For people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, getting through a day of work or school can be extremely arduous. Even for people without ADHD, staying focused and productive for an entire day is often difficult. That’s why so many people in the US today are entirely reliant on Adderall; the prescription drug given to people with severe forms of ADHD.
While Adderall is an effective drug for people with severe ADHD, it is not always a good option for people with less severe cases. For people without a diagnosed learning or attention disorder, it is not wise to use Adderall at all; as a collection of amphetamine salts, Adderall can cause serious side effects and addiction. Yet thousands of college students, business professionals and athletes continue to use Adderall on a regular basis to enhance their focus, learing and productivity.
Thankfully, there are lots of Adderall alternatives out there available for use right now. Using natural Adderall alternatives is almost always a safer, healthier, and ultimately more effective way to enhance learning, focus and productivity than using the drug itself.
In this article, I’ll take you through the best Adderall alternatives on the market today. These nootropic and energy supplements replicate the effects of Adderall without posing the same health risks. I’ll also explain what Adderall is, how it works, and who it is designed for. Let’s start by looking at the best pre-made natural alternatives to Adderall on the market right now.
Best OTC Adderall Alternatives
If you’re a college student, a trader, or software developer, then chances are you’ve been tempted to use Adderall in the past, whether it’s to boost your attention span during lectures or raise focus and energy levels while you try to meet deadlines. Fortunately, you no longer need to resort to prescription stimulant medications.
There are now lots of supplements on the market which can replicate all of the beneficial effects of Adderall – improved focus, increased energy levels, better impulse control – without posing any of the same risks (e.g. addiction, dependency, energy crashes, etc.). These are natural, legal, over-the-counter supplements which act as perfect alternatives to Adderall (and any other prescription stimulant drugs or study drugs).
Let’s look at the over-the-counter supplements which most effectively match the benefits of Adderall.
Performance Lab Mind + Stim
The closest thing to Adderall over the counter is unarguably this stack from Performance Lab.
Performance Lab Mind is an extremely potent, high quality nootropic designed to enhance every aspect of your cognitive performance, from focus and mental energy to memory function and stress resistance.
Performance Lab Stim is an ultra-modern, highly sophisticated natural energy supplement. It was designed as a safer, more effective and less side effect-prone caffeine pill with added attention, motivation and anxiety support.
Benefits of this stack:
- Improves focus and increases attention span
- Enhances memory retention
- Raises energy levels and decreases fatigue
- Helps with impulse control
- Significantly increases motivation and drive
- Supports overall brain health and development
Performance Lab Stim is the ideal stimulant supplement for people who need to avoid side effects and stay focused on their work. Unlike other energy supplements and stimulant drugs, Performance Lab Stim utilizes caffeine in an intelligent way, opting for purity, safety and sustained effects over sheer quantity of caffeine! The added Tyrosine leads to increased dopamine production, which means more motivation, drive and enthusiasm for work.
While Performance Lab Stim quickly increases energy levels and reduces fatigue, Mind starts improving the quality of your cognitive performance. Citicoline increases the availability of acetylcholine, one of the brain’s most important neurotransmitters. This leads to better focus and faster information processing. Tyrosine (also found in Stim) increases dopamine production, which raises motivation and improves mood.
Taken together, these two supplements should significantly alleviate mild ADHD symptoms, such as lack of focus or poor impulse control.
By increasing dopamine production, sharpening focus and reducing anxiety while also boosting energy, Performance Lab Mind and Stim produces all of the benefits of Adderall with none of the downsides. This stack is, in other words, the best Adderall alternative on the market right now.
Mind Lab Pro
Mind Lab Pro is arghuably the single best nootropic supplement in the world. This stack from Opti Nutra delivers total brain optimization; it enhances every measure of brain function while also supporting brain health and development over the long term. As well as being the best option for everyday cognitive enhancement, Mind Lab Pro is also a fantastic alternative to Adderall.
The benefits of Mind Lab Pro include:
- Enhanced focus and concentration
- Improved working memory
- Better long-term memory function
- Enhanced brain health
- Increased neuron and synapse development
- Reduced anxiety
Mind Lab Pro works initially by increasing production of key neurotransmitters, namely acetylcholine and dopamine. These neurotransmitters are responsible for executive cognitive functions such as learning, working memory and speech (acetylcholine), as well as movitation, drive and mood (dopamine).
