Our Nootropics expert James Dixon examines 5 natural supplements that he bills as the best nootropics for ADHD. Find out how they stack up and which is best for your exact needs below.
Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, and sometimes simply ADD, is a fairly widespread condition that makes life a struggle for millions. It impairs executive function, attention, and working memory, whilst also often causing wild outbursts of energy.
This is no small thing. Executive function includes things like adaptable thinking, self-monitoring, planning, self-control, organization, and time management.
Impairing all of these things can make life incredibly hard to navigate. Working memory, meanwhile, is the relatively minor amount of information that your mind can hold onto and use in the completing of cognitive tasks. Again, impairing this can make life profoundly difficult.
If you find yourself struggling with any of these facets to a degree to which it is really affecting your quality of life, there is a good chance that you are suffering from a form of attention impairment. You may want to schedule an appointment with your doctor to discuss things further.
Luckily, there is quite a detailed body of knowledge lying behind ADHD and similar neurodivergent traits. As such, there are plenty of options for treatment, with common courses including talk-therapy and stimulant-style medications like Vyvanse, Adderall, and Ritalin (plus plenty more). All told, this kind of treatment plan can help to mitigate your symptoms whilst giving you the power to better manage them.
I would add another strand to this kind of treatment plan combination. There is a range of supplements out there that are designed solely to improve executive function, focus and concentration, and working memory – they are known as nootropics.
And there are some genuinely brilliant nootropics to help with ADHD out there. I want to run through some of my top picks today – a list of nootropics that I am sure will represent a solid ally to anybody looking to better live with ADHD.
TLDR: No.1 Nootropic For ADHD
Any of the supplements listed on this page will go to long lengths to mitigate symptoms associated with ADHD. However, VyvaMind features a stripped back, impactful formula that is easy to manage, affordable and has a high degree of efficacy in dealing with ADHD like symptoms.
For improved focus, mood and calmness – VyvaMind is a top choice.
Top Nootropics For ADHD
These nootropics – often referred to as ‘smart drugs’ – could be the perfect accompaniment to any good ADHD treatment plan. They will all augment your executive function, working memory, and mood. They are, in short, the best of the best in today’s nootropic market.
They are also entirely made up of natural ingredients. Often a mix of vitamins, minerals and herbs – all chosen for a specific purpose and with a growing body of clinical evidence behind them.
So let’s take a look at the best nootropics for ADHD…
NooCube is one of my favourite supplements. It’s my nootropic of choice, the one I use most. It helps me to focus and keep up a good pace of work, allowing me to hit some often quite ferocious deadlines with far greater ease than I experience without it. It’s also pretty reasonably priced, especially for the quality you get, and includes a very intelligently blended set of ingredients.
It does what all good nootropics doo – it will augment your executive function, working memory, and mood, as I mentioned above. You will feel greater clarity of thought, greater presence, and far more productive, whilst seeing your focus and concentration increasing a great deal.
ADHD can often be characterized by a struggle to organize your thoughts – indeed, it is characterized by several trains of thought racing through your brain at once, all vying for attention.
It can be overwhelming and can make even the simplest of tasks almost impossible to complete. This is where a good nootropic like NooCube will help you. NooCube will allow you to marshal and organize your thoughts; it will allow you to better direct your attention to where it is most needed.
Much of NooCube’s potency relies on the dual combination of bacopa monnieri and Alpha GPC. They do a lot of the work in its formula.
Bacopa monnieri is a particularly potent botanical. Its main role in NooCube’s formula lies in its ability to bolster nerve signal reception. This will lead to improved reaction times, enhanced cognitive processing, and, vitally, improved working memory.
Alpha GPC boosts acetylcholine production in your body. Acetylcholine is a key neurotransmitter, important for maintaining optimal memory and learning capacity.
NooCube also contains a couple of amino acids that I like to see in all good nootropics – l-theanine and l-tyrosine. They combine to give some pretty impressive benefits to your cognitive health and mental wellbeing.
L-tyrosine helps you to better deal with stress, mitigating its effects while also reducing mental fatigue. L-theanine is a mood enhancer that should boost serotonin and dopamine output in your brain. In turn, this boost should also lead to an enhanced attention span.
