Riding with ADHD

I know there’s a couple of others on here with ADHD so thought I’d ask about stimulants and riding.

I’m currently medicated and struggling with nausea and overheating when riding in the morning.

Riding in the afternoon is hard with family and I generally leave the house too late to take meds after. I also find I’m less likely to get too lost in my thoughts and ride off the track!

I drink a lot and stop to eat occasionally which helps but it’s currently killing me having to stop so often.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

Im on an SSRI after a good tap in the thinker nocked my chemical production all out of sorts.

Thirst, excessive sweating, headache and nausea certainly play a roll with it. I drink a ton of water on rides, feed decently before, and never take my meds on an empty stomach, that has been the biggest help to mitigate issues. I also find that caffeine can make or break a day, some seems to help, too much and it’s an anxious, head pounding, stomach turning ride.

I’ve also noticed how much less impact riding late in the evening has, the cool air seems to keep me feeling much more fresh and present vs riding in any thing over 22 degrees in the sun.

Potentially you could speak to your health care provider to see if there are any suggestions, other drug choices you could use.

On a last note, working with an occupational therapist is great for coming up with plans to tackle similar issues, and also learning techniques to minimize the mental fatigue that can be associated! They cover a huge range of issues in and out of the workplace often involving ADHD/ADD and athletics! Sometimes they are quite great at mind of matter type teaching, methods like CBT can really help to overcome some of the issues you are describing in my opinion, my partner employees an occupational therapist who commonly works with people in similar scenarios to you and I.


Don’t have any specific medication-related advice, but generally for cooling in hot weather we often carry water bottles specifically for dousing (we carry our drinking water in camelbaks with lots of ice). Stay wet. Squirt water over your head, arms, legs, down the front and back of your jersey.

If there’s suitable water on your ride, and you’re really overheated, consider taking a dunk. One ride years ago, I was way overdressed for a ride at Evil Birch on a hot day and feeling terrible from heat stress. We got to the bridge over the stream on the way out, and I dismounted and sat in the stream for about 5 minutes. Instant relief. Maybe choose a trail where you could combine a swim with a ride?

Ginger ale or mints for the nausea?


For me, I don’t find my heart rate gets too high when I’m out. My resting heart rate is 54bpm, on my medication it’s around 86. I thought the exertion would be risky, but my heart rate doesn’t ever get somewhere I would be worried. Now I am on Vyvanse, being an extended release I get a nice even dose all day so I don’t experience any peaks per say.

Empty stomach, full stomach, hydrated, not hydrated, prior to hitting the trail seems to have little effect on me beyond the obvious.

That said, I do make sure I have a small something before I head out. I always carry Honey Stinger gels with me also that work wonders. With ADHD; glucose levels and electrolyte levels are incredibly important to maintain at sufficient levels as well.

I often get distracted on the trail, I find when I ride solo that most of the time I keep headphones in which helps maintain my focus. Then with a group, or a friend I have them to focus on.

The nausea is usually a sign of stress. Forgive me if this is a basic question as I’m going to guess you have more experience than I do. But do you do a casual warm up before hitting the trail early in the morning, or do you jump into riding 70%+

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Music great one. Riding solo I always rock my after shocks can hear the bike and the tunes. Again not ADHD but GAD, so riding new stuff can really freak me out!

It’s really interesting, because while my ADHD and its comorbid conditions can cause all sorts of issues, even though I have anxiety I’m a huge risk taker, which is common with ADHD as we’re chasing dopamine hits.

I’m quite often the one who just does it without thinking about it. Which isn’t to say that’s a good thing… The amount of things I have hit blind for the first time is long, and luckily thus far, nothing serious has come of it.


I have ADD but I may be on different meds than you (concerta). I dont find any performance or mental fatigue while on it and riding and they’re 12hr time release. Definitley talk to your doctor as I know each ADHD med has its pros and cons.

Unfortunately with the meds and dosages it’s trial and error to find the one that works for you. I went through 5 before I found the one that did something, and even that one now is losing effect and it’s a high dosage.

Concerta for me was amazing for about 2.5-3 days on 50mg and then things started to get pretty dark up there.

I definitely feel it gives me an advantage to my stamina, when they wear off its very obvious.

It’s funny actually, I record videos about my ADHD and lifes daily struggles as things come up, and one day I was recording a video all the way to MRWA, realized when I got there that I left my front wheel in my parking lot… had to drive back to get it.


This is just me but I tend to have an alarm set about an hour before I would actually wake up for the day and take my meds then. I am on Vyvanse and in general have never had any issues this way.

The one issue I do have is a strong loss of appetite to the point where food is no longer appealing but taking my meds earlier helps me get over that faster.

Like was said by other tho this is a lot of trial and error. Finding the medication and does that works for you can be hard. I’ve been lucky and have been really responsive to all the types I’ve been on but I know for many it’s a much trickier balance to find.

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How long have you been on it Chris? I found that after a few weeks the appetite suppression disappeared.

Oh man. That’s a good question… might have been as long as 7-9 years now.

Fair enough. Vyvanse was made to treat Binge Eating Disorder, it was later found to help with ADHD also, so it makes sense that some experience that long term.

I found for me it just made me not want to eat period, never mind hungry, I didn’t enjoy food.

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