Let's Drink More Coffee!!!

The scientific ADHD community in Brazil has been studying caffeine and ADHD for a  while and they have recently published yet another study (see below) confirming that in animal models, caffeine really helps ADHD symptoms especially those seen in Inattentive ADHD.  Interestingly, in this animal study, caffeine worsened memory in 'normal' rats but improved memory skills in ADHD rats.

I find that coffee helps me focus and makes me infinitely more productive.  My inattentive son drinks coffee and it helps him focus tremendously.  A cup in the morning and a cup at homework time is usually enough to keep him on track.

This study used 3mg per kilogram.  My inattentive son weighs about 30 kg so that would translate to an amount of about 90 mg every 6 hours which is just about one cup of coffee every 6 hours.  The symptoms of Inattentive ADHD can often be treated with something like coffee because these patients have focus problems but are often not otherwise different than other non-ADHD folks.

My younger son does not drink coffee but I believe that this is kind of beside the point.  The symptoms of his Hyperactive/Impulsive ADHD are, unfortunately, much more difficult to treat.  ADHD when there is an impulsive behavior component is a multifaceted, intrusive and often destructive problem that can require counseling, medication and an attentive risk management approach to care.  The co-morbidities (self esteem and depression problems, substance abuse risks, behavioral and conduct disorders, etc) associated with Impulsive ADHD makes the treatment of Impulsive ADHD folks, in my opinion, much more difficult.  

Caffeine in Impulsive ADHD may help memory but caffeine's inability to treat the other symptoms of Impulsive ADHD, makes it not a great option for non-Inattentive ADHD

You can support this site by buying coffee from this Organic Free Trade coffee seller.

Behav Brain Res. 2010 Dec 20;215(1):39-44. Epub 2010 Jun 25.
Chronic caffeine treatment during prepubertal period confers long-term cognitive benefits in adult spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR), an animal model of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Pires VA, Pamplona FA, Pandolfo P, Prediger RD, Takahashi RN.
Departamento de Farmacologia, Centro de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Campus Universitário Trindade, 88049-900 Florianópolis, SC, Brazil.


The spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR) is frequently used as an experimental model for the study of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) since it displays behavioural and neurochemical features of ADHD. Increasing evidence suggests that caffeine might represent an important therapeutic tool for the treatment of ADHD and we recently demonstrated that the acute administration of caffeine improves several learning and memory impairments in adult SHR rats. Here we further evaluated the potential of caffeine in ADHD therapy. Female Wistar (WIS) and SHR rats were treated with caffeine (3mg/kg, i.p.) or methylphenidate (MPD, 2mg/kg, i.p.) for 14 consecutive days during the prepubertal period (post-natal days 25-38) and they were tested later in adulthood in the object-recognition task. WIS rats discriminated all the objects used, whereas SHR were not able to discriminate pairs of objects with subtle structural differences. Chronic treatment with caffeine or MPD improved the object-recognition deficits in SHR rats. Surprisingly, these treatments impaired the short-term object-recognition ability in adult WIS rats. The present drug effects are independent of changes in locomotor activity, arterial blood pressure and body weight in both rat strains. These findings suggest that chronic caffeine treatment during prepubertal period confers long-term cognitive benefits in discriminative learning impairments of SHR, suggesting caffeine as an alternative therapeutic strategy for the early management of ADHD symptoms. Nevertheless, our results also emphasize the importance of a correct diagnosis and the caution in the use of stimulant drugs such as caffeine and MPD during neurodevelopment since they can disrupt discriminative learning in non-ADHD phenotypes.


  1. I do much better on cacao, especially raw cacao. It has all the good benefits of coffee, without the nervousness. I don´t mean hot chocolate but pure cacao, which you can mix with milk (or mylk) and something sweet. I like mine with a dash of cinnamon, nutmeg & Chili, Mexican style, or I add it to banana shakes & smoothies.
    Coffee tends to make me jittery, upsets my digestion and gives me dandruff. Raw cacao is my drug of choice !

  2. Drink more water too....Helps flush toxins/wastes/excess salts from your system and keeps your energy levels higher as body organs, like kidneys are upping their function. Of corse you have the water in coffee.

  3. Left the "u" out of course in earlier comment....Dyslexia too? Avoid the canned soft drinks except Seltzer. All kinds of chemicals are added to them.

  4. Thanks for reminding us. This is especially important in the south where it is hotter than the hinges of Hades.


  5. I have inattentive adhd and my grades on homework assignments used to be 50 percent 70 if lucky but now with a little coffee during homework time my homework assignments never go under 75 percent and usually stay around 95 percent

  6. I was trying to get a blog post out and just decided I needed a cup as well. Bottoms up!

    Thanks for commenting!


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