Energy drinks and ADD/ADHD

I drink energy drinks like Red Bull to calm me down and get me focused. When I don't have the Red Bull I have energy but nowhere to put it in an organized fashion. With red Bull I can work all day, and get a lot done. All my ideas and energy seem to come together, and my usually at-the-speed-of-light thoughts slow down and become 'grabbable' for a while. I guess it is is a form of self medication-but it works for me. My husband started working at a teen rehabilitation facility and they have teens there who are prescribed energy drinks BEFORE BED on account of ADD?ADHD . He was amazed at this- and so was I since I had already noticed my body/brain response was also to calm down, etc. I would think energy drinks are suppose to speed you up, etc. Not me! Anyone else?

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I have never tried that before, I was afraid that Energy drinks especially Red Bull would speed me up and make my thoughts even more uncontrollable. I think I am going to give Energy drinks a shot, if it is a good alternative to medications like Ritalin it would be Great.

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My observation has been that a LIMITED amount of caffeine is helpful, but too much is not. I limit myself to one 24-oz Coke in the morning. More can not only aggravate ADHD but also feed depression (which is a common co-morbid disorder with ADHD). Red Bull has about twice the caffeine of Coke. (If I get caffeine in the evening I can't sleep.)

When I was an Asst Scoutmaster we'd take kids to Scout camp. In the troop of about ten kids we generally had 4-5 with ADHD (somehow parents regarded Scouting as a treatment for ADHD). In a 1-2 week campout the ADHD kids would be wired for the first 3-4 days until they ran out of money to buy pop at the camp store. Then they would settle down (it was quite noticeable), except that the parents would often send more money during the second week and they would get all wired again.

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I tried today and it had an interesting effect, I felt great actually and every thing worked nice and slow for about an our and then my brain drifted into another million things, I am wondering if more red bull will help.

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@Pps Dan
I think there are some differences between a Coke(soda) and an energy drink. I looked on the back of the one I had yesterday at the ingredients list. It has a large amount of vitamin B12, and some other herbs and vitamins that a soda would not. I agree it does have a lot of caffeine in it. I drink a few cups of coffee on the days I do not have an energy drink, and it does not have the same effect as an energy drink either. Both Coke and coffee can make me jittery, 'spaghetti-brained' and hyped up if I overdo, and if I drink them past 4-5 in the afternoon-forget sleeping at a reasonable time..
I thought it would be the same for energy drinks, until my husband went to work at the boys home, where they are prescribed before bed by their doctor. Interestingly enough, though, all other forms of sugar and caffeine, such as candy and soda, for example, were strictly banned at all times. They would search the kids incoming packages and such to find such 'contraband' as well. Many of the boys had ADD/ADHD and were on the 'house' diet. But when it came to the energy drinks, apparently they are regarded as different. If they were not, why wouldn't a Coke be ok before bed or a few Jolly ranchers instead? (I say this tongue in cheek) And this was not some crappy hole in the wall boys home- it was a very expensive place that usually, with a few state exceptions, had wealthier upper middle class occupants staying there. And almost half the boys in the home had this particular energy drink given to them every night.
I am thinking from the ingredients list, the form of sugar and how/when it hits, then affects your blood sugar has something to do with it. It may not be just the caffeine or vitamins.

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@El_Astuto
I usually find it doesn't last all day for me, either. I have some coffee towards afternoon time after having an energy drink-just one cup, mind you, because there is quite a bit of caffeine in the energy drink. I am not on meds at all currently, so please, if you are on doctor prescribed meds, don't go off of them to self medicate with energy drinks! I was asking if anyone had heard of energy drinks being used in , oh, I don't know what you'd call it- treating??ADHD/ADD?? I certainly haven't- seems like the exact opposite of what should be done, right? I woud have ???'s about the long term affects, how many are ok and necessary in a day, week, etc. and the cost is pretty high. Not to mention, all energy drinks are not alike.
And regarding the affect lasting an hour for you-I usually 'sip' mine for a few hours. It tends to last me longer, and I don't get the rapid 'high' with the crash later- when I finish it, I wait til early afternoon to have my coffee. But the coffee-I have that with or without the energy drink. So anyway-thanks for responding:)

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Too bad I just saw my shrink yesterday or I'd ask him about it -- he generally keeps up on these things, and will research stuff he doesn't know about.

To my knowledge the only vitamin that has much affect on ADHD is methylfolate (present in some "body building" mixes but not in Red Bull). And an "energy drink" could have some slight difference in the glycemic index of the sugar used, but for Red Bull sucrose and glucose are the first two ingredients listed after water.

But it may be that a small amount of Red Bull is the perfect combo to "wire them up" briefly and then send them crashing to sleep -- kind of the ADHD equivalent of reactive hypoglycemia.

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