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Is Mixing Adderall And Pre-Workout A Dangerous Combination?

Michael Garrico
Published by Michael Garrico
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: September 30, 2022
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Adderall has received a lot of attention in the media in recent years. And as with most other medical drugs, it never takes long before certain athletes decide that taking such drugs is a good idea for their training.

But there are also plenty of people who legitimately take Adderall with a prescription who also want to get the most out of their exercise.

One of my clients is in such a situation, and we decided to talk to a doctor and do some research on taking Adderall and pre-workout supplements.

There were a few surprises that you want to be aware of.

Quick Summary

  • Adderall is a prescription medication created to treat ADHD and has similar effects as certain stimulants.
  • Many people who take Adderall have concerns about exercising with taking pre-workouts and what this combination could do.
  • It turns out that some ingredients interact more with Adderall than others, and being aware of them can save you from side effects.

Is It OK To Take Pre-Workout With Adderall?

Adderall pills close up image

It can be OK to take pre-workout with Adderall, as long as the dietary supplement doesn't contain stimulants.

Many pre-workouts contain caffeine or guarana, and it’s these and other types of stimulants that can cause problems when combined with Adderall [1].

But even when you have a stimulant-free pre-workout, it’s always best to talk to your doctor first.

The problem is that many pre-workouts can significantly increase energy levels and even elevate your heart rate.

Related Article: Can You Mix Pre-workout and Alcohol?

When you add Adderall on top of that, you could run into some serious problems.

The other issue can come from how these products interact with your brain. What Adderall does is change your brain chemistry to become calmer and more focused [2]. It stops the distracted and impulsive behavior that people with ADHD suffer from.

But if you suddenly introduce caffeine, then it can counteract those effects and make you jittery.

Related articleCan Pre-workout Help With ADHD? 

Can You Use Adderall Instead Of A Pre-Workout?

No, you shouldn’t use Adderall instead of a good pre-workout supplement. Unless it has been prescribed by a doctor, it’s not a good idea to try and get some sort of focus and motivation benefits from Adderall.

The problem is that some of the side effects of Adderall are increased heart rate and blood pressure [3]. When you then further increase your heart rate through exercise, this could put you in a dangerous situation.

“In the short term, Adderall can raise your blood pressure and heart rate and cause you to breathe harder. If you take too much of it, you could put your heart and your health at risk.”

- Smitha Bhandari, MD,

Do You Have To Be Careful With Certain Ingredients?

A woman taking a pill

Yes, you need to be particularly careful when mixing Adderall with ingredients like caffeine and guarana or anything that might elevate your heart rate and blood pressure.

Similar to Adderall, caffeine will increase the heart rate of most people with just a cup of coffee [4].

And when you consider that some pre-workouts have as much caffeine as three cups of coffee, then you can understand the problem.

Guarana can have a similar effect and, in some people, even causes an irregular heartbeat [5].

What About Timing?

One thing that you should consider is taking your prescribed Adderall after you do your exercises.

That would ideally mean exercising first thing in the morning and then taking Adderall when you leave the gym.

That way, you should be able to avoid the double impact on your blood pressure and heart rate that could happen if you exercise with Adderall in your system.

And if you plan to take a pre-workout as well, then aim for a stim-free one and ask your doctor about the right timing.


Can You Take Creatine While on Adderall?

Yes, you can take creatine while on Adderall. Studies have concluded that there is no known interaction between the two, but if you have concerns, then talk to your doctor first [6].

What Supplements Cannot Be Taken with Adderall?

You shouldn’t take certain vitamin supplements with Adderall. Doctors advise that you avoid taking Adderall at the same time as vitamin C-rich food or supplements as it can impact the absorption rate [7].

Taking The Right Approach To Adderall

First of all, don’t contemplate mixing your own cocktail of Adderall and pre-workout unless you have first talked to a doctor. There are serious issues that you can run into if your body reacts in a bad way.

The medical professional I consulted with recommended caffeine-free pre-workouts for people who are on the prescription.

We have tested all of these products to find the best ones, and if your doctor has cleared you to add one of them to your supplement stack, then definitely see our test results.

They can make quite a difference in how much you get out of each training session.


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