T Nation

ADD Medications in Bodybuilding?


what are your thoughts?

some medications seem to supress apetite, others seem to make people stay calm and focus (beneficial in my opinion)

I am aware most of these are amphetamine, and "technically" a performance enhancer.

i am specifically talking about those that have been prescribed these medications.


I just realized you were talking about A.D.D (attention deficit disorder).

Your title made it look like you were asking if you should add in bodybuilding (as if you were thinking about adding bodybuilding to your lifestyle).

Sorry I have nothing more to contribute, and I know it was an honest mistake, but try to differentiate the two next time :wink:


Talk to MODOK here on T-Nation. Full of useful pharmaceutical information.


I worked out on adderall quite a bit a few years ago, my workouts were insane. I could lift heavier and my intensity was greater.

This was discussed in detail in the steroid forum if you feel like doing some digging, I can't remember the thread title though, sorry.

There ended up being just as many cons as there are pro's for doing this though.


While Amphetamine is a performance enhancer (not just 'technically') it is also a highly addictive and powerful stimulant that is NOT healthy in even the broadest sense of the word.

Now.. you say you are talking about if you have been prescribed Adderal.. but that makes no sense.
Those prescribed Adderal have ADHD or ADD and in those individuals it does hot give a stimulatory effect and actually does quite the opposite.

For this reason i am going to put it to you that you are actually talking about using Adderal and RX-only stimulants for their stimulatory effects rather than to just feel normal in those with a medical need.

Well my opinion is that this is not what bodybuilding is about. Prescription only stimulants are not good for you in any sense, and while they do of course improve performance in certain activities* that does not make then automatically 'ok' to use for users of PED.

*Better for psychological tasks than physical.

In my opinion it goes against the grain of what the sport is all about - and i have known many a man (and woman) who have got into trouble with stimulants - psychological and physiological.

However i know there are many recreational users of such drugs on this site.

JMO :wink:


raises you cortisol so could be detrimental


I use Adderall every now and then to study and write papers (oh do I hate papers.)

The problem I have with it is I could go all day without eating a single bite of food. If you're going to take it, make sure you force yourself to eat at your regularly scheduled times.

I don't notice the same effect in the gym that waylander does.


before you go this route make sure you have an opportunity to view spect scans of human brains on amphetamines...that will pretty much answer your question i think.


Amphetamines are crazy catabolic.

I seriously doubt the extra stimulus that comes with lifting heavier while using them could feasibly outweigh the muscle loss due to their catabolic properties.

Maybe if they had a half life of an hour they might be useful for that purpose.

I actually have a prescription, because I do in fact have ADD, and I still don't take the medication.
Because I have these things called testicles, and when I have to get something done I just freaking force it.

Is it harder for me than most people ? Yes.

Does that make me any less capable of getting it done ? No.
ADD meds are fucking horrible, you feel like your stuck in a fucking box, your not hungry, you feel slow, you feel "contained" like your trapped in your own head...

Why cant you guys just take steroids and be happy ?? I literally don't understand why you would want to be on that god forsaken drug, if you have spare monies, go out and buy more test.



And the cardio-vascular system.

And watch out for that amphetamine induced psychosis which is a very real threat indeed.

These drugs are NOT for use for bodybuilding performance enhancement - much like DNP.


Why not use some HRX Extreme? Kid you not that shit rocks for staying focused and awake. Either that or a low dose of ephedrine every now and then (25mg or so). Normally I take ephedrine when I need to stay awake for a few days to do assignments/papers etc (with sleeping hours reduced to about 2 hrs/day...). Don't take it for days on end tough. It will eventually make ya feel sluggish/sleepy all day if you over use it.

Also even at low doses I tend to feel depleted of energy after 5 hours or so of taking it. I have my fair share of experience with that stuff. Nowadays I prefer HRX to be honest. It's enough to keep me awake most of the time.



To be fair this is not as easy for you as it is for some.

My wife her brother and father all have ADD.. with her father having it the worst, then her brother and then her in severity. They all need the meds to be able to operate as a normal person or else they are simply all over the place.

Also when i spent some time in adult psych, i met a guy who was in and out of institutions his whole life down to simply not taking his adderal (or dex back in the day), as it was so extreme. He couldn't sleep if he missed his meds and would end up carving himself up due to that..

Balls don't cover it for all sufferers.. that said, i agree with your post in that of those who are not ADD/ADHD or can function with it - Just Do It.


I prefer to manage my time better so i never need to stay awake for a few days.

