OTC Adderall Alternatives For Improved Cognitive Function

Prescription medications like Adderall can lead to significant and serious side effects. They can impact brain health and change brain function. It’s important to understand the risks of stimulant medications and what Adderall alternatives are available. In this article we’ll discuss:

  1. What Adderall is
  2. Side effects and risks of Adderall
  3. What is Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  4. Adderall alternatives like Nootropics
  5. Natural Adderall alternatives

What is Adderall?

Adderall is a combination of prescription medications used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Adderall is considered a first line medication to treat ADHD symptoms. It consists of a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. These prescription medications belong to the stimulant class of drug and affect the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord).

Adderall has been shown to improve cognitive performance and reduce mental fatigue. Individuals with ADHD symptoms have been shown to improve cognitive performance in terms of increased focus and attention, as well as a reduction in impulsive behaviors.

Adderall is a prescription drug that may also be used to also treat narcolepsy. It has been shown to be effective in treating the brain fog and mental energy of those with narcolepsy.

Adderall Side Effects

However, there are some potentially serious side effects to using the prescription medications like Adderall. Common side effects of this prescription drug include:

  • Decreased appetite
  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Increased heart rate
  • Problems with sleep
  • Slowed growth in children

The serious side effects of Adderall may include:

  • Tolerance and dependency
  • Withdrawal symptoms
  • Adderall addiction
  • Hallucinations
  • Paranoia
  • Worsening depression or anxiety
  • Blurred vision
  • Stroke or heart attacks in adults

The Effects of Central Nervous System Stimulant Medication on Brain Chemistry

Stimulant prescription drugs like Adderall work by increasing the brain chemicals: dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. These brain chemicals are responsible for regulating mood, movement, learning, memory, and cognitive functions. The lack of a naturally occurring brain chemical, like dopamine, in individuals with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, can cause them to constantly seek out stimulation. This contributes to difficulties focusing and poor memory and cognitive function.

The Neurotoxic Effect of Adderall

So a stimulant prescription drug, like Adderall, works by increasing the amount of these brain chemicals to boost cognitive function. However, the long-term use of ADHD medication can affect brain health. Long-term use, or Adderall addiction, can lead to changes in brain chemistry by impacting the way your brain produces these naturally occurring chemicals. This can lead to something called the neurotoxic effect or neurotoxicity.

The neurotoxic effect occurs when prescription medication like Adderall floods your brain with dopamine. In order to adjust the high levels of dopamine, your brain starts to strip itself of dopamine receptors. This makes it difficult for brain function to return to normal once dopamine levels return to normal. Your brain will no longer be able to naturally produce and reabsorb dopamine at a normal rate. This can impair overall cognitive performance, brain functioning, and cognitive decline.

Adderall Withdrawal

Adderall prescription has a high potential for misuse and dependency. In 2021, about 3.7 million people reported misusing prescription stimulants like Adderall. Misuse can lead to tolerance and dependency, which can lead to withdrawal when stopping or decreasing the prescription medication. If you’ve taken stimulant prescription medication for a long period of time and suddenly stop using it, you may experience withdrawal symptoms, including:

  • Changes in mood like depression or irritability
  • Increased anxiety
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Stomach aches or cramping
  • Brain fog
  • Impaired cognitive function
  • Difficulty sleeping

Withdrawal symptoms can occur a day or two after you stop using and can last for several weeks. To avoid withdrawal symptoms, it’s important to take medication as prescribed and discuss slowly tapering off the Adderall prescription. You may also consider talking with your healthcare provider about Adderall alternatives or natural alternatives to Adderall.

What is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is one of the most common mental disorders affecting children. An estimated 8.4% of children and 2.5% of adults have ADHD symptoms. ADHD impacts cognitive function and memory retention. These symptoms include a combination of difficulty sustaining attention, impulsive behavior, and hyperactivity.

Types of ADHD

There are three types of Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ADHD. These include:

  1. Predominantly inattentive type
  2. Predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type
  3. Combination type

Inattentive ADHD symptoms

Those who have primarily inattention type ADHD may experience an impairment in overall cognitive performance that includes:

  • Problems staying focused on tasks or activities
  • Not giving close attention to detail or makes careless mistakes
  • Losing focus and getting side-tracked easily
  • Disliking and avoiding tasks that require a lot of mental energy or effort
  • Trouble organizing tasks
  • Experiencing brain fog and is often forgetful
  • Getting easily distracted

Hyperactive-impulsive symptoms

Individuals who experience hyperactive-impulsive ADHD are often over stimulated and have too much brain energy. These symptoms might include:

  • Fidgeting, tapping hands or feet, or often squirming in seats
  • Difficulty staying seated
  • The need to be in constant motion
  • Running around or climbing in situations where it is inappropriate
  • Having trouble doing an activity or performing tasks quietly
  • Talking too much
  • Interrupting or blurting out in conversations

Combination ADHD symptoms

Those with combined type ADHD exhibit a combination of both types of symptoms. They may exhibit having too much mental energy at times while also getting easily distracted and having poor mental clarity.

