Is It Wise to Have Coffee When Suffering from ADHD?

Updated on November 25th, 2019
Coffee for ADHD

Coffee, tea, soda, and chocolate are the most common sources of caffeine in our regular diet as a quick energy surge.  Caffeine is considered to be the most commonly used psychoactive drug in the world. It is well known that caffeine can help you to focus, boost your energy.

Once consumed,  the effects of caffeine persists for about three to four hours. As 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. This stimulation can cause a person to feel energized and not to feel the effects of fatigue as strongly.

Too much consumption can be negative as well. It can affect your mood, make you jittery and anxious or irritable, and also disturb the gastric and colonic activity.

Did You Know!

The Mayo Clinic(1) reports that 400 milligrams of caffeine each day, that is about four cups of coffee is safe for an adult. In children, the maximum caffeine intake varies as per age, with the 4- to 6-year-old age range at 45 milligrams per day, and 85 milligrams (roughly one 8-ounce cup) for a 10 to 12-year-old.

Pregnant women or those trying to conceive should limit caffeine to a maximum of 300 milligrams per day.

Things You Should Know About ADHD

ADHD is a complex condition to live with. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a mental health disorder that can cause above-normal levels of hyperactive and impulsive behaviors. People with ADHD may also have difficulty in focusing on a single task or sitting still for longer periods of time.

[ Also Read:Treat ADHD Naturally ]

Adults Can Have Coffee for ADHD – Children Should Avoid It

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Caffeine is a natural stimulant and can cure ADHD, some studies have found that caffeine can boost concentration in people with ADHD. ADHD is noticed not just in adults but this can also be seen in children. While adults can use caffeine for ADHD, it can harm children and teenagers.

In case of children, coffee intake can be harmful but tea or chocolate that has caffeine in a very less amount might be helpful and in case of teenagers, a low to moderate dosage of coffee can be tried. Too much caffeine could lead to anxiety or difficulty in sleeping among the kids then it might be possible that they are ingesting too much caffeine.

Too much of caffeine can harm anybody but a restricted dosage of this natural source of energy helps to control the signs of ADHD. The dosage of coffee has to be decided very carefully. You should ensure you do not intake coffee on an empty stomach else and also, you should take a proper amount of food.

Caffeine is such an extensive component and it is important to know its effects on individuals with ADHD. However, how does caffeine work? Does caffeine help ADHD? What is the correct caffeine dosage for ADHD? In this article, there will be a detailed discussion of the effects of caffeine on ADHD.

[Also Read: Home Remedies for ADHD]

coffee benefits - infographic

How Caffeine Work to Prevent ADHD?

In the condition of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), the treatment often includes stimulant medication. Caffeine as a natural ingredient stimulates the nervous system and boosts dopamine production, which helps the body with more concentration, attention, and movement.

Caffeine affects each individual differently. Experts usually agree that low to moderate consumption of caffeine is safe, that increases focus and attention and boosts memory, weaken headaches, but too much can cause few side effects like sleeplessness, migraines, muscle tremors, etc. In general, it is believed that using coffee for ADHD is helpful and caffeine usually tends to improve the performance of people with ADHD.

[Read: Natural Remedies for ADHD]

Proven Facts that Coffee is Helpful for ADHD Patients

Let’s see what the recent researches say about using coffee for ADHD-

  1. In a 2011 study of mayo clinic on ADHD(2), it is said that consuming tea can be effective in the treatment of ADHD.  However, it is also said that caffeine has different effects on different people. While one person can manage symptoms with just a cup of coffee in the morning, another person might not. What works best on each individual is not always the treatment recommended by their doctors or used by most people.
  2. Later, in a study of 2013 published in European Neuropsychopharmacology, it is again acknowledged that caffeine could be a useful element in the treatment for ADHD, as it seems to normalize the level of dopamine in a person and helps improve concentration.
  3. In 2017, in a survey, among more than 4000 responses quite a few noted that caffeine is effective but when taken in limited and not an excessive amount. The stimulant calms some people while increasing anxiety in others.

[Read: Herbs for Treating ADHD]

Avoid Caffeine When Under Medication

The effects of caffeine on ADHD can be harmful if combined with medications. When a person with ADHD consumes amphetamines and caffeine together, it causes an effect called synergy. It makes the effect of the combined component more powerful, which causes a far stronger impact along with a greater side effect. It can cause insomnia, increase anxiety, irritability, muscle tremors, nausea, stomach pain, etc.

Different researches term ADHD as a genetic problem but it is not a proven study. ADHD can have different causes and treatments that can affect people differently. Some people find caffeine is helpful for ADHD while others think it does not have any effect at all or has made the situation worse for them. So caffeine cannot be considered as a general component for treating ADHD.

You should pay attention to your body and notice how it is affecting you and if you think it is causing a negative impact on you then seek help from medical professionals. There are researches going on regularly to find a solution to this condition.  While the search for a permanent solution is on, caffeine being a natural stimulant might help to control ADHD.

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