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Our editors have taken and written about natural supplements for a decade — these are our favorites for ADHD management that are clean, backed by experts, and gently formulated.

An estimated 8.7 million Americans have ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Many adults don’t even realize they have it, and even if you’re not part of the almost 3% of the population that has ADHD, you’ll probably recognize some of its key markers — difficulty focusing, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. 

The standard treatment for the disorder involves medication, namely stimulants like methylphenidate (Ritalin). But strong drugs like these usually come with side effects of varying degrees. Think loss of appetite, trouble sleeping, depression. That’s why some folks turn to supplements to manage ADHD — because sometimes even dietary deficiencies can contribute to exacerbated ADHD symptoms, and emerging areas of interest like adaptogens and nootropics can also offer gentle support.

What ingredients should you look for in a supplement to manage ADHD?

There’s a growing body of research around certain vitamins, minerals, and fats that help curb ADHD symptoms like lack of focus. Commonly in ADHD supplements, you’ll find caffeine in moderate doses, other nootropics, adaptogens, and fatty acids.

Many of the supplements below have caffeine amounts equal to or less than a cup of coffee, sometimes in slow-release formulas and sometimes in combination with L-theanine, a nootropic that helps reduce jitters. Matcha, notably, is a natural source of both caffeine and L-theanine. We’ve noted where caffeine is included as an active ingredient in case you’re trying to avoid.

Nootropics are an emerging category of supplements said to help cognitive function, so you’ll usually find these in helpful supplements too. Some (caffeine is actually a nootropic!) are well-known and well-studied, while others, like ginkgo, ginseng, and Bacopa monnieri, have less science backing them up but are still testified to by many users. They’re often paired with common adaptogens known to support cognitive function, like lion’s mane and ashwagandha.

Omega-3, an essential fatty acid, is one of the most effective dietary supplements for ADHD, helping to optimize brain function and boost the body’s synthesis of dopamine. With lots of science backing this one up, it’s a favorite ingredient of ours.

Our criteria:

We’ve personally taken, researched, and reviewed natural supplements for the past ten years. We’ve chosen our favorite supplements for managing ADHD based on their clean ingredients, science and doctor-backed recommendations, and bioavailable and gentle formulations. We frequently update this piece with new picks that meet the below criteria.

  • CLEAN | None of the below supplements have filler ingredients, and many are vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, or boast other certifications, too.
  • DOCTOR & SCIENCE-BACKED | We prioritized brands that have both recommendations from doctors and other healthcare professionals, and that have strong science behind their ingredients.. 
  • BIOAVAILABLE & GENTLE FORMULATIONS | We’ve chosen brands that are bioavailable so they’re easily absorbed into your system, and that have more gentle and natural formulations.

If you’re looking for more ways to support your wellness, check out our guides on magnesium and functional mushroom supplements!


1. Mindbodygreen

Dairy free
Gluten free
Science backed
Soy free
Third party tested
Vegetarian

Best For | Caffeine boost
Active Ingredients | Caffeine, panax ginseng, L-theanine, vitamin B12
Price Starting At | $199/180-day supply ($1.11 per serving)

Mindbodygreen has tons of different affordable supplement blends, but their Focus+ blend is especially helpful for mental alertness and energy. The once-daily capsule is full of energizing ingredients like ginseng along with two types of caffeine — both instant- and slow-release — to give you a boost of energy, along with L-theanine which helps to increase focus and reduce caffeine jitters. That’s why even though the capsule has 150 milligrams of caffeine, about 50% more than a small cup of coffee, it helps you stay more alert and productive while avoiding that midday crash. When taken daily, the supplement aims to boost your mood, multitasking ability, and stress resilience, and combat mental fatigue. And for additional support, check out the brand’s Omega-3 Potency+ supplement, which delivers sustainably sourced, high-potency fish oil that’s full of essential fatty acid omega-3 to support full-body health.

Customer Review | “This with the Brain+ has been a game changer so far. It’s been great to see how much energy and focus it actually gives me. Excited to see how it enhances my mental processing and memory/learning over the next few weeks.” – Jonathan (Read more reviews.)


