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Best Nootropics for ADHD

March 5, 2022

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 Have you ever felt as if you were juggling 10 thoughts simultaneously – yet when you attempted to focus on just one, they all vanished? This article will shed light on this topic and provide you with a solution by listing the best nootropics for ADHD.

ADHD or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a common condition affecting the brain chemistry of children and adults. It causes symptoms such as difficulty focusing, being easily distracted, and having trouble controlling impulsive behaviors.

There are several medications approved by the FDA for treating ADHD, but they come with negative side effects. Some natural compounds include vitamins, herbs, and supplements that in some cases might present a safer alternative to the synthetic compounds.

Nootropics are substances that improve brain function. They can also be used to treat conditions like depression, anxiety, and insomnia. There are hundreds of different types of nootropics, each with its own benefits and risks.

If you’ve ever dealt with this or other symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), you understand how this cognitive problem may impair your quality of life.

Focus is valuable, and slightly increasing it may have outsized compounding effects.

Many nootropic compounds have been shown to have significant benefits for ADHD, while others have theoretical benefits that haven’t fully been studied yet. For people suffering from this condition, the best nootropics for ADHD are L-tyrosine, organic ashwagandha root extract, uridine, citicoline, L-theanine, and methylated B6 and B12 vitamins. All of these are available within MAXIMUM MIND comprehensive formulation in their purest and most bioavailable forms as one of the best nootropic stacks in the market.

While stimulants are frequently used to treat ADHD, they are not appropriate for everyone while the best nootropics for ADHD are a safe, natural, and stimulant-free alternatives that may aid attention and cognitive performance.

“You define your own life. Don’t let other people write your script.”
— Oprah Winfrey

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WHAT ARE NOOTROPICS?

“The only difference between the master and the novice is that the master has failed more times than the novice has tried.”
―Stephen McCranie

First things first, what are nootropics? Corneliu Giurgea, a Romanian neuroscientist, coined the term nootropic (pronounced new-tropic) in 1972. He believed that smart drugs should be invented and made widely available for the purpose of enhancing the general population’s brain health and increasing human intelligence.

According to Dr Giurgea’s findings, nootropics enhance cognition, memory, alertness, concentration, creativity, and attention. They became known as cognitive enhancers, substances that amplify the way the brain’s many cognitive functions operate and how we process information.

Simply put, cognitive enhancers (or nootropics or smart drugs) are prescription or off-the-counter drugs or supplements that enhance cognition. Some nootropics contribute to brain health while others can be quite dangerous.

Since Marco’s Grounds only works with safe and natural compounds in their purest forms, for most of our discussions we will restrain ourselves to natural nootropics that increase cognition safely.

 

What is ADHD?

“Without great solitude, no serious work is possible.”
— Pablo Picasso

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a hereditary brain health condition characterized by a persistent pattern of inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity. According to research found by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults with ADHD may also exhibit a variety of extra cognitive and behavioral difficulties, including the following executive functions [1]:

  • Disorganization
  • Difficulties with multitasking
  • Inability to focus
  • Inadequate planning
  • Temper tantrums; mood swings
  • Having difficulty managing stress
  • Restrain impulsivity 

ADHD is a reasonably prevalent condition. If you have it, you are probably aware of ADHD’s wide-ranging detrimental influence on mental functioning, scholastic achievement, professional productivity, and interpersonal relationships.

While ADHD can be aggravating, there are ways to manage its symptoms, including strategic use of natural supplements like natural brain-boosting nootropics. To grasp how the best nootropics for ADHD may function, it’s necessary first to examine what is considered to create attention issues in the first place.

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What is ADD?

“What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality.”
– Plutarch

ADHD is the official medical term for the condition regardless of whether a patient shows any signs of hyperactivity. Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is the outdated term used to refer to people with inattentive-type ADHD, which has symptoms including disorganization, lack of focus, and forgetfulness. People with inattention ADHD or ADD are neither hyper nor impulsive.

