Coffee helps ADHD children

Virginia (Jenny) - posted on 02/19/2009 ( 53 moms have responded )

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It helps my son! My son has seen doctors and all have said that the same stimulant that is in adhd medicine is also in coffee. My son's old school used to take him a cup of coffee every morning. It really helps him to calm down and be able to focus

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Marilin - posted on 07/20/2012

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I have tried coffee and it does work, but only for a short period of time. I've thought about maybe giving him two or three cups of coffee a day, but the idea of just one cup sounds unhealthy. Is it OK for my son to have more than one cup a day?

Lisa Marie - posted on 03/01/2013

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My son is 11 in April he has bad attention problems and also doesn't listen and when we say don't he will do it again
He has been on Ritalin and certera but I hate what they do to him
So thinking the coffee thing could
Work can someone tell me how much a day helps?

Sherry - posted on 04/08/2013

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I have read that there have been deaths associated or connected with drinking energy drinks. However, it is important to note that the associations were not proven and in most cases their were other factors such as consuming alcohool or other substances, involved, or drinking multiple cans within a short period of time as well as other pre-existing heart or other health conditions. I am not denying that their are risks with caffeine. However, there are also serious risks of sudden death and heart problems with children taking adhd stimulant medications as well. Clearly there are risks with caffeine as well as the stimulants in adhd meds and people have to check with the doctor and make their own decisions on what is best for their child. My son had heart palpitations with adderall, which is why we stopped giving it to him. He has not had any heart palpitations with the amount of caffeine we are giving him.
My son gets only 6 of the expresso beans to spread out through the day, equal to about 30 mg caffeine and 125 ml of the energy drink which is about 4 oz containing about 40-50 mg of caffeine.
The teens in the reports were drinking anywhere from 24-48 oz of the stuff, (probably in an attempt to get an energy rush) which is equivalent to about 300 - 600 mg of caffeine, or more depending on the caffeine contents of the drinks. I do agree that the drinks can be dangerous for some people especially youth, if not used carefully, personally I think you should have to be 19 to purchase them. It is important to note also that certain brands of these energy drinks contain other herbal substances such as taurine, ginko, guarana, which are not carefully moderated by fda or tested on teens or children. Always best to check with your a doctor before taking any suppement, even natural ones. There are studies done on effectiveness of caffeine for adhd, I have done research on it, and encourage everyone to do their own research. Which is what I said in my original post.

Sherry - posted on 04/05/2013

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My son, 6 years old, moderate adhd combined type, adderall and vyvanse helped, but side effects and risks were too much. We are using caffeine (along with some behaviour modification), we use chocolate covered expresso beans 3 in the morning, 3 at lunch, we use caffeinated energy drinks, about 125 ml 2-3 times a day.
I read in a study that the effective dose was about 2.5 mg of caffeine per kg of body weight, taken 2-3 times a day. So for my son who is 25 kgs, needs about 60-70 mg caffeine 2-3 times a day.
Most choc covered expresso beans have approx 5 mg caffeine each, so we give him 3 of those and 125 mg energy drink (which equals about 50-60 mg caffeine, but each energy drink caffeine varies so you have to read the label. )
Caffeine is stimulant but are not as strong as the prescription meds, they results are more subtle, but they do help my son. There are still some side effects and risks with giving children caffeine, but in MHO if dosage is controlled they are safer and more natural. They take an edge off of the hyperactivity and help with focus and concentration.
I am not a doctor and This is not for everyone, but for moms who are looking for alternatives to precription stims, this may be helpful. We sometimes use 1 mg melatonin supplement at bed time for sleep,(not everynight) this is super cheap at drug star/vitamin store $5 bucks for a bottle of 100, and they are edible minty melt in your mouth tablets and studies show the supplement is safe, plz check with your doc though.
Also it seems to take about 20 minutes to notice the caffeine effects in his system.

JENNIFER - posted on 11/26/2012

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my son has adhd from age 2 and they want him on rittlen and i told them no way so i have ben looking in to things that i could give him that is natural and nothing like rittlen he does not like coffee at all i gave him another one and it worked but to tolongto help so i am looking at advocare spark drink for him.

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Kang - posted on 04/09/2014

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thanks for your input Sherry, it's really helpful. How did you see the espresso beans affecting his behavior? Could you give some examples?

Lorna J - posted on 12/18/2013

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I just talked my kids into trying coffee for their daughter who in the mornings gets so out of control it makes us all crazy. I gave her tea today because of the caffeine and thank God, what a change in her attitude. When I'm her its Foldger's time!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She was able to dress and put shoes on without any problems.

