How Many Calories Does Adderall Burn? Stimulant Impact on Weight Loss


If you take the prescription Adderall for ADHD and are trying to lose weight, you may wonder about its impact. How many calories does Adderall burn?

Adderall in itself does not burn calories, but it is the impact of the drug on the body’s metabolism that can cause an increased in calories burned.

Let’s take a closer look.

How Many Calories Does Adderall Burn?

When taking the prescription Adderall, it is possible that the body could burn anywhere from 100-500 calories (5-15%) more per day than someone who does not take this prescription.

This is due to the fact that Adderall can increase metabolism as it is a stimulant medication.

While a 5-15% increase might not seem like much, it could potentially mean burning an extra pound of body fat per week. For someone who is trying to lose weight, this sounds too good to be true.

You now know that Adderall is a stimulant medication. Stimulants are known to cause an in increase blood pressure and heart rate. Even stimulants such as caffeine can have this effect.

As heart rate increases, the cells within the heart require more energy due to increased workload.

Stimulants also increase concentration, energy and level of alertness, and focus. This means individuals taking Adderall may experience significantly higher levels of mental and physical activity, which will burn more calories.

The body’s metabolic rate will be increased to provide energy for this increased activity.

But, for someone who is not aiming to lose weight, this could be less than desirable.

It is very important that when starting a new medication to keep an eye on side effects as well as weight loss.

If you are having undesirable side effects and are losing weight in an unhealthy way, speak with your doctor.

What Exactly is Adderall?

Adderall (amphetamine/dextroamphetamine salts) is a prescribed medication that is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

The active ingredient in Adderall is amphetamine, which is a stimulant and is used to help someone pay attention, focus, or control undesirable aspects of their behavior.

Adderall is also used to control sleep disorders such as narcolepsy.

Adderall comes in an immediate release and extended release form. The extended release form of Adderall is designed to last for 12 hours.

Adderall is a controlled substance, which means it has the potential for abuse and dependence.

There are also other medications that are very similar to Adderall and are used for the same purpose, such as lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse), methylphenidate (Ritalin and Concerta), and guanfacine (Intuniv) which are all stimulants.

However, not all medications used to treat ADHD are of the stimulant class.

Adderall should only be used under the supervision of a doctor and should never be taken for a purpose for which it is not intended.

How Does Adderall Work?

Adderall works by increasing the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain.

Dopamine and norepinephrine are neurotransmitters that are responsible for focus and attention.

Adderall also has the potential to increase heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration.

In short, Adderall has an effect on the body’s central nervous system.

Does Adderall Suppress Appetite?

Adderall has the ability to increase weight loss is by suppressing appetite.

Adderall most certainly has the ability to decrease or even suppress appetite in most individuals due to the fact that it is a stimulant.

Some people report feeling less hungry when taking Adderall, which can lead to eating fewer calories overall which will also lead to a calorie deficit.

While this may be helpful for some people who are trying to lose weight, it is important to remember that Adderall is a stimulant and can have negative side effects.

If your appetite is suppressed too much, this is not good. You need to make sure you are still eating enough calories to support your body and its needs.

Even if you have a weight loss goal and are utilizing a caloric deficit to lose body fat, it is still important to consume adequate amounts of both calories and nutrients every single day.

If you are taking Adderall and have absolutely zero appetite, this is a good time to discuss this with your doctor.

How Many Calories Does Adderall Contain?

Adderall contains 0 calories per tablet. If you are trying to lose weight and are wondering how many calories are in an Adderall tablet, you do not need to worry about tracking them.

This is contrary to other medications, which can contain upwards to 5-10 calories per tablet.

It is true that some medications do contain calories, but they do not need to be tracked because they simply do not matter.

Related Post: Do You Need to Track Calories in Your Medications?

Does Adderall Burn Fat or Muscle?

Adderall will cause an increase in metabolic rate, which can cause a loss of both body fat and muscle.

In fact, a study has found an increased percentage of muscle atrophy among people who take Adderall, especially for people who are female between the ages of 50-59.

It is important to mention that this percentage was small (.14%.) However, muscle loss is still possible when taking Adderall.

You have the ability to lose weight when taking Adderall because of the increase in the amount of calories burned, which will put your body into a caloric deficit.