ADD or Inattentive ADHD is frequently misdiagnosed as a mood disorder or anxiety in adults or as a lack of focus or apathy in children. Individuals with this form of ADHD frequently lose concentration, are forgetful, and appear to have difficulty listening.

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-V), six of the following symptoms must be present and have a significant impact at school or work for a diagnosis to be made.

  • Frequently fails to pay close attention to particulars or makes careless errors.
  • Frequently struggles to maintain attention
  • Frequently does not appear to listen when spoken to; frequently disregards instructions and fails to complete tasks.
  • Frequently has trouble organizing tasks and activities
  • Frequently avoids, dislikes, or resists engaging in tasks requiring sustained mental effort.
  • Frequently misplaces items required for tasks or activities
  • Is frequently easily distracted by irrelevant stimuli.
  • Frequently forgets daily activities
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ADHD’s Brain Chemical Connection

“Invest in your dreams. Grind now. Shine later.”
– Unknown

While experts are still unsure of the actual inner workings of ADHD, one prominent theory includes three thought-regulating neurotransmitters generally referred to as catecholamines.

  • Norepinephrine: Ensures that attention, attentiveness, and sleep cycles are maintained.
  • Dopamine: The neurotransmitter that regulates motivation and reward/gratification functions.
  • Epinephrine: Stimulates the brain, enabling it to think clearly and quickly under duress.

Catecholamine levels that are out of equilibrium are connected with ADHD. This might be because normal catecholamine levels are necessary for our brains’ executive skills associated with ADHD, such as attention, working memory, and impulse control.

Given the unique effect of catecholamine neurotransmitters on the executive processes of the brain, it’s simple to understand how disrupting the catecholamine system might influence attention, decision-making, mood, social interaction, as well as ADHD symptoms.

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What is the Role of Dopamine and Norepinephrine in ADHD?

“I know the mind, like the parachute, is most valuable open.” 
― Dan S. Kennedy

Norepinephrine and dopamine are the primary neurotransmitters involved in ADHD, as they play crucial roles in attention and cognition. [2]

The inattentive type of ADHD (ADD) is associated with norepinephrine dysfunction, whereas the hyperactive and impulsive type is associated with dopamine dysfunction.

These two neurotransmitters collaborate to maintain vigilance, enhance concentration, and sustain thought, effort, and motivation. The presence of a hydroxyl group is the only distinction between them. The precursor to norepinephrine synthesis in the brain is dopamine. [3]

Much of what is written about ADHD focuses on dopamine levels in the brain and the function of dopamine in the brain. However, norepinephrine (NE) is essential for initiating your response to events. And your response to the occurrence. [4] NE is necessary for collecting information received through the senses. And then modulating the response of your brain.

Any disruption in this NE system can lead to ADD, PTSD, sleep disorders, and more. [5] NE and postsynaptic 2-adrenoceptors (2-AR) in the brain, for instance, play a crucial role in helping you focus and eliminate distractions when you are paying attention to something. [6]

This is just one example of how the ADHD brain malfunctions. The purpose of this discussion is not to overwhelm you with neuroscience. The complexity of ADHD cannot be explained by suggesting an excess or deficiency in single neurotransmitter synthesis.

Therefore, using natural nootropics like L-tyrosine to increase dopamine levels is frequently insufficient to alleviate ADHD symptoms. Or, using Adderall or other prescription medications with a person who has difficulty with alpha2-receptor binding to norepinephrine may not be beneficial.

This is the reason why experimenting with different stimulants or nootropic supplements is frequently the only way to find a long-term treatment for ADHD. And why some individuals respond better to a prescription drug like Ritalin than to Adderall. Or vice versa. [7] There might be a natural alternative that works for you.

Recent research indicates that serotonin and acetylcholine are also involved, mostly in the “hyperactivity” component of ADHD, which consists of movement, inattention, and impulsivity. [8]

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What Are the Best Nootropics for ADHD?

