People mistakenly believe that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder only affects children.
But there are many adults that can struggle with everyday tasks because of such a brain health issue.
Fortunately, there are nootropic supplements that can help with all sorts of challenges with cognitive performance.
To find out which ones work best, I teamed up with 13 clients, a dietitian, and a doctor to test and research dozens of nootropics over an eight-week period.
We’ve gathered professional and client feedback on the best nootropics for ADHD and healthy brain function, so let’s dive in.
The Best Nootropics For ADHD
- Best Overall Nootropics for ADHD: Mind Lab Pro
- Cheapest Nootropics for ADHD: Primal Harvest
- Best Nootropic for ADHD and Focus: Onnit Alpha Brain
- Best Long-Lasting Nootropic for ADHD: Gorilla Mind Smooth
- Best Calming Nootropic for ADHD: Hunter Focus
- Best Herbal Nootropic for ADHD: Gorilla Shroom
- Best Memory-Enhancing Nootropic for ADHD: NooCube
Our Top Nootropics For Treating ADHD (December 2023)
1 - Mind Lab Pro (Best Overall)
Having struggled with ADHD symptoms myself, I was skeptical but hopeful when trying Mind Lab Pro. To my surprise, the clarity and focus it provided were undeniable. It felt like a veil lifted, and tasks that once seemed insurmountable became manageable.
It seems to strike a great balance between having the right ingredients for calming down your mind and keeping you laser-focused on a task.
Rhodiola Rosea is the ingredient that could be contributing the most, as studies have shown that it can impact adults with ADHD in a positive way .
My doctor also highlighted that it has the best combination of proven ingredients out of all the nootropics we found.
- Vitamin B6: 2.5 mg
- Rhodiola Rosea: 50 mg
- Lion’s Mane Mushroom: 500 mg
- Maritime Pine Bark Extract: 75 mg
- Has a calming effect on the mind to reduce stress
- Effectively focuses your brain on one task at a time with fewer distractions
- There are no stimulants to make you jittery
- The capsules are easy to swallow for more flexibility when you take them
- Only for sale on the official website, with no store purchase options available
2 - Onnit Alpha Brain (Best for Focus)
I remember the first time I tried Onnit Alpha Brain; the enhanced neural activity was palpable. My thoughts were clearer, and the usual brain fog that clouded my daily life with ADHD was noticeably absent.
And with that improved neural activity comes a significant benefit for your overall focus, as our testers have revealed.
A doctor I spoke with highlighted that L-Theanine has been linked to reduced mental fatigue allowing you to stay more focused on complex tasks .
The main reason we bumped it down to the second spot is due to a partially proprietary formula that makes it difficult to stack.
Check out our full Onnit Alpha Brain review here.
- Alpha GPC: n/a
- Vitamin B6: 10 mg
- L-Theanine: n/a
- Cat’s Claw Extract: 350 mg
- Good selection of scientifically proven ingredients for focus and motivation
- Positive feedback about the impact on reduced stress and improved mood
- You can easily spread out the capsules over the day to get a long-lasting effect
- The nootropic has a partially proprietary formula making stacking more difficult
3 - Gorilla Mind Smooth (Best Long-Lasting)
I was already a fan of Gorilla Mind’s products, but the Smooth nootropic was a game-changer for me. Living with ADHD, the struggle for focus is real, but this supplement made my thoughts less chaotic and more streamlined.
It’s stimulant-free, so it won’t make you jittery, and the boosted brain function and concentration feel completely natural.
A doctor I spoke with highlighted that the good dose of Ginkgo Biloba is probably the main reason for this.
This herbal extract has been linked to improvements in ADHD .
Just keep in mind that the full dose will require taking six capsules a day.
Take a look at our full review of Gorilla Mind Smooth to learn more.
- Ginkgo Biloba: 180 mg
- Kanna: 250 mg
- L-Tyrosine: 750 mg
- Alpha GPC: 600 mg
- Stimulant-free nootropic helps to boost focus and motivation
- Can also help with anxiety symptoms to calm the mind
- Long-lasting effects up to eight hours
- You’ll have to set reminders to take the full six capsules throughout the day
4 - Hunter Focus (Best Calming)
As someone who has tried various solutions for my ADHD, Hunter Focus stood out. The calmness and focus it instilled weren’t just noticeable to me but to those around me. Tasks that typically would have me bouncing off the walls were completed with a newfound serenity.
With the main goal of this supplement being the focus, it can be the ideal one for treating ADHD symptoms.
And we also saw in test results that users experienced decreased levels of stress when they struggled with certain social situations .
