If you’re trying to decide between Vivarin and Adderall to help you study, it’s important first to understand that Adderall is a prescription drug, and obtaining Adderall without a prescription is illegal. But if you’ve got a prescription for Adderall, or you’re considering getting one, you may be wondering how it compares to the popular caffeine pill Vivarin.
As this article will explain, these are two very different drugs, so which is best for you will depend on a variety of factors. Read on to learn more about Vivarin vs Adderall and how they compare to other caffeine supplements.
At a glance:
Vivarin vs Adderall: How to Choose
Vivarin and Adderall do have some things in common: They’re both central nervous system stimulants that can cause raised blood pressure and elevated heart rate. But they are very different kinds of stimulants with different benefits and risks. In this section, we’ll tell you more about how Vivarin and Adderall work, and what makes them so different.
Vivarin: May Give You a Mild Energy Boost Without Jitters
As you likely already know, Vivarin is a caffeine pill that is available over the counter. It contains 200 mg of caffeine per pill, which is the equivalent of a little more than two 8 oz. cups of coffee. The Food and Drug Administration recommends keeping your consumption of caffeine to no more than 400 mg per day, which would be the equivalent of two pills, so you may want to avoid taking more than two per day.
That said, regular caffeine consumers may not feel much from these pills. In our experience, taking one Vivarin pill isn’t anything like drinking two cups of coffee. Even those with a low caffeine tolerance may feel only a mild boost. It also takes a while to kick in, like all pills. (More on this later, and a super fast-acting alternative: HELO Air caffeine vaporizers.)
The good news is that it won’t give you jitters or a crash, and its effects last a few hours, which is longer than many other caffeine supplements. Just don’t expect to feel like you drank a cup or two of coffee. It’s probably best for those who regularly consume caffeine (1-2 cups of coffee a day or equivalent) and want to enhance the effects. You can check out our Vivarin review for more information.
Adderall: May Improve ADHD Symptoms but Carries Inherent Risks
Whereas the caffeine in Vivarin is a relatively mild stimulant, Adderall is made from a blend of amphetamines, which are a much stronger class of stimulants. According to ScienceDirect, Adderall contains four amphetamine salts. One of these amphetamine salts, amphetamine sulfate, goes by the street name “speed” and is sold illegally on the black market.
Adderall is typically prescribed to treat symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and many patients who take the drug under a doctor’s supervision report that it helps them focus and manage distractions. But even among those who take Adderall as prescribed, the drug can cause serious side effects. A review from the journal Brain and Behavior has also called its effectiveness into question.
This review looked at clinical trials of college students taking Adderall and noted that research has shown little difference in the academic scores of students with ADHD who regularly take Adderall and those who don’t. It can also have some unpleasant side effects, such as stomach pain, chest pain, and blurred vision.
What’s more, the review points out that large doses of this drug can lead to psychosis, seizures, and even fatal overdose. You should contact your local poison control center in the event of an overdose of this drug. Long-term exposure can also be detrimental, as the drug can inhibit your body’s natural production of dopamine over time, causing serious adverse effects. Additionally, it can also cause withdrawal symptoms when discontinued.
While Adderall may be an appropriate short-term treatment for some individuals with ADHD or other disorders for which it’s prescribed, it should always be used with caution and under the guidance of a healthcare provider.
Vivarin vs Adderall
As we’ve just seen, it’s hard to compare Vivarin and Adderall, because their effects are so different. While Vivarin is a very mild stimulant available over the counter, Adderall is a much stronger stimulant that can be beneficial for treating ADHD or related conditions but shouldn’t be taken by those who don’t have a prescription. (It’s also important to note that caffeine, while generally safe when used as directed, can be dangerous, and even fatal, in very high doses. Always use any supplement as directed, and never exceed maximum doses.)
