5 Best Natural Supplement Alternatives to Adderall

limitlesspillNootropics, also called by other names such as smart drugs, neuro enhancers, cognitive enhancers, memory enhancers, and intelligence enhancers are drugs, supplements, and functional foods that enhance mental function. They are known to improve working memory, increase motivation, and enhance focus.

One popular nootropic is Adderall. It is a brand of prescription medication used for the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in both children and adults. It works by increasing the levels of dopamine, a brain chemical known to have a calming and focusing effect on people with ADHD. It is a combination of two stimulant drugs namely: Amphetamine and Dextroamphetamine.

There are natural alternatives to Adderall which are discussed here in detail:


Piracetam was developed in the early 1960s by a team of Belgian and Romanian scientists for the purpose of helping improve cognitive and overall brain function. The mechanism of action of Piracetam is currently not fully understood. But it is known to influence neuronal and vascular functions without the effect of stimulation or sedation. It improves the effect of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine (Ach) via the muscarinic cholinergic receptors which are responsible for some memory processes. It may also have an effect on N-Methyl-D-aspartic acid or NMDA receptors which are responsible for learning and memory.


One of the major benefits of Piracetam for both ADD and ADHD patients is the improved neural communication of both left and right hemispheres of the brain. It may even help form new synapses and other connections within the corpus callosum.

Piracetam also helps improve in the delivery and utilization of oxygen in the brain resulting in improved focus, improved endurance, reduced fatigue, and an increase in concentration.

Side Effects

Long-term use of this drug may cause weight gain, hyperkinesias, sleepiness, shaking, nausea, and nervousness.


Piracetam dosage varies depending on age but the standard dose is 1,600 mg 3 times a day.

2) Aniracetam

Aniracetam, also known as N-anisoyl-2-pyrrolidinone, is a nootropic that is lipid-soluble and it believed to have cognition-enhancing properties. It was pioneered by a Belgian company during the 1970’s and was later introduced to the public on 1979. It has been used in clinical trials involving patients with Alzheimer’s and shown anxiolytic properties.


Aniracetam is reportedly more potent than Piracetam. The most touted benefit of this drug is the enhancing effect it has on working memory and cognition. It also boosts motivation levels and sociability. It has anti-anxiety and mood-enhancing effects. Aniracetam also enhances synaptic plasticity, making it easier to adapt to changing circumstances.

Side Effects

The side effects of Aniracetam are few and rare. The most common are headaches, nervousness and anxiety, irritable bowel, nausea, and some gastrointestinal issues.


Safe dosage range is anywhere between 600 to 3,000 mg per day which are split into two or three equal administrations.

3) Noopept

Noopept, also known as N-Phenylacetyl-L-prolylglycine ethyl ester, is a nootropic peptide known to have exceptional benefits to cognition, memory, concentration and mental energy. Functions are mainly the modulation of both the acetylcholine system and α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazoleprepionic acid receptor or AMPA receptor. Studies have shown it being 1,000 times more potent than Piracetam.


Promotes cognitive enhancement and memory, it has a mild psychostimulant and anti-anxiety effect. Noopept also exhibits a neuroprotective effect. The stimulation of acetylcholine receptors, AMPA, and NDMA Glutamate receptors enhances neural communication and interaction.

Side Effects

May cause headaches in some users. Some users report irritability and loss of appetite. Excess use can cause brain fog and depression.


Noopept has a high concentration level. Recommended dosage is about 10 to 30 mg orally in the morning then every three hours or so. It works best on an empty stomach, preferably after waking in the morning.

4) Pramiracetam

A derivative of Piracetam that is 30 times more potent, Pramiracetam is a CNS stimulant and nootropic agent. Sold under the brand name Pramistar, is it used for the treatment of memory and attention deficits in geriatric patients with neurodegenerative and vascular dementias.


Pramiracetam significantly improves focus and alertness. It is shown to improve cognitive performance and long-term memory formation by increasing High-Affinity Choline Uptake (HACU).

Side Effects

Most common side effects include headaches, nervousness and anxiety, fatigue, and GI tract distress.


Recommended daily dosage is between 300 and 600 mg. Some reported to already experience positive effects at 200 mg. Start with a lower dose, if possible.

5) Phenylpiracetam

Phenylpiracetam is a modified version of Piracetam and is 60 times more potent. Developed in 1983 in Russia, it is considered to have anti-amnesic, antidepressant, antipsychotic, anxiolytic, anticonvulsant, and memory enhancing effects to users.


The primary benefits of Phenylpiracetam include an increase in recall and memory. Users reported an increase in their concentration and learning capacity. It may also reduce motion sickness, anxiety, and fear as well as increase locomotor activity.

Side Effects

Some reported being mentally addicted to Phenylpiracetam but most side effects are rare and mild. These include headaches, nausea, and irritability.


It is recommended that users start with low dosage such as 100 mg per day. Prolonged use results in tolerance so it’s best to limit use to only a few days a week and taking a week layoff in between.

Top Lists:

The 11 Best Natural Nootropic Supplements For 2016


Bobkov, Y. G. et al. Pharmacological characteristics of 4-phenylpiracetam ? A new phenyl analog of piracetam. Bulletin of Experimental Biology and Medicine Bull Exp Biol Med 95, 464–467 (1983).

Faraone, S. & Biederman, J. Efficacy of Adderall(R) for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: A meta-analysis. Journal of Attention Disorders 6, 69–75 (2002).

Mindus, P. Some Clinical Studies With Piracetam – A “Nootropic” Substance. Neuro-Psychopharmacology 73–81 (1978).

Povarov, I. S., Kondratenko, R. V., Derevyagin, V. I., Ostrovskaya, R. U. & Skrebitskii, V. G. Nootropic Dipeptide Noopept Enhances Inhibitory Synaptic Transmission in the Hippocampus. Bulletin of Experimental Biology and Medicine Bull Exp Biol Med 158, 349–351 (2015).

Adderall oral : Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Pictures, Warnings & Dosing – WebMD. WebMD at <http://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-63163/adderall-oral/details>

Aniracetam – Scientific Review on Usage, Dosage, Side Effects. Aniracetam at <http://examine.com/supplements/aniracetam/>