Is there really such a thing as natural Adderall? Can you buy Adderall alternatives legally over the counter? In our detailed article, we answer all of your questions and more! Please post any questions about natural Adderall alternatives in the comments at the end.
Adderall is without doubt one of the most widely-used cognitive enhancers in existence. Students in universities around the world use Adderall to supercharge their studying during finals, and Adderall use is reportedly rampant at the big banks. This study drug is particularly popular in the US, where it is most readily available.
One thing we must say about Adderall is that it definitely works. Anybody who has used Adderall will tell you that it does exactly what it says on the label – you really feel it working on your brain.
The main benefits people get from Adderall are:
- Heightened focus
- Increased alertness
- Reduced fatigue
- Faster learning capacity
- Reduced anxiety
However, the vast majority of people will never even consider using something like Adderall.
They’re right to be cautious; Adderall is an amphetamine compound. It is used to enhance cognitive function, sure, but it’s also used by boxers, sprinters, and other athletes to enhancer their performance. Adderall rapidly increases mental and physical energy, reduces fatigue, attenuates pain, and increases aggressive behavior. It is associated with a long list of side effects, some of them serious.
The long-term risks of Adderall use are not understood properly at all, but we can’t imagine that they’re very good.
This is exactly why so many people look for safe, natural Adderall alternatives.
We get dozens of people every single month asking us what is the best over-the-counter Adderall alternative. We often see posts on forums from people asking where they can get an “OTC Adderall replacement”, or what is the closest thing to Adderall over-the-counter.
Sometimes, we see people asking where they can get non-prescription Adderall, or where they can get Adderall legally.
Nootropics manufacturers haven’t helped the situation.
Some nootropics on the market in the US claim to be legal, OTC Adderall alternatives. According to some of the shadiest brands out there, their nootropics are identical to Adderall, but in a more “natural” form.
This obviously isn’t true.
In the article below, we’ll explain why there really isn’t such a thing as a “legal” or “over the counter” Adderall. We will then go on to explain how natural nootropics can be used to achieve the same benefits as you get from Adderall without any (or most) of the side effects and long-term health risks associated with Adderall use.
What is Adderall?
Adderall is a pharmaceutial drug primarily used for the treatment of ADHD and ADD, although it is also being investigated for the treatment of narcolepsy and various behavioral disorders in adolescents.
Adderall is not the name of a drug itself. Rather, it is a brand name for a stack of four amphetamine salts:
- Amphetamine aspartate monohydrate
- Amphetamine sulfate
- Dextroamphetamine saccharate
- Dextroamphetamine sulfate
These four salts were chosen to make up Adderall as they each alter the “delivery timing” of amphetamine. Some of the esters make amphetamine much faster acting, while other slow down and elongate the effects. By combining the four salts, the original manufacturer of Adderall hoped to produce a form of amphetamine that was at once fast acting and slow release, giving immediate and sustained benefits.
There are other drugs with a near identical composition to Adderall: Vyvanse, Concerta, Focalin XR, and Daytrana to name just a few of the most popular brands. These drugs all have slightly different formulas, but they all share the same primary ingredient – amphetamine!
Can you buy Adderall over the counter?
Simply put, no. You cannot buy Adderall legally over the counter. In order to purchase Adderall legally, you must have a valid prescription from a qualified medical professional or pharmacist.
Adderall is meant for the treatment of serious conditions such as ADHD or ADD; it is not licensed for recreational or casual use. As far as we are aware, this is true of every country, as amphetamines are a controlled substance in every jurisdiction globally.
In fact, since Adderall is simply a brand name for a collection of different amphetamine salts, trying to buy Adderall without a prescription can land you in serious trouble. In most countries, ampehatmine (in all forms) is a Class A or Schedule 1 controlled substance. This typically means possession without a prescription can land you with serious jail time. In some countries (such as Singapore), possession of am,phetamines without a prescription can lead to a decade in prison or even the death penalty. This is true of all drugs containing amphetamine (i.e. Vyvanse, Concerta, Focalin Xr, etc).
