Addrena is a nootropic stack being advertised as an alternative to Adderall.
It contains a total of 15 nootropic ingredients designed to give you focus, energy, and sedate appetite. So does popping a couple of Addrena simulate the effects of Adderall? If so it would be a cheap, legal substitute that could revolutionize the way people study and work. Read on to learn how Adderall and Addrena work, and how Addrena compares to Adderall.
How Does Adderall Work?
To understand if Addrena lives up to its claims as an alternative to Adderall, it is essential to understand precisely how Adderall works.
When compared to other ADHD medications such as Ritalin and Concerta, Adderall is regarded as being the most potent in terms of effect and duration.
The active ingredients in Adderall are called Amphetamines. (Specifically dextroamphetamine and levoamphetamine) These amphetamines increase the levels of the neurotransmitters dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine by two methods:
1. Amphetamines bind to monoamine transporters which increases the production of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin.
2. Amphetamines also inhibit the MAO-A and MAO-B enzymes. These enzymes are responsible for the breakdown of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. This means Amphetamines keep your body from breaking down these three neurotransmitters.
Adderall not only increases the production of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin but also keeps your body from breaking them down. So what exactly do increased levels of these neurotransmitters in your body mean?
1. Dopamine – Dopamine is associated with the reward system in the brain. Elevated levels of dopamine provide feelings of pleasure and enjoyment as well as increasing one’s motivation to proactively perform certain activities. When you take Adderall, the improvement in mood and intense levels of motivation you feel can be contributed to higher levels of dopamine.
2. Norepinephrine – This neurotransmitter is released from sympathetic neurons and directly affects the heart. It instantly increases the heart rate and triggers the release of glucose giving your body more energy. Increased levels of norepinephrine also improve your brain’s oxygen supply. When you take Adderall the feelings of increased energy, and intense focus are the cause of increased norepinephrine in your body.
3. Serotonin – Serotonin is synthesized in the central nervous system. Increased levels of serotonin cause feelings of enjoyment, suppress one’s appetite and gives one increased amount of energy. When you take Adderall, the decrease in appetite can be contributed to higher serotonin levels. Serotonin also works with dopamine to improve your mood and provide you with more energy.
How Does Adderall Make You Feel?
Depending on how full your stomach is the effects will set in anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour after consumption. The first feeling you will notice is slight in concentration. You will find that once you start thinking about a particular subject you mind is much less likely to wander away from it. You will also see that you have much more motivation to do anything. You will not want to waste away in front of a TV. You will feel motivation to accomplish something productive. As this increase in concentration and motivation begin to occur a euphoric “high” will start to take effect.
Along withthis “high”, you begin to have what feels like an unlimited amount of energy and your appetite will disappear altogether. You will find that as you work, you will not be one bit distracted by your phone or facebook. You will be more productive then you have ever been before in your life.
All of these feelings will peak from 1 hour to 3 hours into a standard 20mg dose. After around 4 hours you will begin to lose the “high” , and your appetite may begin to return; especially if you didn’t eat before taking the dose. The feelings of focus and motivation will also begin to decrease after around 4 hours.
During the come-down, the only side effects I have experienced are headaches and back pain. The come-down will worsen your mood. All these neurotransmitters that were making you feel great are starting to return to their normal levels. This come-down is what makes Adderall addictive. You will also find that if you take another dose of Adderall the next day, the euphoric “high” is almost non-existent. You will still have higher levels of energy, motivation, and focus but they won’t be as intense. I have found that my appetite is always suppressed. For these reasons when I take Adderall as a study aid I always give myself one-day in-between doses and try never to take it more than two times a week.
How Does Addrena Work?
The creators of Addrena claim that it mimics the effects of Adderall. If you read the section on how Adderall works you know that it increases the production of the neurotransmitters dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. Then it sustains their presence by keeping them from being broken down.
Does Addrena do this?
Yes and No.
Addrena does increase the levels of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. However, it does nothing to keep them from breaking down. This means Addrena does indeed share many of the effects that Adderall produces. It just won’t be as intense, and it won’t last as long. Chances are you will also build up a tolerance quite quickly to its Adderall like effects if you take Addrena every day.
That being said, Addrena does have other beneficial nootropic effects that Adderall does not provide:
1. Addrena has some ingredients to help with weight-loss. Vitamins B3, B12, and ALCAR all work to increase your metabolism. Yohimbe also works to sedate your appetite. However, increases your metabolism won’t be of much help unless you engage in regular exercise.
2. Huperzine, Choline, and DMEA all work together to elevate levels of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. This produces many nootropic effects including improved memory, ability to learn, and mood. Vinpocetine also works to improve your memory and acts as a neuroprotectant.
Should I Take Addrena?
From the research I have done Addrena appears to have a few good uses:
1. Taking a couple before a study session will increase your energy, focus, motivation, and mood. It won’t be as powerful as Adderall, or last as long, but it will help. If this is your only use for it, I recommend taking it sporadically, so you don’t build a tolerance.
