View Full Version : Clarifying the issue with Adderall and Vitamin C

03-28-17, 03:10 PM
Hi, I'm new, you might be seeing me around a bit.

The reason I registered to make this thread was because, according to my understanding, Vitamin C neutralizes the effects of Adderall. I understand that taking a dose of Emergen-C or drinking a glass of orange juice helps to calm you down at the end of the day to allow you to sleep, but I'm worried about the ramifications of this.

Does this mean that I should avoid all sources of Vitamin C -- leafy greens, tomatoes, etc. if I want my meds to remain effective? I'd like to be able to function like a normal human being, but I'd also like to be able to remain somewhat healthy at the same time.

03-28-17, 11:51 PM
I don't think this issue has actually been studied, so we're stuck piecing together anecdotes... but from what I can tell, the culprit is actually citric acid. The vitamin it provides is irrelevant. Citric acid occurs naturally in citrus fruits, but it's also added to all sorts of processed foods. Not everything that has citric acid has notable vitamin C and not everything that has vitamin C (ascorbic acid) has citric acid. You'll have to read the ingredients label.

So leafy greens are fine but leafy greens doused in lemon juice might cause trouble.

Don't avoid vitamin C. I'm pretty sure that causes scurvy.

Some people taking Adderall don't seem to have a problem with citrus or citric acid. (Since citric acid is in a bazillion things, so they're probably not avoiding it by accident.)

Taking citric acid to calm down at the end of the day doesn't make sense, mainly because, in my experience, citric acid in the evening screws up the effectiveness of the next day's Adderall, maybe even the day after. Also, you probably shouldn't be taking so much Adderall that you become uncalm. Rather than taking a high dose and trying to cancel part of it out with citric acid, take a lower dose. If it causes sleep issues, try taking it earlier in the day.

I've had beverages with malic acid and phosphoric acid without issues.

The release mechanism for the Adderall XR pills is affected by gastrointestinal pH so that more acidic GI environment = less Adderall potency. This only applies to extended release, not instant release. The prescribing info has a warning about pH-modifying drugs when using Adderall XR, but it doesn't say anything about food... However, some of us do have issues with acidic food interfering. In my case, I have acid reflux issues in general, so that may be why. If you have this problem, you'll have to avoid anything that causes heartburn specifically for you, even if it's small amounts of heartburn. So a tomato is probably fine, but a tomato-based salsa might not be.

03-29-17, 12:09 AM
Don't think of Vitamin C as an extinguisher.

The idea with medication like Adderall is that you eat like a normal person.

Maybe avoid tons of lemon in your water, or grapefruit juice, stuff like that. Emergen-C is totally unnecessary, I wouldn't bother with that. But I still drink acidic drinks and high vitamin C products here and there. Just don't overdo it. If you want to be conscientious of your diet, just avoid the really major problems. Don't avoid leafy greens, tomatoes, etc... that will likely end up having a negative effect on you.

There is a black label warning on Adderall not to alkalize your body. That warning is there because it can be dangerous to throw your body out of whack. You need a certain level of vitamins and acidity in your system so that Adderall won't have adverse negative effects (you need to process it and get it out, just over time). You won't get magic prolonged effects, you might end up getting side effects from modifying your diet drastically.

I recently addressed this topic (a couple weeks back) of modifying my diet. My advice to you is: If the Adderall is inconsistent, maybe try being mindful of what you eat. If the problem goes deeper than that, see your doctor, maybe seek advice from a professional dietary consultant. Be very careful about "naturopaths", I worked for a friend for a little while who sold products in that field... there's a lot of scam artists who call themselves naturopaths. Also, don't bother with little tiny details like water quality. Just look at modifying larger-scale stuff (Like, less lemons, maybe more apples, for example. If you want to make any changes at all. Still vitamin C, still acidic, but a little less harsh on the body.)

03-30-17, 12:56 AM
Thanks for your help guys, turns out I was pretty misinformed.


I suppose I worded the OP poorly. I take a very low dose, not enough to cause me to feel restless; what I'm getting at is that it causes me to simply be unable to sleep. Should I be using Melatonin at night instead?