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Can People With ADHD Drink Coffee To Calm Down? Caffeine May Improve Attention

Update Date: Jan 15, 2017 09:49 AM EST

Some studies suggest that caffeine could be useful as a treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, experts are saying that it should be taken with caution especially if people have certain conditions to consider.

A study titled "Caffeine regulates frontocorticostriatal dopamine transporter density and improves attention and cognitive deficits in an animal model of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder," suggests that caffeine could be useful as part of ADHD treatment. It is said to normalize levels of dopamine, improving the attention of people with ADHD.

While caffeine is similar to some ADHD medications, most food and drinks that contain the stimulant cannot be quantified. A cup of coffee or tea can greatly vary in their caffeine content. Adding caffeine to medications may also cause over stimulation.

People with conditions like anxiety, glaucoma, high blood pressure, and kidney, heart and liver disease are advised to avoid stimulants according to reports. Stimulants, like coffee, may potentially cause anxiety, headache, irritability, less appetite, sleeplessness, shaking or tremors, and tics.

Using caffeine as treatment for children with ADHD should only be used with doctor's guidance. According to The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, most kids already exceed the healthy level of caffeine in their diet. A soda is said to contain 30 to 48 mg of caffeine. Moreover, a can of 12 ounce can of soda contains 39 grams of sugar which already exceeds the limit of 24 grams for women and 36 grams for men.

Caffeine is reported to have different effect in the body of a child, teen or adult. Children with ADHD have more sleep problems and daytime sleepiness. As caffeine can interfere with sleep, it should be given only during morning hours or eliminate it totally from the diet.

Some studies suggest that tea consumption may be effective in treating ADHD, as it reduce fatigue and increase motivation, self-confidence and vigilance. However, any additional intake of caffeine should be under a doctor's guidance. 

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