Mind Lab Pro is definitely the complete package nootropic. it is also a superb Adderall alternative when used correctly.
If you’re suffering from ADHD symptoms such as poor impulse control, a lack of motivation or a short attention span, then Mind Lab Pro might be a better option than Adderall. This is definitely true if you have not been diagnosed with ADHD and are intending to use Adderall or any other amphetamine drugs like Adderall without prescription.
Natural Alternatives To Adderall
The supplements listed above are the best natural alternatives to Adderall available to buy over-the-counter right now.
But why are they so effective?
Because they use ingredients which produce the same benefits as Adderall without any of the harmful side effects or long-term concerns associated with amphetamine use.
Right now, the best natural Adderall alternatives are:
- Bacopa monnieri
- Huperzine A
- Maritime pine Bark Extract
These natural ingredients all work in different ways: some increase neurotransmitter production, some reduce anxiety, and other increase cerebral blood flow.
Taken together, these ingredients reduce some of the symptoms of ADHD. In the process, they improve focus, enhance cognitive function and increase overall brain power.
The best thing about these substances is that they are suitable for people with and without ADHD. In people without a clinically diagnosed learning condition such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, these substances can drastically improve productivuty, mental energy, and focus. In people with ADHD, they can drastically improve focus and alleviate the worst symptoms of ADHD.
Citicoline is probably the cloest thing to Adderall over the counter. This extremely powerful nootropic is used in all of the best nootropic supplements, and for good reason – it works! Citicoline raises choline availability in the brain. this leads to greater synthesis of both acetylcholine, a key neurotransmitter, and phosphatidylcholine, which is a vital component of brain cell membranes.
Studies show that Citicoline supplementation leads to significant improvements in learning, memory and focus. In people with ADHD, Citicoline can be highly beneficial, leading to increased attention span and better learning.
L-Tyrosine is a phenomenal nootropic and a perfect replacement for Adderall. An amino acid, L-Tyrosine is a precursor to dopamine, the neurotransmitter which is largely responsible for governing motivation, enthusiasm, determination, and mood. Clinical trials show that L-Tyrosine supplementation improves cognitive performance in people placed under severe mental strain (e.g. sleep deprivation, distracting environments, etc.). This mental strain could be said to partially mimic the experience of ADHD.
Caffeine is the king of the stimulants, and if we’re talking legal Adderall alternatives, then we do need to talk about stimulants! Like all stimulants, caffeine acts on the central nervous system. primarily caffeine works by blocking adenosine receptors; adenosine is what tells your brain it is time to sleep. by blocking adenosine, caffeine “tricks” the brain into thinking it is wide awake. This means reduced fatigue, greater focus, and more energy. Caffeine also stimulates the release of norepinephrine and dopamine, but only slightly.
Caffeine’s potency, reliability and relative safety make it one of the best natural Adderall alternatives in the world. However, caffeine is an extremely powerful stimulant. It does cause side effects when over-used, so use it sparingly!
Bacopa monnieri is probably rthe most reliable natural memory booster in existence. Compounds in Bacopa monnieri have been found to stimulate dendrite branching. In simple terms, your neurons are connected by thin branches called dendrites. These dendrites are the channels of communication for your brain cells. Bacopa monnieri seems to trigger the growth of new dendrite branches, which means it creates more connections between neurons.
It’s little wonder then that clinical trials show drastic improvements in memory function in people given Bacopa monnieri for 6-12 weeks. One of the major benefits of Adderall is improved working memory. Bacopa monnieri doesn’t have the same “kick” as Adderall, but its ability to enhance memory makes it a great natural alternative to Adderall.
Huperzine A is a very interesting nootropic and a great natural laternative to Adderall. Huperzine A works by blocking the action of an enzyme calling acetylcholinesterase. this enzyme destroys acetylcholine, the brain’s main executive neurotransmitter. Blocking acetylcholinesterase causes a steady buildup of acetylcholine, which means a lot more focus, faster information processing, and better impulse control.
For many people, the closest thing to Adderall over the counter is some combination of caffeine, citicoline, and Huperzine A. few nootropics give the user the kind of instant lift in focus that Huperzine A produces; most people who take Huperzine A experience a kind of tunnel-vision focus just like people get from Adderall. This makes huperzine A one of the best natural alternatives to Adderall on the market today.
