What are the best nootropics for ADHD and ADD?
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.
Best Nootropics for ADHD
- Vyvamind — Best for enhancing focus and attention
- Mind Lab Pro — Best for promoting mental clarity
- NooCube — Great for increasing mental energy
- Modafinil — Great for heightening alertness and increasing motivation
- Phenylpiracetam — Best for increasing mental endurance and attention span
- Ginkgo Biloba — Best for increasing blood flow to the brain
- Panax Ginseng — Best for boosting mental and physical energy
How to Choose the Best Nootropics for ADHD?
Selecting the most suitable nootropics for ADHD requires careful consideration of various factors to ensure efficacy and safety. Here are key aspects to weigh in your decision.
Why It's Important
The specific nootropics and their dosages within a product.
Ensures the supplement targets ADHD symptoms effectively.
Evidence from clinical studies supporting the use of nootropics for ADHD.
Provides assurance that the nootropics have been researched for their intended use.
Purity and Quality
Verification that the nootropics are free from contaminants and of high quality.
Reduces the risk of side effects and ensures the nootropics are safe to consume.
How different nootropics within a stack complement each other.
Enhances overall effectiveness and may provide comprehensive cognitive benefits.
The standing of the company in the industry and reviews from users.
Increases confidence in the product’s efficacy and the company’s reliability.
- Ingredient Profile: A meticulous ingredient profile is pivotal, as it determines how the nootropics will interact with your brain chemistry to alleviate ADHD symptoms. This includes the potency and purity of the ingredients.
- Scientific Backing: Robust scientific backing provides a foundation of trust and credibility. It means the nootropics have been tested in clinical settings and have shown positive outcomes for ADHD symptom management.
- Purity and Quality: High purity and quality standards ensure that you are ingesting nootropics that are safe, free from harmful additives, and manufactured with integrity.
- Synergistic Formulation: The synergistic effect of combining certain nootropics can lead to more pronounced cognitive benefits than taking them individually. This is particularly relevant in the treatment of ADHD, where multiple cognitive functions may be impaired.
- Brand Reputation: A reputable brand often equates to a commitment to quality, customer satisfaction, and transparency in product information. These factors are essential for trust in the efficacy of the nootropics for ADHD.
The Best Nootropics for ADHD of 2023
The 10 best nootropics for ADHD and ADD, according to our market research, are:
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).
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.
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).
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.
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 (3).
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 (13).
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.
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 (14).
In addition, Noopept has been shown to reduce inflammation in the brain, which may also contribute to its cognitive-enhancing effects (15).
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 (16).
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 (17).
What to Consider Before Buying Nootropics for ADHD?
Before investing in nootropics for ADHD, it's crucial to ponder a few key considerations. These will guide you to the best-suited product for your individual needs.
1. Personal Health Profile
Understand your health profile, including any other medications you're taking, to avoid interactions or side effects. Personal tolerance and sensitivity to supplement ingredients can vary greatly.
2. Desired Benefits and Outcomes
Identify what you hope to achieve with nootropics, such as increased focus, reduced impulsivity, or improved memory. This will help you to select a product that is aligned with your goals.
3. Budget and Cost-Effectiveness
Consider the cost of the nootropics and evaluate their cost-effectiveness. High-quality ingredients may come at a premium, but the benefits they provide should justify the investment.
4. Dosage and Administration Ease
Examine the recommended dosage and how easy the nootropics are to incorporate into your daily routine. Consistency is key to achieving the best outcomes.
5. Long-Term Use and Sustainability
Evaluate the long-term sustainability of taking the nootropics, including any potential for tolerance buildup or dependency. Opt for nootropics that are safe for extended use without adverse effects.
How We Picked the Top Nootropics for ADHD
We conducted a comprehensive review process to identify the best nootropics for ADHD management. Our approach included evaluating effectiveness, ingredients, scientific evidence, brand reputation, transparency, manufacturing processes, user testimonials, pricing, and overall value. This allowed us to present readers with an authoritative and reliable list of the top nootropics for ADHD.
We examined clinical studies and user reports to measure improvements in focus, attention, and impulse control, which are key aspects of ADHD management.
We carefully reviewed each formula, emphasizing evidence-based, natural, and high-quality ingredients that support ADHD symptom management.
We referred to peer-reviewed research and meta-analyses to confirm the effectiveness of essential ingredients in addressing ADHD symptoms.
We evaluated optimal dosages and ingredient proportions, ensuring they correspond with well-established research for maximum efficacy.
We ensured the safety of each ingredient by considering potential side effects and interactions and confirming compliance with regulatory guidelines. We prioritized FDA-approved ingredients.
We assessed the credibility and trustworthiness of brands through customer reviews, expert recommendations, and company background.
We emphasized full ingredient disclosure, including sources and concentrations, which enables informed consumer choices.
We investigated manufacturing standards, giving preference to products made in certified facilities and adhering to Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).
We analyzed genuine customer feedback, focusing on testimonials that describe improvements in focus, attention, and impulse control.
We compared product prices to ensure they were competitive and proportionate to the quality and effectiveness of the nootropic.
We evaluated overall value by considering the balance between price, quality, and effectiveness in order to guarantee the best possible return on investment.
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.
Nootropics for ADHD in Summary
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.