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Can Pre-workout Help With ADHD? According to a Physician

Isaac Robertson
Published by Isaac Robertson
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: July 14, 2022

Individuals with ADHD are frequently quite productive. While this can be a good thing, ADHD limits the amount of focus on a particular task because such people are easily irritable and disturbed, and hence they cannot concentrate on one thing for a long time.

I consulted with a physician friend about ADHD and whether pre-workout can help manage it.

Read on to find out if pre-workouts help with ADHD and get our best pre-workout recommendations to increase your focus.

Quick Summary

  • ADHD isn't a personality disorder, but a developmental disorder of the self-management mechanism of the mind
  • Pre-workout supplements will give you more energy to work out, and exercise will help you stay focused, relaxed and sleep better
  • Pre-workout stimulants affect dopamine concentrations in the brain, which improves brain function
  • It would help if you looked for pre-workout stimulants containing different components like magnesium, vitamin D, and caffeine that boost concentration and give you the energy required to exercise

ADHD and Its Symptoms

A person diagnosed with ADHD

ADHD, a brain developmental disorder, can be diagnosed in children and adults [1].

Children with ADHD might have difficulty paying attention, regulating impulsive actions (doing without considering the outcome), or being extremely active.

Although there's no specific cause of ADHD, it is inherited.

Research posts also show a couple of potential variations in the mind mechanisms of individuals with ADHD from those without the illness.

While young children with ADHD experience fewer signs as they grow, several young adults tend to show and endure major symptoms that affect and disrupt their everyday functioning.

Adults with ADHD may experience trouble staying focused, lack of impulse control, poor sleep patterns, and restlessness.

Even though the severity of ADHD symptoms might differ from one person to another, depending on your health and genes, here are some common ADHD symptoms:

  • Lack of attention
  • A lack of concentration
  • Ineffective time management
  • A lack of impulse control
  • Exaggerated feelings
  • Hyperfocus
  • Restlessness
  • Executive incompetence

Pre-workout and ADHD

A pre-workout stimulant may assist with ADHD by increasing energy and attention span, but it'll not treat it.

Acknowledging that you suffer from this disorder is the first step to treating ADHD symptoms, and It would be best to consult the doctors to know whether you have ADHD or not.

Now, if you frequently go to the gym or prefer to work out at home, you've probably heard about the potential advantages of pre-workout stimulants.

Pre-workouts are like energy drinks; they boost your endurance and focus, providing you with the strength you require to get through strenuous workouts.

And while exercises help to calm the mind, they can be a little challenging for people with an ADHD diagnosis.

Pre-workouts help with ADHD and hyperactivity by stimulating the brain's synthesis of serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine.

Exercise accomplishes the same effect on the brain as ADHD medication does. The problem is that physical activity impacts only lasts a few hours after the workout.

Impact Of Pre-workout on Individuals with ADHD

Holding supplements and a glass of water

Pre-workout may aid an individual diagnosed with ADHD symptoms by boosting their concentration and helping them get into their training regimen more quickly.

Like energy drinks, pre-workouts also keep them motivated during the workout.

Taking a pre-workout with the right medications might help treat ADHD by benefitting with the attention and energy they'll still have to do other things after exercise.

A pre-workout stimulant also increases dopamine levels in the brain, which improves brain function. It also contains caffeine and L-tyrosine that can help individuals with ADHD focus more on daily tasks.

If you have an ADHD diagnosis, eating the right food, using the right medications and pre-workout energy drinks will allow you to work out regularly, thus making you fit, and when you are fit, you might benefit from exercising in the following ways:

  • Reduced anxiety and tension
  • Enhanced impulsive behavior and decreased obsessive behavior
  • Improved working memory
  • Enhanced executive functioning; the collection of abilities required to plan, arrange, and remember day-to-day specifics
  • Enhanced neurotrophic concentrations; a protein essential in cognition that is in short supply in ADHD patients [2].

Things to Look for in a Pre-workout if You Have ADHD

A woman looking at different supplements

Here are different components you should look for in pre-workouts that'll boost your concentration and give you the energy required to exercise simultaneously.

  • Caffeine: It has been shown in certain studies to improve alertness in patients and children with ADHD disorder [3]. Because it is a stimulant, it mirrors the impacts of stronger supplements used to manage ADHD, like amphetamine medicines.
  • Creatine: Creatine, a stimulant in muscle, may significantly improve memory performance and cognitive capacity when taken as a pre-workout supplement [4]. Creatine aids inattentive ADHD since increased brain creatine levels are linked to better neuropsychological function.

Here is a list of the best pre-workouts with creatine that we personally tried and tested.

  • Magnesium: Magnesium concentration in the blood may help children with ADHD calm and focus [5]. Magnesium also helps the neurotransmitters engaged in attention functioning.

 "Adequate levels of magnesium have a calming effect on the brain."

- Richard Brown, M.D. 

  • Vitamin D: Medication and supplements containing vitamin D have been found to improve ADHD overall scores, lack of concentration scores, restlessness scores, and behavioral performances in children in a significant way [6].

FAQs

Can I Take Pre-Workout With Adhd Drugs?

No, you cannot take Pre-workout with ADHD drugs. When pre-workouts are taken with ADHD meds, it can cause harmful effects.

Is It Okay To Take Pre-Workout With Adderall?

No. When Adderall is taken with any pre-workout, it can cause side effects like nervousness and hyperactivity.

Can Pre-Workout Help You Focus?

Yes, pre-workout can help you focus and improve your overall performance.

Does Caffeine Energize People With Adhd?

Yes. Caffeine energizes people with ADHD by increasing their concentration.

Does Excess Caffeine Aggravate Adhd?

Yes, excess caffeine aggravates ADHD because sometimes it can increase dopamine levels excessively.

Can Pre-workout Help With ADHD?

Pre-workout is like an energy drink most people take to boost their energy before a workout. While it's a great way to help with hyperactivity and ADHD, it would be best to consult your doctor before adding it to your health and fitness regimen.

Pre-workouts can increase your concentration during a workout and boost your exercise performance and weight loss. If you find it difficult to focus and keep a calm mind during your activities, consider checking out this list of the best pre-workouts for focus to improve your concentration.


References:

  1. https://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/childhood-adhd/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23363778/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK209050/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6093191/
  5. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1110863015000555
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29457493/#

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