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One of the most common prescription medications used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is Adderall. It is a stimulant that can improve your behavioral problems and ability to concentrate on a task. It can also make you more organized.
However, Adderall has its negatives, too. One of them is the possibility of addiction. The drug increases the levels of two neurotransmitters—dopamine and norepinephrine — in the central nervous system. Norepinephrine affects the brain’s response to events, including its attention levels and reaction speed, while dopamine, which is popularly called the “happy hormone,” creates a rewarding effect. Adderall produces abnormally high levels of dopamine.
The result is quite obvious. It has a high risk of being abused. You keep going back to Adderall to get your dose of happiness, while discontinuing its use may cause anxiety, pain, and depression to set in. However, Adderall is a prescription drug, which keeps its chances of being abused in check.
But then, if you need a boost to your cognitive functions such as memory, attentiveness, and alertness, you don’t necessarily need a prescription drug like Adderall. A good nootropic supplement can also help you immensely. We have listed the three best adderall alternatives on the market that you can buy over the counter. What’s best, they contain only natural ingredients and have no chance of getting you addicted to them.
Top 3 Best Over-The-Counter Natural Alternatives To Adderall:
#1. Noocube – Overall Best OTC Adderall & Natural Stimulants
#2. Mind Lab Pro – Legal Adderall Alternatives for Increased Focus
#3. Qualia Mind – Most Effective Over-the-Counter Alternatives for Adderall
Here are the detailed reviews of our top picks:
#1. Noocube – Overall Best OTC Adderall & Natural Stimulants
Manufactured by Wolfson Brands (UK) Ltd, NooCube is one of the most popular nootropics in the market today. Wolfson Brands has experience of more than a decade in the health supplements business.
Shipping is free worldwide. Orders are shipped within 48 hours of being placed, from Monday to Friday. The company has warehouses in the U.S. and Europe, from where orders are shipped. So, U.S.-based orders are delivered within five to eight days. For the rest of the world, orders may take anything between five and 15 working days to be delivered.
The company offers a 60-day 100% money-back guarantee if you are not happy with the results of NooCube.
Alpha GPC: Alpha glycerylphosphorylcholine (Alpha GPC) may increase levels of acetylcholine—the learning neurotransmitter—in the brain. It is essential for memory, learning, and concentration and has shown promise in patients with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, too.
Huperzine A: Huperzine-A, extracted from the Chinese club moss plant, prevents the levels of acetylcholine from decreasing. It does so by inhibiting acetylcholinesterase (AChE), which can damage acetylcholine. Thus, it helps improve mental clarity, concentration, and memory. Huperzine may also improve the conditions of Alzheimer’s patients.
Cat’s Claw: This natural extract of the Uncaria tomentosa vine found in the Amazon rainforest contains antioxidants and may have neuroprotective benefits. It may help improve brain health and cognitive performance.
Bacopa Monnieri (Brahmi): Bacopa monnieri or Brahmi herb has been used for ages in Ayurvedic medicine to improve memory and cognitive function. It contains compounds called bacosides that help repair damaged neurons and promote nerve growth. Thus, it enhances neuron communication with the brain, which improves cognitive function, memory, and mental performance. Many studies have proved the functions of Brahmi.
Oat Straw: Extracted from wild green oats, Avena sativa, or oat straw may increase alpha-2 waves in the brain, which are active when we are awake and control inflammation within artery walls, increasing blood flow to the brain. Research has suggested the positive effects of oat straw on attention and concentration.
L-Theanine and L-Tyrosine: These amino acids stimulate neurotransmitters in the brain. L-theanine, found in green and black tea, helps relieve stress and promotes a relaxed but alert state of mind. L-tyrosine helps create dopamine and noradrenaline, which are neurotransmitters that control alertness and focus, especially in stressful situations.
Pterostilbene: Found in several berries, including blueberries, pterostilbene affects the central nervous system. It improves cognition and neuronal functioning during aging.
Resveratrol: Found in red grapes and peanuts, this plant-based compound is a powerful antioxidant. Studies have demonstrated that resveratrol prevents neurodegeneration and improves cognitive function in Alzheimer’s patients.
Take two NooCube capsules with breakfast. You can increase the dose to three or four capsules per day but not more than that. Each bottle has 60 capsules.
