It’s made by a company based in the UK named Opti Nutra Advanced Nutraceuticals. Whom I’ve come to trust to make the highest quality supplements.
But now and again I get an email from someone who would like to try Mind Lab Pro. The monthly cost is a little above their budget. And do I have a lower cost alternative that is as good?
Up until very recently I could not honestly recommend an alternative to Mind Lab Pro.
It’s called Performance Lab® Mind and is made by the same company who manufactures Mind Lab Pro.
In fact, the company has designed and is now shipping an entire new line of supplements called Performance Lab. And their Mind formula is part of this lineup.
This is a review of this new nootropic stack. What it is, who it’s for and why I recommend it.
My Nootropic Supplement Stack Criteria
I’ve taken a very deep dive into neuroscience over the last ten years. Learning everything I could on why my brain wasn’t working. And what I had to do to fix it.
This research has evolved over the years to identify specific areas of brain function. What each was responsible for. And how nootropic supplements could affect each function.
My list of cognitive improvements looks something like this:
- Repair and increase memory and recall
- Eliminate brain fog
- Ramp up motivation
- Boost my self-confidence
- Be able to focus quickly and easily
- Get rid of depression
- Improve verbal fluidity
- Reduce stress levels
Early in my research I soon came to realize that no prescription drug on earth could help achieve the results I was looking for. Not just a brain firing on all cylinders. But I wanted to feel better. More like my ‘old’ self.
So I turned to dietary supplements and started experimenting. It took years of trial and error. But eventually things started to turn around.
My memory and recall got better. Confidence levels improved, and I was in a better mood. Stress went down. And life began to take on a glow that I thought was lost forever.
If you have started down this path of brain optimization you know the expense involved. I’ve spend thousands upon thousands of dollars on supplements.
Trial and error of different compounds. Trying ready-made stacks that promised a lot. But always seemed to fall short in some way.
Eventually I started buying nootropic supplements in bulk powder form and started making my own capsules. Still a costly way to boost my brain power but entirely worth the effort and expense. Both in my career and relationships with those I love.
Discovering Performance Lab®
But I was always on the lookout for the ideal nootropic stack that could help replace some of the many supplements I was taking.
In late 2015 I finally found a company in the UK called Opti Nutra who made a nootropic stack called Mind Lab Pro®.
I’ve been using Mind Lab Pro every day since then. So I couldn’t wait to try out their new product line. And their new premade nootropic stack in particular.
Mind Lab Pro is light years ahead of anyone else in the nootropic space. But can the company maintain that reputation for quality, and a product that works, with Performance Lab Mind?
Turns out the answer is “yes”.
They’ve taken a different approach to brain optimization. One that involves your whole body. And not just your brain in isolation. A smarter approach to upgrading your brain.
Who Makes Performance Lab?
Performance Lab® is a new line of supplements made by Opti Nutra Advanced Nutraceuticals. The same people who produce Mind Lab Pro®.
I’ve been using Mind Lab Pro since 2015 and have come to trust the company. And the quality of their supplements.
Opti Nutra is based in the U.K. and manufactures all their supplements in the USA.
Performance Lab® Whole-Food Multi is the foundation of their new supplement line.
Performance Lab Mind extends the benefits of their Whole-Food Multi to enhance every area of brain function.
Performance Lab® Mind Ingredients
Citicoline 250 mg (Cognizin®)
Once Citicoline is digested it separates into cytidine and choline. Choline is needed to synthesize acetylcholine (ACh). A primary neurotransmitter involved in signaling between neurons for cognition, learning, memory, and recall.
Cytidine is a component of Ribonucleic acid (RNA). This molecule is involved in coding, decoding, regulation and the expression of genes in your body.
But once Citicoline crosses the blood-brain barrier it converts to uridine. Which is used in the synthesis of Phosphatidylcholine (PC).[i] This PC can then repair and rebuild damaged neuron membranes. To maintain the signaling between neurons needed for attention, reaction time, memory, learning, cognition, and recall.[ii]
And studies show that Citicoline normalizes blood flow in areas of the brain associated with memory that have been injured.[iv]
The Cognizin® form of citicoline found in Performance Lab® Mind has been shown in research to boost brain cell membrane formation by 26% and brain energy by 13.6% in healthy adults.[v]
Cognizin® has been clinically shown to improve mental energy, focus, attention, memory, attention and more for optimal cognitive performance.
Phosphatidylserine 100 mg (Sharp-PS® Green)
Phosphatidylserine (PS) is a phospholipid component of the membrane encasing nearly every one of your cells.