“The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty. “
—Winston Churchill

Researchers in Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment found that conventional ADHD medications primarily target the catecholamine brain chemicals norepinephrine and dopamine, which are most closely connected with attention and mental energy [9].

In principle, nootropics that support these same brain chemicals may aid in attentional performance as well as other executive processes that may be impaired in those with ADHD. Nootropics that boost catecholamine levels may aid in improving attention safely, naturally, and without the use of stimulants.

L-tyrosine may be a critical nootropic for ADHD due to its role as the primary building block for catecholamine brain chemicals.

Along with enhancing attention-related brain chemicals, nootropics may indirectly benefit other aspects of mental performance associated with ADHD, such as short-term memory or long-term memory, motivation, relaxation, and energy. Let’s take a look at a few of the best nootropics for ADHD.

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Uridine

The liver synthesizes dietary uridine, which is discharged in the blood as uridine monophosphate. Numerous foods are fortified with dietary uridine. However, because the bulk of uridine consumed through food is absorbed during the digestive process, supplementation may be necessary to obtain many of its remarkable effects and benefits—particularly those connected to cognition.

Uridine supplementation has been shown to cross the blood-brain barrier easily. In the brain, uridine is converted to CDP choline. From CDP choline, phosphatidylcholine and acetylcholine are subsequently produced. Uridine supplementation shows very little to no adverse effects.

The more uridine in the brain, the more CDP choline, effectively protecting and reinforcing nascent synapses. Uridine also plays a role in the development of new synapses by encouraging the growth of projections or branches of brain cells (called neurites), which are crucial for neural communication.

Research published in Neuroscience, supplementing uridine dramatically increased the number of neurites per cell and neurite branching [10]. Increased neurite outgrowth and branching are strongly associated with improved cognition.

According to clinical studies in Nutrition reviews, uridine’s combined actions promote and enhance neuroplasticity, or the brain’s potential to reconstruct and alter in response to learning and new stimuli [11].

For its ability to support neuroplasticity, uridine makes it into the list of best nootropics for ADHD.

Note: there’s an effective dose of uridine at 99% purity in each dose of MAXIMUM MIND.

Read more about uridine on the Marco’s Grounds Deep Dive or find out more about the benefits of uridine.

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Organic Ashwagandha Root Extract

Ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera) is a tiny evergreen shrub with yellow blooms and red berries similar to husk cherry and tomatillos. Ashwagandha is found mostly in India but also grows in other countries of Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

Ashwagandha possesses a variety of neuroprotective properties. It has been demonstrated to improve memory retention and recall, attention, concentration, and response time, which of course can be helpful to mitigate ADHD. Ashwagandha includes withanolides, which are naturally occurring steroids (not anabolic steroids) that help the brain function cognitively.

Additionally, the plant elevates acetylcholine levels in the brain, a critical neurotransmitter, enhancing short-term memory as well as long-term memory, attention span, brain function, and mental processing power. Ashwagandha is found in MAXIMUM MIND, one of the best nootropics for ADHD.

A controlled clinical trial conducted on 30 healthy volunteers published in the Journal of Dietary Supplements discovered that ashwagandha enhanced the sensorimotor system, sensitivity to auditory stimuli, problem-solving speed, and capacity to recall faces [12].

Further, ashwagandha’s effect on reducing cortisol and improving stress response might be just the calming yet non-sedative effect many people suffering from ADHD can benefit from greatly.

For these reasons, this great herbal supplement makes it into our countdown of the best nootropics for ADHD.

Note: there’s an effective dose of organic ashwagandha full-spectrum root extract, standardized at 10% withanolides, and less than 1% withaferin A in each dose of MAXIMUM MIND.

Read more about ashwagandha on the Marco’s Grounds Deep Dive or find out more about the benefits of ashwagandha.

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N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine (NALT)

While L-tyrosine has not been directly researched for ADHD, it appears to be well-suited for assisting with focus. This is because L-tyrosine is a precursor to the synthesis of norepinephrine and dopamine, the two primary catecholamines involved in ADHD.

