Richa Madaan

Richa Madaan

Enhancing Cognitive Performance: A Look at Over-the-Counter Solutions as Alternatives to Adderall

  Feb 24, 2024
Reviewed by Ayushi Jain

Adderall is the world’s most popular option for treating many neurodevelopmental conditions.

Be it from a doctor or our favorite TV shows, we have heard of Adderall in passing at least.

So, what is Adderall exactly?

It is a combination drug that can help in treating neurodevelopmental conditions like ADHD and narcolepsy.

It’s a pretty powerful stimulant that can boost a person’s concentration and focus and lowers the chances of them acting impulsively. 

But that’s all beside the point, despite all the benefits it can be a pretty addictive drug and there have been many cases of its abuse and death due to overdose.

And because of this nature, many out there are looking for good and safe over-the-counter Adderall alternatives.

In this article, we will go through some of the best and safest over-the-counter alternatives to Adderall that will help in boosting your focus.

About 2.5 million people use Adderall within the United States alone, and millions more are prescribed the drug for treating ADHD and other neurodevelopmental disorders.

Best Over-The-Counter Alternatives to Adderall

From athletes and college students to professionals, many people look for alternatives to Adderall to help improve their focus and concentration in their respective fields.

Some alternatives and OTC medicines can cause side effects and may cause a reaction if taken with other medications.
Please consult with a doctor or a healthcare provider before trying any kind of supplement or changing your prescription and medicinal uses.

Here are some of the best OTC options, both natural and non-prescription, that can somewhat replicate the effects of Adderall. 



It is pretty popular and can be easily found in many different foods and drinks like coffee, tea, and energy drinks.

So, why is it such a popular alternative to Adderall, you ask?

When you consume caffeine, it can increase your alertness, focus, and mental energy which is pretty similar to the effects of Adderall.

This makes pretty much the go-to choice for many people who are looking for a quick energy boost.

But still, if you drink too much caffeine it can cause you to have jitteriness, anxiety, and other sleep disturbances.



This one is a type of amino acid found in tea leaves and some kinds of mushrooms. People often seek Mushroom Revival’s guide to natural stimulants, to get a better understanding of its uses.

L-Theanine can pretty much bring about a relaxed feeling without causing any drowsiness, which can easily counteract the effects of caffeine at times.

So, if you take it with your coffee, you can feel calm and relaxed without feeling any jitteriness and dizziness.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3s are the very important fats that our brain needs to maintain its health and function. 

Consuming Omega-3 is said to help improve brain function and reduce the symptoms of ADHD in many cases.

It is usually taken orally, and you can easily find it in foodstuffs like fish, flaxseeds, and chia seeds.

Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo Biloba

It is a pretty old herb that has been used in the TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) for millennia due to the many health effects it promotes. 

Some people even say that Ginkgo Biloba can help in improving brain function and reduce the symptoms of ADHD a lot.

Rhodiola Rosea

Rhodiola Rosea

This is a herb that has a pretty impressive and long history of helping with stress relief and energy enhancement.

But while it is not a mental stimulant, Rhodiola Rosea can help in improving focus and mental energy. 

And the best part is that there are little to no side effects associated with it. 

This is the reason why it is one of the best alternatives to Adderall



Citicoline is a very strong supplement that serves as the predecessor of acetylcholine (a neurotransmitter associated with memory and learning).

It also helps protect the brain cells and improves its function.



This one is also a predecessor to many neurotransmitters like dopamine, norepinephrine, and adrenaline. 

Tyrosine helps in managing the brain function even when it’s under a lot of stress.

Besides, there have been many examples of Tyrosine helping in the improvement of brain function, and cognitive functions which include working memory and information processing.

This means that it helps you remember and understand things faster.

Can You Stack the Effects of Natural Supplements

Well, we all know that using the alternatives and OTC can only get you so far, and nothing can replace the effects that Adderall has. 

But, is there a way that can help you achieve the effects of the original without any added side effects?

Well, this is where the concept of stacking comes into play.

“Stacking” is a concept where you combine different supplements, each with its own strengths, to produce a more potent and comprehensive effect.

The reason for this is pretty simple, Adderall works on multiple pathways in the brain simultaneously. It increases the levels of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin in the brain. 

These are the chemicals responsible for our focus, mood, and motivation.

This is why stacking can help us mimic the potent effects of Adderall without all the annoying side effects. 

But, can stacking really help us achieve the full effects of Adderall?

The simplest answer to this question is no. 

Combining all the natural supplements into a concoction will not give us the exact same effect as Adderall will. 

But we need to understand that it’s not all about creating a copy of the drug, but about using natural ingredients to help us improve our brain function and focus more naturally and healthily.

Adderall addiction

Adderall is also known as the study drug and is used by many college students for its effects of helping in improving concentration during studies. It said that more than 11.1% of college students and 8.1% of non-college people misuse Adderall to help in their daily work.


Adderall is a popular drug used to treat neurodevelopmental diseases, but it is still a very addictive substance.

Because of its addictive nature, many people search for alternatives that can help them improve their brain functions and focus.

Supplements like caffeine, L-theanine, tyrosine, and omega-3 are some of the best OTC alternatives to Adderall.

We can also achieve an effect that is nearest to Adderall by stacking the effects of the OTC natural supplements together.