Is Adderall Safe?: Side Effects, Health Risks & Addiction
The main reason that people seek out natural substitutes for Adderall is the fact that drugs like Adderall, Vyvanse, Foicalin XR and Concerta are all extremely dangerous, both in the short term and the long term.
Some of the side effects associated with Adderall use include:
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Stomach pain
- Chest pain
- High blood pressure
- Mood swings
- Low mood
- Loss of motivation
- Loss of focus
The long-term health risks of frequent Adderall use are not well known. For obvious reasons, we don’t have any clinical trials looking at long-term effects of regular amphetamine consumption. But from what we can gather from amphetamine addicts, the long-term effects of Adderall are severe, and they span both mental and physical effects.
Is Adderall addictive?
Yes, Adderall is extremely addictive.
Adderall is a brand name for a mixture of amphetamine salts. Amphetamines are extremely addictive. Just because something is sold by drug companies and in pharmacies does not mean it isn’t addictive. Quite the opposite; you only need to look at the opioid crisis in the US to see what we mean.
The vast majority of people find Adderall addictive. Most people quickly build up a tolerance to Adderall – after 2-3 weeks, they find they need to use more to get the same ‘buzz’.
People also find that they begin to find it hard to function when not using Adderall, just like with every other amphetamine. The ‘low’ that follows an Adderall high can be debilitating. The Adderall “hangover” can cause symptoms of depression and anxiety, as well as a range of physical symptoms.
So, users are often tempted to just keep taking Adderall to avoid these comedowns and hangovers. Like all amphetamines, Adderall is addictive.
This is why we recommend using a natural nootropic as an Adderall alternative. Natural brain supplements are generally not addictive and they do not usually cause side effects. That said, some common Adderall alternatives like caffeine are addictive.
Is there really a “legal” Adderall alternative?
The truth of the matter is that there is no such thing as a “legal Adderall”, nor any form of Adderall you can legally buy over the counter.
No natural substance can mimic the effects of such a powerful mix of amphetamine salts.
In short, there is no such thing as a natural, legal, OTC Adderal alternative.
But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t good alternatives to Adderall. There are plenty of nootropic substances and supplements on the market today which are safer, more reliable, and ultimately more effective than Adderall.
So what are the best nootropics to use if you’re looking for an Adderall alternative?
Stacks like Mind Lab Pro offer complete cognitive support in a safe, natural way.
Other stacks, like Performance Lab Mind, can easily be stacked with caffeine to give you the ‘kick’ people look for from Adderall. Performance Lab recently released a high-spec natural caffeine stack – Stim. Coupled with Mind, the effects would be like a kind of natural Adderall; energy, focus, and no side effects!
Then there are individual nootropics and energy boosters.
There are lots of natural substances that act as safer alternatives to Adderall, all of which you can purchase legally over the counter. Most of these substance shave been incorporated into supplement stacks like Mind Lab Pro or Performance Lab Stim, which can be bought online in all countries perfectly legally. Or you can source the individual substances directly from wholesalers and vcreate your own natural form of Adderall!
You can use these substances by themselves or in combination to get some of the benefits associated with Adderall without exposing yourself to the health risks (like hypertension, insomnia, addiction, etc) or legal problems.
Below is our list of the best OTC Adderall alternatives on sale right now. You can use these substances either alone – to replicate individual benefits of Adderall – or in combination to try and get the full Adderall experience.
The Best Natural Adderall Alternatives
Below is a list of the best natural, legal, OTC nootropics which mimic some of the effects of Adderall. None of these substances will replicate the effects of Adderall. They all have different benefits and limitations.
But if you stack several of these substances, then you can enjoy many of the beneficial effects of Adderall – increased focus, faster learning, etc – without any of the nasty side effects or health risks.
Here is our list of effective, natural Adderall alternatives:
- Caffeine + Theanine
- Huperzine A
- Ginkgo biloba
- Maritime Pine Bark
Citicoline is possibly our favorite nootropic. We can’t think of any substance we’d rather have in our daily cognitive enhancing stack. Citicoline is a cholinergic. This means it rapidly increases choline levels in the brain, which leads to increased production of both phosphatidylcholine and acetylcholine. Citicoline supplementation also provides uridine, which facilitates RNA production.
