heart rate and Ritalin

by Remi

Heart rate and Ritalin :

"Hi Marius,
I have ADHD, and have been on Ritalin for about 18 months and it has helped me a lot. My question is whether I should change anything in regards to the heart rate zones in your plan? There seems to be about 10 bpm higher Max heartrate (measured in a 10k race) as opposed to a heartrate test done in the afternoon low on meds. This was done on a treadmill, and indicates a Max heartrate of 181. I find it very difficult to run with low enough heartrate when I have taken Ritalin before running. If possible I would prefer to use the medication as normal, and my question is: what heart rate should I consider as max- and do you have any advice for me? Thanks."

Answer: Hi Remi and thanks for your question.

Ritalin does influence resting heart rate for most, however, I am unsure of how it influences maximum heart rate. Studies from the 1980s on amphetamine does show that it actually increases the maximum heart rate, but if this applied to Ritalin as well - is not something I can answer clearly.

I would say the best you could probably do is to take a lactate test on the treadmill to test this out. You can do this for example at NIMI in Oslo or other labs. That way you can see how the medication actually influences the lactate levels in relations to heart rate and use that as a guide. That would also be the safest thing as well.

I wish you all the best,

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