Virginia (Jenny) - posted on 09/09/2013

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I've always given them regular coffee I drink with French Vanilla creamer. Works perfectly. Otherwise they think it's nasty. :) His doctor said a little sugar is fine.

Amanda - posted on 08/27/2013

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Please help I have started mine on coffee and it helps so much but it takes a hour from them to drink and 1/2 cup is there anything I can do to make it taste good
.I have done french vanilla and creamer still takes forever for them to drink Iit....PLEASE HELP ME THANKS A BUNCH

Guy - posted on 08/19/2013

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I'm a Dad....I know this is circle of Mom's, but I'm desperate for help!! I googled "using coffee to control ADHD symptoms" and this website was on of the hits. Let me tell you,for my son Caffeine works. I wasn't sure it was the coffee until I read your posts. It is safer than all the prescription stimulants my son has been on (Adderall, Concerta, Intuniv). My son complained of headaches and blurry vision when using those drugs. He likes the coffee and it works. I read that someone uses chocolate covered expresso beans. That is such a great idea!! Thanks ladies...

Beth - posted on 04/07/2013

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you do know that teenagers have died from drinking energy drinks right?? and you're giving your son energy drinks on top of expresso beans. and you think this is safer than an doctor monitored medication.

JENNIFER - posted on 11/26/2012

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my son not doing to good in school he has iep and they are thinking of puting him in special day classes and i am not sure if i want that i will try the coffee how long befor you know it is working and what time should i give itto him be for he heads of to school he starts at 20 after am8 and gets out at 2:50pm

Donna - posted on 11/26/2012

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Thats awesome I still give my grandson coffee and it helps big time before school.

Nanette - posted on 10/13/2012

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Not everyone is the same. What doesn't work for you may work for someone else. It's all trial and error. Just like the other post about Mountain Dew. As I said it makes my son bounce off the walls. Anything with a high sugar content is evil to my son. But the caffeine in coffee makes him focus and pay attention.

Nanette - posted on 10/13/2012

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My son is not on any type of meds. My husband refuses.

My sons 1st grade teacher suggested this (coffee) to me. We tried it (My son LOVES coffee). After about a week his teacher told me to stop it wasn't working. But she was a wonderful teacher and knew how to deal with kids like my son. She had him sit on what I call a silly seat. It's a Seating Disc Balance Cushion. She had a few kids in her class sit on this and it seemed to work.

Then his 2nd grade teacher well she was just horrible! Having a class of 34 kids and all the commotion going on my son had a horrible time. Even though she knew how my son was. He would just always get into trouble. Now 3rd grade. His teacher and I were talking and she told me that her daughter was just like my son. She asked if I had ever tried coffee? I told her about 1st grade. But them was thinking. I would put those flavored creamers in his coffee. We decided to try coffee again. His cup of coffee consists of 1/2 a cup of coffee the other half 1/2 & 1/2. We don't use sugar we use Splenda so he puts 3 spoonfuls in. The 1st morning I gave him a cup. Then after school I talked to his teacher and she told me he did wonderful. So I'm a firm believer now. As for the side affects. He's not getting that much coffee. Basically a 1/2 a cup a day. I'm sure if they drank it all day then yes I would think they would get addicted. But my question is what are the long term side effects on the meds?

And for the Mountain Dew.....Oh NO! He bounces off the walls

Andreya - posted on 10/05/2012

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that is a lie because i hav ADHD and if i drink cofee im uo for 3 ays STOP LYING!!!!!!!

Mrs Laura - posted on 09/04/2012

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Wow!! I did not know this. I thought it would have an opposite affect on them.

Nicole - posted on 07/11/2012

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My son's doctor recommend it. Its been helping him since his doctor took him off medication. He actually loves coffee.

Donna - posted on 04/26/2012

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I have a grandson that I believe have all the systems of ADHD I will not medicate him due to how he was brought into this world. I have had him since birth. He is now struggling in school because he can't stay seated, pay attention, focused, he is impulsive he is able to do his work just can't stay focused long enough to finish. So they are thinking of retaining him because of his behavior. They want me to medicate him but I can't. His mom did all kinds of drugs and drinking while carrying him and never had gone to a doctor the whole time. He was born addicted to drugs. I went threw withdrawals with this new born and it was not fun. I am trying to find options other than drugs to help him. I have no insurance right now so it makes it difficult to bring him to a professional.. any ideas will sure be appreciated.

