We’re a picky lot here at Supplement Reviews UK. We’re only happy to recommend the very best of the best, which is why we’ve chosen Mind Lab Pro® as our favoured nootropic of 2018 – a title it has earned for the third year in a row.
Despite various new products on the market, we still don’t believe anything betters the quality combination of tried and tested ingredients that you can enjoy in Mind Lab Pro®.
We’ve welcomed a new second and third place combo to our list, however. Newcomer Performance Lab® has crept in unexpectedly to snatch second place with its Performance Lab® Mind and third place with its complementary Performance Lab® Sleep.
Let’s take a look at them all…
Table of Contents
In a nutshell, Mind Lab Pro® is our favourite nootropic of 2018 because it combines tried and tested ingredients in quality formats in a very clever formula. It takes advantage of potent nootropics which work well in small doses to make sure every ingredient included reaches clinically effective dosages.
‘Imagine your brain firing on all cylinders’.
One of the key attractions of Mind Lab Pro is the fact that is a universal nootropic, one that can ‘boost all aspects of cognition in all people’. Students, over-55s, athletes, professionals… you name the group and, say the manufacturers, Mind Lab Pro can work for them.
That’s because it works across six bio-pathways to aid:
- Brain chemistry: boosting mood, attention, motivation, memory, processing and more.
- Brain energy: helping with mental agility, focus, quick thinking, and banishing brain fog
- Brain regeneration: maintaining, repairing and nourishing brain cells
- Brain circulation: boosting oxygen to the brain, feeding it nutrients, clearing toxins.
- Brain protection: fights structural changes and toxins that could damage the brain over time.
- Alpha brain waves: boosting creativity, productivity, and learning, via a ‘calm alertness’.
As the manufacturers say, something for everyone!
Mind Lab Pro contains 11 tried and tested nootropic ingredients.
For memory: Bacopa Monnieri, shown to enhance immediate and delayed memory recall.
To reduce stress, encourage alertness: N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine helps to aid attention particularly when overworked, over stressed or overtired. L-Theanine is known to generate a state of wakeful relaxation, reducing stress but keeping you alert, while Rhodiola Rosea strengthens mental resistance to stress.
To energise the brain: Cognizin® in the form of Citicoline energises the brain and promotes memory, attention, focus, concentration and more. May also help maintain healthy brain function over the longer term.
To maintain brain health: B vitamins B6, B9 and B12 help to protect the brain against cognitive decline, degeneration and other cerebrovascular concerns. Lion’s Mane Mushroom also helps to regenerate neurons, while Phosphatidylserine helps to dispose of toxic brain cells to avoid collateral damage.
Update: Since 2017, the manufacturer of Mind Lab Pro has continued to tweak the formula. In place of Vinpocetine and Pterostilbene, Mind Lab Pro now includes Maritime Pine Bark Extract. According to reports, the extract supplies antioxidants which can help to neutralise toxic free radicals in the brain; it also improves blood flow to the brain.
If the above isn’t yet enough to convince you, we’re big fans of Mind Lab Pro because…
- It is not afraid to tweak and improve its formula, not content to rest on its laurels.
- Supplies the brain with everything it needs over the shorter and longer term as well.
- Can be taken daily, no need for cycling.
- Can help with whatever ails your brain on a given day; the beauty of a universal nootropic
- Includes 11 genuine nootropics, no wasted space here.
- Uses premium versions of its ingredients.
Choose Mind Lab Pro if…
You want a universal nootropic that can help to boost performance in the shorter term, protect your brain in the longer term and keep your cognitive processes sharp.
You can buy Mind Lab Pro® at the official website: https://www.mindlabpro.com
Performance Lab® has come out of the gate swinging with some great formulas for nootropics, multi-vitamins, testosterone boosters and more. It’s clear a lot of research and planning has gone into the new formulas, and for this reason we’re happy to name Performance Lab® Mind as the second-best nootropic to buy in the UK in 2018.
Part of the reason we’re so impressed with Performance Lab® Mind is that it doesn’t try to set the world of nootropics alight by creating some buzz-worthy formula that has no chance of working. Trust me, it’s a temptation many established brands have fallen victim to.
Instead, Performance Lab® Mind, just like Mind Lab Pro®, uses tried, tested and proven nootropic ingredients, such as Cognizin®, Phosphatidylserine and N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine, but also keeps abreast of new developments and discoveries, hence its addition of Maritime Pine Bark Extract.
Performance Lab® promises the latest ingredients and enhancements in its products, and pledges Performance Lab® Mind will ‘upgrade cognition, recover faster from mental stress and exertion and support long-range brain health.’
How it Works
Performance Lab® Mind aims to achieve the above by providing an advanced supplement that helps to:
- Upgrade performance-related functions, such as mental processing speed, focus, and motivation.