The research found in Aerospace Medicine and Human Performance asserts that other cognitive advantages of L-tyrosine, such as stress resistance, multitasking, and overall mental function, may provide further assistance for a sharp, concentrated attitude in those with attention issues [13].

N-acetyl L-tyrosine is the recommended version of this nootropic due to its increased bioavailability.

For its role in the synthesis of the two primary catecholamines involved in ADHD, L-tyrosine reaches the top of our list of best nootropics for ADHD and focused mental energy.

Note: there’s an effective dose of L-tyrosine as NALT at 99% purity in each dose of MAXIMUM MIND.

Read more about N-acetyl-L-tyrosine on the Marco’s Grounds Deep Dive or find out more about the benefits of L-tyrosine here.

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Citicoline

Citicoline is most recognized for its brain-boosting properties, which may help anyone perform at a higher level of mental processing. Citicoline is often regarded as one of the best nootropics for energy. On the other hand, citicoline supports norepinephrine and dopamine, implying greater issue-specific assistance for ADHD.

Although citicoline has not been explicitly studied for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, its bioactivities and research-supported effects on attention appear to position it as a flexible and promising nootropic for ADHD and overall mental function.

Note: there’s an effective dose of citicoline as Cognizin® in each dose of MAXIMUM MIND.

Read more about citicoline on the Marco’s Grounds Deep Dive or find out more about the benefits of citicoline in this post, if the heart moves you.

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L-Theanine

L-theanine is a naturally occurring amino acid found in green tea leaves and is well recognized for its calming properties, resulting from its alpha brain wave activity. However, L-theanine has additional advantages for peaceful sleep that may be beneficial for persons with ADHD, since one in three people with ADHD suffers from sleep problems. These sleep problems are also exacerbated by stimulant-driven treatments for ADHD.

L-theanine doesn’t have the downside of those simulant-driven treatments and might be all upside for people with the disorder, therefore L-theanine makes it into our list of the best nootropics for ADHD.

Note: there’s an effective dose of L-theanine from organic green tea leaf extract in each dose of MAXIMUM MIND.

Read more about L-theanine on the Marco’s Grounds Deep Dive.

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Methylated B6 and B12 Vitamins

Methylated B vitamins are beneficial for brain and mental health in general due to their neuroprotective effect.

However, a preliminary study indicates that vitamin B6, specifically, may have further potential for promoting attention. According to research in Magnesium Research, Vitamin B6 appears to have a soothing impact on the nervous system in younger populations when paired with magnesium, suggesting that it may be a potential alternative therapy for ADHD [14].

For this reason, B6 and B12 make it to the list of best nootropics for ADHD.

Note: there’s an effective dose of methylated vitamins B6 and B12 in each dose of MAXIMUM MIND.

Read more about methylated B vitamins on the Marco’s Grounds Deep Dive or find out why you should never supplement with non-methylated B vitamins.

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Organic Lion’s Mane Mushroom Extract 

Lion’s mane is the only mushroom known to possess nootropic properties that appear to be neuroprotective in nature. Lion’s mane has been linked to increases in mental function in persons aged 40 to 80 asserted by research published notably in Phytotherapy [15].

In regards to its nootropic ingredients, the lion’s mane mushroom promotes and supports neurogenesis, plasticity, and brain repair stated by a published paper on Mycology [16-17]. This makes lion’s mane huge when it comes to ranking for the best nootropics for brain ADHD.

Lion’s mane is known for promoting nerve growth factor (NGF) production, improving cognitive function and memory, and alleviating depression.

Lion’s Mane active ingredients beta-glucans stimulate the repair and creation of the neurons in the brain needed for dopamine and norepinephrine to control ADHD.

Note: there’s an effective dose of organic lion’s mane full-spectrum fruiting body at 40% minimum beta-glucans, in each dose of MAXIMUM MIND.

Read more about lion’s mane on the Marco’s Grounds Deep Dive or find out about the many benefits of lion’s mane here.

