Adderall Alternatives – Best OTC Supplements for Focus

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By Ryan Brennan

Reviewed by Juliana Tamayo, MS, RDN - Last Updated


It doesn’t matter if you’re a student, workaholic, or just looking for something to help you focus throughout the day, it’s likely that you’ve heard of the stimulant Adderall. It is a highly effective psychostimulant that is used to treat ADHD and narcolepsy. 

Unfortunately, Adderall is considered a controlled substance by the government and is strictly regulated throughout the United States. Without a prescription from an authorized medical professional, the possession and use of Adderall are illegal. Violators will face repercussions.

Adderall might be regulated by the government, but there are plenty of other products on the market that will help control your behavior and improve your focus. 

What Is Adderall?


If you’re looking for something with similar benefits to Adderall, you first need to understand what Adderall does to our body. In some cases, Adderall can lead to unwanted side effects and long-term health concerns. Due to this, finding a healthier and safer alternative will be in your best interest.

Adderall is the brand name for a combination of levoamphetamine and dextroamphetamine. Together, they work to stimulate and normalize certain chemicals in our brains. These chemicals help give us a sense of alertness, concentration, focus, and an overall good mood.

What are levoamphetamine and dextroamphetamine?

  • Levoamphetamine – This amphetamine makes up 25% of Adderall and is known to promote alertness and focus. It has also been linked to suppressing appetite and losing weight. “Levo” stands for the left side of the compound.
  • Dextroamphetamine – This amphetamine makes up 75% of Adderall and will work similarly to levoamphetamine, but stronger. “Dextro” stands for the right side of the compound.

The two amphetamines listed above will help to increase chemicals that we lose or use up during the day. Without these chemical compounds, we will be easily distracted and constantly frustrated. 

What chemicals will Adderall help release?

  • Dopamine – This chemical acts as both a hormone and a neurotransmitter. Our nervous system uses dopamine as a messenger between nerve cells. It will put you in a good mood, while also improving focus, memory, and blood flow. Our body produces it naturally when changing tyrosine to dopa.
  • Norepinephrine – also a hormone and neurotransmitter, a norepinephrine deficiency can lead to a loss of motivation, focus, memory, interest, and alertness. Our body produces it in our adrenal glands.
  • Serotonin – Serotonin is produced from an amino acid called tryptophan. It is also a hormone and neurotransmitter essential for a variety of body functions. It will help you find happiness and keep a good mood, but can also promote cognitive function.

Our body will naturally produce all of these chemicals, but some people won’t produce enough each day to function properly. Likewise, some people end up using up their stores of these chemicals too early in the day. As the day goes on, they quickly lose interest and motivation. 

Let’s see if we can solve those issues without the use of prescribed Adderall.

Alternatives To Adderall (Ingredients)

Ingredients are everything when it comes to making sure our bodies get what they need. When experiencing ADHD symptoms that you don’t know how to treat, you may need to take supplements to balance your body out. 

We’ve gathered some of the best ingredients to look for when trying to find an alternative to Adderall.


  • What It Is: This is a pharmaceutical substance that will help to transport choline to your brain. It is then transformed into acetylcholine, which is essential for a variety of brain functions. Citicoline also helps release dopamine and will enhance other ingredients when combined.
  • Recommended Dose: 250mg daily (try Cognizin)
  • Side Effects: Well tolerated by most, but can lead to nausea, upset stomach, and headaches in large doses.

Complex B Vitamins

  • What It Is: While there are plenty of complex B vitamins that are essential to brain function, Vitamins B3, B6, B9, and B12 are the ones to look for. B6 will help produce serotonin, B9 will improve blood flow, B12 helps with energy, and B3 will help brain function.
  • Recommended Dose:  B3 (16mg), B6 (1.3mg), B9 (400mcg), B12 (2.4mcg)
  • Side Effects: Typically safe, but overdosing can lead to cramps, upset stomach, blurred vision, and skin conditions.

Ginkgo Biloba

  • What It Is: By making your blood thinner and expanding your blood vessels, or body will receive more oxygen and glucose — including the brain. Ginkgo biloba will not only improve your blood flow, but it will also help with focus, concentration, and memory.
  • Recommended Dose: 80mg daily
  • Side Effects: Headaches, sleepiness, and nausea in high amounts. 


