Our First Impressions:
Never heard of OptiMind before? Well, maybe you’re familiar with AllerAdd – a shadow of its former self, before Adderall manufacturers, Shire Industries, let loose their attorneys and initiated a legal threat for (not-so) cleverly modifying their company’s name. In any case, this supplement promotes itself as an all-natural nootropic supplement that increases focus, improves memory, and enhances overall mental drive. The product first captured our attention when we noticed that their supplement blend contains a few of the same ingredients currently present in our editor’s #1 choice, Lumonol – although predictably falling short of Noopept, the most effective nootropic known to this day. So, of course, we grew curious to see whether the OptiMind formula was a Hero, or a Zero! Keep reading to find out what we discovered…
When searching for the product’s manufacturers, we quickly realized that this popular little startup has chosen to produce OptiMind themselves, as opposed to using a GMP-approved (Good Manufacturing Practices) laboratory. This isn’t necessarily a problem, but note the production of OptiMind has not been regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Now, we’re not saying that the team behind OptiMind are running some sort of Breaking Bad setup somewhere in Houston, TX (location of their main office), but you should always be a little wary of any supplement made outside of the watchful eye of the FDA guidelines. On a more positive note, their website states they are registered with BBB (Better Business Bureau).
OptiMind can be purchased online via their official website or on Amazon.com and EBay. They also spend fortunes on Facebook marketing as anyone who has visited their website will probably know. It is common practice now for companies to place a ‘tracking cookie’ on your computer when you visit their site, meaning that wherever you go around the web after leaving that site, the likes of Google and Facebook will hound you with that companies ads. OptiMind do this… A LOT! I’m still seeing ads myself, some 8 days after initially visiting their site to research them, in my Facebook newsfeed… Every 5 minutes!
Carrying on to the good stuff! What’s exactly in OptiMind and how does it work? Well, their website does present us with a brief description of each of their ingredients. Unfortunately, however, they’ve failed to provide us with a proper supplement label including the dose of each substance. That sucks! Of course, once you pay your money and receive your bottle then you are privy to this information.
Vitamin D – 125 IU
Niacin – 15mg
Vitamin B6 – 0.5mg
Vitamin B12 – 40mcg
“Proprietary Focus Blend” – 1398mg
Taurine, Alpha GPC, GABA, Caffeine, L-Tyrosine, Green Tea Leaf Extract, Choline Bitartrate, DMAE, Bacopa, Phosphatidylserine, Sulbutiamine, Vinpocetine, Huperzine A
Despite the fact that the main ingredients have been placed under “Focus Blend”, which allows the company to hide the dose of each substance, a quick run-through tells us that most of the compounds listed above are commonly used in nootropic stacks. Particularly Vinpocetine and Huperzine A have a lot of research to back up their effectiveness in improving memory and increasing concentration, which lets us know that at least OptiMind made a smart move with their choice of ingredients… Though Noopept would have probably been a better choice.
Although OptiMind’s ingredient blend does contain many relevant compounds, we simply can’t continue the review without discussing their poor decision to use GABA. GABA is produced naturally in the brain and is considered to be one of the most essential neurotransmitters for mood regulation and cognitive function. Although the chemical itself is capable of reducing anxiety levels, which allows for increased concentration, GABA supplements work slightly differently. In fact, it has been consistently proven that GABA supplements are incapable of crossing the blood-brain barrier if ingested orally (statement confirmed by the National Center for Biotechnology Information/NCBI, research study can be accessed here:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6677191). At this point, encountering a supplement company that chooses to include GABA in their ingredient blend is similar to meeting a sailor who still believes that the Earth is flat. The blood-brain barrier prevents circulating blood from reaching our brain tissue, meaning that compounds must manage to cross this barrier in order to actually produce any effects. GABA is absorbed in the intestines before reaching the blood stream, and remains there without passing through the barrier. Scientific evidence has spoken, and it is advisable that we all listen. In fact, if taking GABA supplements actually does make you feel relaxed, this could be an indication of a damaged intestinal tract. Some products such as Lumonol choose to put Picamilon instead of GABA, as Picamilon is a combination of GABA and the B3 Vitamin Niacin. Niacin when bound to GABA helps it cross the blood-brain barrier allowing brain stimulation to take place at high doses.