This is the foundation of the formula. It’s far from all, though. There is plenty more at work.
For starters, you get a fair kick of huperzine A, known for its ability to improve memory capability, and oat straw extract, which should heighten your concentration and focus. These two botanicals will go a long way to improving executive function and working memory. You also get a couple of berry polyphenols as resveratrol and pterostilbene, which are both excellent antioxidants. These should reduce oxidative damage from stress whilst also keeping your brain younger for longer.
The list goes on. There is plenty in NooCube that combines to make it a true benchmark – it is the nootropic against which I measure all others. It is high-quality, well-designed, and incredibly potent, all without giving you any kind of nasty side effects. All things equal, it’s the one I would go for.
Its manufacturer also offers a generous 60-day money back guarantee, just in case it doesn’t work for you (though I doubt many people need to make use of it) so there really is nothing to lose in trying it.
So we have a good benchmark in NooCube. However, they are far, far from the only game in town – anything in this list will serve you well. Enter Hunter Focus – one of the heaviest hitting nootropics going.
It’s got a lengthy formula packed full of ingredients designed to do what a high-end nootropic should do – aiding executive function, working memory, and cognitive energy. In short, it’s perfect for anybody looking to augment their ADHD treatment plan.
You get three complexes with Hunter Focus. Combined, these all deliver a full twenty active ingredients. The complexes are Concentration Activation, Memory Matrix, and Mood Amplification. The names alone should tell you just how much Hunter Focus can do for you.
The Concentration Activation and Memory Matrix will be of obvious use to anybody looking to mitigate their ADHD symptoms. Given that anxiety and depression often come hand in glove with ADHD, the Mood Amplification matrix is also thoroughly welcome.
The Concentration Activation rests largely on citicoline, which works in a very similar way to Alpha GPC. We need citicoline. It splits in two to make choline and cytidine, the former of which will convert into acetylcholine.
Luckily, it’s a naturally occurring compound in the human brain. Unluckily, none of us produce an optimal amount.
An exogenous source like Hunter Focus’ citicoline content is therefore a good idea for anybody looking to boost their concentration and focus. Acetylcholine optimization can lead to improvements across memory and learning, too, by improving communication between your brain’s neurons.
The cytidine from citicoline will convert into uridine, which will help to maintain longer-term cognitive health.
The Concentration Activation complex also contains the two amino acids l-theanine and l-tyrosine. As we saw with NooCube, these bring their own benefits to cognitive function and mental wellbeing, making them a great inclusion for any nootropic supplement.
The Memory Complex, just as vital for somebody looking to overcome the symptoms of ADHD, works on both long-term and working memory. It uses lion’s mane mushrooms as its primary focus, which I applaud – lion’s mane mushroom is truly one of the best nootropic ingredients that money can buy. It delivers a bumper haul of erinacines and hericenones, compounds known for helping to optimize cognitive health and function.
Both elicit a greater quantity of nerve growth factor (NGF) in the brain. NGF, as may of course be obvious, helps nerves to grow. Or, more specifically, it plays a key role in repair and maintenance of nerves and pathways within your brain. This in turn should help to optimize memory function.
The Memory Complex also makes tremendous use of maritime pine bark, which I also like to see in this kind of supplement. It’s one of the most scientifically justified ingredients you’ll see in any of the supplements included in this list, with a wealth of data attesting to its ability to improve cognitive ability and brain function.
These improvements are particularly stark for concentration. It improves blood flow to the brain, which means more nutrients and oxygen to power it.
Hunter Focus uses maritime pine bark that is standardized with 95% proanthocyanidins, marking it as perhaps the best quality you can buy.
You will also get a generous helping of bacopa monnieri in the Memory Matrix. As we have seen, this can greatly improve nerve signaling, leading to improved overall cognitive function and working memory.
Finally, we have Mood Amplification. This makes great use of phosphatidylserine (PS) and ashwagandha, the latter of which I take daily in one form or another. It is perfect for helping you to overcome symptoms of stress and anxiety, which are common features of ADHD. It also helps to raise choline levels, whose importance we have already seen. Meanwhile, PS supports elevated NGF levels, further helping to repair and maintain neurons.