The end result is significantly increased focus, enhanced learning capacity, better working memory function, and even improved brain cell formation. These are the main benefits someone is looking for when using an Adderall alternative.
Useful for: Focus & learning
Like Citicoline, Alpha-GPC is a cholinergic. It too raises choline levels in the brain, which means more acetylcholine and phosphatidylcholine. And like Citicoline, Alpha-GPC supplementation has been shown in numerous clinical trials to improve multiple different facets of cognition, including concentration, information processing, reaction speeds, and memory function. This is why it is listed as one of the best Adderall alternatives on sale right now!
In our experience, Citicoline is more reliable than Alpha-GPC; more people seem to respond well to it. But Alpha-GPC is an excellent cholinergic nonetheless. If you’re looking to boost focus and stop procrastination, a large dose (~300mg) of Alpha-GPC might help.
Useful for: Working memory & attention
Caffeine + Theanine
We don’t need to tell you how caffeine might be seen as a legal OTC Adderall alternative. You’ve probably all felt the effects of caffeine yourself. It is an extremely powerful stimulant. It almost immediately heightens alertness, raises energy levels, and decreases the perception of fatigue. What some of you might not know is that caffeine actually improves cognitive performance too; studies have found that it improves scores on tests.
Theanine works side-by-side with caffeine. It heightens caffeine’s positive effects while suppressing the side effects. Taking the two simultaneously can heave you pepped up, hyper-focused, yet calm.
Useful for: Mental stamina
Huperzine A is a really interesting nootropic. It is not normally used as a natural substitute for Adderall, but not because it doesn’t work. In fact, Huperzine A probably mimics the effects of Adderall better than any other substance on this list.
Huperzine A inhibits acetylcholinesterase, which is the enzyme responsible for breaking down acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is the brain’s primary executive neurotransmitter. By inhibiting the enzyme which breaks down used acetylcholine between synapses, Huperzine A effectively causes a steady build up of acetylcholine in the brain. Studies have indeed shown this to be true; supplementing with Huperzine A leads to dramatically improved focus, attention, and learning capacity. Users report experiencing a tunnel-vision kind of focus while using high doses of Huperzine A, which is why we recommend it as a natural alternative to Adderall.
Useful for: Concentration
Tyrosine is an incredible nootropic. It ranks alongside Citicoline as one of our go-to cognitive enhancers for pretty much any situation. An amino acid with no side effect risks, Tyrosine manages to be both an extremely powerful nootropic and a mild, safe, easily-stackable supplement; something few substances can claim.
Tyrosine is a building block of dopamine. Consuming Tyrosine acutely raises dopamine levels in the brain. Dopamine is your brain’s “reward” for completing tasks; if you reach a goal, dopamine is released, and you experience feelings of satisfaction and joy. That same feeling drives you to seek more dopamine, which is why this neurotransmitter is sometimes called the “motivation” neurotransmitter. By raising dopamine, Tyrosine consumption increases motivation, drive, and mental stamina.
Studies have found that Tyrosine improves cognitive performance in people placed in extremely stressful situations: sleep deprivation, acute stress, task overloads, and extreme cold to name a few. We therefore think Tyrosine makes for an ideal Adderall replacement; it ramps up motivation, mental stamina and focus at times when your brain should be crashing.
Useful for: Motivation, focus and mental stamina
You will not typically find Gingko biloba listed as an Adderall alternative. But in our opinion, Ginkgo biloba supplementation can absolutely deliver some of the same benefits as Adderall without posing any of the same health and safety risks.
Ginkgo biloba contains both terpenes and glycosides. These compounds increase blood viscosity and trigger vasodilation. Basically, they make your blood ‘runnier’ and your blood vessels wider. This increases blood flow in the brain. Better oxygen and nutrient delivery means better performing brain cells. People supplementing with Ginkgo biloba every day perform better in memory tests after as little as 2 weeks.