Both are critical to maintaining optimal cognitive health. PS is synthesized from PC in the brain by exchanging the base head group with a serine.
Supplementing with Phosphatidylserine helps with several memory-related functions including memory consolidation, recall and learning.
Many supplement manufacturers use soy lecithin to make Phosphatidylserine. Performance Lab® Mind uses Sharp PS® Green by Enzymotec® which is a premium, high-purity PS made from sunflower lecithin.
N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine 300 mg
N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine (NALT) is a highly bio-available form of the amino acid L-Tyrosine. Your brain uses L-Tyrosine to produce dopamine. And the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and epinephrine (which is your “fight or flight” hormone). Collectively known as the catecholamines.
Dopamine is involved with libido, memory, focus, goal-oriented concentration, a mood elevator, and anti-depressant.
Sleep deprivation and extreme stressors like heat or cold, extreme sports, car accidents, relationship problems, intense movies, business deals gone south, exams and war zones can all deplete catecholamine levels. NALT restores catecholamines to preserve optimal cognition.[x]
NALT enhances working memory and executive function in the prefrontal cortex. It helps with creative flow states, is fuel for inspiration, cognitive flexibility, and the kind of “convergent thinking” you do in multiple choice exams.[xi]
N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine assists in the production of thyroid hormones T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine) which are crucial in maintaining both overall physical and cognitive health.
Performance Lab® Mind uses L-Tyrosine with an acetyl group added (N-Acetyl) in this Mind formula because its helps increase the bioavailability of this critical amino acid.
Maritime Pine Bark Extract 75 mg
Pine Bark Extract is a standardized extract of French maritime pine bark. The proanthocyanidins in this extract provide a host of brain enhancing benefits.
Pine Bark Extract helps boost cerebral circulation. Providing the blood flow needed to bring nutrients and oxygen to energy-hungry brain cells. It does it by increasing activity of nitric oxide which dilates blood vessels.[xiii]
Pine Bark Extract helps prevent decreases in dopamine and norepinephrine. And the glutathione (GSH) and GSH-disulphide reductase (GSSG-R) ratio. Neurotransmitter problems which contribute to hyperactivity in ADHD.[xiv]
The Pine Bark extract in Performance Lab® Mind is standardized to 95% proanthocyanidins. The most potent pine bark extract available.
The capsules used in Performance Lab® Mind are so unusual I had to include them the list of ingredients. And here’s why …
The premium ingredients used in Mind will only provide the benefit promised if your body can use them. How the ingredients get into your body matters a great deal.
Every other pre-formulated nootropic stack on the market use either gelatin capsules, or vegetarian capsules.
Gelatin capsules are made by boiling down animal hoofs, bones, and connective tissue to form a gel-like substance. This material cools and dries. Then is formed into capsules.
Vegetarian capsules are Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose which is made from pine or poplar tree pulp. The end result is a type of plastic.
Performance Lab uses Plantcaps® which are made from pullulan (fermented tapioca). A much costlier way to encapsulate their supplements. But safer, vegan-friendly, and disintegrates right away once you take it.
And Performance Lab infuses each capsule with a prebiotic that helps support your digestion.
I’m not aware of any other quality supplement manufacturer who goes the extra mile by using Plantcaps.
Performance Lab® Mind Dosage
Recommended dosage of Performance Lab Mind is 1-capsule per day.
Opti Nutra designed Performance Lab Mind to work with a multivitamin like Performance Lab Whole-Food Multi. Because your brain requires vitamins and minerals to make ATP, brain cell membranes, neurotransmitters like acetylcholine, dopamine, and serotonin, hormones, for brain cell signaling and more.
Phosphatidylserine (PS) works with DHA to produce brain cell membranes. So you need a good Omega-3 containing high amounts of DHA.
And N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine works better when you have adequate levels of the vitamins and minerals necessary to produce dopamine. And thyroid hormones T4 and T3.
How Performance Lab® Mind Works in Real Life
Neurohackers report that using Performance Lab Mind as a nootropic stack:
- Boosts energy levels
- Improves alertness
- Less brain fog
- Better memory
- Logical thinking improves
- Concentration is better
- Clarity of thought
- Weight loss
- Easier to remember names, phone numbers, tasks, etc.
- Mood improves
- Lowers cortisol
Citicoline, Phosphatidylserine (PS) and NALT are a great compliment to ADHD meds. Because they help tame the symptoms of ADHD and ADD. And this stack helps support the mechanism of action for Ritalin, Adderall and other prescription stimulants used for ADHD.
There are some reports that the PS in this Mind formula may help with Tourette’s Syndrome.
