Mind Lab Pro Review: an Essential ‘Multivitamin’ Nootropic Stack
The race to dominate the nootropic supplement market is on. Dozens of supplement companies are competing for this growing $2.7 billion market.
But it soon occurred to me early in my quest for the ideal nootropic stack, that sifting through this crazy and often confusing market was going to take a lot of research, and even more trial and error.
Every nootropic company has their own take on what makes the ideal nootropic stack. Each focusing on one, two or three aspects of cognitive enhancement, and each going after a different segment of the market.
Cognitive enhancers intended for boosting alertness and focus. Or better memory. Others target the tech entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. Or corporate executives. Some go after the younger neurohacker who wants better grades.
But no single company could claim a “universal nootropic stack”. A formula that could help a gamer as well as an accountant. An athlete as well as a stay-at-home mom. An attorney or a doctor. Or someone like me who wants to boost overall brain power.
Opti-Nutra claims to have the “world’s first Universal Nootropic” … that “boosts all aspects of cognition in all types of people – especially those whose active lifestyles demand dynamic brainpower”.
One Nootropic Formula for All?
Now I’ve tried a lot of different nootropic stacks, and individual supplements, in my quest to amplify my brain power. No single stack that I’ve tried so far covered every aspect of cognition in one go.
But Opti-Nutra claimed to be able to boost memory, mental performance, creativity, mood, energy, stress, and motivation. While fighting aging and brain degeneration. All in one nootropic formula of 2 capsules per day.
How is this possible?
Let’s take a look at their formula and see if their claims stack up. The Mind Lab Pro stack contains 11 ingredients including many which I’ve reviewed individually here on Corpina.
The stack includes: Citicoline, Bacopa Monnieri, Lion’s Mane Mushroom, Phosphatidylserine (PS), Pterostilbene, N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine (NALT), L-Theanine, Rhodiola Rosea, Vinpocetine and Vitamins B6 and B12.
The company’s strategy in putting together this stack is largely based on the synergy of each of these nootropics working together. Their aim is to optimize 6 brain pathways:
- Cerebral blood flow
- Brain Waves
Combined these ingredients are meant to boost 4 areas of mental performance:
- Memory (encoding, storage, recall, learning)
- Performance (speed, processing, attention, focus, verbal fluidity)
- Mindset (mood, stress, relaxation, creativity, motivation)
- Structural (injury repair, cell membranes, neurogenesis, anti-aging, fight degeneration)
Opti-Nutra claims that these 4 key mental performance categories affected by the stack’s ingredients work in synergy to unlock all these benefits.
So the next logical step is to take a look at each of these ingredients, and see if their claims make logical sense.
What is Mind Lab Pro?
The first thing that stands out with this stack is that it’s made up entirely of naturally-occurring ingredients. It doesn’t contain any of the racetams or other synthetics. It doesn’t contain caffeine, either.
Let’s take a look at each nootropic and review what we know. (Note that each nootropic links through to a full individual review for that ingredient).
Citicoline (Cognizin®) 250 mg – Citicoline is needed to synthesize one of the main phospholipids that make up brain cell membranes – phosphatidylcholine (PC).
It is also involved in the production of acetylcholine. While providing antioxidant activity.Citicoline as a nootropic supplement enhances attention, concentration, memory, logical reasoning, learning and focus.
Bacopa Monnieri (45% bacosides) 150 mg – Bacopa helps boost the neurotransmitters acetylcholine, GABA and serotonin. While protecting brain cells from free radical damage and apoptosis (cell death).
And even boosts cerebral circulation.Bacopa taken as a nootropic cuts back learning time, and improves memory and recall.
Lion’s Mane Mushroom 500 mg – Lion’s Mane is the only mushroom known to support brain health. It stimulates nerve growth factor which helps neurogenesis, and myelin axon sheath synthesis.
Improving neuroplasticity with Lion’s Mane helps memory formation and supports brain cell repair. This mushroom also provides liver detox, regulates blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
Phosphatidylserine (Sharp PS® Green) 100 mg – PS is a phospholipid making up 15% of brain cell membranes. PS increases nerve growth factor to help neurogenesis.
