Lifted View

Adderall: Do you really need it?


Many people ask themselves...should I be putting this into my body? Lifted View's resident medical expert Dr. Neil takes a stab at some helpful alternatives.

by Dr. Neil Roy, MD

The chemicals behind Adderall and its derivatives are amphetamine and dextroamphetamine.  Do those names sound familiar?  The street drug crystal meth is actually short for crystal methamphetamine.  Essentially, one of the most dangerous drugs in America is related to one of the most commonly abused “legal” stimulants.  Do you really want to a lesser version of a highly addictive, lethal substance that has destroyed lives and changed entire communities?  I’d rather not.  I wont even go into the side effects of Adderall that make it so terribly unpleasant – nervousness, headache, depression, insomnia, dry mouth, arrhythmias, and potential death. 

So here are some clean alternatives that you can do to improve your energy level without having all the negative side effects of Adderall:


Category A:  Lifestyle changes:

  • Exercise:  Study after study has shown the benefit of exercise with regards to energy.  The main reason is that your basal metabolic rate (commonly known as your metabolism), determines your energy level.  The more lean muscle mass you have, the more energy you body is able to generate. 

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  • Sleep:  While this may be a no-brainer, people tend to discount sleep as being essentially to energy.  I often hear my patients saying “I slept 8 hours last night and I still feel tired today”.   There’s a clear reason why that happens, sleep is generally considered to follow a 48 hour cycle, meaning, if you sleep great last night, but the night before you slept less than normal – today you wont feel refereshed.  So the key hear, is to instill good sleep habits what can ensure daily energy.  Sleep 7-8 hours a night, every night, with a cycle that is predictable – quiet, dark, rested, followed by exercise in the morning.

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Category B:  Herbal supplementation:   

  • Yerba Mate: Many people often tout the benefits of coffee – it makes you awake, and make you feel better.  While that’s true, it also is associated with a precipitous crash, may make you feel jittery, and potentially lead to withdrawal effects when stopped.  Yerba Mate on the other hand, is an herbal tea used for generations in South America with less side effects than in traditional coffee.  Yerba Mate contains caffeine, and it’s two cousins, theobromine and theophylline in small amounts, leading to a more gradual raise, and more gradual decline in effect.  In short, all the benefits of coffee without the negatives. 

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  • Ginseng:  Ginseng is an herbal medication that dates back to the 16th century, and has been used traditionally to treat a myriad of illness ranging from chronic fatigue to male erectile dysfunction.  Currently, our western literature shows that ginseng (in particular one type called panax ginseng), leads to a significant increase in cognition, social function, and mood.  In short, in ginseng you get all the benefits of Adderall without the negative effects associated with it. 

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In short, each one of the above factors in isolation will help you feel better without facing the adverse reactions associated with Adderall, while also improving your longevity and the quality of your life.  Now, if you combine all four of the subjects listed above, you’ll truly impact and improve your lifestyle while feeling awake and energized while doing so.

 Feel free to reach out to Dr. Neil   Neil at with any questions or comments.