Conclusion

“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.”
–Vincent Van Gogh

Many effective nootropics have significant benefits for ADHD, while others have theoretical benefits that haven’t fully been studied yet. For people suffering from this ailment, the best nootropics for ADHD might present a remarkably elegant solution to helping them regain control over their life while keeping the risk of negative side effects low.

This is especially true when nootropics are taken within a stimulant-free formulation like MAXIMUM MIND. MAXIMUM MIND provides some of the best nootropics for ADHD and additional help for attention, mood, memory, and speed of thought.

Some people would think of natural ingredients as only a safer alternative that doesn’t have the effects of prescription drugs. In some cases, it might be true. Yet potent nootropics like the ones in MAXIMUM MIND form a remarkable nootropic stack that will benefit any brain chemistry, prone to ADHD or ADD.

Why not experience the best nootropics for ADHD in their purest form along with other clinically studied compounds for increasing brain performance and health with MAXIMUM MIND?
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MAXIMUM MIND

Clinically Studied

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Literature

  1. Symptoms and Diagnosis of ADHD | CDC. (2020, September 21). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  2. Arnsten A.F., Li B.M. “Neurobiology of executive functions: catecholamine influences on prefrontal cortical functions.” Biological Psychiatry. 2005 Jun 1;57(11):1377-84.

  3. Pliszka S.R., McCracken J.T., Maas J.W. “Catecholamines in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: current perspectives.” Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. 1996 Mar;35(3):264-72.

  4. Aston-Jones G., Rajkowski J., Cohen J. “Role of locus coeruleus in attention and behavioral flexibility.” Biological Psychiatry. 1999 Nov 1;46(9):1309-20.

  5. Berridge C.W., Waterhouse B.D., “The locus coeruleus–noradrenergic system: modulation of behavioral state and state-dependent cognitive processes” Brain Research Reviews Volume 42, Issue 1, April 2003, Pages 33–84

  6. Franowicz J.S., Kessler L.E., Borja C.M., Kobilka B.K., Limbird L.E., Arnsten A.F. “Mutation of the alpha2A-adrenoceptor impairs working memory performance and annuls cognitive enhancement by guanfacine.” Journal of Neuroscience. 2002 Oct 1;22(19):8771-7.

  7. Zametkin A.J., Karoum F., Linnoila M., Rapoport J.L., Brown G.L., Chuang L.W., Wyatt R.J. “Stimulants, urinary catecholamines, and indoleamines in hyperactivity. A comparison of methylphenidate and dextroamphetamine.” Archives of General Psychiatry. 1985 Mar;42(3):251-5.

  8. Oades R.D. “Role of the serotonin system in ADHD: treatment implications.” Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics. 2007 Oct;7(10):1357-74.

  9. 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.

  10. Pooler, A. M., Guez, D. H., Benedictus, R., & Wurtman, R. J. (2005). Uridine enhances neurite outgrowth in nerve growth factor-differentiated pheochromocytoma cells. Neuroscience, 134(1), 207-214.

  11. Wurtman, R. J., Cansev, M., Sakamoto, T., & Ulus, I. (2010). Nutritional modifiers of aging brain function: use of uridine and other phosphatide precursors to increase formation of brain synapses. Nutrition reviews, 68(suppl_2), S88-S101.

  12. Choudhary, D., Bhattacharyya, S., & Bose, S. (2017). Efficacy and Safety of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal) Root Extract in Improving Memory and Cognitive Functions. Journal of dietary supplements, 14(6), 599–612.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Mori K, et al. Improving effects of the mushroom Yamabushitake (Hericium Erinaceus) on mild cognitive impairment: a double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. Phytother Res. 2009 Mar;23(3):367-72.

  16. Ma BJ, et al. TMYC Hericenones and erinacines: stimulators of nerve growth factor (NGF) biosynthesis in Hericium Erinaceus. Mycology, Vol. 1, No. 2, June 2010, 92–98.

  17. Conner JM et al. NGF is essential for hippocampal plasticity and learning. J Neurosci. 2009 Sep 2;29(35):10883-9.

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