Useful for: Memory function and brain cell health
Maritime Pine Bark
Maritime pine bark is the most plentiful source of a class of flavonoids called proanthocyanidins. These same flavonoids are found in the likes of red wine and certain berries, but they are present in far higher concentrations in maritime pine bark. Proanthocyanins are extremely powerful antioxidants. While it is difficult to estimate the strength of these things accurately, some studies claim that proanthocyanins are 50x as powerful as Vitamin C at reducing oxidative damage.
One thing that’s special about maritime pine bark is that its antioxidants are particularly adept at crossing the blood brain barrier. On top of that, substances in maritime pine bark are known to promote blood flow in the brain. So if you are looking to protect your brain from potential damage – for example, while trying to mimic the effects of Adderall – then adding in some maritime pine bark is a good idea!
Useful for: Promoting brain cell health
What is the closest thing to Adderall over the counter?
So what is the closest thing to Adderall over the counter?
As we said at the beginning of this article, there is no such thing as natural Adderall, over the counter Adderall, or a legal stimulant that works like Adderall.
Adderall is Adderall.
It is an extremely powerful drug designed to treat severe cases of ADHD. It is a group of amphetamine sales not supposed to be used outside of close medical supervision, with frequent dosage adjustments and health check-ups.
So there are no over the counter stimulants similar to Adderall, at least in terms of power.
That’s not a bad thing though; we believe that you should stay well away from substances like Adderall. The side effects, long-term health risks, and unpredictability make Adderall not worth it. Natural substances are never going to replicate the effects of pharmaceutical-grade amphetamine salts, good or bad.
But that is not to say that you can’t get most of the benefits of Adderall from nootropics and energy supplements which are available over the counter.
You can actually use natural substances to achieve many of the same benefits of Adderall while avoiding the major downsides.
The substances listed in the section above are, in our opinion, the best OTC Adderall alternatives on the market right now. These substances are found in hundreds of brain supplements on sale today. The vast majority of these pre-made nootropics are – unfortunately – awful. But a small number are extremely effective.
Natural nootropics and energy supplements can significantly improve focus, learning, memory function, and support brain health without causing any side effects whatsoever.
In our opinion, the ideal stack for replicating the benefits of Adderall (and many other of the so-called study drugs) is:
- Citicoline for increased focus and working memory
- Tyrosine for enhanced cognition while under stress
- Caffeine for reduced fatigue and energy levels
- Theanine for amplifying caffeine’s benefits and promoting calm, confident decision-making
- B vitamin complex for greater energy and neurotransmitter production
Supplement stacks to use instead of Adderall
There are some good pre-made nootropic stacks capable of enhancing focus, improving working memory, and drastically increasing mental energy levels. There are also some high quality over the counter stimulants similar to Adderall in their effects, although they are nowhere near as powerful as Adderall (not a bad thing).
We’re not talking about the stacks sold as “OTC Adderall alternatives”.
Whenever you see a supplement claiming to be “legal Adderall” then you know it’s almost definitely a scam.
We’re talking about professional, premium-quality brain supplements designed to enhance several different aspects of cognitive function at the same time.
The closest thing you will find to over the counter Adderall are top-tier, professional nootropic stacks and high quality energy supplements.
What supplement is most like Adderall?
So what supplement is most like Adderall in terms of effects?
Well, a high-qualuty nootropic is probably the best place to start. Our current top rated pre-made nootropic is Mind Lab Pro.
It ramps up focus, improves memory, accelerates recall and reaction times, and suppresses anxiety. If you want to mimic the very best effects of Adderall – those related to qualitative cognitive performance – then Mind Lab Pro is a great option.
But if you’re looking for something with more of a kick (like the energy rush you get from Adderall), you might want to consider a combined nootropic/energy supplement stack.
Stack Most Like Adderall: Performance Lab Mind + Stim
Mind is designed to heighten focus, reduce stress, and improve overall cognitive performance. It promotes faster information processing and enhanced memory function while also promoting good brai cell health and longevity.
Stim is an extremely high quality energy supplement which combines purified caffeine, theanine, tyrosine, and key B vitamins to rapidly increase alertness, mental energy, and concentration without causing the side effects typical of energy supplements. Both stacks provide a healthy dose of Tyrosine, which will greatly increase dopamine release, thus raising motivation, mood, and thinking speed.
