Who wouldn’t want to have unlimited energy, focus and mental performance? Who wouldn’t jump at the chance to try something new if it promises to get you through that afternoon slump, or perks you up mid-shift?
The new wave of nootropic products is promising these benefits and much, much more, so I’m here to guide you through my take on some of the newest and most interesting products in this area.
I’m going to be taking a look at a product called OptiMind, which I stumbled across while researching some other supplements.
I thought it looked interesting and certainly sounds like it should do something phenomenal to your mind if it can ‘unleash’ it and make it ‘optimal’ as promised!
Table of Contents
The first thing I noticed when looking at OptiMind and specifically the website is the banner which states “Enhance your Focus’. Ironically I was feeling particularly foggy-of-brain when I came across this so – no surprise here – it really piqued my interest!!
The branding is clear and gives the impression – along with the name – of targeting your mind and precision focus. There is a sort of cross-hairs motif which brings to mind the focus of a sniper or an archer, with the overall effect of an eye if you sort of squint at it. Further down the home page is in fact a picture of a huge human eye.
There’s an endorsement from a marketing specialist and mentions of write-ups in magazines such as Vice and Elite Daily. Further down there is a statement that ‘nootropics increase energy’ (more on claims like this later) and we read that attention, focus and awareness are ‘self-perceived’ states which can be altered with just the right blend of ingredients.
This intrigues me, and I want to learn more.
Background on AlternaScript
OptiMind is formulated and produced by AlternaScript LLC, based in Austin, TX. Their purpose is to;
I’ll just state here and for the record that Adderall contains amphetamines (hence why it is a controlled substance) and OptiMind (previously Alleradd) does not.
The brand has been around since about 2014 but only recently had its name change. Founder, Siegel, apparently knows first-hand how people misuse prescription drugs having experienced the passing of a close friend by suicide, having binged on prescription ADHD pills.
Having been deeply affected by this experience he claims to have been prompted to undertake research into natural compounds with similar properties as these medications (presumably therefore being able to achieve similar outcomes but without the side effects of prescription meds). Once they came up with an effective formula they started offering it to friends and acquaintances.
Other products they product include ‘RestUp’, ‘NatureThin’, ‘NuCulture’. All of which are available from Amazon.com.
They donate 5% of their profit to charities which help people struggling with prescription pill addiction.
What Ingredients are inside OptiMind?
The ingredients in OptiMind are stated as: 12 of the safest, healthiest minerals, compounds and vitamins. The ‘Focus blend’ is a proprietary blend (meaning they declare the ingredients and the overall amount of the blend but not the individual weights of each specific ingredient).
I’m not going to look at every single ingredient in this rather long list (and I am wondering why there are so many ingredients in such a small capsule, and with that, whether there can be enough of each ingredient to have an effect).
Rather I am going to look at a couple that I either want to know more about or haven’t seen on an ingredients list and share with you what I find out.
Vitamin D is considered to be supplemented for increased cognition, which I actually didn’t know as I thought it was really only important for bone health. The recommended daily dose of 400-800IU is now considered to be too low for adults. It is actually advised in the range of 1000-2000IU per day. These capsules contain 385IU but it is recommended that you take two capsules per day so it may just about fulfil this required dosage.
Next I took a look at Huperzine A. Examine.com states that the compound has traditionally been used for centuries for enhanced focus.
It has been studied scientifically and found to have an effect on acetylcholine (known as the ‘learning neurotransmitter’ and is also involved in muscle contraction) and has therefore been studied in preliminary trials for uses in treating alzheimer’s disease. The dosage is considered to be 50-200mcg.
Frustratingly we can’t know how much of this is used by OptiMind as it is included in the proprietary blend.
The makers are clearly keen on their science and have chosen to tell us that there are 50% Bacosides in their inclusion of Bacopa Monnieri but I was disappointed to be unable to find more detail about this on their formula page which lists the ingredients.
