I always approach pre-formulated nootropic stacks with a bit of skepticism. Yes, in theory, they’re an easy and relatively inexpensive way for anyone to give their brain a boost.
In practice, however, they don’t always work as well as advertised. Many products in the market are all hype and little substance.
As I started taking Performance Lab Mind, I was very curious on which side of the fence it would fall on. I was hopeful. It is, after all, a stack put together by Opti-Nutra, the same company who brought us Mind Lab Pro, one of my favorites.
After several weeks of taking Performance Lab Mind I have my answer, and, at the risk of spoiling the rest of this review, let’s just say I was not disappointed.
Table of Contents
- 1 What Is Performance Lab Mind
- 2 Performance Lab Mind Ingredients
- 3 Does Performance Lab Mind Work
- 4 Is Performance Lab Mind Safe
- 5 How and When to Take Performance Lab Mind
- 6 Should You Cycle Performance Lab Mind
- 7 Comparisons With Other Nootropics
- 8 Where Can You Buy Performance Lab Mind
- 9 Closing Thoughts
What Is Performance Lab Mind
As I already mentioned, Performance Lab Mind is created by Opti-Nutra, the same fine folks who designed Mind Lab Pro, as well as several other Performance Lab branded supplements.
In addition to Mind, the Performance Lab line of products includes five other formulas: Energy, Sleep, Vision, Prebiotic, and Whole-Food Multi. Each of the six aims to target a specific aspect of human performance.
Mind, of course, targets the brain.
It’s a cognitive enhancer that, according to the box it comes in, is supposed to:
- Improve your performance-oriented cognitive functions
- Support your focus, processing speed and motivation
- Help your mind recover after stress and multitasking
- Promote long-term brain health, memory, and clarity
Delivering on all those promises is a pretty tall order. But, I was cautiously optimistic that Performance Mind Lab could pull it off.
What inspired confidence in me was the list of ingredients.
The stack is made up of several popular nootropics, each of which has scientifically proven cognitive benefits. The amounts in which those ingredients are included also seem right on target.
But, this wouldn’t be a proper review unless I dug a little deeper, would it?
Performance Lab Mind Ingredients
Like every Opti-Nutra product, Performance Lab Mind’s ingredient list is open sourced. In other words, we’re told exactly what goes into every pill and in what quantities.
Many other nootropic stack products like Onnit’s Alpha Brain or Neurohacker Collective’s Qualia prefer to keep their cards close to their chest. Proprietary blends are what they call their products.
Needless to say, I much prefer Opti-Nutra’s open approach.
Each of the four ingredients has multiple proven cognitive enhancement benefits. Some also act as support for the others.
This synergy between the ingredients allows Opti-Nutra to keep the cost down by sticking to the lower ends of each nootropic’s recommended dosage without sacrificing any of the effects.
Here is what Performance Lab Mind’s formula includes (the amounts listed for each ingredient are per serving, which is one pill):
Citicoline (250 mg) (as Cognizin®)
In the world of nootropics, citicoline is often known as CDP-Choline. It’s one of the primary naturally occurring forms of choline in your body.
CDP-Choline is very often used as a base for various nootropic stacks, and its inclusion in Performance Lab Mind is a good move.
Citicoline is also able to cross the blood-brain barrier.
Once on the other side, it helps synthesize phosphatidylcholine (PC)  which helps restore damaged brain cells and improve their efficiency . This too has a positive effect on your overall cognition and specifically your memory, ability to learn, and mood .
And, to top it all off, citicoline acts as a neuroprotective compound that helps you maintain good long-term brain health .
Opti-Nutra chose to include the Cognizin brand of citicoline in Performance Lab Mind, which shows their commitment to quality.
Why? Research shows using Cognizin specifically can increase your brain energy by nearly 14% and improves the formation of brain cell membranes by a very significant 26% .
CDP-Choline doses of up to 1000 mg are considered safe, making the amount Performance Lab Mind includes on the lower end of the range. But, because the other nootropic ingredients tend to work synergistically with choline, 250 mg should still be very effective.
Phosphatidylserine (100 mg) (as Sharp PS® Green)
Phosphatidylserine (PS) is an organic fatty acid that is a critical component of all tissue and organ cells in your body. The brain is, of course, included on that list.