It optimizes neuroreceptors all while promoting acetylcholine and dopamine. And helps maintain brain cell membrane fluidity. Which keeps cells healthy.
Pterostilbene 500 mcg – Pterostilbene is a polyphenol derived from grapes and blueberries. It is a potent antioxidant protecting brain cells from free radical damage particularly under severe stress. Even assisting recovery from stroke by protecting the brain’s blood supply.
Pterostilbene used as a nootropic also helps fight off and even reverse cognitive decline.
N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine (NALT) 175 mg – NALT is an amino acid critical for the synthesis of neurotransmitters dopamine, epinephrine and norepinephrine.
Boosting these catecholamine neurotransmitters helps improve cognition, mood and memory.NALT has also been shown to improve working memory while multitasking. And helps optimize mental performance when you’re under severe stress, fatigue and even sleep deprivation.
L-Theanine (Suntheanine®) 100 mg – L-Theanine is naturally found in green tea. It settles the excitatory neurotransmitters while promoting calming serotonin and GABA. Sharpening attention, alertness and focus that help creative problem solving, learning and studying.
L-Theanine also increases alpha brain waves which are associated with relaxation and enhanced creativity. This nootropic even boosts your immune system, helps keep blood pressure under control and promotes healthy sleep.
Rhodiola Rosea 50 mg – Rhodiola is an adaptogen which boosts mood by influencing norepinephrine, serotonin and the feel-good opioids like beta-endorphins.
It boosts neurogenesis, activates the synthesis of ATP, and reduces the inflammatory C-reactive protein in your brain.Rhodiola helps improve mental performance while under stress and enhances mood.
Vinpocetine 6 mg – Vinpocetine is an extract of the periwinkle plant that easily crosses the blood-brain barrier to increase cerebral blood flow.
Boosting cerebral circulation with Vinpocetine promotes brain cell glucose and oxygen metabolism. Which helps attention, concentration and memory.
Vitamin B6 (P-5-P) 2.5 mg – B6 is critical for the synthesis of the major neurotransmitters dopamine, GABA, norepinephrine and serotonin. Which influence mood, melatonin, and helps regulate your body clock.
B6 also helps protect your brain from excess homocysteine that can damage blood vessel linings. And B6 helps form myelin which is the protective sheath that surround axons in your brain and body.
Vitamin B12 (methylcobalamin) 7.5 mcg – B12 is required to regulate homocysteine levels in your brain and body working with Vitamin B6.B12 is also a cofactor in the synthesis of dopamine, GABA, norepinephrine and serotonin.
Low levels of Vitamin B12 has been linked to poor mood and cognition leading to cognitive decline at any age.
When I first looked at the ingredient list for Mind Lab Pro it immediately had my interest. I’ve tried all of them individually in one form or another, at one time or another, with some success.
But no racetams or caffeine, and fairly conservative doses of some of the ingredients. So I wasn’t expecting any immediate benefit.
Taking the recommended two capsules in the morning, an hour later I still didn’t really ‘feel’ anything. On the other hand I didn’t feel any kind of a crash later in the afternoon either.
Looking back on my first day using Mind Lab Pro, I realized I had a steady amount of energy to get through everything I was doing that day. Focusing on tasks was easy. My mood stayed steady and calm all day long.
Now after two weeks of using 2 capsules a day of Mind Lab Pro every single day. This is the longest straight streak of productivity I can remember having in a long time.
My sleep was never disturbed from using this stack, and the cognitive boosts I got from using Mind Lab Pro were subtle. But steady. Focus was never a problem. Attention to detail on certain things felt natural. Workouts were better with less fatigue. Mood was steady every day but never numbed down.
One thing that has started to stand out is memory. Little things like names seem to be there when I need them. I imagine the longer I use this stack even more memory will come back.
