When I started using nootropics, my biggest challenge was figuring out which one to take.
I’m a minimalist by nature and don’t like taking a lot of supplements, which is why I’m drawn to preformulated stacks.
While there are plenty of stacks to choose from, Mind Lab Pro is my top choice.
Mind Lab’s potent, all-natural formula delivers focus and mental energy without feeling overstimulated.
Some nootropic stacks can overwhelm you with unnecessary ingredients and toxic fillers.
Mind Lab Pro is clean and straightforward.
The following review takes a deep dive into all things Mind Lab Pro including:
- How It Works
- Why It’s Great For Nootropic Newbies AND Experienced Biohackers
- Where To Buy
- 11 All-Natural Nootropics
- Boost Mental Energy, Lower Fatigue
- More Focus and Concentration
- Improve Memory
- Stress Reduction
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Why Mind Lab Pro Is My Favorite Nootropic Stack
I love Mind Lab Pro because it’s a potent sampling of my favorite nootropics.
If you’re new to nootropics this is the best “gateway” stack to start with.
Use it for 3-6 months and get the feel of how you feel with compounds manipulating your neurotransmitters. If you do well but want more, then venture into the more targeted nootropic protocols.
Addressing Mind Lab Pro’s Main Critique
Some people criticize Mind Lab because the doses of each nootropic are low, or that it doesn’t have as many ingredients as Qualia Mind or Alpha Brain.
I argue that more isn’t always better, especially when it comes to supplements. Many compounds deliver diminishing returns. This is especially true if you don’t know your genes and bio-individuality.
For example, you may be sensitive to compounds like choline and tyrosine, and taking too much can make you anxious and jittery.
There’s also the idea of synergy between all of the ingredients in a formula. Just because there’s more ingredients doesn’t mean they all necessarily play well with each other.
Most importantly Mind Lab Pro’s blend gives you the B-Vitamin Co-Factors along with a clean formulation that enhances the nootropic effectiveness.
What Is Mind Lab Pro?
Mind Lab Pro is a nootropic stack developed by OptiNutra that promises to help with:
It claims to be an all-in-one brain optimizer that combines 11 separate cognitive enhancing ingredients into one synergistic formula.
Mind Lab Pro is one of the most popular and well-reviewed nootropic stack currently on the market. It’s hard to read much about nootropics without stumbling across a mention or advertisement for Mind Lab Pro.
A Premium Nootropic Stack
OptiMind claims that it is the most researched and clinically effective product of its kind. They are also extremely transparent about how much each ingredient is in Mind Lab Pro and where it is sourced from.
They do not hide behind a vague “proprietary blend” label like some other stacks out there, which is basically just a legal way not to tell you what’s actually in their product (a huge red flag). And, they clearly strive to use the highest quality version of each component in their stack.
This means you know exactly what you are getting without any shady marketing languages that can be so pervasive in the supplement market. They also directly link to the actual clinical research they use to develop their formula.
In the unregulated and sometimes murky world of nootropics, this openness and commitment to quality are admirable.
So, that said, does Mind Lab Pro actually work? Let’s take a look at the evidence.
First off: what’s in Mind Lab Pro?
Mind Lab Pro
Which Stack Is Better?
Mind Lab Pro Ingredients
Rhodiola Rosea 50 mg
Rhodiola Rosea is an all-natural nootropic and adaptogenic herb that has been used for thousands of years to boost energy, mood, focus, athletic performance, and memory.
Rhodiola has been used in traditional medicine by Eastern European cultures for a very long time. It has also been studied extensively by modern researchers. There is compelling evidence that this herb can have a powerful effect on many different cognitive and bodily functions.
