Pro Tip: Protein!

It's filling, it's tasty, it's nutrient-dense — and it powers me past the side effects of every medication I've tried.
Bright, Shiny Objects | Tuesday May 29th - 9:05pm
Filed Under: ADHD Diet and Nutrition, Side Effects of ADHD Meds

Most likely you're an adult with ADHD or the parent of a child with ADHD. When you or your child are first diagnosed, it can be a terrifying experience. And with so many medications to choose from, it can be quite difficult to determine which will provide the greatest benefit. What happens when that benefit also comes with discouraging side effects, and discontinuing meds isn't an option?

Allow me to preface the following information with this: Am I or have I ever been a doctor? No. Do I read about what I'm putting into my body? Yes. A bit of reading can go a long way. (Trust me on this — if you were to sit in on one of my regularly scheduled appointments, you'd hear words used to describe the chemical composition of different ADHD medications.) According to my doctor, I tend to be more "aware" than most about what I'm putting into my body and the effect it has. Having tried Ritalin, Concerta, Strattera, Focalin-XR and Vyvanse, I noticed that the side effects all seemed to be the same. I've also observed that something helps to alleviate them.

Are you ready for the secret to diminishing the side effects of ADHD medication? It's…drumroll, please...

PROTEIN!

When you've got a crazy schedule, it can be easy to ignore nutrition. But if you're not incorporating protein into your diet, then you're setting yourself up for failure. I don't know what it is, but with protein, the absorption of the medication seems to be distributed at a slower, steadier rate. Have you ever taken your medication on an empty stomach? If so, have you noticed how the side effects seem to be exacerbated? It's weird, right? There's something about eating foods high in protein that just makes your day exponentially better. Wondering which foods are high in protein? Here are my favorites:

Eggs

According to IncredibleEgg.org, one large egg contains six grams of protein, and that's 12 percent of the recommended daily value! If your stomach is a bottomless pit like mine, then you can easily handle four hard-boiled eggs in one sitting. Be careful, though; if you've got problems with cholesterol, then this may not be the best option. If you've got high cholesterol or just despise the taste of eggs, then you might want to try...

Greek Yogurt

My personal favorite is Chobani. One six-ounce container of Chobani goodness has 14-18 g of protein! Try polishing off a cup before taking your ADHD medication...you'll be glad you did. I recommend trying all of the flavors because each tastes great!

Meal Replacement Drink

If you don't have time to sit down for breakfast, try a meal replacement drink like Ensure. With each 14-ounce container, you'll be getting 25 g of protein. If you're worried about the taste, don't be. Parents with children: your kids won't know they're drinking something healthy. Promise.

If you don't remember anything else from this blog post, remember this: Be sure you're always getting enough protein throughout the day. Be sure that you've consumed protein before taking your medicine, and you just might notice a difference. Give it some time and be sure to come back to let me know how it's going.

Here's to conquering those pesky side effects!

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