I learn from Examine.com that the suggested dose should contain 55% bacosides of the extract, by weight. And a daily dose should be around 300mg. Again, as this is included in the proprietary blend we can’t know how much we are getting.
Are There Any Side Effects to OptiMind?
Overall research into nootropics is patchy, in terms of whole formulations (rather than individual ingredients). It is reported that if taken incorrectly side effects can include headache, digestive discomfort and insomnia.
It’s really important to take any supplement according to the label and dosage, and to start at the minimum dosage and only increase dosage very gradually.
Does OptiMind Actually Work?
In producing the formula, the makers claim to have:
analyzed over 50 years of neuroscience research
The research surrounding each of the ingredients is – necessarily – circumstantial. It’s unlikely, for example, that each person taking this formula will be experiencing the same levels of physical and mental stress as those undertaking military training.
So is it fair to use this sort of research and extrapolate the fact that it is useful or helpful for all?
OptiMind Customer Reviews
OptiMind has quite a dedicated following and their site contains reviews which are (obviously) very positive.
One bottle contains 32 capsules (which is a 16-day supply as two capsules are recommended as a dose) and costs $43.31 – this makes the daily cost a fairly high $2.68. You can save a little bit on the cost by purchasing two bottles cost $63.65 – making it a full months supply at $1.98 per day.
There is a free trial (10 capsules) which is stated as a 14-day supply (how this works I’m not sure) and after which you are auto-shipped (and charged full price) a bottle per month.
My Verdict on OptiMind
There are some real positives to this product, not least the branding, claims and honest, positive reviews. I also do believe that there are some good, potent ingredients in this product.
But overall I think OptiMind falls just a little short.
They could be more honest about the amount of ingredients in the proprietary blend, they could just tell us how much of each individual ingredient is included and then we could make up our own minds about whether it is potent enough in these ingredients.
I also don’t particularly like the fact that they auto-ship.
Perhaps it gives some customers the reassurance that, if they really are fans of the product after the free trial they can just keep on receiving the product, but I believe that really loyal customers should be rewarded in different ways than this.
I’m also a little disappointed in the 16-daily-servings in one bottle. Oh and the auto-shipping.
Furthermore, on the ingredients front, although there may be a huge amount of research on individual ingredients in specific circumstances (double-blind, placebo controlled randomized clinical trials on specific aspects of performance, often under stress) I would absolutely love to see a product that is clinically proven. But I also know what this entails and that it is basically impossible.
This being said, the ingredients themselves are at least batch-tested for purity and to check for contaminants.
I’m also a little disappointed in the 16-daily-servings in one bottle. Oh and the auto-shipping. Did I mention that this is annoying?!
Final statement of why it’s a hit or a miss
For my money, OptiMind goes some of the way toward delivering what is promised in terms of a quality product, well-researched and very smartly presented. It has a dedicated following, strong reviews and occupies a strong position in a competitive market.
In terms of the ingredients, if you have done your research and know about the ingredients you may find that there are some strong contenders here in terms of things which may enhance cognition and improve focus.
But I am disappointed to see that they are using a proprietary blend for their Focus blend and would really like to see that a company which is so transparent about their sourcing and research was just as confident in putting clear amounts on the label.
For example, like Mind Lab Pro have done with their formula.
They don’t need to hide behind the fear if intellectual property as it wouldn’t take much for someone to have the ingredients analysed in a lab, should they be so inclined. So really they are just hiding information from their customers, which gets me thoroughly wound-up!
I have a First Class Honours degree in Sports Science from Brighton University, specialising in exercise physiology and nutrition. In my youth I was a competitive Triathlete and long-distance runner placing top 10 in most triathlon races I completed.
Since suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, I moved into web development, after a couple of years I then moved onto developing a number of online businesses. I've recently taken a sabbatical and I'm now looking to make big changes in my life, hopefully this may resonate with you - join me in my journey!