As an adaptogen, it works partially by modulating the body’s response to stress, helping it adapt, and “hold steady” during difficult circumstances. It can boost dopamine levels, supporting mood, and many athletes use it as a performance enhancer.1Panossian A Wikman G. Evidence-based efficacy of adaptogens in fatigue, and molecular mechanisms related to their stress-protective activity, Curr Clin Pharmacol. 2009 2Darbinyan V, et al. Rhodiola Rosea in stress induced fatigue–a double blind cross-over study of a standardized extract SHR-5 with a repeated low-dose regimen on the mental performance of healthy physicians during night duty, Phytomedicine. 2000 3Darbinyan V, et al. Clinical trial of Rhodiola Rosea L. extract SHR-5 in the treatment of mild to moderate depression, Nord J Psychiatry. 2007 4Parisi A, et al. Effects of chronic Rhodiola Rosea supplementation on sport performance and antioxidant capacity in trained male: preliminary results, J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2010
We are big fans of this nootropic in general. The Mind Lab Pro formula seems to play a role as a stress reducer and mood booster. And, because it is an herb, it fits well with Mind Lab Pro’s commitment to “all-natural” brain support.
It’s worth noting that Mind Lab Pro uses high quality, lab-verified Rhodiola that has been standardized to 3% rosavin and 1% salidroside.
These are the active compounds in this herb that actually do the work, so it’s good to know that OptiMind goes through the trouble to verify it’s effective.
Some brands have been known to use “Rhodiola Rosea,” which is actually a completely different species, but that’s not the case here.
L-Theanine: 100 mg
Mind Lab Pro includes l-theanine in the form of Suntheanine, which is extracted from sunflowers and is considered the highest quality version out there.
L-theanine is a unique type of amino acid that has been proven to induce a calm state of mind, relieve stress, improve mood, improve focus, and act as a neuroprotectant.
It is prized for its ability to modulate brain waves and neurotransmitters in a way that promotes a relaxed but clear-headed state.
It is one of the most popular and widely used nootropic supplements out there, especially when paired with caffeine.5Park SK, et al. A combination of green tea extract and l-theanine improves memory and attention in subjects with mild cognitive impairment: a double-blind placebo-controlled study, J Med Food. 2011 6Yoto A, et al. Effects of L-theanine or caffeine intake on changes in blood pressure under physical and psychological stresses, J Physiol Anthropol. 2012
This nootropic is a bit of a no-brainer to include in this stack because it does so much and has minimal side effects. It is one of the most popular nootropics for a reason, and it’s good to see that Mind Lab Pro is using the top-shelf version.
N-Acetyl-Tyrosine (NALT): 175 mg
NALT (N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine) is a potent source of the amino acid l-tyrosine, a precursor to dopamine. Supplementing with NALT can boost dopamine levels in the brain, which could have a beneficial effect on the user.7NAGATSU T, LEVITT M, UDENFRIEND S. TYROSINE HYDROXYLASE. THE INITIAL STEP IN NOREPINEPHRINE BIOSYNTHESIS, J Biol Chem. 1964 8Fernstrom JD, Faller DV. Neutral amino acids in the brain: changes in response to food ingestion, J Neurochem. 1978
NALT seems to be most effective at fighting the effects of fatigue and stress. People who are under difficult situations for an extended period of time usually get the most use out of this nootropic.9Jongkees BJ, et al. Effect of tyrosine supplementation on clinical and healthy populations under stress or cognitive demands–A review, J Psychiatr Res. 2015
NALT is particularly useful for high-performing individuals who need mental support to push themselves hard day after day. Mind Lab Pro seems to know their customer base well, which is probably why they included this one.
Maritime Pine Bark Extract: 75 mg
French maritime pine bark extract is a nootropic supplement found in the bark of the French Maritime Pine Tree (Pinus pinaster).
It contains a powerful antioxidant called proanthocyanidins, which has many positive benefits for neurological health.
Pine bark extract may improve focus, attention, memory, mood, and overall cognitive function. It is proven to increase blood flow to the brain and remove harmful free radicals.