When losing weight in a caloric deficit, it is possible to lose muscle mass in addition to fat if you are not taking precautions to prevent it.

Some easy tips you can use to prevent muscle loss when taking Adderall is to:

  • Make sure you are getting enough protein in your diet (at least 0.8 grams per pound of body weight.)
  • Make sure you are consuming enough calories overall in your diet.
  • Participate in resistance training exercises 3-4 times per week.
  • Consume a balanced diet that includes plenty of vitamins and minerals.

If you take Adderall as prescribed and follow these tips, you should be able to prevent losing muscle.

Related Post: Can You Grow Glutes in a Calorie Deficit?

How Many Calories Can I Burn in a Week on Adderall?

How much weight someone will lose when taking Adderall will vary significantly based on their individual metabolic rate increase, but some have lost as much as 5-8 pounds in one week.

This is due to the fact that when Adderall is first started, there is often an initial increase in metabolic rate which can lead to a large amount of weight loss in the first week.

This is not sustainable long term, and weight loss will likely taper off after the first week.

If you are looking to lose a significant amount of weight, Adderall is not the answer. You need to make sure you are eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly by utilizing a calorie deficit, not abusing medication.

A more moderate and sustainable amount of weight to lose per week would be 1-2 pounds. This can be done by increasing the number of calories burned through exercise and/or by eating fewer calories each day.

If you are looking to lose weight quickly, you might want to think again. Slow weight loss is more attainable and sustainable.

Does Taking Adderall Increase TDEE?

Adderall does have the ability to increase TDEE and basal metabolic rate because it is a stimulant.

TDEE is known as Total Daily Energy Expenditure and is made up of basal metabolic rate and calories burned in physical activity combined.

Amphetamine is an ingredient in the prescription Adderall. This ingredient has thermogenic effects, which means it can increase your body temperature.

In turn, this can increase your metabolism by increasing basal metabolic rate (which also increases TDEE) and how many calories you burn in a day.

In a study performed in rats, it made clear that amphetamine reduces body weight by altering metabolic rate and fat metabolism

A review of another interesting study found that those who took amphetamine had an 8-10% increase in their resting metabolic rate (RMR.)

This is the reason why taking Adderall has the ability to increase calories burned and the amount of weight lost.

Related Post: Creating a Calorie Deficit with a Naturally Low TDEE

Does Adderall Cause Weight Loss for Everyone?

No, Adderall will not necessarily cause weight loss for everyone.

How much weight you lose while taking Adderall will be based on many individual factors such as:

  • Your caloric intake
  • How active you are
  • Dosage of Adderall you take
  • How long you take Adderall for
  • Your individual Metabolism

Just because one person who takes the prescription Adderall loses weight, does not mean another person will.

Our bodies are very unique, and everyone’s metabolism and the way it responds is unique to each individual.

How Can I Prevent Losing Weight When Taking Adderall?

You can prevent weight loss when taking Adderall by following these tips:

  • Make sure you are eating enough calories to maintain your weight.
  • Choose nutrient rich foods that will fill you up and help you meet your daily vitamin and mineral needs.
  • Choose more calorie dense foods such as nuts, nut butters, seeds, avocados, and full fat dairy.

Adderall can decrease your appetite, so it is important to make sure you are eating enough to meet your needs.

You should calculate your TDEE or calorie maintenance amount and try to stick to consuming this amount of calories every single day to avoid weight loss.

If you are still losing weight, you might want to consume even a little bit more than maintenance and also add in some additional calorie dense foods such as peanut butter and higher fat dairy products.

Weight loss is a common goal for many individuals, but if you are losing weight while taking Adderall and you do not want to lose weight, it is important to prevent it by tracking your caloric intake and adjusting it.

If you are still losing weight despite your efforts, you need to talk to your doctor.

In Summary

Adderall has the ability to cause an increase in the amount of calories burned in individuals who take it, upwards to 15% more calories burned per day.

It is important to note that Adderall should never be taken unless prescribed by a doctor and never should be used for the sole purpose of weight loss, or another off label purpose.

If you do want to lose weight, the only way to do so is by creating a healthy calorie deficit.

If you want to learn more about a calorie deficit, you can check out the article included below.

Related Post: Create a Calorie Deficit and Eat Whatever You Want