Caffeine vs Adderall – Benefits, Side Effects, Differences

Caffeine vs Adderall – Benefits, Side Effects, Differences:


It is a stimulant and mild diuretic found in foods and beverages. The Food and Drug Administration classifies this substance as both a drug and a food additive.

This bitter substance occurs naturally in more than 60 plants, like – cacao pods (which are used to make chocolate products), kola nuts (which are used to flavor soft drink colas), tea leaves, and coffee beans.

Moreover, caffeine is the most popular weight-loss ingredient. For instance, it is used by companies and supplements, including Truvision and Plexus Slim. Also, it is part of a group of drugs called methylxanthines that have a few effects on the human body, like:

  • they increase smooth muscle relaxation, which affects body systems regulated by smooth muscles, such as – the endothelial system;
  • they stimulate the heart muscle;
  • they increase the frequency of urination;
  • they stimulate the central nervous system.

In the present day, about 90 percent of adults in North America and approximately 80 percent of the world’s population consume a caffeinated product every day.


Research indicates that healthy adults can consume up to 400 mg of caffeine (which is equivalent to four cups of coffee) per day without any problem.

Good For Athletes

It may improve athletic performance by as much as 13 percent on average. For instance, in one meta-analysis, scientists concluded that caffeine consumption improved the rate of perceived exertion after physical exercise, which was intense and constant.

Moreover, healthy seniors between ages 61 and 79 who consumed 150 mg of caffeine just before exercising were better able to exercise than people who didn’t get a caffeine boost, according to a 2014 study issued in The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging.

Not only will caffeine make your physical exercise session worthy of one of those ultra-intense sports drinks, but it will also help with post-exercise pain.

Weight Loss

Consuming caffeine before physical exercise puts your body into fat-burning mode, according to a 2013 study issued in Nutrition and Metabolism.

Side Effects

This substance has been shown to relax the esophagus, possibly leading to gastroesophageal reflux. This can lead to heartburn in sensitive individuals. Also, caffeine may hinder the body’s capacity to absorb calcium, and a regular intake of caffeine may lead to osteoporosis, according to a study done by Creighton University in Omaha.

Another study established that women who consumed up to 300 mg of caffeine a day have a 150 percent higher risk of developing fibrocystic breast disease (the most frequent cause of lumpy breasts) than women who don’t intake caffeine from any source.

Moreover, this substance acts as a stimulant on the central nervous system, increasing heart rate. This may occur as soon as 15 min after ingesting.

Caffeine Withdrawal

Individuals who suddenly stop their caffeine intake may suffer from withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms may include:

  • irritability;
  • muscle ache;
  • temporary depression;
  • headaches.

Withdrawal symptoms typically take about 24 hours to occur and may continue for seven days. To avoid these symptoms, it is best to reduce your caffeine intake gradually.


It is a central nervous system stimulant that contains 2 different chemicals – dextroamphetamine and amphetamine. It functions as a central nervous system stimulant for increased concentration, attention span, and focus.


This medication is typically used to treat ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), a condition that involves difficulty sitting still, paying attention, and controlling behavior.

If left untreated, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder may negatively affect the sufferer as well as his family life because approximately 65% of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder may still exhibit signs and symptoms into adulthood.

Moreover, it may prevent symptoms of narcolepsy (a long-term neurological disorder), which includes sudden attacks of daytime sleepiness and excessive sleepiness.

Side Effects

Adderall is a US Food and Drug Administration-approved drug. However, because it has a high potential for abuse, it is in the category of controlled substances. Common side effects may include:

  • headaches;
  • nervousness;
  • stomach pain;
  • restlessness;
  • diarrhea;
  • problems staying asleep;
  • difficulty falling asleep;
  • vomiting;
  • uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body;
  • unexplained weight loss;
  • loss of appetite;
  • constipation;
  • nausea;
  • dry mouth;
  • erectile dysfunction;
  • changes in sex drive.

Rare side effects may include:

  • chest pain;
  • pounding heartbeat;
  • seizures;
  • shortness of breath;
  • feeling unusually suspicious of others;
  • excessive tiredness;
  • hostile behavior;
  • difficult speech;
  • fever;
  • faintness;
  • rash;
  • numbness of an arm or leg;
  • hives;
  • verbal tics;
  • itching;
  • believing things that are not true;
  • hoarseness;
  • problems swallowing;
  • difficulty breathing;
  • swelling of the eyes, tongue, face, or throat;
  • peeling skin;
  • blurred vision;
  • abnormally excited mood;
  • seeing things that do not exist.

Because a dangerous drug interaction could occur, do not use this drug if you have taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor in the past two weeks. Monoamine oxidase inhibitors include – linezolid, isocarboxazid, phenelzine, rasagiline, methylene blue injection, selegiline, and tranylcypromine.

This drug is abused mostly by young adults and college students. According to the data,  about 25% of college students regularly abuse this drug. Symptoms of overdose may include:

  • hyperventilation;
  • panic attack;
  • hallucinations;
  • cardiac rhythm abnormalities;
  • coma;
  • loss of consciousness;
  • vertigo (a condition where an individual feels as if they or the objects around them are moving);
  • profound confusion;
  • uncontrollable tremor.

Caffeine vs Adderall – Differences

Caffeine is the world’s most popular psychoactive drug and a chemical stimulant that is most commonly used to help people stay mentally alert. Caffeine works by blocking a neurotransmitter that plays an important role in sleep (adenosine) and prevents drowsiness.

Adderall is a combination of dextroamphetamine and amphetamine, which is used mainly to treat the symptoms of ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder). This medication may be habit-forming and should be used only by the individuals for whom it was prescribed.

In conclusion, Adderall is a norepinephrine and dopamine-releasing drug. It works for 4 to 6 hours in the human body. Caffeine is an adenosine receptor antagonist. Furthermore, Adderall works differently than caffeine and is much stronger, with more severe side effects.

Image credit – Shutterstock & Getty


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