Hunter Focus is about as complete a nootropic as you will be able to find. Though it’s perhaps a touch behind NooCube for out-and-out quality, it’s still a potent ally to anybody looking to improve their cognitive health and focus, including those looking to mitigate the symptoms of ADHD.
Vyvamind is a strong choice for anyone looking for a good, all-natural nootropic supplement for ADHD. It’s an incredibly good choice for those looking to mitigate or even overcome ADHD symptoms. As with everything on this list, it’s a nootropic, not an AHDH medication – it isn’t specifically designed for ADHD symptom relief. However, their website does make a big deal about it being good for those struggling with attention, and quite rightfully so.
You get many common ingredients with Vyvamind, ingredients we’ve seen plenty of in this list. On first glance, though, the formula may seem a little less punchy than some of the other products I’ve looked at – NooCube and Mind Lab Pro (see below), for instance. However, there is far more at work that a second look will really highlight.
We have the amino acids l-tyrosine and l-theanine, alongside a good dose of citicoline. We’re already onto a winner, if thus far a little vanilla seeming. It will do near enough everything you need it to with these ingredients alone. Add vitamins B6 and B12 (dosed at a generous 2.5m g and 50 mcg respectively), and you’ve really got quite a firm foundation. You should see some significant improvements to your focus, concentration, and cognitive processing from this little lot.
There is something called the stimulant-paradox with ADHD. In short, stimulant drugs can lead to a decrease in excessive motor activity. This is why Vyvamind bats so strongly for ADHD symptom mitigation – it contains a high dose of the stimulant caffeine anhydrous, one of the highest-quality, most bio-available, most-potent caffeine forms going.
Both the theory and the research underpinning Vyvamind are incredibly robust.
I’m a big fan of that formula – the ingredients are great. The baseline nootropic benefits are solid, with an array of common, time-tested nootropic ingredients that should work as well as any other. Though it’s perhaps a little shy of something like NooCube or Mind Lab Pro here, it’s everything you could want. And then the stimulant profile comes into play, making it absolutely perfect for those looking to overcome ADHD symptoms.
Of course, you could argue that taking something like NooCube with a cup of coffee will do the trick. It will give you the stimulation alongside its world leading nootropic blend. It’s true, and I’ve made the same argument myself.
But we’re talking about ADHD here.
Simplicity is key – the fewer things you have to think about, the better. We don’t want to overcomplicate things. Grab one supplement, throw it back, and get on with your day with your symptoms immeasurably improved. (Do note, however, that too much caffeine on top of ADHD medication can be a no-go, so approach with caution).
It also comes in at a really reasonable price point, which is always nice to see. There are some good multi-buy deals on offer, too – if you go for a three-month bundle, you’ll get them for less than fifty bucks a go, which is decent in the nootropic world.
It’s a front runner. Perhaps not for the nootropic market as a whole, though it’s still a strong contender. But I really like it for those struggling with symptoms associated with ADHD.
Mind Lab Pro
I keep talking about two nootropics leading the market. We’ve already seen NooCube, the first. Now it’s time for the second, Mind Lab Pro from Opti-Nutra. It’s one of the highest quality supplements going in any area. It’s certainly one of the best nootropics.
Mind Lab Pro is incredibly well designed. Its template is similar to Hunter Focus’. You get a three-pronged approach from it, as it targets three specific areas that should unite into something like full-mind wellbeing.
The recipe is a bit slimmed down compared to Hunter Focus. I like this. Hunter Focus have arguably too many ingredients in their list, whilst only a small handful do the real heavy lifting.
This isn’t to say that Mind Lab Pro is minimal, however. It gives you a blend of eleven different natural ingredients. They are all blended to work in synergy and bring about some of the best benefits offered by any nootropic, anywhere.
You get a good hit of lion’s mane mushroom with Mind Lab Pro. This does a lot of its work, with no surprise – we’ve already seen the benefits it can bring. It should do a good job of raising your natural NGF output, which in turn will lead to improved executive function and longer-lasting brain health.