And stroke survivors report that after continued usage of Citicoline, most of the noticeable effects of the stroke were significantly less. Including less muscle paralysis and weakness.
And older neurohackers report that the Pine Bark Extract in Performance Lab Mind may help reduce age spots, varicose veins and spider veins, and you don’t bruise as easily.
Blood sugar levels normalize, no more hemorrhoids, you may be able to lift more weight and not get as sore. And a host of other benefits with this potent antioxidant and blood flow booster.
Performance Lab® Mind is Good Value
You may have found like me that nootropic supplements can put a real dent in your monthly budget. Especially if you’re putting together a combination of supplements in a stack to help alertness, focus, learning, memory, recall and mood.
But using Performance Lab’s Mind nootropic stack may help reduce your monthly spend on supplements.
Most pre-formulated nootropic stacks address only one or two brain functions like memory and focus, or processing speed and productivity, or just long-term potentiation for forming long-term memory.
The unique combination of premium ingredients in Performance Lab Mind work synergistically to address all areas of brain function. Including brain cell energy, brain cell and neuron regeneration (neurogenesis), neurotransmitters and brain cell signaling, and long-term brain health.
To put together a stack or get another high-quality nootropic stack that would do all this would cost you $65 or more per month.
Opti Nutra sells the Performance Lab Mind nootropic supplement stack for a month’s supply (30 capsules) for only $50.
You get a 5% discount if you buy two boxes of Mind. Or save 10% if you buy three boxes of Mind.
Pros & Cons of Performance Lab® Mind
Most nootropic supplement stacks on the market promoted as brain enhancers use ingredients like caffeine to give you the boost you’re looking for.
Caffeine on its own is worthwhile nootropic supplement. But it doesn’t provide the clean energy boost you get from something like Citicoline, Phosphatidylserine (PS) and NALT.
And I’ve found a number of other advantages to using Performance Lab Mind as a nootropic stack.
Here are what I think are the pros and cons of this premium nootropic stack.
- Full disclosure on the amount of each ingredient
- High quality branded ingredients (i.e. Cognizin®, Sharp PS® Green)
- No added ingredients
- No World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) banned substances
- Vegan-friendly PlantCaps® capsules infused with prebiotics
- Tested prior to encapsulation for allergens, GMOs, microbes, pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals, and other contaminants
- Tested again to confirm potency, purity, and activity after encapsulation
- Ships in recyclable cardboard security boxes filled with biodegradable packing peanuts
- Competitively priced
- Empty bottle, money-back guarantee (less shipping)
- 24/7 customer support
- Only available on their website
- No vitamins – you should use it with a multivitamin/mineral supplement
- Citicoline dose is too low if you’re using racetams
- NALT dose is to low if you’re using ADHD meds
In all, I think the dosages and the way this nootropic stack was designed is good for most neurohackers.
I’m a little biased because my favorite nootropic stack continues to be Mind Lab Pro® made by the same company, Opti Nutra. MLP has some of the B-Vitamins and other adaptogens for what I think is a more potent nootropic stack.
But when you look at the mechanism of action for each of the ingredients in Performance Lab Mind and combine it with a multivitamin – most will experience the same benefits.
And not including any vitamins in Mind will encourage most to seriously consider upgrading the multivitamin/mineral supplement they’re already using.
The other thing I love is Opti Nutra discloses exactly how much of ingredient is in each capsule. So I know how much I need to add to this stack for my unique issues.
Nootropics Expert Recommendation
Pricing of Performance Lab Mind is competitive for what you get. Buying these supplements separately can cost more depending on where you get them. And in what form.
More importantly, individual supplements usually contain added ingredients. Toxic things like magnesium dioxide and stearate.
Not in Performance Lab Mind. Nothing but pure, tested, high-potency ingredients disclosed on the label. Nothing else.
The biggest advantage with Performance Lab Mind is better memory, faster recall, improved mood, and more energy.
Performance Lab Mind should be used with a quality, nature-identical multivitamin/mineral supplement. Because the ingredients in this stack, and your brain, need the support of vitamins and minerals to work properly.
Opti Nutra offers their Performance Lab Whole-Food Multi which is a great option if you’re looking for a multivitamin. It’s works perfectly with the Mind nootropic stack.
Opti Nutra only offers their Performance Lab® products including their Mind formula on their website. You will not find it on Amazon or other online or brick-and-mortar retailer.
The company goes the extra mile by using top-notch ingredients in this nootropic stack. Including patented and science-backed Cognizin® and Sharp PS® Green. And their Pine Bark Extract is the most potent form available.