Phosphatidylserine is a phospholipid found in very large quantities in the brain, where it acts as a vital component of brain cell membranes (along with phosphatidylcholine). Phosphatidylserine also acts as a signal to indicate when old brain cells need to die and be replaced with new, young, healthy cells. Clinical trials show that supplementing with phosphatidylserine drastically improves learning, memory and focus in the short and long term. This makes it a fantastic Adderall alternative and a great all-round brain supplement.
Maritime Pine Bark Extract
Maritime Pine Bark Extract is a relatviely new nootropic. Only top tier nootropics today use Maritime Pine Bark Extract as it is relatively expensive and the benefits are not immediately obvious. Maritime Pine Bark is a unique source of a special class of antioxidants called proanthocyanidins. unlike many antioxidants, these compounds easily cross the blood brain barrier. Once there, they exert powerful antioxidant effects, protecting the brain from oxidative stress. Interestingly, proanthocyanidins also increase cerebral blood flow, further enhancing cognitive performance.
Maritime Pine Bark does not produce the same sort of Adderall-like kick as caffeine or Citicoline. However, when coupled with other nootropics it makes for a fantastic Adderall alternative.
I believe the research is clear on this; Adderall is extremely dangerous when used without medical supervision. The substances listed above represent a far safer and more sustainable way to enhance productivity and focus than Adderall.
Whether you are a student looking for help cramming for finals, a developer needing to meet deadlines with all-nighters, or even someone with mild symptoms of ADHD, Adderall should always be the last thing you try.
What Is Adderall?
It’s worth going into more detail on what Adderall actually is and how it works.
So what is Adderall?
Adderall is a prescription medication designed to help people with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). Adderall is actually a brand name for a combination of four amphetamine salts: D-amphetamine saccharate, D- amphetamine sulfate, D,L-amphetamine sulfate, and D,L-amphetamine aspartate.
That’s right: Adderall is amphetamine.
This means that Adderall is one of the most powerful and dangerous of the stimulant drugs.
How Does Adderall Work?
Like all stimulants, Adderall acts on the central nervous system. But unlike caffeine, Adderall primarily works by releasing norepinephrine (and to a lesser extent, dopamine).
Many of you will know norepinephrine as the ‘fight of flight’ neurotransmitter; it causes a rapid spike in blood pressure, dilation of brain blood vessels, increases excitability, and sharpens focus (basically, it gets you ready to fight or run for your life).
In normal circumstances, healthy people do want to experience spikes of norepinephrine. However, in people suffering from hyperactivity, a lack of focus, low motivation, or lethargy, norepinephrine can be highly beneficial.
By sharpening focus and increasing excitability, Adderall allows people with ADHD to focus on a single task for prolonged periods of time. It also helps with impulsivity and compulsive behaviors by increasing the activity of dopamine in the brain.
The composition of Adderall is important. the four salts in Adderall give the drug a prolonged and steady time release, meaning users do not experience the full force of amphetamine right away only to be followed by an intense crash. instead, users get a sustained release of the drug lasting several hours depending on dosage and the type of Adderall being used.
Does Adderall Cause Side Effects?
All stimulants, regardless of their composition or form, have the potential to cause serious side effects. Adderall, as a collection of amphetamine salts, is no different.
Adderall is actually an extremely dangerous drug with the potential to cause serious harm. That’s why so many people are seeking out natural alternatives to Adderall and the other prescription drugs like Adderall (Ritalin, Desoxyn, Vyvanse, etc.).
Side effects are particularly likely in people who are using Adderall without a prescription. Adderall is not available over the counter, but many people obtain it illegally and use it off label (for purposes other than helping manage ADHD symptoms).
Common side effects of Adderall use include:
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Impulsive bahvior
- Irrational thinking
Many people find it more difficult to focus on work while on Adderall, as the drug makes it difficult to prioritize important tasks (aka the ‘rabbit hole’ effect).
One of the biggest risks with Adderall use is addiction. Amphetamine is an extremely addictive drug. People who use Adderall and similar drugs on a regular basis usually find it almost impossible to stop. You can easily become dependent on such stimulants, so the safest course of action is to never start!
I am not a medical doctor and this is not medical advice. Adderall is a powerful medication which should not be taken without the supervision of a doctor. The side effects you experience from such medications will depend on doses used, other medications you’re taking, and many other factors. Stimulant medication should not be used without a prescription and without the knowledge of your regular physician. This is not advice, diagnosis or treatment recommendations, but a discussion of the potential risks of medication when misused by adults.