2. Magic Mind

Dairy free
Gluten free
Science backed
Third party tested
Vegan

Best For | Matcha-forward formula
Active Ingredients | Bacopa monnieri, turmeric, lion’s mane, vitamin C, cordyceps, vitamin B, vitamin D3, ashwagandha, rhodiola, matcha
Price Starting At | $4/two-ounce bottle ($4 per serving)

For a tasty daily supplement with a moderate amount of caffeine, check out Magic Mind’s “mental performance shot” made to help clear brain fog and boost motivation and focus. The supplement has vitamins like C, B, and D3, along with adaptogens and nootropics — lion’s mane helps boost cognitive function, bacopa monnieri has been shown to enhance mood, mental clarity, and motivation, and cordyceps helps to boost energy. Each two-ounce shot contains 55 milligrams of caffeine from matcha, which is about half the caffeine in a small cup of coffee, so it’s great at helping you replace a cup each day and cut down your caffeine intake. Along with giving the shot its bright green color, matcha is also a natural source of L-theanine, a compound that helps reduce caffeine jitters. Magic Mind ships in packs of 15 or 30, and starts at around $3.25 each for the best deal.

Customer Review | “Definitely gets me going in the morning. Sometimes I like to save it for 2pm on a 9-5 shift to get me through the last 3 hours. Works like a charm.” – Forrest S. (Read more reviews.)


3. Moon Juice

Eco friendly packaging
Gives back
Gluten free
Third party tested
Vegan
Woman owned

Best For | Caffeine-free options
Active Ingredients | Lion’s mane, ashwagandha, rhodiola, ginkgo, maca, astragalus
Price Starting At | $35/1.5-ounce jar ($2.44 per serving)

Moon Juice’s Brain Dust is aptly named for its potent blend of adaptogens and herbs designed to help you focus. The powder supplement combines some of the most effective adaptogens for focus, like lion’s mane, which boosts cognition, and maca, which helps to promote energy and memory function. It also has ashwagandha, rhodiola, ginkgo, and astragalus, and its malty and bitter taste blends well with coffee, tea, milk, and smoothies — one serving is a teaspoon of powder. Moon Juice is known for their line of “dusts” that use adaptogenic blends for different means (Sex Dust, Sleep Dust), along with their simple and natural line of skincare. Everything they make is made with “100% traceable, bioavailable, and potently dosed ingredients,” according to their website, and they donate 1% of every order to your nonprofit of choice.

Customer Review | “Since the move to WFH, I’ve really struggled with brain fog and getting work done. I noticed within a week of taking this that I was thinking more clearly, was able to work for longer, and felt less tired and stressed over the ins and outs of my job. Love it and so glad I found it.” – Lauren B. (Read more reviews.)


4. Thorne

American made
Dairy free
Gluten free
Science backed
Soy free

Best For | Supporting BDNF and NAD+ levels
Active Ingredients | Coffee fruit extract, nicotinamide riboside
Price Starting At | $48/30 capsules ($1.60 per serving)

Thorne’s Brain Factors contains coffee fruit extract, naturally, for a boost of caffeine. But it has another ingredient not found anywhere else on this list — nicotinamide riboside, which encourages healthy levels of BDNF and NAD+. The former is a protein that supports neuronal plasticity, including learning and memory, and the later is a coenzyme that helps our cells function, and while it’s found naturally in the body, our levels decline with age. It all sounds pretty science-y, but the once-daily capsule simply aids in healthy aging and brain/nerve function. The supplement comes from a trusted brand, too — Thorne is the number-one most recommended brand by healthcare practitioners according to a 2022 survey, and thousands of pro athletes including the U.S. Olympic team use them.

Customer Review | “I’d highly recommend this product to anyone experiencing what almost everyone in our culture experiences. Overwork/burnout loads of mental and physical work. This helps keep me sharp without the jitters, and my memory seems better, and brain fog is gone!” – Celeste R. (Read more reviews.)