- Vitamin B6: 2.5 mg
- Ginkgo Biloba: 120 mg
- Rhodiola Rosea: 50 mg
- L-Carnitine: 800 mg
- Good effects on mental focus and motivation to work on one task at a time
- Proven to reduce stress levels in social situations that may cause anxiety
- It’s easy to adjust the dose to the level you need to feel less distracted
- Some people have reported that they find the capsules a little bit large to swallow
5 - Gorilla Shroom (Best Herbal)
The next one of our best nootropics for ADHD is Gorilla Shroom, which is an excellent brand in the nootropic space.
You can easily stack with some of the company’s other products for brain health, and we got good test results for improved focus.
This is mainly down to a good dose of Lion’s Mane mushroom, which has been proven to help with motivation and mental focus .
- Vitamin B6: 10 mg
- Ashwagandha: 500 mg
- Lion’s Mane Mushroom: 1,500 mg
- Yerba Mate Extract: 200 mg
- Good feedback from people who found it helped to remain focused throughout the day
- Also helps to relieve symptoms of stress
- Strong dose of vitamin B6 boosts blood flow and energy for the brain
- It’s only available on the official website and not in stores at the moment
6 - NooCube (Best Memory-Enhancing)
NooCube is another good supplement for anyone with mild ADHD symptoms.
Our testers all commented on improvements in their ability to stay focused and cognitive benefits for short and long-term memory.
It also contains a naturally occurring amino acid called L-Tyrosine, which studies have shown to have an impact on limited cognitive decline and reduce cortisol .
And with lower levels of stress, it can have a positive effect on dopamine levels and general brain function.
- Cat’s Claw Extract: 175 mg
- L-Tyrosine: 250 mg
- Bacopa Monnieri: 250 mg
- Oat Straw: 150 mg
- Works well as a mild ADHD treatment with good focus improvements
- Reduces stress levels to improve brain health
- Positive feedback on benefits of working memory
- Not all of the ingredients have proven benefits for overall cognitive function
7 - Qualia Mind
What we liked about Qualia Mind is that a few of our testers with attention deficit disorder also highlighted that it helped them to lift brain fog first thing in the morning without needing stimulants like caffeine that could negatively affect the ADHD treatment.
The main reason that it can improve focus and memory is down to the alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine (GPC), which studies have proven to link to overall cognitive function .
One thing to keep in mind is that it’s often out of stock online, so if you like the effects of this nootropic, then make sure you order enough to keep you going.
- Rhodiola Rosea: 300 mg
- Pantothenic Acid: 50 mg
- Alpha GPC: 200 mg
- Acetyl-L-Carnitine HCI: 500 mg
- Good results reported on the impact of lower stress and anxiety
- Provides improved working memory and focus
- It can reduce brain fog and boost dopamine without stimulants
- It’s often out of stock in most online stores
8 - Leading Edge Health - BRAINPILL
Brainpill is certainly a clever name for a nootropic, but it can back up that name with good ingredients for treating ADHD symptoms.
Our testing data shows that it helped boost brain function to the extent that it helps both with problem-solving skills and remaining focused.
My dietitian also noted that it has a good dose of B vitamins that have a proven effect on improving blood flow to the brain .
And that means more oxygen, energy, and nutrients for the brain to process.
- Vitamin B6: 5 mg
- L-Tyrosine: 175 mg
- Ginkgo Biloba: 100 mg
- Vitamin B12: 50 mcg
- Positive feedback that it helps with solving complex problems
- Contains good ingredients for reduced stress and anxiety
- It will improve focus and help drown out common distractions
- You might need to get used to swallowing large capsules
9 - Life Extension Cognitex Elite
This is another supplement that has provided our testing team with solid results for cognitive enhancement and overall brain energy.
They reported fewer distractions and more impulse control while trying to focus on one task.
My doctor highlighted one ingredient as particularly interesting.
Pregnenolone has been shown in a randomized controlled trial to have a positive impact on neuroplasticity .
That means it can help to improve connections between brain cells like many prescription smart drugs do.
- Blueberry Extract: 200 mg
- Ashwagandha: 200 mg
- Phosphatidylserine: 125 mg
- Pregnenolone: 50 mg
- Specifically formulated to help the brain stay focused on one task at a time
- Contains pregnenolone for improved neurotransmitter synthesis
- Comes in small enough tablets that are easy to swallow
- It’s quite an expensive nootropic compared to other options
10 - Moon Juice - Brain Dust
Our testing data on Moon Juice also revealed positive impacts on ADHD symptoms, with significantly improved mental performance for memory and focus without distractions.
My dietitian pointed me to an interesting study on Ginkgo leaf extract that highlighted this herb as one of the most effective traditional ADHD treatments .
I should also mention that it’s possibly the best option for vegans and people with gluten intolerance.
