Whether you’ve just started taking Adderall or if you’ve been taking it for some time, you may be wondering if it’s safe to take Adderall and coffee simultaneously.
Because both are stimulants and have similar effects and side effects, it can potentially be dangerous to mix the two. Read on to learn more about why consuming coffee while taking Adderall can lead to problems.
Adderall is a prescription drug that’s also known as dextroamphetamine-amphetamine. It’s a stimulant that is frequently prescribed.
How Is It Used?
Adderall is primarily used to treat ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). While it may seem counterintuitive to give a sedative to people who are already hyperactive, Adderall has proven to help people with ADHD focus and control unwanted behaviors. Adderall is prescribed to both adults and children who are managing ADHD.
Adderall can also be used to treat narcolepsy, a disorder that causes people to have uncontrollable sleepiness to the point where they can’t stay awake. As a stimulant, Adderall can give people with narcolepsy a boost to keep them awake.
How Does It Work?
Adderall is a combination stimulant. It’s made up of two stimulants, dextroamphetamine, and amphetamine, that cause chemical changes in the brain. These two stimulants create higher activity levels in the central nervous system, which controls the message system traveling through your body.
This increased activity can help people with ADHD improve their cognitive functions and allow them to pay attention for longer periods. It can also help them control their movements.
Adderall works for people with ADHD because many scientists suspect that ADHD may be caused by imbalances in neurotransmitters, particularly dopamine and norepinephrine. Adderall gets the brain to produce more of these neurotransmitters, offsetting the symptoms of ADHD.
Adderall can improve attention and concentration, but it isn’t a cure-all. It doesn’t work for everyone with ADHD and works best when used in conjunction with behavioral training.
The main side effects of Adderall include insomnia, nausea, and decreased appetite. Other users may have rarer but more serious side effects like heart attacks, seizures, and psychiatric disorders.
Adderall is also a prescription drug that many people abuse. When used incorrectly or by people who don’t need it, it can cause cardiovascular issues or death.
People all over the world drink coffee. Many drink it for the caffeine, which can wake them up and give them extra energy.
How Is It Used?
Coffee, along with other caffeinated beverages and foods, is consumed for several reasons. Many drink coffee in the mornings, afternoons, or evenings to get an extra jolt of energy. Some people are reliant on their morning cup of coffee, and many drink it throughout the day.
How Does It Work?
Coffee is a stimulant like Adderall, but it doesn’t work in the same way. It creates many of the same effects in your body but uses different processes.
Coffee doesn’t make your brain create extra dopamine and norepinephrine like Adderall. It’s not a good treatment for ADHD. Medicines prescribed by a doctor will be much more effective at treating ADHD.
Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, which can increase alertness and focus. While coffee doesn’t cause the production of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, it does act like a particular biochemical, adenosine.
Adenosine is neuromodulation. As other neurons are going off during the day, Adenosine is keeping everything regulated. Caffeine can mimic Adenosine. It can basically block the Adenosine receptors, cutting them off and ending the regulation. Dopamine and glutamate are no longer regulated. Adrenaline and serotonin are released. All of these neurotransmitters give you an extra jolt of energy.
Coffee and caffeine have some of the same minor side effects as Adderall. These include jitters, nerves, restlessness, and insomnia. It can also cause heartburn, nausea, and vomiting.
If you consume too much caffeine, you may experience an increase in heart rate and heart palpitations. You could hallucinate, go into cardiac arrest, or even a coma. Although it’s rare, caffeine can even cause death. However, this side effect is unlikely with coffee and is more frequent with an overdose of caffeine pills.
Is It Safe to Take Adderall and Coffee Together?
If you take Adderall for ADHD or other issues, you may be wondering if it’s safe to take Adderall and coffee together. If you’ve always been a coffee drinker and have recently started Adderall, you probably hope to continue with your daily caffeine.
However, almost all doctors agree that Adderall and coffee aren’t a good mix. If you’re taking Adderall, you should avoid all beverages, foods, and supplements that have a high concentration of caffeine. Caffeine and Adderall can be a dangerous combination.
Potential Side Effects
Both coffee and Adderall are stimulants. When taken together, they can exacerbate the side effects. You may feel extremely jittery or nervous. Your anxiety may increase, and you may have trouble settling.
Additionally, insomnia may become a bigger problem than when taking only Adderall. You may experience headaches, tremors, and heart palpitations.
Essentially, all of the side effects of Adderall and coffee are multiplied when the two are taken together. It’s best to avoid taking the two simultaneously if possible. If you’re going to take the two together, then you should start with small amounts of coffee to see how your body will react.
Is Adderall Addictive?
Adderall is an extremely addictive drug. It’s a stimulant, and for those who don’t have ADHD or narcolepsy, its effects can resemble that of crystal meth. Most of the people who become addicted to Adderall are taking it recreationally, not those who use it as prescribed to treat ADHD.
People often start taking Adderall to stay awake longer. Use is prevalent among stressed college students who need more time in the day to study.
Adderall can be addictive because the body develops a tolerance to it pretty quickly. Users need to take more and more to get the same effects.
Is Coffee Addictive?
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, coffee doesn’t create enough of a high to make it addictive. However, you can still develop a dependence on caffeine and may experience withdrawal symptoms like headaches and fatigue if you stop drinking it.
You may need to wean yourself off caffeine if you have a dependence on it instead of cutting it out cold turkey. You may be able to lower your intake to something safer before beginning Adderall.
Can Coffee Replace Adderall for Managing ADHD?
It’s not a good idea to use coffee as a replacement for Adderall. With ADHD, you likely have an imbalance in certain neurotransmitters. Adderall manages ADHD by prompting your body to create more dopamine and norepinephrine, which can mitigate the effects of ADHD.
When drinking coffee, your body only stops regulating the effects of the dopamine that’s already in your body. It doesn’t increase production. Thus, coffee cannot help you with an imbalance.
If you want to manage your ADHD without the use of prescription drugs, your doctor and a behavioral therapist can help you come up with strategies for managing your behavior. Whether these strategies will help you as well as a prescription drug like Adderall is dependent on your body’s particular situation.
Alternatives to Taking Adderall and Coffee Simultaneously
If you want to avoid drinking coffee while taking Adderall, there are some alternatives. If you just enjoy a cup of coffee because you like relaxing with a hot beverage, not because you need the energy jolt, then you may consider decaf coffee or tea. Both of these will give you the same experience without caffeine.
If you drink coffee for an energy boost, you can change some of your habits to get the same effects. By working out, getting enough sleep, increasing your water intake, and eating more fruits and vegetables, you can give your body a more natural boost. As an added benefit, you’ll reap the rewards of a healthier lifestyle.
There are also some supplements that are said to increase energy and cognitive function, but since some of these also act as a stimulant, you should consult a doctor before taking them.
Talk to a Doctor
If you plan on drinking coffee while taking Adderall or if you’re already reliant on coffee, it’s best to talk to a doctor before making any decisions. Your doctor can advise you on how much caffeine is safe with your Adderall. They can also help you develop a plan for becoming less reliant on coffee.
Since both coffee and Adderall are stimulants, it’s generally not a good idea to mix the two. Both caffeine and Adderall have similar side effects, which can be compounded when the two are taken together.
If you want to get the positive effects of coffee, your best bet is to change your habits like sleep and activity levels to get the same benefits.