Our lead nootropics reviewer James Dixon takes a look at this stripped back formula and assesses its impact after testing in our Performance Lab Mind review.
The nootropics market is growing fast. It’s full of fantastic products from some really high-quality, innovative companies that truly seem to be thriving. And is it any wonder?
Nootropics are also known as ‘smart drugs.’ They are designed to aid your cognitive health and mental wellbeing, whilst mitigating the symptoms of stress and anxiety, all whilst optimizing your cognitive abilities. If you want your brain to function a little more fully, with less stress and worry, and a bit of extra energy, you probably want to consider taking some form of nootropic.
And given how worn thin, stressed, and worried we all are as part of our modern lifestyles, who wouldn’t want these things?
I’ve reviewed plenty of nootropics over the last couple of years. Some have been outstanding. Others have been disappointing. Some have been decent enough, but nowhere near worth the money. I hadn’t had the chance to try out Performance Lab Mind until quite recently, however – so today I will give you my verdict on it as part of this Performance Lab Mind review.
TLDR: Performance Lab Mind Verdict
Performance Mind Lab is not outstanding – the competition is far too fierce for that – but it is still very good. It’s got a solid, if small list of ingredients going into its formula, all of which are tried, tested, and clinically justified.
Its focus on long-term brain health would set it apart if it contained anything unique, which it doesn’t. However, its targeted ingredients list is potent.
What is Performance Lab Mind?
Performance Lab Mind is a nootropic supplement aimed at optimizing cognitive health and performance whilst also improving your overall mental wellbeing. In this regard, it is similar to a growing body of supplements saturating today’s market – there is no shortage of good-quality nootropic supplements that seek to do the same kind of things.
However, Performance Lab Mind stands out from the crowd a little bit. Where the emphasis for most nootropics sits firmly in the moment, with benefits largely (though not solely) confined to the immediate impact on cognitive performance, Performance Lab Mind takes a slightly longer view of things.
It emphasizes long-term brain health, keeping your brain young and working optimally where you would usually expect to see degradation and impairment over the years.
Performance Lab Mind comes to us from Performance Lab. It’s their flagship nootropic supplement. They are an interesting company, largely due to their forward thinking designed and focus on quality and bioavailability.
Each of their supplements makes use of industry-leading ingredients made with advanced nutritional technologies, combined into really quite innovative supplements. They claim these ‘revolutionize’ healthy performance nutrition. I wouldn’t go quite this far. But their products are phenomenally good.
It all revolves around NutriGenesis®, Performance Lab’s ultramodern new take on health-enhancing supplementation and nutrition. Everything is lab-grown making use of Performance Lab’s patented equipment and technology, engineered so that all their vitamins, minerals, and amino acids are pure, straightforward, easy to absorb and highly bioavailable.
Their quality control checks are outstanding, before, during and after manufacture, and they always make use of independent third-party lab verification.
What does Performance Lab Mind do?
As a nootropic, Performance Lab Mind focuses on cognitive health and performance. However, it carves out a bit of a niche for itself. Whilst it is a global nootropic, it focuses far more on brain health, particularly long-term brain health. This is in stark contrast to the bulk of its competition, whose own supplements tend to focus on focus, speed, productivity, and so forth.
This isn’t to say it slacks on performance benefits. It is, after all, called Performance Lab Mind. It certainly gives you a lot for your money.
You should find your focus improving a great deal, with far less tendency to procrastinate, to check on social media, for example, or to simply zone out.
You will find yourself working with your ‘flow state’ far easier to get into. This comes hand-in-glove with improved motivation. You will be able to far more ably, naturally, and easily push yourself that little extra. Performance Lab Mind should help to promote more drive, a greater desire to start things and see them through.
You should also find your memory improving. This is both long- and short- term. Working memory should improve, as should your recall – no more finding words stuck on the tip of your tongue or forgetting somebody’s name at a crucial moment.
Over time, your ability to hold onto memories should also improve, especially with the long-term health benefits on offer (see below).
Multitasking should also be a lot easier. This springs in part from the above benefits, as your focus and memory allow you to perform more optimally. It should also come as its own unique benefit, allowing your mind to focus far more easily on several things at once.
Finally, Performance Lab Mind should enable you to cope far more ably with pressure. As is common with this kind of supplement, the effects of stress and anxiety should be mitigated to a fair degree. Both can severely impair your ability to think straight.
Performance Lab Mind should also enable you to think on your feet in high-pressure situations far more ably.
Then there are the longer-term health benefits for which I really value Performance Mind Lab. It helps to keep your brain healthy through a few separate yet interlinking pathways.
Firstly, you should experience better brain recovery when taking Performance Lab Mind. This especially applies to fatigue, allowing to you spring back from tough slogs far more quickly, running optimally with none of that fuzzy headedness we all sometimes get when we’re tired.
