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Taking Workout Supplements While on Adderall

by
author image Angela Brady
Angela Brady has been writing since 1997. Currently transitioning to a research career in oncolytic virology, she has won awards for her work related to genomics, proteomics, and biotechnology. She is also an authority on sustainable design, having studied, practiced and written extensively on the subject.
Taking Workout Supplements While on Adderall
Man hitting a punching bag Photo Credit Dmitry Kalinovsky/iStock/Getty Images

Adderall, or dextroamphetamine and amphetamine, can be a godsend for people who have attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, but it may complicate things for serious athletes. If you only work out casually to stay in shape, you really don't need supplements. Considering the potential interactions with your Adderall, it may be best to go supplement-free. But serious competitive athletes frequently use supplements to stay in peak performance, and this is where Adderall may cause problems. Some supplements may affect your Adderall dose, and others may cause dangerous side effects. To be safe, don't take any supplement at all without first discussing it with your doctor.

Energy Supplements

Any supplement meant to give you energy is a major no-no if you're taking Adderall. Adderall is an amphetamine, and can cause side effects like nervousness, rapid heartbeat, mania and irritability on its own. Adding another layer of stimulation from over-the-counter sources like caffeine, ma huang or guarana only increases your risk of these side effects, which can be as severe as hallucinations or seizures. Many sports supplements contain stimulants meant to enhance performance or promote weight loss, so read the labels of all of your supplements carefully. Even better, take each of your supplements to your doctor so she can read the labels for herself and make sure they won't react with Adderall.

Amino Acids

Amino acid supplementation is very common with athletes, and it's another example of why it's so important to tell your doctor everything you're taking. Amino acids may seem harmless -- they're the building blocks of protein, after all. But L-glutamine may affect the way your body absorbs Adderall, and your dose may need to be changed. Creatine may help you avoid unwanted weight loss associated with Adderall use, but the amphetamines in Adderall may affect the way your body uses creatine. Don't use any individual amino acid supplement without first discussing it with your doctor.

Protein Supplements

Although amino acid supplements should be used with caution, whole protein shakes are usually fine to use with Adderall. A whey protein shake, for example, has a much lower concentration of each individual amino acid than an individual amino acid supplement, and it doesn't contain L-glutamine unless the label indicates that it was specifically added. Protein shakes can help you avoid unwanted weight loss and retain muscle mass while you're taking Adderall, and weight-gainer formulas can help you combat the loss of appetite by packing a ton of calories into a single, compact beverage. As benign as protein shakes are, it's still important to tell your doctor about them. Take the tub with you to your next appointment, and let her read the ingredients to make sure there are no "extras" that may cause interactions or possibly change your Adderall dose.

Other Considerations

Bodybuilders, sprinters and similar athletes sometimes use diuretics before a competition to help increase muscle definition or drop extra weight that would slow them down. Although the practice may be counterproductive in some circumstances, it's downright dangerous if you're taking Adderall. Diuretics flush water from your body, but if you're working out, your body needs that water. Adderall causes dry mouth, which may make you drink more water. The more water you drink, the less water your body stores. People taking Adderall must be especially careful to hydrate properly during exercise to avoid dehydration, but taking a diuretic on top of it is just tempting fate. Allowing yourself to become dehydrated over and over again for long periods of time can lead to kidney damage, which can be exacerbated by the Adderall as it passes through your kidneys on its way out of your body. Avoid diuretics at all costs when you're taking Adderall, unless they are specifically prescribed for another condition.

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