- Lion’s Mane Mushroom: n/a
- Organic Maca Root: n/a
- Ashwagandha: n/a
- Ginkgo Leaf: n/a
- Based on herbs and mushrooms with proven impacts on an ADHD brain
- The powder mixes easily with tea, coffee, or a smoothie
- Gluten-free and vegan-friendly option
- The company hides behind a proprietary label that makes a nootropic stack difficult
11 - Primal Harvest - Primal Mind Fuel (Cheapest Option)
The next one of our recommended ADHD nootropics is from Primal Harvest, and our testing data shows that it has a good impact on brain performance with solid improvements for memory and concentration.
We also found that it has a great impact on mood levels.
And this is likely due to the combination of caffeine and theobromine, which studies have shown to positively impact mood and alertness .
It’s just a shame that the company hides behind a proprietary blend, which would make it difficult to stack with other nootropics.
- Vitamin B6: 10 mg
- Caffeine: n/a
- L-Tyrosine: n/a
- Theobromine: n/a
- Provides a good boost in brain power and reduces mental fatigue
- Good benefits for better memory and concentration levels
- Also seems to trigger a dopamine release for improved mood
- The company lists a proprietary blend that makes stacking nootropics difficult
12 - Mindhoney - Dose
The final one of our best nootropics to help treat ADHD is Mindhoney, and this has a good combination of proven herbs to help you maintain focus for longer.
One of the most effective ingredients in this nootropic is Bacopa Monnieri, as clinical studies have shown that it significantly influences brain function and concentration .
But because of the proprietary label, it’s difficult to add to a brain supplement regime that might have products with overlapping ingredients.
- L-Theanine: n/a
- Ashwagandha: n/a
- Bacopa Monnieri: n/a
- Lion’s Mane Mushroom: n/a
- Can improve focus and motivation for work and study tasks
- Doesn’t contain stimulants that might cause jitters and distraction
- Great overall mental performance as it can help get you into flow
- Difficult to stack it with other nootropics due to a proprietary label
How We Tested the Nootropics for ADHD
Our team embarked on a meticulous journey to identify the most effective nootropics for ADHD.
We started with a comprehensive market survey, identifying over 50 popular nootropic supplements touted for their cognitive enhancement capabilities. Our selection was based on the following criteria:
- Ingredient Quality: We looked at the purity, potency, and overall quality of ingredients. Only supplements with clinically proven, high-quality ingredients made it to our testing phase.
- Brand Reputation: Companies with a track record of transparency, quality assurance, and positive customer feedback were given priority.
- Scientific Research: We favored products backed by scientific research and clinical trials to ensure their efficacy and safety.
We collaborated with neuroscientists, pharmacologists, and medical professionals specializing in ADHD and cognitive health. They helped us analyze the ingredients, their dosages, and the potential synergistic effects of the various nootropics.
In this section, I want to show what the most important considerations are for anyone with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
And let me start with who may benefit from taking traditional ADHD medications.
Who Should Take Nootropics For ADHD?
Anyone who wants to treat ADHD symptoms that are mild and improve their cognitive function should consider taking nootropics.
These alternatives to prescription medication can significantly help if you have a mild ADHD diagnosis that requires a gentle push toward more focus and concentration.
It’s also ideal for people who want to limit side effects, as these supplements are generally very safe to take.
Who Shouldn't Take Nootropics For ADHD?
Anyone who is taking prescription medications to treat ADHD and manage ADHD symptoms shouldn't take nootropics without first consulting with a doctor.
The reason is that many prescription drugs might have interactions with other medications and supplements.
It could also influence how doctors assess the effects of prescription ADHD drugs leading to dosage adjustments that are not entirely based on facts.
Ingredients For Focus
Here are the main ingredients that can boost brain function and focus to reduce the symptoms of ADHD.
This is one of the most effective ingredients in these nootropics, and studies have shown that it can significantly improve how the brain focuses on tasks .
It’s also the dominant ingredient in our top recommendation Mind Lab Pro.
“Phosphatidylserine (PS) is an amino acid derivative compound that is fat-soluble and found in high amounts in the brain, where it contributes to cognitive functioning.”
- Kamal Patel, MPH, MBA
Not only can this improve cognitive function, but studies have also revealed that it can reduce oxidative stress markers in the brain .
That should significantly promote overall neurological health and motivation to stay focused on a task.
This herb is common in traditional medicine, and modern science has revealed that it can influence brain cell membranes .
It’s also a generally safe ingredient that won’t cause any significant adverse reactions.
L-Theanine is another important ingredient for brain supplements, as it has been shown to have short-term effects on the brain to improve focus and problem-solving processes .
It can also be very helpful to have ingredients that have a calming effect to avoid the constant rush to distractions.
