Home » ADHD » Blogs » Living with ADHD » How Does Caffeine Affect ADHD?

How Does Caffeine Affect ADHD?


You may have heard that people with ADHD drink coffee to calm down. Well actually, according to research,  this statement can be proven true.

This article will describe just that. According to Kim (2015), “People with ADHD have a unique brain chemistry that makes the picture even more complicated. Because caffeine is so prevalent, it’s important to know how it affects individuals with ADHD. Caffeine is considered a stimulant. It stimulates the body’s central nervous system, and boosts the brain’s production of a neurochemical known as dopamine, which controls the ability to focus and maintain concentration.” In particular, caffeine can increase concentration in people with ADHD. In addition, using caffeine with ADHD medication can also make the ADHD medication even more effective.

Caffeine Can Increase Concentration In People With ADHD

According to Kim (2015), Dopamine levels in the brain have to be within a very narrow margin in order for a individuals to be able to focus on their work. But in ADHD, dopamine levels are too low. Stimulant chemicals such as caffeine or amphetamines tend to increase dopamine levels. For most people, adding stimulants will push dopamine levels too high, causing agitation and anxiety. But for people with ADHD, adding stimulants can get the levels just right. A few cups of coffee throughout the day can make a real difference. With that said, it has even been proven that caffeine can help mimic some of the side effects of ADHD medication, since caffeine is also a stimulant, as well.

Caffeine Combined With ADHD Medication Can Make The ADHD Medication More Effective

According to Kim (2015), “When caffeine and amphetamine medications like Adderall (amphetamine and dextroamphetamine) combine, they cause an effect called synergy. Synergy occurs when two drugs have additive mechanisms of action, making their combined effect more powerful. Caffeine makes amphetamines more effective, so a person taking Adderall, for example, would likely feel a stronger impact, including greater side effects.” Therefore, as a result, caffeine may increase the effectiveness of ADHD medication.


You have your answer. People have told you that caffeine does not make people with ADHD more hyper but in fact the opposite is true. Instead, it makes people with ADHD feel more calm. Obviously, you do not want to drink an excessive amount of caffeine but just the right amount of caffeine may do the trick for you.

Caffeine Image available from Shutterstock.

How Does Caffeine Affect ADHD?

Lauren Walters

My name is Lauren Walters. I am currently heading into my final semester of graduate school for Mental Health Counseling in the Spring of 2016. Through my own experiences with mental illness, I love to inspire others through my writings and reassure them that they can live healthy, productive lives, despite mental illness. I hope you enjoy my articles. Feel free to comment. I will be sure to respond to you questions and/or comments in a prompt manner. Enjoy!

33 comments: View Comments / Leave a Comment



APA Reference
Walters, L. (2016). How Does Caffeine Affect ADHD?. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 19, 2020, from


Last updated: 19 Mar 2016
Statement of review: Psych Central does not review the content that appears in our blog network ( prior to publication. All opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the author alone, and do not reflect the views of the editorial staff or management of Psych Central. Published on All rights reserved.