Sun, 28 May 2023

Is A Protein-Dense Diet Good for ADHD?

13 Jul 2022, 18:42 GMT+10

Photo by Tara Winstead from

A protein-dense diet is recommended for people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) for many reasons. First, experts believe that ADHD occurs partly because of the imbalances of neurotransmitters like dopamine. This may be prevented by proteins, whose amino acids help the brain in producing these happy hormones. But this is not our focus here.

Adults with also ADHD tend to suffer from binge eating disorder (BED) and become obese. As we all know, obesity has been linked to several life-threatening diseases, which could worsen ADHD. Thankfully, protein-dense diets can help obese people with ADHD to shed some weight and build more muscles.

Muscle building is essential for everyone, with or without ADHD. But for adults with ADHD, lean muscle mass doesn't only mean having decreased body fat and avoiding obesity. It also means improving your blood glucose control and insulin sensitivity, which helps decrease hyperactivity and impulsivity.

In this article, we'll focus on muscle-building protein sources, which can help people with ADHD who struggle with impulsiveness. The following doesn't only help them gain muscles but also improve their optimal health.

Chicken Breast

Chicken breasts will always be a part of the staples in the first stages of gaining muscles. They're packed with generous amounts of high-quality protein for fat loss and essential vitamins like B6 and B vitamins niacin for optimal muscle gain.

Turkey Breast

Similar to chicken breasts, the breast parts of turkeys contain about 25 grams of protein for every 85-gram serving. It has almost no carbs and fat, as well. It is also rich in B Vitamins that help in processing fats and carbohydrates in one's body and gaining muscle over time by supporting one's body's ability to exercise.


Not only for one's overall health, but salmon is also best for muscle building. Every 85 grams (3 ounces) of salmon contains 17 grams of protein and several other essential B vitamins. It is also well-known as rich in omega-3 fatty acids, a prominent compound that increases muscle gain and supports overall muscular health.


An 85-gram (3-ounce) serving of tuna contains high amounts of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin A, and various B vitamins like B6, B12, and B6. Each of these essential nutrients plays a part in one's optimal health. Additionally, the omega-3 fatty acids in tuna slow down the possible loss of strength and muscle mass, which usually happens with age.


Shrimps are packed with a high amount of amino acid leucine needed for optimal muscle growth. An 85-gram serving of shrimp contains zero carbohydrates, one gram of fat, and a whopping 18 grams of enough protein, a perfect consumption for muscle-building protein with less calorie intake.


Scallops also provide a high amount of protein with little fat. Having scallops is one of the ways to add protein without consuming calories in a diet. In 85 grams of scallops, you can gain less than 100 calories and about 20 grams of protein.

Lean Beef

Like other meat, lean beef is also rich in B vitamins, creatine, as well as protein. Having lean red meat increases the lean mass amount accumulated with weight training. However, focusing on muscle gain, it is best to opt for beef that does not provide extra calories.

Bison Meat

If you prefer red meat for muscle-building and heart health, replace beef with bison. Although beef and bison have an almost similar protein content (approximately 22 grams), studies show that beef, compared to bison, has a higher atherogenic risk, which is the development of fatty plaques in the arteries that can lead to heart disease.

Lean Jerky

There are about 6.6 grams of protein in a piece of jerky. It is better because most fat from it has been removed during processing. Hence, almost all calories from it are from proteins. Furthermore, dried lean animal muscle meat does not increase insulin levels, one of the hormones influencing how one's body stores fat.

Pork Tenderloin

Like beef and chicken, pork is also considered one of the muscle-building foods. Specifically, you can get 18 grams of protein and only two grams of fat in pork tenderloin, a lean cut of meat. It is an excellent source of niacin, potassium, phosphorus, and zinc.

When's the Best Time to Consume Proteins When on ADHD Meds?

Protein-rich foods may also extend the efficacy of ADHD medications. A lot of experts recommend pairing ADHD medication with any protein-rich snacks every time. But, of course, the result varies from person to person. It's best to talk about this with a professional. Moreover, because we're concerned about you, here's a coupon for some ADHD medication savings.


High-protein foods can do more than increase your muscle mass and strength. They also promote bone health, boost your metabolism, maintain weight loss, keep healthy kidneys, help you with your recovery, and so much more than what a person with ADHD can ask for.

Sign up for St Louis News

a daily newsletter full of things to discuss over drinks.and the great thing is that it's on the house!