- Designed by neuroscientists
- Clinically tested ingredients
- Easy dosage
- Quick and long-lasting effects
- Zero side effects
- Free shipping worldwide
- 60-day 100% money-back guarantee
- Only available online
#2. Mind Lab Pro – Legal Adderall Alternatives for Increased Focus
Manufactured by the U.K.-based Opti-Nutra Limited, Mind Lab Pro is another fantastic all-natural nootropic. Known for using premium ingredients, Opti-Nutra manufactures advanced performance supplements to enhance biological function and boost health.
The company is quick to process orders, which are shipped on the same day or the next working day. The shipping time varies according to the location, and you can find details here. You can return unused items within 14 days of delivery.
The company offers a money-back guarantee, too. You can use Mind Lab Pro for 30 days, which is one bottle. If you are unhappy with the effects, you can return the empty bottle within 60 days to get a full product refund, i.e., without the shipping cost.
Citicoline 250 mg as Cognizin: Citicoline helps rejuvenate and repair brain cells and optimizes the neural electrical impulses that control thought processes. Citicoline also supports neurotransmitters, including acetylcholine. It enhances mental performance and promotes mood balance, memory, and concentration. It may help maintain healthy brain function with age.
Phosphatidylserine (PS) 100 mg as Sharp PS Green from Sunflower Lecithin: Comprising 15% of the brain’s fats, PS optimizes receptors, boosts neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine and dopamine, and supports brain cell energy production. It may support brain cell creation, maintenance, and repair, sharpen memory, and hinder cognitive decline. PS is an FDA-certified medication for reducing the risk of cognitive decline.
Bacopa Monnieri 150 mg: Bacopa’s antioxidant bacosides enhance other brain antioxidants, helping protect brain cells from the effects of free radicals. Bacopa boosts memory and promotes learning and retention. It may also slow the rate of forgetting new knowledge, accelerate mental processing, optimize cognition under stress, and promote relaxation.
Organic Lion’s Mane Mushroom 500 mg: It supports brain health by supplying active nootropics called hericenones and erinacines. It may boost neural regeneration, memory, mood, and brain cell replication and function.
Maritime Pine Bark Extract 75 mg: The antioxidants in this extract can help offset the damaging effects of free radicals in the brain. The extract can also help release nitric oxide, which increases blood flow to the brain, thus enhancing mental energy, attention, learning, and focus in the short term, and memory, mental clarity, and brain health in the long term.
L-Tyrosine 175 mg as N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine (NALT): This amino acid may help you multitask efficiently and optimize mental performance under high stress and fatigue.
L-Theanine 100 mg as Suntheanine: L-Theanine may enhance creativity and promote calming neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, and GABA. L-Theanine may protect neurons from damage, help you think clearly, and remain calm. It also promotes new learning and creative problem-solving.
Rhodiola Rosea 50 mg: This extract may stimulate and support neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin and prevent age-related decline. It inhibits the release of stress hormones such as cortisol, thus helping strengthen mental and physical stress resistance while promoting clear, calm thinking under taxing conditions.
Vitamins B6 (2.5 mg), B9 (100 mcg), and B12 (7.5 mcg): All B vitamins contribute to brain health. They boost mental performance and prevent cognitive decline. They also balance mood, boost mental energy, help with information storage, and enhance long-term brain health.
Take two capsules a day with
- Made in the U.S.
- Synthetic additive-free
- Science-backed ingredients
- Prebiotic NutriCaps
- Third-party lab-verified
- Easy dosage
- Recyclable packaging
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Shipping is free only on large orders
#3. Qualia Mind – Most Effective Over-the-Counter Alternatives for Adderall
Qualia Mind is the brainchild of Neurohacker Collective. Founded in 2015, Neurohacker Collective aims at creating well-being products based on scientific research. Its nootropic products are designed to support and enhance the body’s innate intelligence. They support the body’s systems and biochemistry as a whole to restore homeostatic balance so that users can enjoy lasting benefits even after stopping their use.
Qualia Mind contains as many as 28 scientifically researched ingredients, including nootropics, neuro-vitamins, antioxidants, adaptogens, amino acids, and choline donors. Two of the nootropics are herbs used in ayurvedic medicine for ages to enhance memory and brain health.