If symptoms are severe enough it may be helpful to treat ADHD and improve cognitive function. This can be done with a prescription drug, like Adderall, but it also may be beneficial to look into OTC Adderall alternatives or natural Adderall alternatives.

Are Nootropics A Good Alternative to Adderall?

If you’re looking for Adderall alternatives that can help improve brain function and cognitive performance, Nootropics might be for you.

What are Nootropics?

Nootropics are sometimes called “smart drugs” or brain supplements. Nootropics tend to fall into three categories:

  1. Dietary supplements
  2. Synthetic compounds
  3. Prescription drugs

Nootropics are substances that appear to help with improving cognitive function. They have been thought to improve cognitive performance, mental alertness, and mental clarity.

Examples of nootropics include:

  • Prescription medication
    • Adderall – is used to treat Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ADHD
    • Ritalin – An Adderall alternative to treating ADHD
    • Provigil – used to treat conditions like narcolepsy and sleep apnea
    • Memantine – used to reduce Alzheimer’s disease symptoms
  • Synthetic compounds, or racetams, are a class of medication that have a similar chemical structure. These medications might be used as OTC Adderall alternatives. Examples of synthetic nootropics include:
    • Aniracetam
    • Oxiracetam
    • Phenylpiracetam
  • Dietary supplements or substances in food can help improve brain function and brain health. These might be a natural alternative to prescription and synthetic medications for cognitive benefits. Examples of these natural alternatives include:
    • Caffeine
    • Ginkgo biloba
    • Creatine
    • L-Theanine
    • Omega-3 fatty acids
    • Maritime pine bark extract

Potential Risks of Nootropics

As with most substances, nootropics may come with potential side effects and risks. Especially for those chemicals that are not natural supplements, there is a higher possibility of side effects such as mood changes, sleep disturbances, headaches, and irritability.

That’s why it may be important to seek out natural alternatives to Adderall that have the possibility of providing the same benefits to boosting cognitive brain function and improving cognitive performance.

How Root Brands’ Zero-In Can Help as a Natural Adderall Alternative

Root Zero-In is a natural alternative that can help to improve mood, mental clarity, mental energy, and boosts cognitive function. Zero-In uses all natural ingredients to reduce brain fog and boost cognitive function. It uses a blend of five adaptogens and two catalysts to help the gut produce the neurotransmitters, dopamine and serotonin, that make up the brain chemistry important for mental alertness and cognitive functions.

Benefits of Zero-In include:

  • Improve cognitive brain function. Zero-In is a brain pill that has many cognitive benefits, including increased attention and concentration.
  • Increase mental acuity. Zero-In boosts mental stamina by increasing dopamine levels for up to 14 hours. This provides you with more focus and increasing oxygen flow to brain cells.

Ingredients in Zero-In That Make It A Good Natural Adderall Alternative

Zero-In may be one of the best natural Adderall alternatives due to it having the most powerful combination of natural supplements. Let’s see how these ingredients provide good natural OTC Adderall alternatives.


L-Theanine is an amino acid found naturally in green tea leaves. This amino acid has a calming effect and can help reduce stress and anxiety. Some scientific research also suggests that this amino acid can improve cognitive function like focus and attention and could be a good Adderall alternative. L-Theanine offers a natural alternative to Adderall that helps with brain health and mental energy. L-Theanine can be taken in the form of green tea or in a natural supplement.


L-Tyrosine may be another effective natural Adderall alternative to treat ADHD. L-Tyrosine is another amino acid that is a precursor to dopamine and norepinephrine. Scientific research shows that this amino acid can be used as a natural supplement to enhance cognitive performance and memory retention, especially under stressful situations like studying. A product like Zero-In, which includes L-Tyrosine, may then be an effective Adderall alternative.

Mucuna Pruriens/Velvet Bean Seeds

Mucuna Pruriens, or velvet bean seeds, are plants that contain L-DOPA, or Levodopa, the precursor to dopamine. This natural supplement has been shown to affect hormone levels and increase serotonin. The L-DOPA in mucuna pruriens can cross the blood-brain barrier and interact directly with brain cells and the central nervous system.

Along with dopamine and serotonin, this natural alternative to Adderall can boost the production of norepinephrine and adrenaline. This has the potential to be used as an Adderall alternative to treat ADHD, alleviating brain fog, and boosting energy, and focus.

Pine Bark Extract

Maritime pine bark extract is also an effective Adderall alternative that is included in Zero-In. Maritime pine bark extract can be found over the counter as Pycnogenol, Oligopin, or Flavangenol.

This supplement is known to contain several health-prompting plant compounds like vitamins, phytonutrients, and polyphenols. This pine bark extract has been shown to have some inflammation-reducing properties, which can help improve brain health and promote brain cell regeneration by reducing the damage to brain cells.

Pycnogenol has been shown to have effects on treating ADHD. This helps to show that there may be more alternatives to Adderall and that Zero-In may be one of the best natural Adderall alternatives since it also includes maritime pine bark extract.


Turmeric contains the active ingredient curcumin. Both turmeric and curcumin have several studies that show they have major benefits for the body and brain health. Turmeric and curcumin have been shown to boost the gene (brain-derived neurotrophic factor, or BDNF) that is involved in producing the protein responsible for promoting brain health, brain cell regeneration, and the life of neurons and brain cells.

This protein, BDNF, plays a role in memory, attention, and learning. Improving mental clarity is a good way to lift brain fog and turmeric may be a way to do just that. Therefore, it could make a good natural Adderall substitute. And since Zero-In also includes turmeric, it may be one of the best Adderall alternatives.

Why the Ingredients Make Zero-In a Good Alternative to Adderall

What makes Zero-In one of the best natural Adderall substitutes is its combination of all the natural ingredients listed above. Zero-In combines several amino acids with all-natural supplements to create a pill that boosts brain energy, promotes mental stamina, and reduces cognitive decline.

What Are A Few Other Natural Adderall Alternatives?

There are several other options of natural Adderall substitutes. We’ll discuss some of the other over-the-counter Adderall alternatives that can help improve cognitive function.


Vyvamind is a neurostimulator and focus aid that increases brain energy and boosts the formation of brain cells. Vyvamind can be used as an Adderall alternative as it aids in improving focus and increasing learning and processing speeds.

Vyvamind’s ingredients include:

  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin B6
  • L-Tyrosine
  • Citicoline
  • L-Theanine
  • Caffeine Anhydrous

Vyvamind can benefit those with ADHD by boosting brain cells and brain energy. It may be a beneficial Adderall alternative. However, it is missing some key compounds that Zero-In includes, like maritime pine bark extract, turmeric, and mucuna pruriens.


Noocube is another nootropic that can be used as an Adderall alternative. Noocube combines amino acids with selected chemical components from plants like Bacopa monnieri and Cat’s Claw. The benefits of Noocube include:

  • Increase neurotransmitters through the antioxidants in the ingredients. This helps to enhance cognitive function.
  • It can help increase alpha brain waves in order to enhance learning, concentration, reasoning, memory, multitasking, and problem-solving. 
  • Helps to increase processing speed and memory retention.
  • Aids in alertness and calming, which can be an alternative to Adderall in increasing focus and calming hyperactivity.
  • Help to aid in the release of chemicals that alleviate anxiety and produce a calming mental state.  


Nooception is a natural Adderall substitute that is known to improve focus, reduce brain fog, naturally boost energy, improve memory and learning, enhance memory retention and recall, and provides brain cell protection. The ingredients in Nooception include:

  • Ginkgo biloba
  • L-Theanine
  • Lion’s Mane extract
  • Citicoline

Though it does not include all of the beneficial ingredients of Zero-In, Nooception makes a great Adderall alternative.

Alpha Brain

Alpha Brain is a dietary supplement used to support cognitive functions like memory, mental speed, and focus. Alpha Brain includes:

  • L-Theanine – that stimulates the release of dopamine and serotonin. Shown to promote attention and reaction time.
  • L-Tyrosine – helps to produce adrenaline and dopamine. Shown to aid cognitive performance in stressful situations.
  • Oat straw extract – A compound extracted from oats that improves cognitive function.
  • Phosphatidylserine – a type of fat found in cell membranes and plays a key role in cerebral blood flow

The benefits of Alpha Brain can include:

  • Remembering names and places
  • Focusing on complex tasks
  • Think more clearly and quickly

Though Alpha Brain may be considered one of the best Adderall alternatives, it still may not be as beneficial as Zero-In due to its lack of turmeric, pine bark extract, and velvet bean seeds that make Zero-In a unique Adderall alternative.

