We’re all searching for the Holy Grail of life – to be healthy, happy and productive. It sounds simple, doesn’t it, but there are a lot of competing demands that get in our way.
Family, parenting, work, technology, stress, time poverty… it all eats away at our good intentions, and sometimes we need a little extra help to become the healthiest and most productive that we can be.
Millions of people around the world take multivitamins for their bodies, but would you take a supplement for the mind?
Supposed ‘brain boosters’ are out there, sold on the mass market, but do they work? Are they safe? And, just what should you expect if you decide to take one?
Read our review of one such supplement, Performance Lab Mind, and learn all about so-called cognitive-enhancing supplements called nootropics…
Performance Lab Mind is one of a group of supplements known as nootropics. Nootropics are claimed to have various brain-boosting abilities, such as strengthening certain elements of cognition or helping with focus.
We’re not talking anything as dramatic as the mysterious pill, NZT-48, as seen in the Bradley Cooper film Limitless – which helps him to beat the stock market, learn languages and act like a real-life superman. That’s a fantasy.
However, in real-life, there are more than 80 so-called nootropics identified to date. While certain prescription drugs are also used off-label for this purpose and other synthetic nootropics are made in a lab, by far the majority are naturally-created – and include herbs, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
The one thing they must all have in common to be considered a nootropic is that they must be claimed to support brain function in some way.
Not all nootropics work the same way or have the same supposed benefits. Which is why many manufacturers sell them together in ‘stacks’ – several nootropic ingredients packaged together – to widen the potential benefit.
Performance Lab Mind is one such stack – a combination of four different nootropics packaged together into one capsule.
The manufacturer behind the product, Opti-Nutra, claims that Performance Lab Mind helps to support mental processing speed, focus, memory, motivation, stress-related cognition and mental recovery.
Of course, the proof is in the pudding, so let’s take a look at the ingredients to see how the Performance Lab Mind formula adds up…
The first thing to notice about Performance Lab Mind is that, unlike many other nootropics, it doesn’t contain stimulants of any kind. Often supplements rely on caffeine for an energy boost, but that doesn’t come without potential side effects. Some people like the ‘pep’ that stimulants can bring, while others would prefer to control their stimulant intake, reduce it or eliminate it completely. Performance Lab has made the choice to eschew stimulants altogether.
While Performance Lab Mind combines four different nootropics, it is designed to be a base nootropic supplement and therefore contains far fewer ingredients than many other nootropic stacks on the market. We’ll discuss why we think that’s a clever idea later in this review.
The four ingredients in Performance Lab Mind, therefore, are:
• Citicoline (Cognizin®), 250mg
Citicoline is one of the most popular versions of choline on the market and is a popular inclusion in many nootropics. Choline contributes to normal homocysteine metabolism, potentially significant for long-term brain health. Food sources of choline include eggs, spinach, poultry, meat, dairy products and wheat.
• Phosphatidylserine (Sharp PS® Green), 100mg
Phosphatidylserine is a common ingredient in many nootropic supplements and may have benefits related to mental decline, though this has not been scientifically proven as yet.
The Phosphatidylserine in Performance Lab Mind is made from sunflower lecithin as opposed to soy, which many other nootropic supplements use. This helps to make the product soy and allergen-free.
• N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine (NALT), 300 mg
Tyrosine is an amino acid, commonly found in fish, eggs, beans, dairy products, meats, oats, nuts and wheat, thought to influence brain chemicals. This is a strong inclusion in a nootropic. It is included here in the premium form, N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine (NALT).
• Maritime Pine Bark Extract (standardised to 95% Proanthocyanidins), 75mg.
The new generation of nootropics, such as Performance Lab Mind, seem to favour this up-and-coming nootropic, made from the bark of the Maritime pine trees which grow in Mediterranean countries. It is said to have several benefits, both for the body and the mind.
As we mentioned earlier, Performance Lab Mind has been designed as a base nootropic stack, so it’s not really surprising that it doesn’t include as many ingredients as certain other ready-made nootropic stacks on the market, such as Mind Lab Pro.
No doubt some people will be disappointed that it doesn’t include some of the popular big-name nootropics such as L-Theanine or Bacopa, but to some extent, that’s missing the point.
Consider Performance Lab Mind as a solid nootropic base on which you can stack more supplements. These can either be further nootropics of your choice (according to your own cognitive issues, allowing you a greater degree of personalisation), or other supplements from the Performance Lab range.
We think Performance Lab Whole-Food Multivitamin is a good choice to mix with this product, as your brain needs the nutrients within the multivitamin just as much as your body does.
Genuine nootropics should be free of major side-effects, and the natural nature of Performance Lab Mind should make it safe for long-term and daily use.
The manufacturer Opti-Nutra recommends taking one to two capsules of Performance Lab Mind with breakfast, or the first meal of the day. Dietary fats help to aid proper absorption.
Performance Lab Mind is only available from the official Performance Lab website, meaning that you won’t find any for sale – or any customer reviews – on Amazon. It’s therefore unfortunately not possible to read many reviews from real customers.
However, this product has extremely positive reviews across many supplement review websites and appears to be well-liked and appreciated by bloggers and testers alike around the web.
Honestly, we’re quite impressed by Performance Lab Mind. Rather than try to be all things to all people, the manufacturers have concentrated on providing a decent nootropic base from which to add additional supplements.
By not trying to cram in a dozen different nootropics into one capsule, it allows a good amount of space for the nootropics that they do include. The four chosen nootropics too are popular ones and make for decent additions.
The entire Performance Lab range is high quality and designed to work well together without side effects, giving you numerous options if you want to add further supplements.
If you’re looking for a base nootropic that leaves you free to supplement further according to your own wishes, Performance Lab Mind – with its ultra-clean label (more on that below) – is a solid choice.
As we touched on above, Performance Lab Mind has a very clean label, one of the cleanest we’ve seen actually. Opti-Nutra pledges that it is free from GMOs, soy, gluten, allergens and synthetic additives. It is also GMP certified, meaning that it is produced to stringent standards and regularly tested to ensure the product cannot be contaminated with any of the above.
It is also one of the few nootropics on the market to be both vegetarian and vegan-friendly.
It is clear Opti-Nutra has gone to significant effort to create a high quality, natural, clean product, which we respect.
Performance Lab Mind is a clean nootropic stack that has carved a clever niche for itself — as a decent base nootropic support from which to build upon. Performance Lab have even made it easy by designing it to be taken alongside others in its range, with no side-effects. Products such as Performance Lab Whole-Food Multi, or their vision, energy or sleep supplements, all seem to fit together pretty well.
Failing that, you can potentially take Performance Lab Mind with its sport supplements, such as Performance Lab SPORT Pre- and Post-Workouts, BCAAs or even its fat burner or testosterone booster. After all, motivation is a crucial factor in an exercise regime.
Performance Lab Mind has a lot to recommend it. It has significant positive feedback among testers and review websites; it features four popular nootropics in an impressively clean formula, and we rate the manufacturer behind it. Opti-Nutra have demonstrated their commitment to natural, safe products and good customer service.
We also like a product that isn’t afraid to list all of its ingredients up-front and centre. Nowadays too many supplements – nootropics and others – fall back on the old cliché of a ‘proprietary blend’. This is essentially a way of hiding either ingredients or dosages. We cannot help but think that if there’s a need for this, it’s usually because the ingredients either aren’t very effective, or they are not included in clinically effective doses.
Performance Lab doesn’t hide behind proprietary blends in any of its products, so you know exactly what you are putting into your body. Very important, we think.
You can buy Performance Lab® Mind from the official website at https://uk.performancelab.com/collections/core-range/products/mind