Though the site does not reveal much about shipping, it does mention the terms of the 100% money-back guarantee. If you are not satisfied with the results within 100 days, you can claim a 100% refund. You don’t even have to return any empty bottles. You can just call customer care or send an email and ask for a refund.
This policy applies only to first-time purchases or the final order of a subscription, one guarantee per product, per household.
Huperzine A: This natural synaptic enzyme modulator can support learning, memory, neuroplasticity, and executive function.
Celastrus Paniculatus (Jyotishmati) Seed Extract: Celastrus paniculatus or jyotishmati has been traditionally used in ayurvedic medicine for its nootropic and neuroprotective effects. It can support memory and learning.
Theobromine: Extracted from cocoa (Theobroma Cacao) beans, theobromine is a methylxanthine related to caffeine. It supports alertness, attention, and executive function.
Bacopa Monnieri (Brahmi) Leaf Extract: Another ayurvedic medicine, Brahmi has neuroprotective, nootropic, and adaptogenic effects. It may promote memory formation and recalling ability.
Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract: With its neuroprotective, nootropic, and adaptogenic effects, Ginkgo Biloba can promote healthy aging and support memory and attention.
Mucuna Pruriens Seed: This bean has neuroprotective and adaptogenic effects.
Alpha-GPC: Alpha-GPC acts as a precursor to acetylcholine with neuroprotective activity.
Cognizin®: This clinically tested nootropic ingredient is meant to supply your brain with the energy it needs to remain sharp.
Uridine Monophosphate: This naturally occurring nucleic acid may support short- and long-term memory, learning, attention, and executive function.
Organic Coffeeberry® Whole Fruit Extract: This superfruit contains high levels of fiber, protein, and polyphenols.
Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol): Has antioxidant and neuroprotective effects.
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid): Has strong neuroprotective and antioxidant effects.
Niacin (as niacinamide): This amide form of vitamin B3 has neuroprotective effects.
Vitamin B1 (thiamine): Part of the Vitamin B complex that plays an important role in cellular metabolism and energy production.
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate/P5P): This active form of Vitamin B6 is also a part of the B complex. It supports energy metabolism and brain function.
Vitamin B12 (methylcobalamin): Containing a metal ion, cobalt, methylcobalamin helps regulate metabolic function.
Vitamin B5 (calcium pantothenate): Also a part of the B complex, it plays a role in cellular energy generation and nervous system function.
Pyrroloquinoline Quinone (PQQ): Influences metabolism and is essential for healthy growth and function. It may also promote healthy gut function, immune system function, antioxidant defenses, and cognitive function, including memory. Some of its food sources include soy, spinach, parsley, and kiwifruit.
Rhodiola Rosea Root: This flowering plant has nootropic and adaptogenic effects.
N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine: Promotes attention, motivation, and concentration.
Acetyl-L-Carnitine: Has healthy aging, neuroprotective, and nootropic effects.
Taurine: Has nootropic and neuroprotective actions.
L-Theanine: Found in green tea, it has neuroprotective effects, including anxiolytic activity and memory boosting.
DL-Phenylalanine (DLPA): This is a mixture of two amino acids and can enhance mood and help with cognitive performance.
Artichoke Stem and Leaf Extract: It contains cynarin, an acid with nootropic effects. It can support memory and executive function.
Coleus Forskohlii Root: Has nootropic and adaptogenic effects. It boosts learning, memory, and mental stamina.
DHA (docosahexaenoic acid from algae): This omega-3 fatty acid has neuroprotective and nootropic effects.
Phosphatidylserine: This naturally occurring aminophospholipid, found in high concentrations in the brain, supports mental processing speed and accuracy, attention, and working memory.
You can take up to seven capsules with
- Clinically researched ingredients
- No artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners
- Fast shipping
- Savings on bundles
- Savings on subscription
- 100-day money-back guarantee
- Inconvenient dosage of seven pills every day
Adderall Alternatives: How We Made This List?
One of the problems with the supplement industry is that it is not regulated by the FDA. No matter how scientifically strong its ingredients might be, a supplement cannot claim to give any effects because it’s not a medicine. That increases the chance of consumers being cheated with ineffective products. So, you may ask how we selected the three products on our list. Here is what we followed:
Traditional medicines, especially Ayurveda, have used certain herbal ingredients for ages to boost memory and cognitive functions. Now, western science is backing up that centuries-old knowledge with clinical research. Also, other synthetic and natural ingredients are being discovered to support the benefits of those ingredients and also to work on their own. The modern nootropic supplement market stands on the combination of traditional knowledge and modern research. Our chosen products contain several of those ingredients. We will also explain in detail how they will help improve your brain health.