It also makes good use of citicoline, which again, we have seen before. The choline you’ll get from this will go a long way to improving brain cell regeneration and keeping you feeling and thinking young and healthy.
Then there are three beefy botanicals that we’ve also already seen – bacopa monnieri, PS, and a particularly high-quality form of maritime pine bark that brings a wide and plentiful array of antioxidants.
Clarity, focus, and attention should all improve thanks to these, and stress and anxiety symptoms should begin to diminish quite rapidly.
The two amino acids, l-theanine and l-tyrosine, once more raise their heads, enabling improved mental wellbeing and further improving your focus and attention.
As we can see, it shares the same basic DNA as any good nootropic. However, it diverges from the template from here on out with a couple of added extras.
Firstly, it’s perfect for stress. It contains the powerful herbal adaptogen rhodiola rosea. As an adaptogen, rhodiola rosea can help to fight the signs and symptoms of stress, enabling your body to better deal with it. Further to this, it also brings about its own nootropic benefits, helping to optimize your mental processing speed and ability, boost your attention span and focus, and give you more cognitive energy.
I would recommend rhodiola rosea to anybody looking for something to help them overcome ADHD symptoms. It would work well in isolation. To include it in a high-end nootropic (at what is actually quite a reasonable price point) is almost too much to resist. It represents a solid tool in any neurodiverse tool belt.
Then there is a really, really good B vitamin complex. We’ve already seen what B vitamins can do for your cognition and cognitive health – they are intimately involved in maintaining optimal cognitive processing. You get decent doses of vitamins B6, B9, and B12, which should collectively keep your brain young, improve shorter term cognition, aid executive function, and level out your mood.
Mind Lab Pro represents a really good bet for anybody struggling with ADHD.
Now onto our final offering, a nootropic par excellence aimed mostly at men.
A lot of the time I take issue with this kind of gendered focus in a supplement – it’s generally a pretty erroneous marketing gimmick. Not so, here. CentraPeak is a particularly clever nootropic that gives you a bit of something extra.
Specifically, CentraPeak aims to optimize cognitive health and healthy function whilst also optimizing your natural testosterone output. Hence, it’s aimed mostly at men. This isn’t to say it won’t work for women – it’s still a solid nootropic that will give you great cognitive benefits. But it really comes into its own in a men’s health context.
And optimizing testosterone output in conjunction with providing solid nootropic benefits is actually a very clever idea. The symptoms of poor cognition and low testosterone overlap considerably. Both include sluggishness, brain fog, lack of drive and focus, increased stress and anxiety. One can easily cause the other, too – plugging a testosterone deficit, or optimizing natural testosterone output, can lead to improved cognition all by itself.
This may or may not be helpful in an ADHD context. Or, rather, CentraPeak’s nootropic properties will be helpful, but testosterone output may seem a little divorced from ADHD. However, the last thing you want when struggling with ADHD is low testosterone levels further complicating your thought processes and diminishing your mood – if your testosterone levels are low (which is easy to find out with a simple blood test) and you suffer with ADHD, CentraPeak is probably your best bet.
CentraPeak makes use of many of the same ingredients as the other nootropics on this list. For instance, you get good doses of the botanicals rhodiola rosea, ashwagandha, and PS, which should all go a long way towards improving focus and clarity and overcoming the effects of stress and anxiety.
Ashwagandha has also been linked with optimal testosterone output – my testosterone booster of choice, Prime Male, which I take daily, makes great use of it. You get plenty of the amino acids l-theanine and l-tyrosine, of course, alongside some decent quality pine bark extract.
Then there are some unique ingredients which set CentraPeak apart from the crowd.
Firstly, it uses Korean ginseng. This isn’t much of a nootropic, though it does lead to improved circulation, which should in theory mean more blood flow, thus more oxygen and nutrients, to the brain. Rather, it’s a great libido booster, helping you to overcome one of the main symptoms of low testosterone.
It also uses both Indole-3-Carbinol (I3C) and velvet bean (or Mucuna Pruriens). Both work in conjunction to help raise your total and free testosterone levels by inhibiting estrogen production.
