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ADD & ADHD Center

The Effects of Caffeine on ADD

author image Rica Lewis
A health-care professional for more than 10 years, Rica Lewis has obtained numerous certifications in the industry. In 2006 she began channeling her knowledge into health-related articles for print and online publications. Her work has appeared in "Metroparent Magazine," "Anew Heart Healthcare Magazine" and community newspapers. Lewis earned a diploma from LongRidge Writers Institute.
The Effects of Caffeine on ADD
A glass of caffeinated soda with a straw. Photo Credit: bhofack2/iStock/Getty Images

ADD, or more commonly known as ADHD, is a brain disorder that causes the chemistry in the brain to function abnormally. Hosts of natural treatments are available to help sufferers cope with their symptoms, however, many of these are not proven by science to be safe and effective. The National Resource Center on ADHD recommends consulting a doctor before using caffeine or other interventions to manage ADD.

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Improved Focus

One of the most debilitating symptoms of ADD is the inability to focus and follow through with work and school tasks. In fact, some of the indicators of ADD include failing to pay attention to details, making careless mistakes in schoolwork, difficulty sustaining attention, poor listening and organization skills, forgetfulness and frequently losing items, according to MedlinePlus. Stimulants such as caffeine are purported to help reduce these symptoms by increasing focus in ADD sufferers.


Psychostimulants, or stimulants, are the most commonly prescribed medications for ADD, according to MedlinePlus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that stimulants are the best-known and most widely used treatments for ADD, helping between 70 percent to 80 percent of the children who use the medications. Contrary to their stimulant properties, these medications have the opposite effect on people with ADD and actually serve to calm their anxiety and promote relaxation. Likewise, caffeine is purported to have the same effects.

Reduced Depression

Depression and bipolar disorder are common psychiatric problems that accompany ADD. Caffeine is purported to curb depression symptoms by activating mood-enhancing brain chemicals such as dopamine and norepinephrine. These mood-boosting benefits are temporary, according to TeensHealth. To maintain balanced moods, talk to a doctor about the right dosages of caffeine.

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