All the products we have listed contain all-natural ingredients. They will neither cause any side effects—unless you are allergic to a substance—nor leave you addicted. Still, we would recommend that you consult your doctor before incorporating any supplement into your schedule, especially if you have any health condition. Also, if you are pregnant or nursing, please avoid these supplements.
#3. Clinically tested ingredients
All the products we have listed contain ingredients that have been clinically tested. You will find links throughout the article to check those studies and their results.
#4. Customer feedback
As a final test of effectiveness, we went through as many customer testimonials as we could find on the brand website, third-party seller portals, and social media sites to make sure that the products have got mostly positive feedback with no reported side effects.
#5. Customer policies
Finally, we checked the brand’s reputation in terms of customer service and customer-related policies such as shipping, exchanges, returns, and refunds. All our three suggested nootropics guarantee a refund if you see no results.
Best Adderall Alternatives: 2022’s Buying Guide
There may be other nootropic natural alternatives to Adderall on the market. If you wish to look beyond this list, we would suggest that you follow this buying guide. It would help you choose a genuine and effective product. Here are the factors that you should keep in mind:
#1. Confirm that you need it
First, answer a question honestly: “Do I need a nootropic?” Adderall is a prescription medication for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). So, why do you need it? If you have trouble remembering things or maintaining focus, do not jump to the conclusion that you need a nootropic. It can be a temporary condition due to stress or other environmental factors. It may also be something more serious.
So, consult a doctor first. You can take a nootropic only if the doctor gives you the go-ahead. Also, if you are under medication for an existing health condition, ask your doctor if it is okay to take a nootropic. If you are pregnant or lactating, stay away from these supplements.
#2. Check the ingredients
All good nootropic brands list their ingredients and explain how they work to boost your memory, focus, or brain health in general. Check the list thoroughly. Here are some potent ingredients that you might want in your nootropic of choice:
- Bacopa Monnieri (Brahmi)
- Alpha GPC
- Huperzine A
- Celastrus Paniculatus (Jyotishmati)
- L-Theanine and L-Tyrosine
- Pterostilbene and/or Resveratrol
- Lion’s mane mushroom
- Maritime pine bark extract
- Rhodiola Rosea
- Ginkgo Biloba
- B Vitamins
#3. Customer feedback
Read customer reviews to check the efficacy of the nootropic and any reports of side effects. See how many have actually benefited from a product. All the products on our list guarantee that they are 100% safe. You should look for such claims, too. But check customer testimonials to make sure that the brand is telling the truth!
#4. Customer policies
Look for brands that offer a 100% money-back policy if you are not satisfied with the results. All our listed brands make this promise, which also reveals their confidence in their products.
FAQs About Nootropics That Could Effectively Act as Adderall Alternatives
Q: What is Adderall, and what does it do?
A: Adderall is a prescription drug used to treat ADHD and narcolepsy, which is a chronic sleep disorder. Adderall contains amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, which are central nervous system stimulants. They alter chemicals in the brain and nerves that cause hyperactivity and impulse control.
Q: Is Adderall addictive?
A: Yes, Adderall is habit-forming if you take it for longer than prescribed. It increases the level of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the central nervous system. Dopamine, which is called the “happy hormone,” makes you euphoric.
Many illegal substances give you that same euphoria by messing with dopamine, too. You get addicted to them because, well, everybody wants to be happy all the time, right? And once you try to take yourself off them, you face withdrawal symptoms, such as depression, irritability, panic, and anxiety.
Adderall has the potential to create the same dependency. Apart from making you euphoric, natural Adderall alternatives also give you enhanced focus and increased energy levels. But once you try to stop taking it, you will not experience the same uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.
Q: What are the effects of Adderall abuse?
A: If you become addicted to Adderall, you may have trouble sleeping and concentrating and feel demotivated, depressed, irritable, and lethargic when you stop taking it. It may raise aggression and even give birth to suicidal thoughts.
Q: So, will a nootropic really work as an alternative to Adderall?
A: It might. We cannot say it WILL because these are supplements. They are not promoted as drugs by the FDA. But many ingredients in nootropics have shown efficacy in treating ADHD or at least improving the symptoms.