It has powerful neuroprotective qualities and may treat symptoms of ADHD and Alzheimers.10Luzzi R, et al. Pycnogenol® supplementation improves cognitive function, attention and mental performance in students, Panminerva Med. 2011 11Belcaro G, et al. Pycnogenol® improves cognitive function, attention, mental performance and specific professional skills in health professionals aged 35-55, J Neurosurg Sci. 2014 12Fitzpatrick DF1, Bing B, Rohdewald P Endothelium-dependent vascular effects of Pycnogenol., J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 1998
The addition of Pine Bark Extract means that Mind Lab Pro can increase focus and concentration in the short term and improve overall brain health in the long term.
Bacopa Monnieri: 150 mg
Bacopa monnieri is a nootropic herb that has been used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years to enhance memory and concentration.
It is considered an adaptogen, helping the body adjust to stress and relieving anxiety (just like Rhodiola Rosea, also in this stack.)
It is a trendy ingredient in pre-made stacks like Mind Lab Pro due to its potent effects on memory in particular.
Numerous clinical trials have confirmed an effective supplement for cognition, brain health, and anxiety.
This nootropic supplement can reduce brain inflammation through its potent antioxidant properties.
It can raise mood through modulating serotonin activity. Bacopa also increases levels of acetylcholine, which is a vital neurotransmitter for learning and memory.13Stough C, et al. The chronic effects of an extract of Bacopa monniera (Brahmi) on cognitive function in healthy human subjects, Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2001 14Bhattacharya SK, Ghosal S. Anxiolytic activity of a standardized extract of Bacopa monniera: an experimental study, Phytomedicine. 1998
Bacopa Monnieri is legendary for boosting the ability to learn and retain knowledge. In fact, it may be the best all-around nootropic for learning currently out there, so it’s no surprise to find it here.15Bhattacharya SK, Ghosal S. Anxiolytic activity of a standardized extract of Bacopa monniera: an experimental study, Phytomedicine. 1998 The Bacopa in Mind Lab Pro has been standardized to 24% bacosides, which are the active compounds in this nootropic. This is another example of OptiMind sourcing high-quality ingredients.
Citicoline: 250 mg
Mind Lab Pro includes a healthy dose of the acetylcholine-boosting citicoline in its patented version of Cognizin.
Citicoline is a nootropic supplement for improved cognition, mental function, energy, focus, and neuroprotection.
It is an endogenous nucleotide naturally found in every cell. It is a necessary component of the cell membrane phosphatidylcholine, a major part of all neurons. This makes it a critical part of your brain’s physical composition.16Fernández-Murray JP1, McMaster CR. Glycerophosphocholine catabolism as a new route for choline formation for phosphatidylcholine synthesis by the Kennedy pathway, J Biol Chem. 2005 17Brown ES, Gabrielson B. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of citicoline for bipolar and unipolar depression and methamphetamine dependence, J Affect Disord. 2012
This nootropic is an excellent source of choline, which is a precursor of acetylcholine (ACh). ACh is an essential neurotransmitter that is necessary for learning, memory, and overall cognitive function.
Low ACh levels can cause problems with memory and other mental functions, eventually leading to cognitive degeneration.18Mario Fioravanti and Ann E Buckley. Citicoline (Cognizin) in the treatment of cognitive impairment, Clin Interv Aging. 2006 Acetylcholine sources are a very popular class nootropic due to how much influence the ACh system has over cognition. The Cognizin present in Mind Lab Pro is a particularly potent example of this type of cognitive enhancer.
Phosphatidylserine (PS): 100 mg
Phosphatidylserine (PS) is a naturally occurring phospholipid that permeates your brain. In fact, it is present in every single one of your cells throughout your entire body, especially the brain.
PS regulates the flow of nutrients and oxygen in and out of each cell. It’s also involved in building new neurons, facilitating chemical transmission across the brain, and maintaining mitochondria (which in turn powers each cell)
Its ubiquity in the brain makes it one of the most important factors in many vital functions, including neuroplasticity, nerve growth, brain cell health, and efficient cross-brain communication.
