33 thoughts on “How Does Caffeine Affect ADHD?

  • March 18, 2016 at 2:46 am

    1. What is the name of the paper and where was it published, please? It is not sufficient to say “Kim (2015″. Do you know how many Kims published in 2015, including on caffeine? Also, is the publication peer-reviewed? Is this from research or an opinion piece?

    2. It is highly irresponsible to play fast and loose with this topic. Especially this: ” In addition, using caffeine with ADHD medication can also make the ADHD medication even more effective.”

    Combining caffeine (or nicotine) with neurostimulants can result in big problems with anxiety, not to mention attempts to achieve proper dosing.

    3. “Caffeine can increase concentration.” What does that mean, exactly?

    Please try to respect scientific topics. I know this is just PsychCentral, but you owe it to consumers to try to get it right.

    Reply
    • March 18, 2016 at 3:01 pm

      Please refer to my conclusion where I talk about where I discuss not using an excessive amount of caffeine but just the right amount. My point was never to have people with ADHD drink an excesssive amount of caffeine on top of ADHD medication. My point was to have the two balance out.

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  • March 18, 2016 at 10:42 am

    I agree with Gina. This seems to be encouraging people to take caffeine to make the medication more powerful. If you need more powerful medication, discuss your prescription with your doctor.
    Before I was diagnosed I used to love my coffee, now I’m stuck with de-caff. Along the way I had a very unpleasant experience, because no-one warned me that coffee might affect my meds. I only found out by googling. One stimulant on top of another. It wasn’t nice.

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    • March 18, 2016 at 10:52 am

      Please refer to my conclusion about not drinking coffee in excess which obviously wouldn’t be a good idea. My point in this article was to prove that caffeine in moderation while not going off medication can be an aid not a substitute for the treatment of ADHD.

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      • March 18, 2016 at 2:58 pm

        Cause people with ADHD have low dopamine levels. Caffeine being a stimulant balances out the dopamine levels in addition to the medication which is also a stimulant. But you have to understand I am not talking about an excessive amount of caffeine just the right amount.

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      • March 18, 2016 at 6:28 pm

        So now the members of a FB group I am on have taken this headline: “Caffeine Combined With ADHD Medication Can Make The ADHD Medication More Effective” And run with it. Well done.

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      • March 19, 2016 at 8:35 am

        Thanks

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    • March 24, 2016 at 1:27 pm

      Judy,

      The benefit of coffee with ADD/ADHD is that you can REDUCE your intake of the pharma stimulant by using coffee in synergy with it. Or in some scenarios, use coffee as THE stimulant rather than the pharma stimulant. Upping your dosage of pharma stimulants also ups your risks of all of the side effects that come with those pharma stimulants. Personally for me, and many others I know, the side effects of coffee are much more minimal and easier to address, i.e. heartburn from the acidity, well, I just switch from french press to a paper filter or a cold brew with less acid. Less pharma is better.

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  • March 18, 2016 at 3:28 pm

    1.)Are there peer reviewed studies that support the benefits of caffeien in ADHD patients? All three of my children suffer from this malady and if there are natural foods that can support their medication, I would like to share that with them.
    2.) Have there been any studies linking ADHD to “agent orange” exposure?

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    • March 18, 2016 at 11:36 pm

      As a 41 year old with ADD I can speak to this. Caffeine does work in a similar manner for me (and others I know with ADD/ADHD) as this article states. When taken with stimulant medications it would increase the effects (both positive and negative, as the author does state). Once I understood this I was able to reduce my med dosage and use caffeine as a push, or a mid day re-activator of sorts, rather than up my dosage of men’s or take another dose later in the day. Now I use caffeine differently. A couple years ago I stopped taking pharmaceutical stimulants because I wasn’t happy with the side effects, so rather than use caffeine as a sublime talk push, I now make it my main “drug”. In addition to reducing carbs during the day (carbs raise serotonin levels and reduce performance and focus), exercising (cardio work outs help with neurotransmitter balance), caffeine is fabulous for treating my personal ADD. I both drink it in the forms of coffee and teas, but I also eat it with products like the coffee bar from New Grounds Food and Go Cubes coffee gummies. I’ve actually nicknamed the coffee bar my “crack bar” because within ten minutes of eating it I feel the same switch flip sensation that I did with adderall, but without the awful side effects that those meds caused.

      Hope this insight helps. Good luck with the kids! ( side note- see if their school will allow them to sit on yoga balls and have finger fidget toys at their desk. When I’m feel unfocused and fidgety I switch to my yoga ball. I’m also constantly fidgeting with something in one hand when I have a deliverable due at work. It helps!)

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      • March 18, 2016 at 11:38 pm

        Ha, umm, up my dosage of MEDS… Not mens, but THAT is an amazing autocorrect!!

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      • March 19, 2016 at 8:34 am

        Thanks for your insight.

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      • March 19, 2016 at 6:19 pm

        We have used this with our child with autism. ADHD is just one aspect of his autism. We used coffee to calm him down to focus. As a matter of fact, the first word he spoke was coffee. He used to draw a picture of a cup of coffee before that. It helped us so much. He has a cup in the morning and one around 3 pm. He can focus on his homeschool work and his behavior. By the way, our oldest had SIDS. I found him already gray and revived him. The doctors told me to put a little coffee in his bottle (caffeine citrate was what the hospital was using but our insurance would not cover it so they doctors said use a little coffee). After him having at least 4 episodes where he would stop breathing each night, he started having nights where he slept through and no alarms went off. It was great.