Beth - posted on 02/21/2012

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yes caffeine can help ADHD because it's a stimulant like most ADHD drugs, But the effects do not last as long as those of ADHD medications.



Anything with caffeine and little to no sugar will help with ADHD. We have been known to give my daughter a Coke Zero when we forget her meds. It has caffeine but no sugar.

Tina - posted on 02/06/2012

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My husband has heard of this and I think we are going to try it. Thanks for the advice....

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That's a new one for me! I believe you that it works, but I still wouldn't be comfortable giving my son coffee. It sounds unhealthy. :(

Roxanna - posted on 09/26/2011

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Both my children get a small cup of coffee with milk in the morning before school. My oldest is 16, and will occasionally get a coffee during lunch. In my 8 yrs old lunch, I put some Hershey's kisses. But the oldest is on meds and the youngest isn't, yet!

BK - posted on 09/14/2011

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This is very interesting. I don't like my son on the meds...I hate the side effects. But I don't like when he drinks pop either. But am willing to try anything once

Tania - posted on 08/06/2011

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I have given my 9 yr old coffee a couple of times when her tablet has worn off, when she has been moody. I
found this has worked even though she dosent really like the taste. I make sure there is enough sugar and milk in it to try and hide the taste. I havent tried the coke as a calmer so will give it a go. Thanks.

Sylvia - posted on 08/03/2011

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It works for my daughter. It is good to use a different kind of sweetner and stay away from sugar. You can use agave necter ( Wal-mart sugar section) or Truvia. I use sugar-free flavored creamer to give it a yummy taste that she will drink. There is something in coffee, besides the caffine, that helps. Mountain Dew, sodas, etc do not have it and are also loaded with sugar that can counteract the benefit.

Lisa - posted on 08/23/2010

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I give my son Coca cola and he FLYS OFF THE WALL!! My son also takes a non-stim med Straterra (thinking this isnt working for him either), so im wondering if coffee would actually help him...I dnt think he'll drink it he is only 8! SPeaking of Meds...My son has been on 4 different ones in a year time span, from Adderall to Focalin to Intuniv to Straterra....they all seem to work for a lil while but then just STOP!!! Im worried that his growth is going to be affected with all the changes as well as his liver! Am i crazy to think this!!! Sometimes i think he looks drugged and im not sure if thats just the guilt i feel by putting him on meds!! Does anyone know of another ADHD medication I may want to consider. My son also has an anxiety disorder (hence the Straterra) so i dnt think he can take a stimulant!! Im so lost on what the right thing is to do anymore....Im trying everything for him and I feel like a failure to him!!! He dsnt shut up for a minute, i try spending more time with him and by the end of the day i wanna cry because i cannot believe how he acts and the things he does AND he is on meds...whats the point?
Well thanks for letting me vent...if anyone has suggestions I am all ears!!!!
Lisa

Kate - posted on 08/09/2010

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just watch the full on sugary drinks guys they not good for kids too much sugar is not good even though the caffeine maybe but not the sugar!

Erica - posted on 07/03/2010

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i think i should try this 2 nething is worth a try when you have kids like we do

Catherine - posted on 05/27/2010

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Yes it is funny how we give our children meds , i never let my kids drink caffiene based beveridges but that is about to change thanks for the advice. cheers

Michelle - posted on 01/21/2010

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I am going to try this with my 13 yr old. . but should i only give him black coffee or add you add cream/sugar?

Kimberly - posted on 01/16/2010

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I'm definitely going to try this. I had my son on meds in the past and didn't like it so I don't want to put him back on them even though his school is pushing me too. Maybe a small cup of coffee or a can of soda in the morning might work. Thanks for the tip!!

Ashley - posted on 01/09/2010

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I do it for my son too. In the mornings before meds kick in or sometimes if he is just extra hyper and can't burn it off efficiently then I'll give him a mt. dew or some coffee and works like a charm

Darla - posted on 12/03/2009

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Wow... insane! It makes sense though, since its a stimluant. Funny how my husband and I give our daughter a powerful stimulant drug for ADHD, then avoid stimulant beverages. I guess I just never thouht about it.
I will definitely try this!

Tanya - posted on 09/13/2009

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My son is not on any meds yet they are supose to send me to a dr to get the testing done but, he does love coffee ever since he was a little boy so I will try it and see if it will work for him... Thanks alot and I will keep you all informed..

Aubrey - posted on 07/23/2009

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I too give my son coffee and IT DOES WORK. Every morning I give him his coffee and he goes from verbal burst outs and jumping around (wildly) to sitting down, eating his breakfast and he gets ready for school, IT IS AMAZING what a little caffeine can do. To top it off his teacher is the one who suggested it, as well as, three addition teachers at the school where he attends. Try it, it does work.