2. It is a good daily supplement for people trying to lose weight. Addrena is loaded with supplements to improve their metabolism and has a couple to sedate appetite. When I finished my research on Addrena is appeared to me to be a nootropic/weight-loss hybrid. Taking Addrena daily with regular exercise and a good diet will certainly help you.
3. It is a mediocre daily supplement for real nootropic properties. It uses three separate mechanisms of action to increase your levels of acetylcholine. This results in improved memory, ability to learn, and improved mood. Personally, if you don’t want to use Addrena for one of the first two uses, I believe you would be better off constructing your regimen or looking for a different nootropic stack.
Here you can read about all the ingredients in Addrena and how they work to meet the claims stated by the manufacturer.
Huperzine – This is a natural nootropic found in Southeast Asia and India. It readily crosses the blood-brain barrier to act as an AChE inhibitor. When AChE is inhibited, your brain can sustain much higher levels of acetylcholine. Acetylcholine plays an important role in our nervous system, and higher levels lead to improvements in short term memory and our ability to learn.
Choline – Choline is a water-soluble nutrient grouped within the B-complex vitamins. It is essential for the production of the acetylcholine. Increased levels of choline mean increased levels of acetylcholine. This creates the same results that Huperzine creates just by a different mechanism of action.
DMAE – DMAE is an organic compound that is a direct precursor to the production of acetylcholine. This creates similar results seen with the ingestion of choline and Huperzine.
Caffeine – Caffeine is an alkaloid which acts as a stimulant. It works in the central nervous system by temporarily giving users increased energy and alertness. Caffeine is water-soluble, lipid-soluble, and can easily cross the blood-brain barrier. Once it crosses the blood-brain barrier is acts on adenosine receptors resulting in an increased heart-rate, higher levels of dopamine, and more energy.
Guarana – Guarana is a plant that produces high levels of caffeine. This ingredient has the same effect that caffeine does. See above description.
Vitamin B3 – B3 is an essential human nutrient often referred to as “niacin” or “nicotinamide” because they have similar biochemical properties. Vitamin B3 helps with the conversion of niacin and nicotinamide to the NAD and NADP enzymes. These enzymes play an important role in your body’s metabolic process.
Vitamin B12 – B12 is a water-soluble vitamin which plays an important role in the nervous system. Like B3, it plays an important role in the metabolic process in the human body. It also effects DNA synthesis, fatty acid synthesis, and energy production.
Bitter Orange – A citrus tree fruit that contains an essential oil used in herbal medicine. It is a commonly used as a stimulant and appetite suppressant. It contains an assortment of tyramine metabolites that react with the adrenergic receptors to constrict blood vessels, increase blood pressure, and increase heart rate. The constriction of blood vessels, referred to as “vasoconstriction”, occurs in part because of increased levels of norepinephrine. More norepinephrine causes you to be more focused and have more energy.
On Addrena’s site they claim bitter orange, “boosts your metabolic rate and energy levels to help increase fat burning and ultimately body fat loss.” Even though bitter orange may sedate your appetite and increase you energy there is no evidence that it boosts your metabolic rate and helps you burn fat.
Yohimbe Bark Extract – This extract is an alkaloid with stimulant and aphrodisiac effects. Studies have linked Yohimbe to significant fat loss in athletes and is sold over the counter in many places to help with erectile dysfunction. Besides it’s the addition to weight loss and slight stimulant effects, I am not really sure why this is included in Addrena.
Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALCAR) – ALCAR is a naturally occurring dietary supplement. It has the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier where it acts as an antioxidant, protecting brain cells from deterioration and damage. ALCAR is also associated with an increase in glucose metabolism which assists with weight-loss
Acetyl-L-Tyrosine – Tyorosine is converted by the enzyme TH to levodopa. Levodopa is a chemical naturally made by the body which plays a very important role in the synthesis of the neurotransmitters dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine. Increased levels of these neurotransmitters cause increased mood, motivation, energy, and focus.
Bacopa Extract – Even though the exact mechanism of action is not known, scientists have determined that Bacopa increases levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin. It also effects neuron synthesis and synaptic activity. The end result is increased memory, ability to learn, and improved concentration/focus.
White Willow Bark Extract – White Willow, also known as Salix alba, is a species of tree native to Europe, and Asia. It is used in medicine as a pain reliever for minor aches and pains. I don’t really see why this is in Addrena.
Piperine – Piperine is an alkaloid involved in the drug metabolism. In other words, it increases the effectiveness of certain medications. It is very possible that Piperine works in synergy with some of the other components in Addrena.
Vinpocetine – An extract derived from the periwinkle plant, Vinpocetine is known to be a powerful neuroprotectant, while increase blood flow to the brain, and greatly improving memory.
While the claims made by the manufacturer are exaggerated, Addrena is still a solid product that does provide boosts in focus and can be helpful for studying.