You should also find neural regeneration itself coming on far more effectively when you take Performance Lab Mind. The brain loses cells all the time, alongside the links between them. The human body also replaces them, though this process can often be suboptimal and can worsen due to a range of factors. Performance Lab Mind will see the process functioning as you would want it to.
The final main benefit you can expect from Performance Lab Mind ties the two main functions together nicely, giving you long-term and immediate benefits from the same action. Namely, it helps to optimize the function and renewal of brain cell membranes. This means keeping your brain healthy in the long run whilst also seeing some immediate benefits on your daily cognitive performance.
This is all theory, of course. The reality is a little more jaded. The above are all true… except that the ingredients list lets it all down a little bit. It’s solid. There is nothing wrong with it. It’s just not much different to any other nootropic supplement, whilst missing out a great deal that I would expect to see.
Performance Lab Mind ingredients
As above, all of Performance Lab Mind’s ingredients are top-quality, designed to be optimally bioavailable and as pure as possible. But what are they, exactly? What do Performance Lab put into Mind to give you the above benefits?
Most of it (if not all of it) is quite straightforward, relatively common stuff that I would expect to see in any garden variety nootropic supplement.
For instance, you get a decent kick of citicoline in each serving of Performance Lab Mind. This is vital for short- and long- term cognitive health. Citicoline is present in every living human and animal cell membranes, especially in organs, including the brain.
Supplementing with it should boost your production of phosphatidylcholine, an important chemical for healthy cognitive function. The more citicoline you have, in theory, the more phosphatidylcholine, the better your brain should function.
This is a simplistic way of putting it, but there is a weight of evidence backing it up. Citicoline has been used to great effect in treating neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, among others. Performance Lab’s research has also shown that it can improve brain cell membrane formation by a fifth, whilst also boosting cognitive energy levels by a little over thirteen percent.
Then you get plenty of phosphatidylserine (PS), which I always like to see in nootropics (which is lucky, as most of the good ones use it). A fatty substance, it’s another important chemical for healthy cell membrane formation.
PS helps to buffer the brain cells against damage whilst enabling smooth message transmission between them. If you want to protect the brain’s cells against the effects of wear, tear, and aging, all whilst improving cognitive performance, PS supplementation is a really good way to go about things.
Again, the research shows a great deal of promise for PS as a treatment to neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer’s, dementia, and so on). Performance Lab’s own research (which corresponds well with mainstream theory on the subject) suggests that PS may also help the brain to better regulate messenger chemicals like serotonin and dopamine, as well as reducing stress levels and scanning for damaged cells.
You may also find cognitive benefits including improvements to memory, learning, concentration, and anxiety occurring, alongside more stable mental wellbeing.
You get l-tyrosine in with Performance Lab Mind. Again, this is fairly standard for any kind of nootropic supplement – I wouldn’t leave home without it if I were designing my dream nootropic. It’s an amino acid commonly sourced from meat, fish, eggs and dairy, and is thought to be quite closely tied with dopamine output (the ‘feel good’ or reward drug). It’s been linked to improvements in memory, performance under duress, and mental processing.
It’s a little surprising to see it without l-theanine, which almost every other nootropic I’ve ever come across uses. This isn’t the only ingredient lacking in Performance Lab Mind’s formula, however. It’s an incredibly lean list where some of the industry leaders use formulas of ten to twenty active ingredients.
In fact, we only have one more ingredient left to cover, which leaves it a little thin on the ground. It’s a good one, mind, in the form of maritime pine bark extract.
Maritime pine bark extract is amongst the best, most potent nootropic ingredients going, boasting a wide array of potential health benefits. It’s a Mediterranean herb whose chemical makeup can collectively improve vascularity and blood flow, keep you safe from infection, reduce swelling and inflammation, and work as a powerful set of antioxidants.
In a medical context, it has seen applications across a wide variety of health concerns, including but far from limited to treating high cholesterol, asthma, and ADHD. This last is important in a nootropic setting – it can help with attention and working memory. According to researchers at Performance Lab, it should help to keep your brain young and healthy, working to prevent brain deterioration in large part by optimizing healthy regeneration of its cells.
There is a growing body of evidence supporting maritime bark extract’s use across these areas.
There is a lot missing from Performance Lab Mind’s formula. This is both a good and a bad thing. It’s a good thing when you consider that it’s lacking in any meat or dairy products, so it’s suitable for vegans, and it contains no allergens (no dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, and so forth.) It’s gluten-free, free from artificial preservatives, additives, and colors, and from caffeine and other stimulants.