The company uses vegan PlantCaps® infused with prebiotics for capsules to ensure quick and better absorption. And testing before and after encapsulation of each batch of product.
And Opti Nutra also offers a risk-free, “empty bottle”, money-back guarantee if you are not happy with any of their products.
So if you’d like try Performance Lab Mind, or learn about this exceptional line of supplements, please go to their website for more: www.performancelab.com
[i] Babb S.M., Wald L.L., Cohen B.M., Villafuerte R.A., Gruber S.A., Yurgelun-Todd D.A., Renshaw P.F. “Chronic citicoline increases phosphodiesters in the brains of healthy older subjects: an in vivo phosphorus magnetic resonance spectroscopy study.” Psychopharmacology (Berlin). 2002 May;161(3):248-54. (source)
[ii] McGlade E., Agoston A.M., DiMuzio J., Kizaki M., Nakazaki E., Kamiya T., Yurgelun-Todd D. “The Effect of Citicoline Supplementation on Motor Speed and Attention in Adolescent Males.” Journal of Attention Disorders. 2015 Jul 15. (source)
[iii] Silveri M.M., Dikan J., Ross A.J., Jensen J.E., Kamiya T., Kawada Y., Renshaw P.F., Yurgelun-Todd D.A. “Citicoline enhances frontal lobe bioenergetics as measured by phosphorus magnetic resonance spectroscopy.” NMR in Biomedicine 2008 Nov;21(10):1066-75 (source)
[iv] León-Carrión J., Dominguez-Roldán J.M., Murillo-Cabezas F., del Rosario Dominguez-Morales M., Muñoz-Sanchez M.A. “The role of citicholine in neuropsychological training after traumatic brain injury.” NeuroRehabilitation. 2000;14(1):33-40. (source)
[v] Silveri M.M., et. Al. “Cognizin® Citicoline Increases Brain Energy (ATP) by 14% and Speeds up Formation of Brain Membranes by 26% in Healthy Adults” Society for Neuroscience San Francisco, CA
[vii] Cunnane S.C., Schneider J.A., Tangney C., Tremblay-Mercier J., Fortier M., Bennett D.A., Morris M.C. “Plasma and brain fatty acid profiles in mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease.” Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. 2012;29(3):691-7. (source)
[viii] Kosicek M., Hecimovic S. “Phospholipids and Alzheimer’s Disease: Alterations, Mechanisms and Potential Biomarkers” International Journal of Molecular Science. 2013 Jan; 14(1): 1310–1322. (source)
[xiii] Rohdewald P. “A review of the French maritime pine bark extract (Pycnogenol), a herbal medication with a diverse clinical pharmacology.” International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics. 2002 Apr;40(4):158-68. (source)
[xiv] Dvoráková M., Jezová D., Blazícek P., Trebatická J., Skodácek I., Suba J., Iveta W., Rohdewald P., Duracková Z. “Urinary catecholamines in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): modulation by a polyphenolic extract from pine bark (pycnogenol).” Nutritional Neuroscience 2007 Jun-Aug; 10(3-4):151-7. (source)
[xv] Chovanova Z, Muchova J, Sivonova M, et al. “Effect of polyphenolic extract, Pycnogenol®, on the level of 8-oxoguanine in children suffering from attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.” Free Radical Research. 2006 Sep;40(9):1003-10. (source)
[xvi] Grimm T, Chovanova Z, Muchova J, et al ”Inhibition of NF-kappaB activation and MMP-9 secretion by plasma of human volunteers after ingestion of maritime pine bark extract (Pycnogenol®)”. Journal of Inflammation (London). 2006;3:1. (source)
[xvii] Sivonová M., Waczulíková I., Kilanczyk E., Hrnciarová M., Bryszewska M., Klajnert B., Duracková Z. “The effect of Pycnogenol on the erythrocyte membrane fluidity.” General Physiology and Biophysics. 2004 Mar;23(1):39-51. (source)
[xviii] Nishioka K., Hidaka T., Nakamura S., Umemura T., Jitsuiki D., Soga J., Goto C., Chayama K., Yoshizumi M., Higashi Y. “Pycnogenol, French maritime pine bark extract, augments endothelium-dependent vasodilation in humans.” Hypertension Research. 2007 Sep;30(9):775-80. (source)
[xix] Belcaro G., Luzzi R., Dugall M., Ippolito E., Saggino A. “Pycnogenol® improves cognitive function, attention, mental performance and specific professional skills in healthy professionals aged 35-55.” Journal of Neurosurgical Sciences 2014 Dec;58(4):239-48. (source)