Supplementing with PS has been linked to improvements in attention span, learning, mood, and overall cognitive health.19Akito Kato-Kataoka, et al. Soybean-Derived Phosphatidylserine Improves Memory Function of the Elderly Japanese Subjects Memory Complaints, J Clin Biochem Nutr. 2010 20Cenacchi T. Cognitive decline in the elderly: a double-blind, placebo-controlled multicenter study on efficacy of phosphatidylserine administration, Aging (Milano). 1993 21Benton D, et al. The influence of phosphatidylserine supplementation on mood and heart rate when faced with an acute stressor, Nutr Neurosci. 2001
In fact, we consider PS one of THE most important nootropics currently available. It is involved in so many holistic brain processes that it would be a mistake for any nootropics enthusiast to overlook it. Even the FDA, which generally has a pretty dim view of nootropics, admits that it works.
Mind Lab Pro includes a high-quality version of PS called PS Sharp. It is derived from sunflower lecithin, which keeps this stack soy-free.
Lion’s Mane Mushroom: 500 mg
This is a full-spectrum extract of Lion’s Mane mushroom, which has a notable effect on focus and cognitive function.
Lion’s Mane promotes Nerve Growth Factor (NGF), a critical factor for neural plasticity, brain health, and learning new information.
It is linked to positive mental function in clinical trials and may have important long-term health benefits. It may even prevent cognitive decline in older users.22Vikineswary Sabaratnam, et al. Neuronal Health – Can Culinary and Medicinal Mushrooms Help?, J Tradit Complement Med. 2013 23Mori K, Inatomi S, Ouchi K, Azumi Y, Tuchida T. Improving effects of the mushroom Yamabushitake (Hericium erinaceus) on mild cognitive impairment: a double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial, Phytother Res. 2009
The version of Lion’s Mane in Mind Lab Pro contains its beneficial compounds’ full-spectrum, including hericenones and erinacines. These are thought to be the main mechanisms at work in this mushroom.
B Vitamin Blend (Vitamin B6: 2.5 mg, Vitamin B9: 100 mcg, Vitamin B12: 7.5 mcg)
Mind Lab Pro includes these B vitamins in OptiNutra’s proprietary BioGenesisTM form.
What does this mean? According to the company, the BioGenesisTM process “grows vitamins and minerals in a sterile, state-of-the-art laboratory setting using proprietary technology that mirrors nutritional genesis in nature.”
In other words, they make these compounds in a way that resembles how they would actually occur in natural food.
This process theoretically makes these vitamins more bioavailable and effective than typical lab-created versions.
However, because this is a proprietary method, there is no way of knowing that it is actually superior, so we have to take their word on it.
Regardless, this trio of B vitamins is critical for optimal brain function.
These vitamins balance homocysteine levels, which can greatly improve cognitive health, especially as you age. Vitamin B deficiency is a major factor in mental decline and diseases like Alzheimer’s.24Selhub J, Bagley LC, Miller J, Rosenberg IH. B vitamins, homocysteine, and neurocognitive function in the elderly, Am J Clin Nutr. 2000
These vitamins can also increase blood flow to the brain and produce neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine.
The bottom line, you need adequate levels of these vitamins to ensure overall proper brain function. They aren’t as exotic as some of the other ingredients on this list, but we think it’s smart for OptiMind to include them.
How Mind Lab Pro Works
These 11 ingredients should have a complementary effect on each other, holistically boosting your mental abilities higher than they would be if they were just taken alone.
The Citicoline and PS should work in tandem to boost the flow of acetylcholine in your brain, improving memory and cognitive function, while simultaneously providing essential compounds to build cells.
The l-theanine, Bacopa Monnieri, and Rhodiola Rosea can decrease stress and raise your mood. At the same time, the NALT prevents your brain from becoming dopamine depleted as your brain kicks into a higher gear.