EVEN if you are a full time nurse and studying at the same time - or have another job were you may pull a 20 hour shift, using these drugs will lead to burning out eventually, adrenal fatigue, depression, psychosis let alone the fact that these professions while demanding still allow down time (eventually), as it does need to be possible without stimulants (and it of course)!

My opinion is that many people love to use stims (that crack is supposed to be very more-ish) simply because they feel good, but they excuse it by saying the NEED them for some 'better cause' like studying, work or whatever.

Truth is, you can do it without - you CHOOSE to use the stimulants.

Man up and admit it!

I did drugs cause i liked them - then i did them because i couldn't stop. And?


I have ADHD and have been self-medicating for years with bb stims and caffeine and finally decided that probably wasn't the best route, so I went to doc and got script for Adderall XR; the effective dose for me, after ramping up slowly is 60mg/day, but it's not without it's side effects.

Trying to eat enough to put mass onto a 250-some-odd frame is insanely difficult while on that amount of dextro-A. Yes, I am very focused, it calmed me down considerably, I slept better at night, I was less impulsive, my wife said it took away the "asshole" side of my personality, I have much more patience, but at the same time it changed my personality and made me much more focused internally.

I never got the elevated blood pressure or elevated, resting pulse rate that some get or the other host of sides. I do know that my chest would feel like it was going to explode if I took any other stims and lifted! (not smart). I say all of these things in the past tense because I'm in the process of tapering myself down and hopefully off of adderall all together.

I found I can avoid fogginess and lack of focus if I stay away from carbs almost entirely (i'm reactive hypoglycemic) and I have adequate zinc, mg, and calcium in my diet. I made that decision because I started researching the adverse sides of Adderall and it's effects on the adrenal and endocrine system and I fell that I would rather try some other route than A's. From what I've read, adrenal fatigue is a real issue these days and it can very negatively affect your lifting and destroy an anabolic environment.

If you're a fast-oxidizer and happen to be sympathetic nervous system dominant and you're taking stims (whether it be Adderall or the other), you're throwing gas on an open fire. If you happen to be taking adderall and you don't legitimately have ADD/ADHD, watch out-they are scheduled the way they are for a reason; they are addictive and they are had to give up. There are taper and supplement protocols out there specifically for coming off of adhd meds...if that gives you any idea what you might be getting yourself into.

Personally, I loved the benefits of Adderall, but the long-term risk profile for the drug just doesn't fit into where I see myself going. I'm even going to go as far as to have a hair mineral analysis done my a place called HealthExcel and get my metabolic profile done and see if I happen to have low-level heavy metal deposits or other imbalances that may cause the ADHD, or at least aggravate the tendency...obviously this is geared more toward the guys with ADHD who might be interested in alternative to stim meds.

Currently I'm on 30mg and seems to be doing better now that I have really steered clear of anything that causes insulin spikes (outside of peri-nutrition) and also take plenty of insulin-sensitivity supps (fish oil, fenugreek, etc) to help iron out wild fluctuations and store carbs more efficiently as glycogen. I'm going on and on, but I thought somebody might sympathize with the situation on this thread. Slowly I'll get down to no Adderall and figure out why the hell I have become so freaking hyperactive (my thoughts still lead me to believe it's diet/metabolic/mineral imbalances, but I'm no pro.)


mattchew you are on the right path. I was able to stop 15 years of psych meds with the help of a good orthomolecular psychiatrist. THese issues have biological causes that can be properly addressed by the right diagnostics. I urge you to read teh book The Ultramind Solution by Dr. Mark Hyman. It is truly fascinating. Your issues may be heavy metal related, but don't just stop there.

They could be hormonal, gut related, micronutrient deficiencies, etc. be sure you are working with a competent FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE PRACTITIONER. The bosy has to be treated as a system, no particular portion works independently of any other. Mental issues are physical issues that are not being properly treated. ADD meds/anti-depressants/anti psychotics will one day be looked at as the greatest crime ever against humanity.

Not saying they should NEVER be used but 90% of teh people on them should not be and could have symptoms comletely eliminated with proper diagnostics. Its unbelievable really what big pharma has managed to convince the general populace of.


Adderall is the BOMB before finals. That being said, I can't sleep if I take it and I get jittery and uncomfortable in general. To waylander, the few times I took adderall before lifting I felt like I could literally train balls out all day, but I never noticed a strength increase . (I mean, not literally 'balls out', but you know)


lol! thats funny! :wink: