ADD / ADHD, ADD / ADHD Medication, ADD / ADHD Treatment

Caffeine and ADHD: Update

We have looked at Caffeine as a treatment for ADHD before and the science indicated that it could have some benefits. As a footnote to this Wired has a report that regular small doses of caffeine are more effective than one single large dose.

Throughout the day, your noodle fills up with adenosine, a chemical thought to cause mental fatigue. Caffeine blocks the brain’s adenosine receptors, countering the chemical’s dulling effects. To maximize alertness and minimize jitters, keep those receptors covered with frequent small doses — like a mug of low-caf tea or half a cup of joe — rather than a onetime blast. Test subjects reported that periodic small shots made them feel clearheaded and calm, both of which enhance mental performance. Even better, add a lump of sugar or have a carbohydrate-rich snack at the same time for an extra cognitive kick. It seems that glucose and caffeine together do more to enhance cognition than either does alone.

Source: Caffeinate With Care: Small Shots Do a Brain Better Than Big Blasts. Note no reference to the research is given so please take this data with a large pinch of salt.


  1. Jennifer

    This is interesting…my daughter (who is 11.5) has ADHD and I stopped given her the Adderall over a year ago. She is struggling in school with severely failing grades and behavior problems all stemming from her inability to stay focused on one thing for more than a minute. The school counselor asked me if I allowed her to have caffeine…I’ve always thought you shouldn’t give a kid caffeine. I’m allowing her a half can of mountain dew in the morning now (or coffee if she wants) with her breakfast before school. She’s already told me that it helps her at school. Time will tell if her grades begin to pick up or not.

  2. Rhnee

    Can you provide me with an update on your daughter and the use of caffeine to treat her ADHD? My son was recently diagnosed and we are interested in info regarding treating with caffeine as opposed to prescription meds.


  3. Alysixx

    My son has been diagnosed with ADHD recently but is not on medicine. He is his 16 years old and he started drinking coffee during the summer. I gave him a cup of coffee this morning before he went to school and he tells me he is so focused. It lasted all day for him. He’s been trying to tell me for the longest but now I am starting to believe it since he is in school and there is such a major difference. I would love to find out if there are more parents who have similar results with their kids who have mild ADHD. This is incredible.

  4. Jonathan

    I have had ADD for a while now but have never realized it until recently. I am in college now and sought out a doctor with my question of possible having ADD. That is how I came to realize that I do have ADD. I was given a very weak prescription to start with and noticed an immediate change in my ability to concentrate. Now as I look back at my High School lifestyle I have to laugh. I drank a lot of Mt. Dew to keep myself focused especially during my senior year. I thought it was bad to rely on caffeine so much but I realized that it caused me to think very clearly during the day. Of course my caring mother always reminded me that it was bad. I laugh now because it was actually very helpful for my studies and wasn’t bad for me at all. I would strongly recommend letting your children have caffeine to see if it works. Just remember to not use it in excess. I have used caffeine to stay up all night and write a paper but then you are no longer using it to counter ADD.

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