Brain Pill

Like all the Adderall alternatives, Brain Pill is used to enhance cognitive abilities. Brain Pill promotes the benefits of:

  • Quicker learning and recall
  • Clearing away brain fog and reducing mental fatigue
  • Increasing stamina
  • Boosting memory
  • Increasing the flow of concentration and focus

Similarly to the other natural Adderall substitutes, Brain Pill includes ingredients of:

  • L-Tyrosine – improves memory recall
  • L-Theanine – improves mental performance and focus
  • Phosphatidylserine (PS) – which promotes improvements in cellular function and learning
  • Vitamins B12, B6, B5 – which help the central nervous system and brain function

Brain Pill is a great alternative to Adderall but is again missing some of the key ingredients that are only found in ROOT Wellness’s Zero-In.

Are Natural OTC Adderall Alternatives Effective?

There appears to be a lack of research on the effectiveness of natural OTC adderall alternatives and more research is needed to determine if these supplements are effecting in treating ADHD. Despite the lack of research, there does appear to be several benefits to using a natural OTC Adderall alternative. These include:

  • Ginkgo biloba. Ginkgo biloba extract may be a good Adderall alternative to relieve symptoms of ADHD. This supplement has been shown to improve cerebral blood flow and affect neurotransmitters.
  • Pine bark extract. Using pycnogenol, which is the over-the-counter of pine bark extract, shows an improvement in cognitive function, mental performance, and attention.
  • L-Tyrosine and L-Theanine. These two amino acids have shown effectiveness in improving working memory, focus, and attention. Specifically, L-Tyrosine was shown to improve brain function in regards to stressful tasks. While L-Theanine showed a decrease in stress-related symptoms and an increase in cognitive scores of verbal fluency and executive function.
  • Vitamin supplementsVitamins like zinc and the B vitamins have been shown to be effective in enhancing mental functioning, increasing energy, and regulating mood.

Unlike the prescription and synthetic nootropics used to treat ADHD symptoms, the natural alternatives seem to come with less risk and side effects. It is important to note that you should discuss taking any supplement as an Adderall alternative with a medical provider. Some people may have different reactions to the ingredients, even in the natural nootropics.

Which Alternative Helps Improve Brain Function?

It appears that many of the OTC Adderall alternatives can improve brain performance. To determine which alternative to choose, it may be important to discuss options with a healthcare provider. This is the best way to make sure you avoid any adverse effects.

Despite the effectiveness of the Adderall alternatives mentioned, the one of the best adderall alternatives may be ROOT Wellness’s Zero-In. This is due to the unique combination of ingredients that not only promote brain health, but also have benefits for overall health.

Which Natural OTC Adderall Alternative Are The Best?

There are several suggestions as to which natural OTC Adderall alternative is the best. But determining the best is based on individual experiences, as each person may react differently to the various ingredients. Due to the variety of ingredients, some of the top Adderall alternatives may be:

  • Vyvamind
  • Noocube
  • Zero-In

To determine which one of the best Adderall alternatives is right for you, there are some aspects to look for. This means you may have to try several alternatives before determining which is best for you. Some key factors to look for in a natural OTC Adderall alternative include:

  • Better focus
  • Improved mood
  • Faster learning
  • Decreased physical and mental fatigue
  • An increase in mental stamina
  • Better memory retention and recall

It’s important to note that all of the ingredients listed in Zero-In have research to show their effectiveness in assisting in and improving cognitive function. Despite the other natural alternatives being effective, Zero-In may provide the best combination of ingredients to be an alternative to Adderall.


Medications and synthetic nootropics, like Adderall, may help improve symptoms of ADHD. However, these substances often come with significant side effects that may include dependency and addiction, cardiovascular problems, and decreased mental health. An alternative to these medications may be natural nootropics, like Zero-In. These alternatives to Adderall use combinations of vitamins and plant compounds to boost cerebral blood flow, enhance alpha brain waves, improve cognitive performance, and address the symptoms of ADHD.

To determine which natural alternative might be right for you, talk with a doctor and find out which ingredients provide you with the most benefit. Zero-In is an all-around beneficial natural supplement for improving health.