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      • March 23, 2016 at 1:26 pm

        Great to hear it works.

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  • March 19, 2016 at 8:27 am

    Come on, why don’t you answer the question about the source? That is really taking the value out of the article and placing it in the category “hearsay”!

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      • March 23, 2016 at 6:14 pm

        Please be advised that harsh comments are not tolerated and will be deleted in the future. It’s an opinion piece and the article was attached.

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      • March 24, 2016 at 7:28 am

        I’m confused by your question which is why I have not answered it yet. Kim is the author and Kim is listed in the article.

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    • March 24, 2016 at 1:48 pm

      Hearsay, except that several of us with the actual condition have stated our own proven experiences and lifelong success with using caffeine as a supplemental, or in some cases primary, stimulant to assist us with managing our ADD/ADHD. You seem to be attacking the moderator, just to attack her.

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  • March 19, 2016 at 10:30 am

    If i cant sleep a coffee fixes that. Always has since i can remember even as a teen.

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    • March 19, 2016 at 4:57 pm

      I’m glad that works for you.

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  • March 24, 2016 at 2:19 pm

    My 12 year old son has been on medication for ADHD for 5 years he started on adderall which we quickly learned was an awful medication for him that had terrible side effects. He was than switch to concerta. Every morning and yes I said EVERY morning, he gets 1 can of Mt. Dew. My husband and I learned about 3 yrs ago when he was playing soccer that soda had the opposite effect on him than on my other kids.

    This may not be ideal or even the norm for most people,but what we saw was an almost immediate effect on his abilities to stay calmer and more focused. It did jump start his medication.

    To those who are curious about his health. Here is his health record: he is 5’7 1/2 and 170lbs. yes he is 12 yrs old,and has monthly visits to his psychologist who checks his heart rate and blood pressure. He goes for dental visits every 6maths to a year. And his pediatrician for yearly checkups… although big in height for his age, he is healthy.

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    • March 24, 2016 at 5:15 pm

      Glad to hear you have had success.

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  • March 25, 2016 at 5:01 pm

    I used to self-medicate with a lot of caffeine all my life (30+ years) before I got diagnosed and it was kind of successful. Stimulants on their own help me much better than caffeine. But combining the two? I got horrible side effects (dizzy, muscle tics, racing heart rate, anxiety attacks, not being able to drive) after combining my meds with caffeinated tea. So I’d advise to be careful with it. Definitely not for everyone.

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    • March 25, 2016 at 5:13 pm

      Thanks for your comment.

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      • March 28, 2016 at 10:23 am

        You did not answer Gina’s question..

        1. What is the name of the paper and where was it published, please? It is not sufficient to say “Kim (2015″. Do you know how many Kims published in 2015, including on caffeine? Also, is the publication peer-reviewed? Is this from research or an opinion piece?

        Reply
      • April 1, 2016 at 8:38 am

        The name of the article is “How Does Caffeine Affect ADHD?” It is published from healthline. It is an opinion piece.

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  • April 5, 2016 at 5:09 pm

    Hello Lauren, Your source article, though not peer reviewed, still mentions some extremely important points that you omitted. Specifically, the last paragraph: “Some people find that caffeine helps their ADHD, while others find that it doesn’t offer any benefit at all, or even makes their focus worse. Pay attention to your body and work with your doctor to find out what is best for you.”

    This paragraph is a VERY important counterpoint to the all the positive effects of caffeine on ADHD that you focused on. What you have written makes it sound like ALL people with ADHD will have this response to caffeine when the reality is that each person (with their unique neurobiology) will respond to caffeine differently, some positively and others not.

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    • April 6, 2016 at 8:29 pm

      Jane, totally agree with you! For me even a small amount of caffeine taken with stimulant meds (like eating a piece of dark chocolate of a cup of tea) interferes with my judgement, spelling and my ability to drive. I only figured that after making this mistake 3 times and googling the issue. I wish my doctor has warned me about it.

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      • April 9, 2016 at 6:41 am

        Thanks for your input.

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    • April 9, 2016 at 6:41 am

      Thanks for your input.

      Reply
  • March 17, 2019 at 2:56 am

    I got diagnosed with ADHD at a young age and started drinking coffee young. I can fobwithoit caffine but it helps alit more than you would believe. I have four kids now and three of them have been diagnosed with ADHD as well.my fourth is really young still,but since it worked so well for me I wanted them to try caffine too. I didn’t really want to be giving younger children coffee and I’m sure they wouldn’t like the taste. So for an alternate we buy black tea in flavors. My son and daughters each have their favorites. Like vinilla or plantation mint. The point is it works. And because they realize the difference too it’s great for a reward for them too. It doesn’t take alot for the effect so you don’t have to worry about your kids drinking cup after cup of tea all day. Usually I’ll put four to five bags in a regular stove teapot add just a bit of sugar and cream as it steeps and one cup or mugs helps them most of the day and makes your day easier as well. I know alot of people without ADHD that done approve of me giving my kids tea or caffine or whatever it is. But my personally living both ways at one point or another in My life, I much prefer to have them working with their minds and not against it.

    Reply
 

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