Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the top cognitive disorders among kids today. Somewhere between 5-11% of kids have ADHD diagnoses—and 69% of them are taking medications to manage it.
And it’s a growing problem. Studies have shown that diagnoses of ADHD in kids rose 42% between 2003 and 2011. But it’s not just a challenge of childhood, even though it’s typically diagnosed during the school years. About 4% of adults also struggle with it.
ADHD’s causes are still relatively unknown, though research is beginning to show correlations to genetics, environmental toxins, chemicals, traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and alcohol or tobacco use during pregnancy.
ADHD impairs executive functions, including memory, thinking, managing emotions, self-regulating and organizing and planning. Symptoms include lack of focus, inability to sit still for long and impulsive, often thoughtless actions. ADHD can affect everything from social skills and childhood learning to work and adult productivity.
But when properly managed with medications or supplements, those with ADHD can improve their focus and mental functioning.
Side effects of ADHD medication
Like most medications, ADHD medications can have a number of side effects that send those experiencing ADHD to a more natural alternative. These side effects can include everything from sleep problems and headaches to delayed growth (in kids), tics and moodiness.
In the college scene, many students turn to Adderall as a way of improving their focus and keeping ADHD at bay. But like many medications, Adderall can be addicting and lead to drug abuse when users build up a tolerance to it and can’t seem to function normally without it.
The side effects and fear of becoming dependent on medication for proper functioning has led many parents of children with ADHD, and adults too, to seek out alternative, natural ways to manage their ADHD. Enter nootropics.
What are nootropics?
Nootropics, often called smart drugs, are cognitive enhancers that can take the form of supplements or drugs. These drugs or supplements help improve the way the mind works—and help focus and calm a mind battling ADHD. Nootropics can enhance creativity, improve memory, boost motivation and enhance cognitive abilities and executive functions. They can help cut stress, improve feelings of happiness and improve productivity.
Nootropics are considered safer, natural forms of smart drugs. And they are being used to help people from every walk of life improve minds, whether or not they have ADHD.
Here’s a quick list of some of the best nootropic supplements for ADHD.
- Mind Ignite: Mind Ignite is comprised of 16 powerful, brain boosting ingredients that come together to create an amazing cognitive power blend. These key ingredients include top adaptogens like rhodiola rosea and ginkgo biloba, which have studies behind them demonstrating their efficacy a natural way to enhance brainpower. With Vitamin B ingredients and high levels of standardized extracts, this nootropic will boost your brainpower fast. Mind ignite has been shown to counter symptoms of ADD and ADHD, and improve memory, focus, productivity and overall brain health.
- NooCube: NooCube is made of seven ingredients that have been shown to not only increase the synthesis of the neurotransmitters in your brain, but also add a layer of protection to keep them working their best. The clinically proven ingredients have been shown to improve focus, memory, alertness and the communication that happens in the brain. And all of that together adds up to greater productivity and concentration.
- Mind Lab Pro: Mind Lab Pro is a high potency nootropic made of 11 prime, clinically proven brain-boosting ingredients. Just how potent is it? Most “high potency” nootropics have 1,000 mg of brain-boosting power per serving. Mind Lab Pro has 1,400 mg per serving. Case in point, it’s potent and does what you need it to. Mind Lab Pro can help reverse brain cell damage and improve things like focus, memory and alertness.
- Adaptogenic herbs: Rhodiola is one of the most well-studies adaptogenic herbs, and some research shows it may be promising as a natural treatment for ADHD. One study showed benefits for ADHD patients within three weeks of beginning supplementation. Another study showed a proprietary blend of ginseng and ginkgo bilobo resulted in improved ADHD symptoms.
But don’t go switching out your ADHD medication just yet, or simultaneously supplementing with nootropics. Have an honest conversation with your doctor about your preferences to see if nootropics might be a good alternative to the pharma drugs you’re taking. Once your doctor approves nootropic supplementation, check out our reviews of top-rated nootropics and what they can do for you and your brainpower.