Ask the Experts

A Cup of Medication?

“A lot of my friends with ADHD say that they couldn’t get through a day without caffeine. Can coffee or tea help with ADHD symptoms?”

Caffeine in coffee and tea is a stimulant, as are medications like Ritalin and other psychostimulants. Therefore, it is not surprising that caffeine is helpful to some children or adults with ADHD. There are many adults, diagnosed or undiagnosed, who self-medicate their condition with caffeine.

The problem is that caffeine is not as reliably effective as psychostimulants are, and can produce jittery side effects. There are side effects with medications as well. Some individuals who have negative side effects with the stimulants derive benefit from caffeine. I would recommend drinking green tea rather than coffee, if you were going to use caffeine in this way. There are many health benefits ascribed to green tea.