Lion’s Mane Mushroom
This mushroom extract is common in traditional ADHD drugs as well as in nootropics designed to help deal with social anxiety.
Studies have shown that it can have a positive effect on the mind and trigger a calming impact .
There have been increasing numbers of studies into how this extract can influence the brain.
So far, those trial results show that it can have a mildly sedating effect which can be positive for anxiety and ADHD .
“The most well-known benefit of Kanna is promoting relaxation and helping relieve anxiety symptoms, feelings of stress and depression.”
- Jillian Levy, CHHC, at DrAxe.com
Cat’s Claw Extract
This tropical herb has gained a lot more attention in the supplements and medical space as it has been linked to serotonin.
And that can have a positive calming effect that leads to more focus and happiness .
When you’re looking at alternatives to ADHD medications, it’s important to not only focus on the dosage of each ingredient.
While, in some cases, a higher dosage of certain ingredients is helpful for cognitive health, it’s generally more important to look at the overall formula.
See, you could have a lower dose of several ingredients, but the combination of them can together provide a more significant boost for someone diagnosed with ADHD.
That’s why we had a dietitian and doctor review the nutritional details of all the products we tested to confirm which combinations have the best scientific support.
And the one supplement that stood out the most was Mind Lab Pro, where every single ingredient had reliable scientific studies to back them up.
The Role of Diet and Nutrition in Managing ADHD
I’ve always been a bit of a foodie, but it wasn’t until my journey with ADHD that I realized the profound impact diet has on my symptoms. Integrating a balanced diet with my nootropic regimen not only amplified the cognitive benefits but also improved my overall well-being.
Nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B6 have shown potential benefits in reducing hyperactivity and improving focus .
Whole foods, particularly fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and complex carbohydrates, provide essential nutrients and help stabilize blood sugar levels.
When complemented with nootropics, which are cognitive-enhancing supplements, this combination can support cognitive function, attention, and impulse control in individuals with ADHD.
However, it's crucial to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the right dietary plan and nootropic options tailored to individual needs and preferences.
Behavioral Therapies and Interventions for ADHD
Behavioral therapies and interventions are valuable in managing ADHD symptoms in conjunction with nootropics.
These strategies focus on improving self-control, attention, and organization. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) helps individuals develop coping strategies and enhance problem-solving skills.
Parent training and family therapy can provide support for both the individual with ADHD and their loved ones. Academic interventions, like specialized educational plans, ensure tailored learning experiences.
Furthermore, mindfulness and meditation techniques aid in improving attention and emotional regulation.
When combined with nootropics, these behavioral therapies offer a comprehensive approach to addressing ADHD, providing a more holistic and effective means of symptom management.
Impact of Physical Activity on ADHD
Regular physical activity and exercise have significant positive effects on alleviating ADHD symptoms and enhancing focus and cognitive function.
Exercise increases the release of neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine, which play a crucial role in attention and impulse control. It also reduces stress hormones, which can exacerbate ADHD symptoms .
Engaging in physical activities promotes better sleep, which is essential for cognitive function. Additionally, exercise helps in managing hyperactivity and restlessness, channeling excess energy into productive physical outlets.
Overall, a consistent exercise routine complements other ADHD management strategies and can lead to notable improvements in attention, focus, and overall cognitive performance.
What Chemicals Do ADHD Brains Lack?
ADHD brains typically lack a neurotransmitter called norepinephrine. This can significantly impact cognitive performance and the ability to remain focused on a single task at a time.
Is ADHD Just Low Dopamine?
No, ADHD isn’t just due to low dopamine levels. While this neurotransmitter has a huge impact on mental health issues like ADHD, anxiety, and depression, in the case of ADHD, it’s usually a combination of dopamine and norepinephrine that are the problem.
Are Nootropics Ethical?
Nootropics can be ethical, but it hinges on their purpose (medical vs. enhancement), safety and regulation, issues of access and equity, unknown long-term effects, and informed consent. Using them for cognitive enhancement in competitive settings raises questions about fairness, while concerns about safety and unequal access also play significant roles in the ethical debate.
Do Nootropics Help with Stress?
Yes, some nootropics can help with stress, particularly those with adaptogenic properties like Ashwagandha and Rhodiola Rosea, which are known to reduce stress and improve mental resilience.
Can Nootropics Help with ADHD?
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is not just something that affects children, as many adults struggle with mild versions of it.
Improving your cognitive function with natural or synthetic supplements can be a great solution.
Out of the best nootropics for ADHD that we tested, Mind Lab Pro is the one that yielded the most promising test results.
Our data shows that it can significantly help you with focus and motivation, and in mild ADHD cases, it can help you avoid ADHD medication.
Unless you’re on medication, order your first supply today and see how much it can help.
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