5. Thesis

Science backed
Third party tested

Best For | Personalized programs
Active Ingredients | Ginkgo, lion’s mane, ashwagandha, L-theanine, green tea, vitamin B12 
Price Starting At | $79/24 days ($3.29 per serving)

Kind of like Prose but for your brain, Thesis will make you a curated blend of supplements after you take their five-minute quiz. Each kit comes with four unique types of supplements, each of which targets a different brain function like “creativity,” “clarity,” “logic,” and “motivation,” with a six-day supply of each so you can really test how they work for you. (You can build your own box manually, too.) The idea is to figure out which supplement(s) work for you without having to invest in an entire bottle of something you don’t really love, and they have a monthly subscription model once you’ve chosen your favorites that’s so worth it — you’ll save $40 a month plus get a one-on-one consultation with one of their wellness coaches. Each of Thesis’s supplement types is made with high-quality, potent active ingredients with high bioavailability in clinically studied dosages, so everything is backed by science.

Customer Review | “I have been off stimulants for months now and these formulas are far superior. My husband and daughter both noticed the change and said I have been more productive, focused, less anxious, and more ‘thinking outside the box.’” – Debbie M. (Read more reviews.)


6. Cymbiotika

American made
Cruelty free
Gluten free
Soy free
Vegan

Best For | Blending in your morning drink
Active Ingredients | Lion’s mane, rhodiola, Bacopa monnieri
Price Starting At | $56/30 days ($1.87 per serving)

In the form of a liquid you can stir into water or squeeze directly into your mouth, Cymbiotika’s Golden Mind supplement aids with both gut health and cognitive function, strengthening the gut-brain axis. It includes adaptogens that support brain function like lion’s mane, centella asiatica, Bacopa monnieri, and rhodiola, along with sea buckthorn oil, green tea extract, vitamin E, and cinnamon oil. The supplement is even vanilla chai flavored, so it blends well with any of your favorite morning beverages like coffee or a smoothie, and each box comes with 30 single-serving packs. While it has no caffeine, the brand still recommends users take it in the morning since it’s designed to boost energy levels and cognition. Cymbiotika, which specializes in supplements with clean, traceable ingredients, has a few other options that support cognition, too, like their nootropic creamer and their magnesium L-threonate.

Customer Review | “I use it whenever I need a little mental boost to get through the day. Allows me to focus and get multiple tasks done. Gave one to my 73 year old mom who played 3 hours of pickleball after.” – Emilia H. (Read more reviews.)


7. Fatty15

Dairy free
Eco friendly packaging
Gluten free
Science backed
Vegan

Best For | Innovative fatty acid
Active Ingredients | Fatty acid C15:0
Price Starting At | $120/90 days ($1.33 per serving)

Fatty15 is based on a singular essential fatty acid — C15:0 — that’s recently been shown to support both mental and physical health, including regulating inflammation, pain, mood, and sleep. The once-daily pill boasts both near-term benefits, like improved sleep, energy, and calmness, and long-term benefits, like protecting your cells from aging-related oxidative damage. Sounds pretty impressive, right? The science, while relatively new, seems to back it up. Low C15:0 levels have been associated with poor overall health. Our body doesn’t tend to make enough C15:0 on its own, so we mostly get it from whole-fat dairy products — meaning those of us who don’t eat dairy could have low C15:0 levels. Reviewers absolutely rave about the product, and at $120 for a 90-day supply, it’s one of the most affordable options on this list to try out.

Customer Review | “Since starting on Fatty15 about 100 days ago, I notice that I am falling asleep easily, sleeping for 8 hours solidly, rarely waking up at 3:00 am. Before Fatty15, I was waking up almost every night. I also feel calmer and just lighter and more positive. The osteoarthritis pain in my hands and feet are practically non-existent now.” – Mary E. (Read more reviews.)


Featured image is from Thesis


Natalie Gale is a Contributing Editor at The Good Trade. She is a Boston-based freelance journalist. When she’s not writing about art, food, or sustainability, you can find her biking to the farmers’ market, baking, sewing, or planning her next Halloween costume. Say hi on Instagram!