Don’t confuse phosphatidylserine (PS) with phosphatidylcholine (PC). They’re entirely different beasts.
PC, which as we already saw the Cognizin ingredient of Performance Lab Mind helps synthesize, makes up the outer layer of your brain’s cell membranes. PS, on the other hand, is a component of the inner layer.
Both, however, are vital for optimal cognitive performance.
Supplementing with PS ensures fluidity in your brain’s cell membranes. This makes it easier for other important neurotransmitters (like dopamine and serotonin) to flow between them. The effect is you’re able to focus, problem solve, and reason better . Your memory also improves .
Phosphatidylserine also has some powerful neuroprotective properties. It is proven to slow down, and sometimes even reverse, various forms of cognitive decline  we all start to suffer from as we age.
Just as was the case with citicoline, Opti-Nutra chose to include a premium brand name version of phosphatidylserine. Sharp PS is high-quality phosphatidylserine made from sunflower lecithin.
No cheap, soy-based PS generics here.
N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine (300 mg)
Your brain uses L-tyrosine to produce the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine, both of which are the true source of the mentioned effects.
Norepinephrine is responsible for your fight-or-flight response . It makes you more alert and gives you better focus , as well as boosts your executive functions (a collection of mental skills which include working memory, motivation, and mental flexibility) .
N-acetyl-L-tyrosine (NALT), which is what Performance Lab Mind contains, is a more potent version of L-tyrosine. The added acetyl group (N-acetyl) increases the compound’s bioavailability and makes it even more effective.
The 300 mg of N-acetyl-L-tyrosine that is part of the Performance Lab Mind formula is the typical dose size for this nootropic and the amount I would expect to see.
Maritime Pine Bark Extract (75 mg)
Maritime pine bark extract is not often included in pre-formulated nootropic products, and that’s a shame.
Pine bark extract relaxes your blood vessels , improving blood flow and making it easier for your brain to get nutrients and oxygen.
By allowing your brain to get the fuel it needs more efficiently, research shows that pine bark extract, just on its own, can have a significant positive effect on everything from your memory and focus to mood and decision-making abilities.
Combine it with the other nootropics on the Performance Lab Mind ingredients list, and you’re really off to the races.
Pine bark extract also has several proven neuroprotective benefits. Because of its antioxidant properties, it reduces DNA damage caused by oxidation . And, by keeping your blood vessels healthier, it may also help prevent strokes .
Performance Lab Mind includes 75 mg (just the right amount) of pine bark extract, sourced from French maritime pine trees, and standardized to 95% proanthocyanidins. It’s the most potent and highest quality version of the supplement available.
There are a few more things I feel I should point out about the ingredients of Performance Lab Mind.
Anything that doesn’t need to be there is not there (i.e., no fillers). And what is included are high-quality brand name ingredients.
To ensure purity, before being put in a capsule, Opti-Nutra tests the nootropics mix for allergens, heavy metals pesticides, herbicides, and just about any other type of contaminant. Everything is non-GMO too.
And, for the vegans among us, the capsules Performance Lab Mind comes in are also vegan-friendly.
Does Performance Lab Mind Work
On paper, things look great. Performance Lab Mind has all the right ingredients. More importantly, it includes those ingredients in amounts that should deliver on what the supplement promises. So, does it?
The executive summary is yes, Performance Lab Mind works. There is, however, a caveat attached to that statement.
You need to treat your use of Performance Lab Mind as a marathon, not a sprint. All the nootropics which are included in the stack take time to build up in your system.
This is a stimulant free stack, so no instant gratification.
Once you give the ingredients enough time to do their thing, though, then you’re in business. How much time? A couple of weeks should be a good target for most of us.
And that has indeed been my experience with Performance Lab Mind.
My Personal Experience With Performance Lab Mind
During the first week I took it, I didn’t feel much at all. But, understanding what I just said, that the nootropics do take a bit of time to kick in, I wasn’t all that concerned.
By the end of week two, I definitely started to feel a noticeable boost to my focus, memory, and overall cognition. My mind seemed to take less time to recover from most tasks, and I generally felt much more motivated to get things done too.