  • What It Is: This amino acid that will help create Vitamin B3 and B6, which in turn helps create serotonin. It will help with anxiety, promote a healthier mood, and improve overall well-being. 
  • Recommended Dose: 3-4g
  • Side Effects: Heartburn, nausea, loss of appetite, and diarrhea in large amounts. 



  • What It Is: Tyrosine is a precursor to both dopamine and norepinephrine, both of which help to increase focus and concentration. It is also known to work best in stressful situations, which could help those with ADHD symptoms.
  • Recommended Dose: 250mg daily (aim for more)
  • Side Effects: Tolerated well by the average adult, overdosing can cause heartburn, headaches, and pain in your joints. 

Caffeine & L-Theanine

  • What It Is: We all know the effects of caffeine, but it can be especially useful when treating ADHD symptoms. The addition of L-Theanine will further enhance these effects while suppressing the jittered feeling and crash. You will also improve your sleep quality.
  • Recommended Dose: 50mg of L-Theanine, 100mg of caffeine
  • Side Effects: Nausea, heartburn, restlessness, trouble sleeping, and headaches if taken in high doses.

If you can find a product with the right stack of ingredients, you’ll be able to fight ADHD symptoms while avoiding the unwanted side effects of Adderall. Since our body will produce a majority of these ingredients already, it’s only right to give your body the real boost it needs.

Best Products To Replace Adderall

With so many products available on the market today, you’ll need to be careful in your search for the right alternative to Adderall. Some products will claim to be the right replacement, but will only include harmful ingredients that do the opposite. 

As a side note, you can find all of the ingredients listed above sold individually, but your best bet is to find a quality made stack. This will give you the best results.

Don’t get caught up in the noise. Here are some of our favorite alternatives to Adderall on the market today:

You won’t need a prescription for any of these. 

Performance Lab Mind

Performance Lab Mind

Performance Lab Mind is a great nootropic that is starting to receive more recognition. It’ll include citicoline, phosphatidylserine, Maritime Pine Bark and L-Tyrosine. Together, this stack will help keep your mind focused and intentions sharp throughout the day. 

It’s a simple stack, but powerful. The Maritime Pine Bark and Phosphatidylserine are good for protecting your brain cells and overall health. It will cost you $50 for a one-month supply if taking it daily. 


Mind Lab Pro

Mind Lab Pro

Mind Lab Pro is a common favorite among nootropic users. This alternative to Adderall will come packed with Citicoline, Phosphatidylserine, Bacopa Monnieri, Lion’s Mane Mushroom, L-Tyrosine, Maritime Pine Bark, L-Theanine, and Rhodiola Rosea. 

It will also include Vitamins B6, B9, B12. It will cost a bit more at $65 per bottle, but you can save some money by purchasing a 3-month supply ($195)  — you’ll receive a free bottle! Not only is Mind Lab Pro effective, but it is completely safe to consume. 


HVMN Nootrobox

HVMN Nootrobox

If you’re looking for a flexible, versatile, and effective alternative to Adderall, HVMN provides a unique stack called Nootrobox. To be precise, it provides four unique stacks that can then be stacked on each other — Rise, Kado, Yawn, and Sprint.

The rise will support memory, Sprint will support energy and focus, Kado provides an Omega-3 health kit, and Yawn will help improve sleep. Together, they can help fight the symptoms of ADHD, further improve your cognitive function, and improve the overall health of your body. 

It will cost $100 for all four stacks (1-month supply), but you can buy them individually.


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Ryan Brennan

Ryan Brennan is a health and fitness writer with both personal and professional experience in the field. His passion for nutrition stems from personal experiences dealing with malnutrition, low energy, and other health complications. Through research and experimentation, Ryan was able to overcome these issues and take control of his health. He now aims to help others do the same. Ryan has been writing about nutrition, fitness, and supplementation for the past 7 years. He also has experience in the field, serving as the manager of a high-end fitness facility in Las Vegas, NV where he currently resides.