However, it’s also lacking a lot that I would like to see, as mentioned above. In a marketplace crowded with products that use at least double the number of active ingredients included in Performance Lab Mind, their formula looks a little thin on the ground. It looks like it’s lacking in some very key areas.
Using Performance Lab Mind
But what does this paucity mean in real life, when you’re actually taking it?
It actually doesn’t seem to mean all that much, in all fairness. Though I would like to see more in their recipe, Performance Lab Mind works more as a lesson in the virtue of simplicity than in the pitfalls of meanness. Taking it, you get the impression of a more stripped-back product that is well-targeted for where it is needed, with no added nonsense.
Realistically, in a formula twenty items long, it would still be a core few – like maritime park extract, citicoline, and PS – doing all the work. Everything else represents quite drastically diminishing returns.
And you can feel the benefits from this core few. Or I could, at least. I’ve taken plenty of different nootropics. I tend to have a ready stock of NooCube and sometimes Mind Lab Pro in my supplement cupboard at home. I’m no stranger at all how a good nootropic feels and the difference it can make.
Firstly, you should feel more focussed, alert, and energized. Everything seems more switched on, more vibrant, as you hit your flow state and stay there, free from distractions.
This is one of the main reasons I look to nootropics. I’m a writer with tight deadlines – I need to be able to commit to thousands of words per week (per day, really) with consistency. A good nootropic will allow me to do this far more reliably and with far less effort.
Performance Lab Mind allowed me to do this. I hit a flow state after a few doses and stayed there pretty consistently. I felt a good, low level of increased energy – no buzz, no peak and crash, just a smooth bit of extra reserve.
Secondly, a good nootropic should get rid of brain fog. This is another big one for me. I’m on a couple of medications that can cause fogginess. I also often burn out after three or four thousand words and a single night’s sleep alone isn’t enough to clear my head. I need a good nootropic, or else a quadruple espresso – I prefer the nootropic for the sake of my health.
I experienced very little brain fog whilst taking Performance Mind Lab. The fog I did experience was light and easy to walk off – literally, a dose of Performance Lab Mind and a morning stroll had me as clear headed as I could ever want.
This clear headedness extends beyond perception, too. I didn’t just feel clearer. A good nootropic should improve your working memory and recall.
Again, as a writer, I need my wits about me.
I really can’t afford to have words or facts lingering just out of sight on the periphery. They need to be there, ready and accessible, otherwise that word count is going to take twice as long to hit.
Performance Mind Lab helped here – it cleared my head and brought everything I needed to the fore. This enhances that flow state even further – not only was I working without distraction, all the tools I needed were right there, ready for me to use without any effort at all.
It’s really quite a lovely feeling. It’s also necessary for my livelihood, and I’m not alone. Who wouldn’t see these benefits-on-paper as immediate, real-life benefits? Any area of life will be improved with a good flow state, improved working memory, and a clearer head.
I tend to get a little anxious when I’m working, simply overburdened with things and with those deadlines looming. This was one area I was a bit disappointed in. Other nootropics have been far better for anxiety and stress than Performance Lab Mind is.
This isn’t too much of a problem – they market themselves more for performance and long term health. But it’s something to bear in mind. If you’re prone to stress, it’s likely not the one for you.
However, if you want to keep your brain young and healthy, and you want to work in that flow state with a clear head and greatly improved working memory, Performance Lab Mind is a lot better than its short ingredients list might suggest.
It’s also easy to live with. Performance Lab suggest that you take one to two capsules on Mind in the morning before breaking your fast. I would suggest going with it as soon as you wake up, about a half hour or so before food. This will enable your stomach to make good use of Performance Labs’ ingredients’ bioavailability, allowing your stomach to absorb them quickly and effectively.
You may also want to take it easy at first. A single capsule daily should do you for the first little while – a fortnight to a month, perhaps. Then build up to the fuller dose more slowly. This will also allow you to keep costs down, especially if you find that a single capsule daily is enough for you long-term (which it really may well be).
My final take
So there isn’t anything too profound about Performance Lab Mind. It certainly isn’t as well-engineered as the company’s branding and ethos would lead you to believe. But there’s nothing too much wrong with that.
It sports a short, focussed ingredients list. These ingredients themselves are all very well engineered, as is Performance Lab’s way. They are high quality, highly bioavailable, and very well dosed. So although you might not get much, what you do get is very good.
And what you do get should get the job done. There is nothing superfluous here, just a few hero ingredients known for their abilities to individually and collectively improve cognitive health and performance.
Together, they should also keep your brain young and healthy – not above and beyond what other nootropics can do, as the ingredients are very much cut from the same cloth – but to a degree far beyond anybody’s natural ability.
It’s a shame about the stress and anxiety element. This is core to a nootropic’s mission statement, to me. But it does everything else you would want, all at a very reasonable price point.