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Ritalin vs. Red Bull vs. Tea vs. Frappuccinos : )

Which stimulant do you take to stay alert, active and focused, and why? What are the pros and cons of taking psychostimulants? 

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I have been managing my ADHD for at least 15 years. Prior to that I was undiagnosed for over 30 years. My ADDer journey has been far from dull. I've tried at least five different stimulant medications, which have not been successful for a long-term basis. Through the years, I've tried a wide range of holistic remedies, cleaned up my diet (no gluten, soy, dairy, artificial ingredients, preservatives, aspartame, hormones, or steroids in my organic food), and I have experimented with non-medicated stimulants.

I'm a huge fan of Starbucks latte's and organic coffee. Also, I've tried Red Bull, Monster, various tea, and many healthy alternative stimulant drinks, such as AIM Peak Endurance. If I had to pick the healthiest & safest option that is the most beneficial for ADHD, I vote for AIM Peak Endurance, which contains no sugar, no artificial ingredients and only the healthiest of ingredients in a powder form. Mix with water or your favorite juice & you are energized naturally with clearer thinking!

I was undiagnosed for years, and resultantly "self-medicated" with large doses of caffeine, and sugar, and would take Vit B. I also tried Jolt cola (anyone else remember that? "All the sugar and twice the caffeine of regular cola!) for exams.

This resulted in graduating medical school and surviving residency. It also resulted in constant heartburn, severe fatigue, obesity, and eventually Type 2 diabetes and borderline high blood pressure. 

I am now diagnosed and medicated, have had gastric bypass surgery, have almost no caffeine, and definitely not sugar (makes  me really sick after the surgery), and have lost over 100 lbs. The diabetes is gone, and I have had to increase my salt intake as my blood pressure is usually low. I am not constantly fatigued, or constantly crashing off the sugar or caffeine.

Psychostims are like treating with a laser, caffeine, etc are like using a table knife.

That is just my experience. Hope it helps.

Margaret, congratulations on losing over 100 lbs and improving your health! Awesome news!

Thanks, Dana. I also found that eating tended to provide brain stimulation for me as well, so being treated helps that too!! And I need to exercise now, which also helps the ADHD. Also, since the surgery I am on a high protein, somewhat lower carb diet, which improves my symptoms incredibly. I can tell the days when I have had more carbs for breakfast or lunch then my body likes - I get sleepy, cranky, forgetful and can't focus - even though I have taken my meds. (Unfortunately,my tastebuds really like carbs!!)

So, everything just seemed to improve everything else, which is great, until I fall down on what I am supposed to be doing (eat too many carbs, miss my workouts, etc) - everything falls apart on me at once - great motivation to keep on track, but makes it REALLY hard to get back on track if I fall off!!lol

are you getting enough sleep?  are you taking or using anything that would have a downer effect?


Coffee, lots and lots of it. Too much. But it's all I have got, because my body does not tolerate the meds. Then again, sometimes I take mild amounts of Ginseng and Ginko, they help, too. Cons are that I stay up all night if I use any of them later than 6pm :)

I'm with you on that one, Bryan!

I take Adderall, but find that it slows me down more than it gives me energy, which I guess is what it's supposed to do. I drink a lot of diet caffeinated drinks, and boy do I notice when I don't. When I really need a boost, Red Bull works the best for me. I've tried those 5-hour energy shots, but they don't seem to do much for me, and people say they are bad for you.


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