From that point onward, things just got better and better.
That’s typically what you can expect from nootropic stacks like Performance Lab Mind. You’ll get a bit of a kick in the short term, and then, as you continue to take the product, things continue to improve.
It’s those of us who are willing to ride out the buildup period who really win with these types of products. By being patient, we gain a significant long-term advantage over anyone looking for a quick fix.
When you give it time, Performance Lab Mind can work very well and is an easy and very safe way to improve your cognitive performance.
A Review of Performance Lab Mind’s Benefits
After several months of use, the most identifiable benefits I experienced when taking Performance Lab Mind are as follows.
Focus and Motivation
Within a few weeks of taking Performance Lab Mind, my ability to focus on tasks noticeably improved. It became easier to concentrate, and I was able to do it for longer.
I also felt more motivated to get things done. It wasn’t to same “glued to the screen forget even to drink water” level you can achieve in the short-term with some stimulants. Instead, it was a gentler will to get going and check things off my TODO list.
It’s hard to know if the increased motivation was a direct effect of taking Performance Lab Mind. It may have also been indirectly caused by how much easier almost everything about my tasks became. Either way, I’ll take it.
My memory, both short- and long-term saw a boost after taking Performance Lab Mind for some time. Simply put, I could both remember and recall things better.
I also found my ability to understand new concepts improved. I “got” them quicker and they stuck, meaning I didn’t need to go back to re-visit things as often as I did before.
Another significant benefit I saw as a result of taking Performance Lab Mind was in how well my mind recovered. It felt noticeably more rested and got there quicker than before.
Proper mental recovery is often underestimated as a benefit of taking nootropics, but in my experience, it’s huge.
Having a clear and well-rested head not only makes you feel better about everything, but it also helps you take better advantage of all the other effects nootropic use gives.
Is Performance Lab Mind Safe
Performance Lab Mind is as safe as pre-formulated nootropic supplements can be (i.e., very).
Each of the four natural ingredients it includes is well tolerated and comes from a well-known brand name source (no cheap generics here). The safety of each ingredient is also individually backed by significant amounts of research and clinical trials.
We also know the exact amounts of each nootropic that Performance Lab Mind includes (which is not the case with many competing products). That’s always important, but especially so if you’re going to use Performance Lab Mind as a base to build on top of with other nootropics.
And then there’s Opti-Nutra’s commitment to quality.
All their products undergo dozens of quality assurance checks at every stage of the manufacturing process. Every result and claim is also validated by an independent third party which guarantees purity, potency, and overall quality are delivered as advertised.
Where Is the Product Made
While all Performance Lab products are formulated and designed in the UK, they’re manufactured in the US.
Opti-Nutra makes their supplements at an FDA-registered and GMP-certified facility in the state of New Jersey, which ensures proper oversight every step of the way.
Reviewing Performance Lab Mind’s Side Effect
I have not experienced a single side effect since starting to take Performance Lab Mind, and I imagine that will also be true for just about everyone else.
There may, of course, be the odd case where something doesn’t agree with someone (as happens with every supplement in the market). So, definitely listen to your body.
But, considering what the ingredients are, their quality, and the doses in which they are included, as well as the fact that Performance Lab Mind has no fillers or additives, and is gluten-free and non-GMO, this should be one very well tolerated nootropic stack.
Will Performance Lab Mind Interact With Other Medication
It’s impossible to know whether Performance Lab Mind will interact with other meds. Odds are it won’t but, ultimately, our bodies and circumstances are all so different from each other.
If you are taking anything else, before using Performance Lab Mind, talk to your doctor. Bring the ingredients list with you to show them precisely what you’ll be taking and in what quantities. Then, follow their advice.
The above also applies if you have any pre-existing medical conditions, or even if you just want to be extra vigilant. Safety should always come first.
How and When to Take Performance Lab Mind
The recommendation from Opti-Nutra is to take one or two capsules of Performance Lab Mind either in the morning or the early afternoon.
Personally, I have been taking one capsule before breakfast. I feel that because of how well the four nootropics in the stack synergize with each other, two is not necessary. And clearly, at least in my case, one turns out to be plenty.