Is Adderall Available Over-The-Counter?
As a powerful prescription stimulant drug, Adderall is not available over the counter. Anybody selling you “OTC Adderall” or “legal Adderall without prescription” is either selling Adderall illegally or they are selling you a bogus product. Any supposed “OTC Adderall” is a scam or a mislabelled nootropic supplement.
Of course, this is really only true for the likes of the US, Canada and the UK. Other countries ahve their own laws regarding amphetamines, study drugs and stimulants. be sure to do your own research carefully before using Adderall in case it is not legal in your jurisdiction. The penalty fro illegally purchasing amphetamines can be severe!
Is There A Legal Adderall Substitute?
If you do not have ADHD or a similar diagnosed medical condition and you have not been prescribed Adderall by your doctor, then it is not legal to acquire the drug. As stated above, this is a collection fo amphetamin salts; it is an extremely powerful, dangerous and addictive stimulant drug.
There are lots of other “study drugs” on the market for the treatment of ADHD. These include Desoxyn, Vyvanse, Concerta and Focalin XR.
None of these drugs are legal substitutes for Adderall. All of these drugs are powerful pharmaceuticals. They are all based on amphetamine, making them controlled substances with harsh pubishments for posession without prescription in almost ever jurisdiction.
So no, there is no such thing as a legal version of Adderall. There are legal alternatives to Adderall – the substances listed above – but there is no form of the drug that is legal by technicality (as is the case with CBD oil or other ‘legal highs’).
Are Nootropics Effective For ADHD?
In many cases, nootropics are far more effective for the treatment of ADHD than prescription pharmaceuticals. Research indicates that physicians are generally too liberal with diagnoses of ADHD, partly due to the financial incentives they get for prescribing drugs like Adderall!
So in a large number of cases, symptoms will be mild enough to warrant the use of nootropics rather than strong pharmaceuticals.
Nootropics shown to be effective for the treatment of ADHD, or at least the management of ADHD symptoms, include Citicoline, L-Tyrosine, L-Theanine, Noopept, and Fasoracetam.
Are There Other Drugs Like Adderall?
Adderall is probably the most popular study drug in use in the world right now. Of all the so-called “smart drugs” being used recreationally, Adderall is by far and away the most prevalent. But there are other smart drugs which are often classed along with Adderall, being referred to loosely as nootropics. Let’s go through some of the most popular.
Ritalin is another drug routinely prescribed for thetreatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Ritalin works in a very siilar way to other stimulants like Desoxyn and Vyvanse in that it increases the action of both dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. Unlike Adderall, Ritalin works by blocking the reuptake of these neurotransmitters, meaning more of them remain between the synapses, thus triggering their effects.
Modafinil is not a stimulant but a eugeoric. It was developed as a treatment for narcolepsy, as it promotes intense wakefulness and mental energy. While it si primarily used to keep people awake for prolonged periods of time, Modafinil is also extremely effective as a focus-enhancing nootropic. It is thought that Modafinil greatlty increases dopamine activity in the brain, giving people an intense drive and motivation which lasts for several hours. Users routinely report Modafinil giving them a superhuman ability to concentrate on one task for hours on end.
Noopept is a synthetic nootropic. Commonly referred to as a psychostimulant, Noopept exerts similar effects as Piracetam, although at much lower effective dosages (50mg for Noopept compared to 2000-3000mg for Piracetam).
Fasoracetam has been studied as a potential treatment for ADHD. As it is not a stimulant nor a narcotic agent, Fasoracetam would make for a perfect alternative to Adderall. However, clinical trials indicate that Fasoracetam is only effective in cases where an individual has a specific gene mutation affecting their glutamate system. This accounts for a small minority of ADHD cases.
In Summary: What is the best Adderall substitute available over the counter?
The best Adderall alternative supplement available over the counter today is Performance Lab Mind + Stim. This stack will give you all of the most beneficial effects of Adderall – heightened focus, increased energy, faster information processing – without any of the side effects. Performance Lab Mind and Stim are legal, available over the counter, and highly effective. For those who want a stimulant-free experience, then Mind Lab Pro is probably the best option, as it delivers total cognitive enhancement without any caffeine.