The maritime pine bark extract acts as a powerful antioxidant that can clear dead cells while promoting sharper focus, while the Lion’s Mane encourages new, healthy connections to form.
The formula seems to provide overlapping effects that touch on all of the major brain functions in a balanced way.
It is also notable that, unlike other nootropic stacks, Mind Lab Pro does NOT include stimulants (besides the mild effect of Rhodiola) or synthetic compounds.
Many stacks attempt to trick their customers by loading up their pills with cheap caffeine or other uppers to catch a mild buzz, leading them to believe it’s “working.”
In actuality, many of these stacks aren’t actually doing much to really boost cognition.
Mind Lab Pro takes a much more subtle approach, which is much more effective (and won’t tweak you out).
Mind Lab Pro For ADHD
Mind Lab Pro has become a popular choice for high-performers looking to enhance their focus and concentration without resorting to traditional stimulants.
Many customers claim it can treat various symptoms of attention deficit disorder. This nootropic stack offers a smoother, less dangerous alternative to medication like Adderall, Modafinil, or Ritalin.
There are plenty of anecdotes on the internet about people using stimulants (with or without a prescription) switching over to Mind Lab Pro to avoid these harsh pharmaceuticals’ nasty potential side effects.
Although amphetamine-like medications may work well for some people, others may crash and burn.
Mind Lab Pro is much more gentle, with almost no stimulation, and much fewer potential side effects. How does it work?
Standard models of ADHD say that this disorder is primarily caused by imbalanced neurotransmitters, namely dopamine and norepinephrine.
Mind Lab Pro has multiple ingredients that can potentially help rebalance these systems.
Phosphatidylserine (PS) is an important component of cell membranes.
This is important for ADHD because it can keep your brain cells healthy to properly transmit chemical messengers like dopamine and norepinephrine.
There’s research to back this up. One preliminary trial concluded that “PS supplementation might be a safe and natural nutritional strategy for improving mental performance in young children who have ADHD.”25Hirayama S, et al. The effect of phosphatidylserine administration on memory and symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, J Hum Nutr Diet. 2014
Maritime Pine Bark Extract is a powerful antioxidant with phenolic compounds that may boost the brain’s dopamine levels.
There is some clinical evidence that it can help with ADHD during childhood (although there have been no trials looking at adult populations, we suspect it’s probably the same effect).26Trebatická J, et al. Treatment of ADHD with French maritime pine bark extract, Pycnogenol, Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2006 27 Annelies A. J. Verlaet, et al. Effect of Pycnogenol® on attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): study protocol for a randomised controlled trial, Trials. 2017
Citicoline may help support dopamine and norepinephrine flow and energize the brain through the acetylcholine system, although they have not been any actual studies on its effects on ADHD specifically.
NALT can help replenish dopamine stores if they are depleted. It is a direct precursor to dopamine and norepinephrine to help focus during particularly difficult or exhausting situations.
So, it seems like there is good reason to believe that Mind Lab Pro can significantly affect ADHD symptoms.
Mind Lab Pro For Anxiety
Mind Lab Pro has several components with notable anti-anxiety benefits.
It contains two powerful adaptogens, Rhodiola Rosea and Bacopa Monnierii, in its formula. Both of these all-natural, herbal compounds have proven abilities to fight anxiety and improve relaxation.
Rhodiola Rosea is one of the most potent natural anxiolytics out there. It is proven to lower cortisol levels, which is your body’s main stress hormone.