Consistency (i.e., making sure you supplement every day) is also critical.
There are no safety concerns with taking two capsules and (especially since Opti-Nutra themselves say it’s fine to do).
If you do choose to double up, I would probably take one pill in the morning and one in the early afternoon. Doing so would help maintain a more consistent level of the nootropics in your system over a longer stretch.
Should You Cycle Performance Lab Mind
Opti-Nutra doesn’t think you need to cycle Performance Lab Mind, and I tend to agree.
That said, if you are taking a double dose, I would at least consider it. Either of the following two cycling schedules should work great:
- Five days on, two days off
- Four weeks on, one week off
Comparisons With Other Nootropics
I mentioned at the very beginning of this Performance Lab Mind review that its manufacturer, Opti-Nutra, also makes Mind Lab Pro. The two nootropic stacks are somewhat (and perhaps confusingly) similar and if you’re trying to decide between the two, here is how they compare.
Performance Lab Mind Vs. Mind Lab Pro
When you look at the ingredients list of Performance Lab Mind and Mind Lab Pro, you’ll notice several similarities. All four ingredients of the former are also included in the latter, and in nearly equal doses too (the only difference is Performance Lab Mind includes almost twice as much L-tyrosine, 300 mg vs. 175 mg).
The gist is, Performance Lab Mind is a stripped-down version of Mind Lab Pro.
MLP came on the market first, targeting anyone seeking a one-product-does-it-all nootropic stack. Looking at it from Opti-Nutra’s perspective, it makes perfect sense to release a supplement like that first.
Some of us, however, don’t necessarily want to take the vitamins or minerals included in Mind Lab Pro (as beneficial as they are) or prefer to use different ones.
That’s where Performance Lab Mind comes into play. It contains the bare bones of what you need for comprehensive cognitive enhancement, and nothing more.
Performance Lab Mind is part of the Performance Lab line of products, each of which has a specific purpose. With it, you’re able to be more selective and have greater control over what supplements you take.
And, because Performance Lab Mind includes fewer ingredients, it cheaper than Mind Lab Pro too.
Which product you go with depends entirely on your needs. I can attest that both work rather well for cognitive enhancement.
If you’re looking for a fire-and-forget nootropic stack, Mind Lab Pro (which you can read more about here) is probably what you want. It is a complete product from just about every angle.
If, however, you don’t feel like you need the other ingredients MLP includes, want an excellent base to build a personalized stack on top of, or intend to use other products in the Performance Lab lineup, Performance Lab Mind is likely your winner.
Where Can You Buy Performance Lab Mind
There is only one place where you can buy Performance Lab Mind, and that is from the product’s website. Your local health food store won’t sell it, and neither will Amazon.
Opti-Nutra prefers you buy straight from the source. Doing so allows them to ensure you’re buying the real thing (not a potentially inferior knock-off).
It also gives them a chance to ensure you have all the information you need to understand their products before investing in them, something that’s not always possible on e-commerce platforms like Amazon.
Can You Get a Free Performance Lab Mind Sample
Opti-Nutra does not give out free samples of Performance Lab Mind (or any other of their products, for that matter). They do, however, give us a 30-day “empty bottle” money back guarantee.
Personally, I prefer their approach. It gives us a chance to properly test Performance Lab Mind for an entire 30 days before having to make a decision.
Free samples typically include only a few days’ worths of a product. Considering I had to take Performance Lab Mind for over a week to start feeling it (and even longer to get the full effect), a half dozen free pills would not be a very representative sample.
If my closest friend asked me whether Performance Lab Mind is worth it (which, coincidentally, he recently has after seeing a bottle of it on my desk), without a doubt, my answer would be yes.
In my experience, the combination of top-quality nootropic ingredients that Opti-Nutra has put together delivers on each of their promises: better focus, memory, and motivation, as well as a noticeable overall increase to cognitive performance.
Whether this will be your first nootropic, or you have been using them since the movie Limitless came out years ago, the bottom line is, Performance Lab Mind is a product that has a place in every neurohacker’s arsenal.
Yes, like most stimulant free nootropic stacks, it may take a few days before you feel the effects. But when you get there, your patience is well rewarded.
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