Nootropics may be used to treat brain-related conditions such as Huntington’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease, too. The brands we have reviewed provide links to several studies to prove how each ingredient works to boost brain health and cognitive functioning.
However, every brain is different, and so is its ability. It is difficult to say for sure that something will work equally for everyone. For starters, the dosage may vary for different people. But these supplements do improve focus and communication, without any side effects or the risk of addiction.
Q: What are nootropics?
A: Nootropics are drugs or supplements that can improve your cognitive function, memory, concentration, and brain health. They may also help you communicate better, multitask more efficiently, and have heightened mental energy.
Nootropics are often called “smart drugs”, but they may also be sold as “cognitive enhancers” or “intelligence boosters.” The term “nootropic” was coined in 1972. It’s a combination of the Greek “nous” (mind) and “trepein” (bend). So, they are literally “mind-benders.”
Q: How do nootropics work?
A: Most nootropics work by interacting with or altering neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that pass on information from one brain nerve cell (neuron) to another. They are some of the key elements in your brain functioning. They regulate cognitive functioning, which determines memory, attentiveness, communication, etc.
Some common neurotransmitters are serotonin, dopamine, acetylcholine, and glutamate. They send signals to your brain to ensure that all your organs and body parts do their work at the right time and in the right way. By interacting with these neurotransmitters, nootropics improve your brain’s functions.
Some nootropics can also boost blood flow and oxygen flow to your brain or encourage nerve growth in the brain. The best nootropic supplements have several of these ingredients to ensure optimal results.
Q: What are nootropics made from?
A: Nootropics can be made with either chemicals or natural substances or a combination of both. Natural nootropics usually contain herbal compounds that have been known to enhance cognitive ability and brain health for ages. Some of the best natural nootropics are Bacopa Monnieri (Brahmi), Celastrus Paniculatus (Jyotishmati), Alpha GPC, L-Theanine, and L-Tyrosine, Huperzine A., Lion’s Mane Mushroom, Maritime Pine Bark Extract, Rhodiola Rosea, and Cat’s Claw. Herbal nootropics are safer than synthetic ones, and the results can be just as effective.
Q: Are nootropics safe?
A: All-natural nootropics have no side effects unless you are allergic to one of the ingredients.
Q: Are nootropics addictive?
A: If a nootropic is made with premium natural and stimulant-free ingredients, there is no reason why it should be addictive. Some nootropics contain caffeine or synthetic stimulants. That may cause an addiction.
Q: Do nootropics cause depression or anxiety?
A: Not at all. Instead, nootropics fight conditions such as depression and anxiety. Many nootropic ingredients boost your mood, motivate you, and help you focus.
Q: Will a nootropic make me smarter?
A: No. They will optimize cognitive processes such as learning and memory but not boost your IQ. If you are a student, nootropics may fetch you better grades because you will learn better and retain what you learn. But you have to work hard, too!
Q: How do I enhance the effects of a nootropic?
A: You can get better results from a nootropic if you follow these practices:
Get enough sleep: A good nootropic will make your brain more active and alert. So, you may have trouble sleeping. But make sure that you do get quality sleep for at least six hours. Give your body enough time to rest and recuperate.
Eat healthy: Avoid fast and processed food. Eat more fish, especially fatty fish like salmon. It contains Omega-3 fatty acids, which are hard to come by in nature. Also, eat fruits and veggies and drink lots of
Before We Leave You… Best OTC Adderall Alternatives To Try
The world is gradually moving away from synthetic allopathy drugs thanks to their side effects. If they can help it, people often choose healthier natural Adderall alternatives even though those may not have an official seal of being medications. These nootropic supplements are similarly effective Adderall alternatives. Neither do you need a prescription to buy them, nor do they make you addicted and face any side effects.
However, when you go looking for a nootropic, pick only natural products. Do not consume any supplements with chemical ingredients because they may have side effects. Our bodies usually tolerate natural ingredients well. They may take slightly longer to show results, but the effects are more long-lasting and consistent because your entire system gets a boost.
However, do consult your doctor before consuming a nootropic or any other supplement. Weakening memory or cognitive function may be the signs of a lot of things, and only a doctor can detect the cause. You can always take nootropics once your doctor says it’s fine to do so.