaia farmakologiia vol. 75,9 (2012): 25-7.
17Zavadenko, N N, and S Iu Suvorinova. “Terapevticheskoe deĭstvie raznykh doz nootropila pri sindrome defitsita vnimaniia s giperaktivnos'tiu u deteĭ” [Therapeutic efficacy of nootropil different doses in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder]. Zhurnal nevrologii i psikhiatrii imeni S.S. Korsakova vol. 104,3 (2004): 32-7.
18Lyon, M R et al. “Effect of the herbal extract combination Panax quinquefolium and Ginkgo biloba on attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: a pilot study.” Journal of psychiatry & neuroscience : JPN vol. 26,3 (2001): 221-8.
chevron-down