Mind Lab Pro Reviews
Scouring the ‘net, the comment I see most often is how ‘safe’ the stack is. A few complain about the price at $65 for a month supply, but the overwhelming opinion seems to be that it works.
People on forums like reddit report their productivity has increased. Memory and focus got progressively better the longer they used it.
One comment I see often is “try it for a month”. Then take a look back on your productivity levels for the last 4 weeks. People are often surprised at what they’ve accomplished.
Short term memory has improved. Ability to multi-task was much better. Feeling more alert, sharper and ability to focus. Learning in general was a bit easier.
Then there are the video reviews on the Mind Lab Pro website with chess grandmaster Nigel Short, a professional base jumper, a white water guide, an attorney… Each reviewer was enthusiastic about how this stack helped them up their game.
Mind Lab Pro: Main Benefits and Effects
Mind Lab Pro is for complete cognitive optimization. Opti-Nutra has identified 6 brain pathways that are touched from multiple angles by each of the 11 ingredients.
1. Brain chemistry
Memory, processing speed, mood, attention, and creativity are all boosted by optimized neurotransmitters, amino acids, brain cell fluidity, and better nutrition and oxygenation.
2. Brain energy
Less brain fog and mental fatigue makes for better alertness, quicker thinking and focus.
3. Brain regeneration
Repair, maintenance and fuel for brain cells helps neuroplasticity and rapid brain cell growth.
4. Brain circulation
More blood flow oxygenates brain cells, clears out toxins, and improves nutrient delivery.
5. Brain protection
Free radicals and oxidation are reduced helping to prevent brain cell death and cognitive aging.
6. Brain waves
Alpha brain waves are amped up for wakeful relaxation during studying, learning and productivity.
How it Works
Opti-Nutra recommends taking two capsules in the morning. Preferably with a healthy oil like coconut or olive oil. The vegan Plantcaps® are digested quickly and the ingredients should start working within 30 minutes. The effects should last you all day.
Usually, two capsules are all you’ll need for a full day of brain optimization. The synergy of this stack with 11 different ingredients increases the potency and efficacy beyond taking these compounds on their own. As a result, lower doses of some ingredients are used compared to dosing them individually.
Every ingredient in Mind Lab Pro has literally hundreds or thousands of research studies and clinical trials backing them up. Once you dig into the science for each of these compounds you’ll see cross-over in areas like neurotransmitters and phospholipids. So smaller amounts of each work together for a boosted effect when combined.
But like every nootropic, your mileage may vary. What works for me may not work well for you. Our body and brain is unique and affected by a ton of factors. You may have better results. Or maybe not so good. The only way to know is to try Mind Lab Pro for a month.
Mind Lab Pro comes in 10% natural vegan Plantcaps capsules with a blend of ingredients that is detailed on their website, on the box and on the bottle itself.
The company recommends taking two capsules in the morning or early afternoon, preferably with food. What they mean with “preferably with food” is that some of the ingredients are fat-soluble. And are better absorbed if taken with a healthy fat like organic coconut or olive oil.
You can increase to a maximum of four capsules per day. But “do not exceed four capsules in a 24 hour period unless otherwise directed by a health care practitioner”.
The ingredients in Mind Lab Pro are natural and considered safe and non-toxic, but there could be interactions between Mind Lab Pro and other medications. So check each ingredient against whatever medications your currently on, and ensure you don’t run into any problems.
Ideally, it’s best to consult with your doctor just to make sure.
I haven’t seen any side effects reported in any of the comments I’ve seen on various forums.
On its own, Mind Lab Pro is a complete stack of some potent cognitive enhancers, and the beauty of this stack is the company discloses exactly what is contained in each dose. So if you feel like you want to maximize your experience, you could try adding:
Mind Lab Pro & Fish Oil
If you’re looking for long-term benefits, combining MLP with fish oil will almost certainly give you an advanced cognitive boost. Try 2 capsules of Mind Lab Pro along with 500 mg of Krill Oil or 1,000 mg of DHA.
