Does Caffeine REALLY Affect ADHD?

There’s hardly a person out there who hasn’t used caffeine, and who from time to time, has had too much of it.  The result?  Often people report feeling jittery, nervous, and hyperactive when they have used too much.  That’s because caffeine acts just like an amphetamine!  For others who use too much, they report feeling energized and focused.  So if caffeine can act just like an amphetamine, can it be taken to treat ADHD symptoms?  The answers are mixed.
A number of studies have been conducted to answer this question and the results are not conclusive in one direction or the other.  Some studies argue that the intake of caffeine caused ADHDers to be less impulsive, agressive, more focused, and to have increased hand-to-eye coordination.  When parents and teachers were polled, they believed caffeine was just as effective as taking Ritalin.  Still other studies have proven that the combination of Ritalin and caffeine gave the best benefit.
So, you might be thinking these results don’t seem all that bad.  But consider this.  No one reacts to caffeine in the exact manner as the next person.  You can’t predict who may benefit and who may be harmed by giving caffeine.  In fact, many researchers average the scores of ADHD kids on tests that look at concentration and hyperactivity.  When these scores get averaged, it makes the overall benefits look nonexistent or minimal.  But it doesn’t take into consideration the kids who are severely effected.
The amount of caffeine ingested when you have ADHD will make a difference in how you react, and it appears that the more you take, the worse you become!  Let’s also remember that the amount of caffeine you use is also related to insomina and addiction to caffeine!  This can’t be a good thing!
A low does of caffeine is thought to be about 158-160 milligrams.  Look at the following list and see how quickly you can reach that level.
– Coke has 23 mgs. in 8 ounces
– Diet Coke has 31 mgs. in 8 ounces
– Brewed tea has 20-35 mgs. while instant tea has 10-30 mgs. in 8 ounces
– Chocolate milk has 5 mgs in 8 ounces
– Semi-sweet chocolate (think chocolate chip cookies) has 5-35 mgs. in 1 ounce
If you are a normal adult, you probably drink several caffeinated beverages a day, so it doesn’t take long before you have overdone it.  For children that threshold is even lower.  No one is saying you must give caffeine up.  But if you or your child suffer from ADHD, you cannot ignore that caffeine may have profound effects on your symptoms.  Just because you believe it actually minimizes the bad symptoms, and maximizes the good, the balance of how much caffeine is the perfect dose will change from day to day.  So don’t let yourself be fooled into thinking caffeine is a safe alternative to treat ADHD symptoms.