Ericka - posted on 07/22/2009

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My son drinks coffee every morning with us. He is 11. He has been drinking it for many years. Although it has never benifited him with ADHD and it has not hurt any either.

Coffee and Mt. Dew have no effect. Like most things it may work for one child but not another. My Nephew dirnks it and it calms him. I say more power to trying what ever works. Good luck to all of you.

Shawna - posted on 07/13/2009

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That's good to know. My son loves coffee and I've allowed him to drink it on occasion.

Joanne - posted on 07/11/2009

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Hi Im new to this, Bryan is now 14 about to enter into High school, His bus driver said she did this same thing cuz she was against giving him medication, My ex husband is a mornam and the boys cant have coffee my real question is does it really really work, we see our doctor in Oct 21,

Kathleen - posted on 06/20/2009

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Funny but I never noticed really that coffee helped my son or not. He also has asthma and I had to take him off the ADHD meds while he was on the ones for the asthma, but I also used to make him a cup of coffee, sweet no milk, which helped his breathing. Thinking back now, I don't remember him getting that hyper from the asthma meds while he was off the ADHD meds.

Ericka - posted on 06/16/2009

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I don't think there is any negitive effects of coffee. I guess depending on the child, the coffee may help. My son has been drinking coffee since he was very young. He is 11 and He just likes the taste. Cause it has no effect one way or the other. But he never goes off meds. His doc. did not recommend that. But if they will drink coffee doesn't hurt to give it a try. Works for some and not others kinda funny.

Stephanie - posted on 06/14/2009

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I tried the coffee just made him hyper so less focusing going on. I don't ever take him off his meds even on weekends because it takes the body a month for them to kick in and work effectivly but during the summer I have them lower his dosage since he doesn't really need to focus and if he gets hyper I can send him outside. I also was advised by the dr to give him carnation instant breakfast twice a day instead of the ensure for weight gain. The ensure is targeted to adults and can actually give them too many vitamins and too many vitamins can be fatal, especially too much iron. So if you have weight issues due to the medicine try the carnation instant breakfast twice a day and it seems to work he gained 3 lbs in a week so far so good.

Susannah - posted on 06/14/2009

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I have giving my son on occasion (trips to macdonalds and pub lunches) coke or pepsi and i must admit like cheryl said he goes on over drive. So i dont know if the coffee will work no harm in trying.

Stephanie - posted on 04/23/2009

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Quoting Molly:

REALLY?? I guess I could do research on it but are there any negitive effects? I know when I was growing up my mom would always tell me it would stunt my growth. I am willing to give this a try. Especially on the weekends because the doctor wants her to not take her meds when she doesn't have school. How long have you been doing this? Have you noticed a difference between roasts or decaf vs. fully loaded? The more info I can have let me know.



My sons dr told me not to give him meds on weekends but after a month of trying that I found that by Monday morning it was out of his system and found it hard for him to focus for the first couple of days. I decided that having him on it even on the weekends  was best for us. During the summer I let him slide a little more but with him being hyper it helps me deal with him when he's on it all the time.

Stephanie - posted on 04/23/2009

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I am so going to try this. His medicine works after it kicks in and I bet the coffee kicks in sooner so he will have better mornings. Thanks for the info.

Cheryl - posted on 04/23/2009

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You know, this must be different for different kids. We have given Heather coffee (her version is 1/2 cup of coffee with plenty of milk and some sugar) a few times over the years and have not noticed a difference in her. However, if she drinks Mt. Dew, too many Pepsi, or one of those power drinks she richochets off the walls. We even have to watch the type of water she buys when we travel.

Phyllis - posted on 04/15/2009

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My son hates coffee, but on days when he doesnt take meds, I give him 8oz Coca Cola or Pepsi in the morning and again about 2pm and this helps tremendously. And of course he loves this "treat". I give me other boy caffeine free diet coke so he doesnt feel left out.

Molly - posted on 03/12/2009

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REALLY?? I guess I could do research on it but are there any negitive effects? I know when I was growing up my mom would always tell me it would stunt my growth. I am willing to give this a try. Especially on the weekends because the doctor wants her to not take her meds when she doesn't have school. How long have you been doing this? Have you noticed a difference between roasts or decaf vs. fully loaded? The more info I can have let me know.

Virginia - posted on 03/03/2009

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I bought a small coffee pot just for the boys.  It help keeps them calm til their meds kick in.

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