We also find plenty of vitamins in CentraPeak’s formula. Vitamin D3 is there to raise testosterone levels – it acts as a precursor to testosterone, as a secosteroid hormone, and elevated amounts have been with elevated testosterone levels as a result. There is also vitamin B6, which we have seen already. In addition to its potential nootropic benefits, B6 is also important for regulating estrogen production and stimulating androgen production. Both of these factors should lead to heightened testosterone output.
Finally, the vitamin complex contains K2. Vitamin K2 is important for general men’s health. It plays a key role in keeping your bones healthy whilst also boosting testosterone output. It also has its own nootropic benefits, particularly in maintaining longer term cognitive health.
It’s the minerals doing a lot of work in CentraPeak’s formula, however. Especially for boosting testosterone production.
Chief amongst them is zinc. You cannot maintain appropriate testosterone levels without it. With it, you can go a long, long way towards optimizing them.
Then there is boron, which is known for its ability to increase levels of free testosterone in your system. It’s also a bit of a nootropic, too, able to enhance both long- and short- term memory, whilst simultaneously benefitting attention and focus.
Magnesium citrate, meanwhile, inhibits testosterone binding by SHBG, whilst also potentially aiding total testosterone production.
As above, CentraPeak may make for an odd choice for ADHD. I’m certainly not putting it at the top of the list. However, if you’re struggling with ADHD and low testosterone as a man (which more people are than you might think), it’s really worth considering. It really could be a game changer, giving you back your cognitive health and mental wellbeing through multiple different pathways.
Prescription Drugs Over Nootropics for ADHD Treatment
Please do note that nootropics do not represent a treatment plan for ADHD in and of themselves. They are no substitution for prescription medication for those who need it, and will not replace proper, doctor-led healthcare. Rather, they are what they are to anyone – a supplement, an auxiliary, and addendum. This is where they really come into their own.
If you have ADHD, and are in a good treatment plan, but are still feeling like your cognitive health and wellbeing is firing sub optimally, you are ripe for nootropic experimentation. Also, if you don’t want to take prescription medication, and if perhaps your symptoms are on the less severe side of things, nootropics may make a good cornerstone for your treatment plan.
It’s also quite common to struggle with several symptoms of ADHD without quite crossing the threshold into being diagnosable. This is where modern medicine can be a bit blinkered. You need to exhibit several ADHD symptoms to be valid for medical intervention, no matter your wellbeing.
As far as treatment plans go, you either have ADHD or you don’t. If you don’t, but only don’t by a whisker, you’ll be dropped without treatment, despite suffering from several symptoms.
If this sounds like you, again, you may be ripe for nootropic experimentation. Nootropics may be just the thing to bring you up to speed where modern medicine may otherwise deem you fit for purpose. Because this is what nootropics are about. There is fit for purpose. Then there is optimal functioning. Nootropics bring you up to the latter, no matter where you may be starting from.
This is a very tough call. We have an incredibly strong list, here. Pretty much anything on it will benefit you – everything here will help to optimize your executive function, working memory, and mental wellbeing. However, they are all subtly different. As such, they all have something subtly different to bring to the table.
If you’re looking for pure quality, it’s hard to argue with NooCube and Mind Lab Pro. Of these, I typically prefer NooCube, but it’s a close-run thing. They are both excellent. However, they are both quite vanilla – they excel as nootropics without adding anything extra into the mix.
If you are struggling with low testosterone as a man, it will be making your ADHD symptoms worse. It will at least be impinging on your physical and mental wellbeing when most need both to be working in your favour. Try CentraPeak. It may change your life. I certainly found my life changing for the better when I began taking a good quality natural testosterone booster in my early thirties.
But if I’m to choose the best nootropic for those struggling with ADHD, all other things being equal, I would be very tempted by Vyvamind.
It’s not the best baseline, vanilla nootropic. That’s always going to go to NooCube. However, including a good quality stimulant, caffeine anhydrous, makes a big difference. It will trigger that stimulant paradox.
Then, paradoxically, of course, you will find yourself calmer and more focussed. This is a great place to start for the rest of the ingredients, bringing you into a calm, focussed mindset, relatively free from stress and anxiety, possibly for the first time ever.
It really can be quite profound.