OptiMind also faces a major defeat with the use of Choline Bitartrate. Choline Bitartrate has one good aspect: it’s cheap. And even though many companies have chosen to include it in hope to increase revenue, nootropic users are becoming more aware that there are acetylcholine supplements available with higher potency, such as CDP Choline. When Choline Bitartrate reaches your brain via the bloodstream, it has to be chemically converted into a different form before being capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier. For this reason, only a very small portion of the Choline Bitartrate is actually being used.
Before reaching any harsh conclusions, we typically order the product and test it for ourselves in order to provide you with unbiased information. In the case of OptiMind, we had three testers undergo a 3-week experiment. Two of our testers did claim to experience higher energy levels immediately, but tolerance quickly built and by the end of week one no results were noticeable. This seems to be a common complaint in the online forums too. This doesn’t mean OptiMind doesn’t work… With Huperzine A for example, a dosing of at least 4 – 6 weeks is required to experience any noticeable improvements to memory. In fact, our other tester experienced improvements in short-term memory by the 3rd week. During conversations with friends about movies, she said that she had no problems remembering the names of different actors and the years of each film’s release, which came across as quite impressive. Not bad, OptiMind! It should be noted, however, that all three testers reported going through a major crash at the end of the day despite feeling energized and motivated beforehand. Perhaps this is an indication of large doses of caffeine in the formula…To be fair, however, some online reviews suggest users feeling more engaged during work.
Although there aren’t huge amounts of reviews and customer testimonials online, here’s a snapshot of a few:
Review on Amazon.com
By Jerry Won, August 6, 2015
“I did not feel a difference…”
Reviews on SupplementCritique.com
By Joy, April 17, 2015
“This is a great product; I was amazed at how well I could focus on my writing and how good I felt, overall. I have tried other products over the past several years, and I give this one a thumbs up (and I only took ½ of the dose!)”
By Ken Lavoie, July 16, 2015
“I’ve been experiementing with Optimind/Phenibut for a few weeks. I’ve felt zero effects with Optimind other than a little “caffeine OD” once or twice (I gulp down about 3 cups of dark roast type coffee in the a.m.) I added Phenibut, no more than 2x per week. Started with 50 mg 2 p.m., up to 100mg. I finally took some yesterday (100mg) in a.m. at same time as Optimind (5 a.m.). Only effect there was was just the OPPOSITE of focus. Very relaxed…what I imagine are the predicted “anxiolytic” effects. It wasn’t bad, though. Nice, “all is well and the manner o’things is well” type of feeling. Nothing unnatural, just a very unproductive, relaxed day. It took about 2 hours to kick in, there I was a goner. It DOES help with sleep. I slept from 8pm till’ 4.30am like a rock. A couple of nights I had strange dreams, that I remembered better than usual. I’m going to cancel the Optimind and stock up on Phenibut! I certainly won’t be using either to curb my adult ADHD. I may be one of the 10-15% who don’t respond well to meds, to be fair, hence there might be nothing wrong with the Optimind.”
A bottle comes with 32 capsules and is sold at $43.31. Considering the recommended dose of 2 capsules per day, one bottle would last approximately half a month. This means that a month’s supply would come down to $86.62. Although we have heard some good results with OptiMind, this price is still considered to be expensive in the world of nootropics.
Overall, we can see that there are very different reactions to OptiMind. While it has worked wonders for some, others don’t seem to have experienced any major differences. This is quite common with brain supplements, particularly because each person’s conditions are different. For instance, one of the customers who wrote a review on SupplementCritique.com did admit that he does not respond well to medication. In that case, it is not OptiMind’s fault but rather the customer’s specific case.
The only major worry that we have about OptiMind is the product’s inability to genuinely increase focus. Focus and concentration become heightened when our brain is relaxed, meaning that our neurons are not constantly firing at the same time. In order to achieve this state of calmness, a substance that is capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier to reduce anxiety levels is crucial. While OptiMind did provide us with a great sense of enthusiasm and energy, we did not receive the appropriate reaction needed for long periods of focus.
If you’ve read some of the reviews and felt like you could relate to them, then OptiMind could potentially be a worthwhile purchase. Despite the relatively high price, we understand that some customers would be willing to pay anything as long as the product is effective. If, however, you’re someone who is under a budget and would rather try out something a bit more inexpensive, then go ahead and try out one of our editor’s top choices, such as Lumonol or Braino at $57.97 and $78.00 for a month’s supply respectively.
Awarded Week of: Wednesday January 18, 2017