If you already have a prescription for Adderall, you should speak with your doctor before making any changes to your drug regimen. Your doctor will be able to advise you on whether or not you can stop taking Adderall or try caffeine pills, or if there are any drug interactions between the two. If you don’t have a prescription for Adderall, then Vivarin is your only safe option between the two drugs.
But as you’ll soon see, you have many other options besides these two. Those who don’t have an Adderall prescription may be curious about other ways they can use caffeine to improve focus. We’ll cover some of them next.
Adderall vs Vivarin vs Other Caffeine Supplements
Since you’ll want to avoid Adderall if you don’t have a prescription, you might be thinking you should take Vivarin instead. But before you make your decision, consider that there are many other caffeine supplements with benefits Vivarin doesn’t have. In this section, we’ll compare caffeine pills (like Vivarin) with caffeinated beverages and caffeine vapes.
Caffeine Pills Have Low Bioavailability
While caffeine pills are popular for their convenience and transportability, they’re actually one of the least effective ways to get caffeine. As an article from Medicare Europe explains, pills need to be broken down by the stomach before their contents can be digested. That process may take upwards of half an hour, during which some of the supplement gets wasted. In fact, the article estimates that pills have an average of just 39% to 53% bioavailability.
This might explain why caffeine pills like Vivarin, which contain high doses of caffeine, aren’t felt very strongly and take a long time to kick in. On the plus side, they don’t have as many of the negative effects of caffeine, but that’s largely because all the effects of caffeine are muted.
Caffeinated Beverages Have Substantially Better Bioavailability Than Pills
The same article from Medicare Europe claims liquid supplements have 98% bioavailability on average, much better than the bioavailability of pills. This makes sense: While liquids do need to pass through your digestive system, they do not need to be broken down at all, unlike pills.
The body’s ready absorption of liquids also means caffeinated beverages work much faster. Medicare Europe says they can be absorbed in as little as 1-4 minutes, though you’ll need to wait a bit longer to feel the effects. This is why when you drink a cup of coffee, you feel its effects much more quickly than you would if you took a pill with an equivalent amount of caffeine, often within 15-20 minutes.
Caffeine Vapes May Have the Most Bioavailability and Work Super Fast
If what you really want is the fastest-acting stimulant on the market, look no further than a caffeine vape like HELO Air. While caffeine vapes are relatively new, and scientific research has yet to be conducted on their effectiveness, anecdotal evidence suggests they work much faster than other caffeine supplements. Our customers often say they feel the effects within 10-15 minutes.
There’s also evidence they have the most bioavailability. Caffeine vapes tend to contain extremely small doses of caffeine, a mere fraction of what you’d get from a pill. But there’s no question that you’ll be able to feel it. Customers are happy to report that they often only need to take two to three puffs in order to feel the effects — and these are people who are used to drinking coffee and energy drinks.
Try HELO Air for All Your Caffeine Needs
To recap, Vivarin may be a good option for those who’d like to supplement the caffeine they already consume or otherwise feel a very mild, steady boost. Adderall, on the other hand, is really meant for people who have a prescription for it. You should speak with your doctor if you think you could qualify for an Adderall prescription, or if you already have one but want to try something new.
But if you’re looking for a fast-acting caffeine supplement to help you focus, HELO Air may be the only caffeine supplement you need. Some people take it alongside caffeinated beverages for an extra boost, but you’ll feel the effects even if you take it by itself. It comes in 12 awesome flavors, 8 in the regular size and 4 in the plus size (which is double the regular size).
We realize many people have legitimate concerns about vaping, but we’ve taken every precaution to ensure that ours are among the safest vaporizers on the market. You won’t find vitamin E acetate, propylene glycol, nicotine, or anything else known to harm the lungs. Our vapes have just three ingredients: caffeine, organic vegetable glycerin, and natural flavors. That’s all!
Like pills, our vaporizers also have the added advantage of being compact and portable, so they’re easy to carry around with you. Try HELO Air today to see how fast-acting and convenient your caffeine experience can be.