There is clinical evidence that it can improve symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder. It is also famous for maintaining cognitive performance while fighting stress.28Cropley M, et al. The Effects of Rhodiola rosea L. Extract on Anxiety, Stress, Cognition and Other Mood Symptoms, Phytother Res. 2015 29Alexander Bystritsky, Lauren Kerwin, and Jamie D. Feusner. A Pilot Study of Rhodiola rosea (Rhodax®) for Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine Vol. 14, No. 2
Bacopa can also fight stress. It’s active chemical components, bacosides, can lower cortisol and help steady your nerves.30Bhattacharya SK, Bhattacharya A, Kumar A, Ghosal S. Antioxidant activity of Bacopa monniera in rat frontal cortex, striatum and hippocampus, Phytother Res. 2000
L-theanine, the calming agent, found naturally in green tea, can also have a calming effect. Research shows that it can raise levels of alpha brain waves.31Nobre AC, Rao A, Owen GN. L-theanine, a natural constituent in tea, and its effect on mental state, Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2008 32Hidese S, et al. Effects of L-Theanine Administration on Stress-Related Symptoms and Cognitive Functions in Healthy Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial, Nutrients. 2019
Many users claim that Mind Lab Pro gives them a calm focus that takes some of the day-to-day life edges.
Is Mind Lab Pro Safe?
Mind Lab Pro is safe. Each ingredient is non-toxic, and it is gluten-free, soy-free, vegan, and non-GMO, so it should be well tolerated by the vast majority of customers.
Is Mind Lab Pro Legal?
It is completely legal. None of the substances in this nootropic stack are banned anywhere globally, and it is compliant with the World Anti-Doping Agency.
How Long To Take Mind Lab Pro
Most people report immediate effects of taking Mind Lab Pro. However, it most likely will not reach peak efficacy until about two weeks of daily use.
Sometimes it takes up to a month to reach full force in your system, so think of Mind Lab Pro as a more holistic supplement rather than a quick fix.
Where To Buy Mind Lab Pro Online
You can only order Mind Lab Pro through the OptiMind website.
They are very clear about being the only point of sale. If you see it being sold on Amazon or anywhere else, it is either counterfeit or sold illegally at a higher price.
Can You Take Mind Lab Pro With Adderall?
It is safe to combine Mind Lab Pro with Adderall. In fact, some of the ingredients may help mitigate the negative side effects of amphetamines.
L-theanine, Rhodiola Rosea, and Bacopa Monnierii may help take the edge off the anxiety and jitteriness Adderall is famous for. And the NALT component may help replenish your dopamine stores, which Adderall can deplete.
Mind Lab Pro And Coffee
Mind Lab Pro pairs well with coffee because it does not have any caffeine or stimulants in its formula.
This means you won’t get unnecessarily wired by taking both, so you can take this nootropic and still enjoy your morning coffee.
In fact, the L-theanine component has a known synergistic effect with caffeine.
It can smooth out caffeine’s jolt and give a calmer, more focused buzz. Mind Lab Pro and caffeine make an excellent morning stack for most people.
Mind Lab Pro For Diets
Mind Lab Pro’s benefits are mostly mental, but it might also help with physical health.
It can improve motivation and reduce fatigue, improving stamina during exercise. It also may help curb appetite, although these reports are all anecdotal.
Mind Lab Pro is appropriate for keto, vegan, and vegetarian diets.
Mind Lab Pro Dose
The typical dose is two Mind Lab Pro pills in the morning. We recommend you cycle with this stack.
Cycling refers to the practice of taking a supplement every day and then taking a break.
Cycling can ”reset” the body’s built-up tolerance to a supplement, allowing that supplement to consistently work at its true full potency.
OptiMind recommends following a ”4 weeks on, 1 week off” schedule or a ”5 days on, 2 days off” schedule.
Some people do report mild-to-moderate side effects of Mind Lab Pro. Although it is a perfectly safe supplement, everyone’s body is different and will react differently. The most common complaints are:
- Brain Fog
- Gastrointestinal Issues
- Low Energy
- Sleep Disturbance
- Mood Swings
Many people complain of these issues during the initial period of using Mind Lab Pro, but then they go away as their body adjusts.
It’s always important to listen to your body and make the appropriate decision for yourself. Just because Mind Lab Pro works for many people doesn’t mean it will work for you.