Mind Lab Pro & Caffeine
The Mind Lab Pro stack contains L-theanine, which is known to synergize well with caffeine, providing focused energy without the jitters, and helping avoid the crash. Whether you get your caffeine from a separate supplement or a cup of coffee is up to you.
Mind Lab Pro & Aniracetam
One of the racetam-family of nootropics, Aniracetam is known for its potent anti-anxiety and mood enhancing effects. Combining it with Mind Lab Pro can offer even more benefits for improving memory, focus and learning capability.
Mind Lab Pro & Sulbutiamine
Discovered in Japan in the 1930’s, Sulbutiamine is a derivative of Vitamin B1 (thiamine). Research has shown this nootropic can amplify the effects of Mind Lab Pro by boosting mood, memory, relieve fatigue and provide an energy boost.
A month supply of Alpha Brain costs about the same as Mind Lab Pro. The only other close comparison is Onnit’s claim that their stack supports memory, focus and processing speed (this is most likely due to the Bacopa). Only 2 of 4 performance measures supported by Mind Lab Pro.
LSD Micro also addresses only part of the performance measures attributed to Mind Lab Pro. LSD micro-dosing can boost productivity by improving creativity and focus.
And provide a bit of an improvement in mood. But is not something you want to try if you regularly experience social anxiety. Further, LSD continues to be illegal and is certainly more difficult to get than Mind Lab Pro.
Modafinil is a popular smart drug for increasing alertness, focus and motivation. Modafinil influences the neurotransmitters norepinephrine, dopamine and histamine in the brain.
It seems to affect select neuroreceptors and transporters. But a word of caution, Modafinil should not be included as a legitimate alternative to Mind Lab Pro.
Firstly, it’s entirely synthetic whereas MLP is a natural stack; and secondly, tolerance builds within weeks of regular use. Tolerance built more slowly with MLP and did not lead to any sort of weird/anti-social behavior, as is commonly the case with Modafinil.
The pre-made stack called Qualia is likely the closest competitor to Mind Lab Pro. Their stack comes in two bottles requiring 3 Step One capsules in the morning on an empty stomach.
Followed by 6 Step Two capsules twenty minutes later taken with food. That’s a total of 9 capsules per day following a somewhat involved dosing regimen, but definitely has a strong effect. For an in-depth look atQualia, including my own experience, check out my review.
Qualia, notably, costs over twice as much as Mind Lab Pro. So while there are alternatives that have their own pro’s and con’s, Mind Lab Pro finds a unique market segment — being a truly “Universal” Nootropic, while still being relatively affordable.
It follows through on its promise, and pretty much covers all the bases when it comes to optimized cognition. It’s easy to get and competitively priced.
Thrivous Nootropic Stack
Thrivous is company that offers similar “universal” stacks, offering a monthly subscription to its full nootropic stack ($70 + free shipping in the United States) for roughly the same price as Mind Lab Pro ($65).
Another similarity: in its formulations, Thrivous emphasizes evidence-based ingredients with dosages that correspond to those used in clinical studies on humans. Of particular note are Thrivous’ comparisons to other leading stacks, such as this comparison to Qualia and this one to, conveniently, Mind Lab Pro.
The stack includes three products: Clarity for improving focus, memory, and mood; Alpha for supporting healthy brain aging; and Serenity for promoting calm, sleep, and next-day focus. In combination at that price, Thrivous stacks, taken cumulatively, comprise worthwhile competitors to MLP.
Opti-Nutra is certainly on to something with Mind Lab Pro. Each ingredient has a ton of science backing up what the company claims for enhanced cognition.
Long-term use of Mind Lab Pro (i.e. 30-days) is going to provide noticeable cognitive benefits in every area of your brain and life.
The company offers a no-brainer “empty bottle” guarantee. So if you faithfully try the entire bottle and are not happy with the results. Send the empty bottle back to Opti-Nutra and they’ll refund your money (less shipping).
What’s more, the ingredients on their own will likely cost you 2 or 3-times more than buying the formula from Opti-Nutra. Even with this premium stack, to my mind it’s still a good deal for a great nootropic stack.