Recently I was contacted by a representative from Avitae, a company that makes caffeinated water. They offer 3 levels of caffeine in their purified water: 45 mg, 90 mg, and 125 mg.
The reason that they contacted me was that they had been hearing from a number of moms who were successfully using it to treat their child’s ADHD.
They offered to put me in touch with one of the moms and ask her anything I liked. What follows is her email to me with her answers.
My son who is 7 now has always had something, but we could not put our finger on it. Developmentally he was always within the normal limits, however it was the latter part of those limits, i.e. walking, talking, etc. It wasn’t until kindergarten when it was noticeable because it effected his studies. Without knowing what was happening we provided him with tutors, software programs to help him make his grades. I would repeat the same things to him over and over, yet 20 minutes later he had no idea what we had studied. By the way he was 4 when he entered KG.
When he entered first grade we had the formal diagnosis, he was 6. We tried Adderall with which he stopped eating and was extremely irritable. He did say to me that he could think in a straight line. Amazing that a six year old could verbalize this. I went from having a happy ADHD kid to a very unhappy moderately focused one. We decided to change medications and gave him Concerta. He was extremely depressed with that. Our final medication was Vyvanse. The day I gave it to him, the school called me and said something was wrong. I can only say that my heart sank when I saw my child with uncontrollable facial movements, hyperventilating and complaining about stomach pain. The ER did not even know how to treat the side effect and called a neurologist. My son got IV benadryl as an antidote to reverse the effects on his Central Nervous System. He ended up staying in the hospital that day. We were lucky it was reversible. I did contact the FDA to inform them of what had happened.
Well needless to say, medication is not an option for us. We started to research alternatives. He receives counseling for behavior modification. I remembered caffeine was a stimulant. There are some good animal models for caffeine. The teacher one day decided to give him some coffee and remarkably she saw an immediate change in demeanor and concentration. I saw Avitae in a local store and decided to try it. I met with his teacher as well as the principle, along with other educators, social workers, etc. to come up with a plan. He has fidget toys in class, coffee in the morning, 1 bottle of Avitae 90mg throughout the day and coffee mid day if needed. We also try to restrict sugar and modified his diet. So the combination of caffeine, diet and counseling seems to be helping him. He has severe ADHD and there are still some challenges, but at least we don’t feel helpless anymore.
We have been using Avitae for about 6 months now. Our daily recipe is as follows:
1 teaspoon of instant coffee with 1/2 packet of hot chocolate mix, very little super hot water and some milk. It is strong.
Avitae with a flavor concentrate (artificial sweetner).
As with any stimulant he does experience some appetite suppression, but not as much as the ADHD drugs. When the caffeine wears off he has some irritability.
I hope this helps. Please do not hesitate to ask any questions. There are parents in my area who are now trying this because they too could not or did not want to give medications.
Liz gave me her full name and email address. I am not publishing her last name for privacy reasons.
Caffeine has long been used by moms with ADHD children before medication was available and obviously even now. Come on – you know you do it yourself. Coffee, tea, Diet Coke…
Avitae is much safer than energy drinks. I just saw an article today about a teen who died from a heart attack after consuming too many energy drinks.
Avitae seems to be readily available. Looks like most Walgreens carry it as well as other stores. You can also order it online.
Please feel free to comment on this, including any questions that you might have for Liz or Avitae. I will be sure to make them aware of this so that they can comment as well.
A question for Liz: why Avitae instead of just the coffee and hot chocolate you are using. And why do you use those in addition to Avitae?
The coffee would only last a few hours. He would drink the water throughout the day which gave a steady dose of caffeine.