When taken together, these two supplements deliver:
- Rapid increase in mental energy
- Decreased fatigue
- Sharper focus
- Faster reaction times and rapid decision-making
- Better working memory function
- Increased motivation
- Improved mood
- Better brain cell health
This makes these two supplements an ideal Adderall alternative stack, especially when given their excellent side effect profile. Both of these supplements are available over the counter. They’re 100% natural, plant-based, and side effect free.
Learn more about Mind: PerformanceLab.com
Learn more about Stim: PerformanceLab.com
Adderall vs OTC Adderall Alternatives: Which should you use?
So, should you try to get a prescription for Adderall, or should you use natural Adderall alternatives available over the counter?
This is a very easy question to answer.
If you have been diagnosed with severe ADHD and your doctor – and actual MD – thinks you would benefit from Adderall, then you should follow their advice.
If that does not apply to you, then you should not use Adderall.
If you have a lot of studying to do, or you have some really important deadlines coming up at work, then it can be tempting to use Adderall. But we think that is a big mistake.
Adderall comes with serious side effects, and it can make you behave in extremely unusual ways. It is an unpredictable brain drug which can easily backfire (the last thing you want to happen in an important presentation or a final exam). It is never safe to use, even infrequently. Using brain drugs like this also usually mean obtaining them illegally.
You should never use prescription drugs without a prescription. This is particularly true of study drugs like Adderall, which is just a collection of amphetamine salts, meaning it is highly likely to cause serious adverse effects.
So if you are just looking for heightened focus, enhanced working memory function, and more mental energy, use natural Adderall alternatives like Performance Lab Stim and Mind instead. These are safer replacements for Adderall that confer many of the same benefits with none of the risks!
What is the closest legal thing to Adderall?
According to our research, the closet legal thing to Adderall is a combination of Citicoline, Tyrosine, and Caffeine. This stack rapidly increases mental energy, cognitive performance, and stress resistance. If this stack is augmented with Theanine and a B vitamins complex, we found the results to be even more dramatic.
What is the most powerful legal stimulant?
Although it is often dismissed as “weak”, the strongest legal stimulant is actually caffeine. Just a few dozen milligrams of caffeine will have a profound physiological effect on pretty much everybody. Caffeine rapidly reduces the perception of fatigue, sharpens focus, increases motivation, and enhances athletic performance. For almost everyone, 75mg is plenty. If coupled with theanine, less is needed to achieve the same effects.
What nootropic is most like Adderall?
The nootropic that is most like Adderall in effect is almost certainly Citicoline. As the most potent cholinergic, citicoline rapidly increases acetylcholine availability in the brain. This in turn means sharper focus, faster reaction times, enhanced working memory function, and more rapid information processing – all of the benefits people look for from Adderall.
Is Modafinil similar to Adderall?
Modafinil and Adderall are both pharmaceutical-grade substances commonly referred to as “study drugs” or “brain drugs”. They are both nootropics; they enhance multiple aspects of executive cognitive function. While Modafinil and Adderall can both rightly be categorized as cognitive enhancers, they produce different effects owing to the fact that they both have different mechanisms of action. Adderall is primarily characterized by increased energy and reduced fatigue, while Modafinil is best known for increasing motivation and intense concentration.
Is there a generic form of Adderall?
Adderall is actually a brand name given to a special blend of four amphetamine salts. The composition is 25% levoamphetamine salts and 75% dextroamphetamine salts. In the United States, you can get generic Adderall. Both normal and fast-release generic formulations are available. However, the extended release formulation made by Mydayis is only available in its branded form.
Generic forms of Adderall can also be obtained in Canada, Australia, the EU, the UK, and elsewhere. However, it is far more common to see Adderall in other parts of the world. This is largely because consumers are more comfortable buying Adderall than levoamphetamine, even though they are the same thing!
Can you get non-prescription Adderall?
No, you cannot get non-prescription Adderall legally. Adderall is made up of amphetamine salts. To our knowledge, there is no way to legally obtain Adderall without a prescription. There is also no such thing as a non-prescription Adderall. There are natural Adderall replacements and alternatives, but they are not Adderall.