- Boost brain energy thanks to improved cerebral circulation, delivering brain fuel via an improved blood flow to the brain.
- Support mental recovery, reducing the effects of stress, overwork and burnout.
- Support brain regeneration and plasticity, helping to form new brain cells and synapses to improve the brain’s long-term health. This in turn supports memory and learning.
The four main ingredients in Performance Lab® Mind are also seen in Mind Lab Pro, and we tip out hat off to the choice.
Citicoline (Cognizin®), 250 mg
The brain alone consumes a fifth of the body’s energy and needs constant renewal to function effectively. Citicoline – an organic form of choline – helps to supply the brain with energy and the building blocks it needs to maintain healthy function and regeneration in the future.
The patented Cognizin® form of citicoline has proven itself in research studies to boost mental energy, attention, focus, memory and more, while being well tolerated in human clinical trials.
Phosphatidylserine, (Sharp PS® Green), 100 mg
Phosphatidylserine (PS) is a phospholipid compound, found in nearly all cells in the body. These fat-like substances form the basis of two thirds of the brain’s structure, which should give some indication of how important they are. Up to 15% of the body’s total PS is concentrated in the brain.
Additional PS is particularly valuable because our brain’s total phospholipid pool begins to decline from our 30s and beyond, triggering potential age-related cognitive issues.
Phosphatidylserine aids neural repair and upkeep of brain cells, the creation of new brain cells and is a building block for the neural connections or plasticity, the foundation of all learning.
It also influences critical ‘brain power’ chemicals, such as dopamine, acetylcholine, norepinephrine and serotonin, and enhances glucose metabolism.
Phosphatidylserine has proven effective for memory issues, stress, bipolar, ADHD, and Alzheimer’s disease, and has been shown to boost concentration, focus and recall.
Sharp PS® Green is a premium version of Phosphatidylserine, made from sunflowers rather than soy.
N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine (NALT), 300 mg.
NALT is an enhanced form of L-Tyrosine, an amino acid which helps to synthesise dopamine, as well as norepinephrine and epinephrine. As such, it aids memory, boosts mood and is particularly effective at performance when you’re over-stressed, overworked or sleep-deprived.
‘Brain fog’ has been associated with depleted brain chemicals and low L-Tyrosine stores, as has a short attention span and poor focus.
Not all forms of L-Tyrosine can reach the brain, but N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine is the preferred premium version of this amino acid for brain health.
Performance Lab® Mind includes a generous 300mg of NALT, compared to Mind Lab Pro’s 175mg.
Maritime Pine Bark Extract, 75 mg
Nootropic manufacturers committed to adding the latest effective nootropic ingredients are adding Maritime Pine Bark Extract to their formulas (see Mind Lab Pro above).
Performance Lab® Mind adds 75mg of the pine bark extract to their nootropic too. Research shows that the extract is packed with antioxidants which tackle free radicals in the brain. Maritime Pine Bark Extract also encourages the release of nitric oxide which helps to boost blood flow to the brain, providing more of the glucose, oxygen and micronutrients needed for brain energy. This in turn contributes to enhanced learning, attention, focus and mental energy.
Performance Lab® Mind’s Maritime Pine Bark Extract is also believed to support brain plasticity and help brain cell regeneration, contributing to long-term brain health.
When looking for a product containing Maritime Pine Bark Extract, ensure it is standardised to at least 95% proanthocyanidin antioxidants, as in Performance Lab® Mind (and Mind Lab® Pro).
There’s no doubt the ingredients in Performance Lab® Mind are proven nootropics, established heavy hitters and newer promising ingredients. We are impressed at the manufacturer’s commitment to premium versions of those ingredients wherever possible.
Having fewer ingredients than Mind Lab® Pro allows Performance Lab® Mind to increase its dosage of N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine (300mg compared to Mind Lab® Pro’s 175mg). However, we are a little surprised that there wasn’t room to boost any of the other dosages in comparison, something we would have expected.
There’s little doubt that Performance Lab® Mind should work effectively, but to our mind, it lacks some of the finesse of Mind Lab Pro which works hard to blend 11 ingredients in harmony, rather than just four. For this reason, Performance Lab® Mind fails to knock Mind Lab Pro off the top spot, though it deserves praise for entering the market and our Best Nootropics to Buy in 2018 list at the same time.
Additional Facts: Performance Lab® Mind is vegan-friendly, caffeine-free, non-GMO, gluten, soy and allergen- free.
Choose Performance Lab® Mind if…
You want a stimulant-free mental energy boost with no crash that stimulates mental clarity and performance while also nourishing the brain for long-term health.
You can buy Performance Lab® Mind at the official website: https://www.performancelab.com/supplements/mind/
Performance Lab® Sleep comes in at third place on our Best Nootropics to Buy in 2018 list, precisely because it is perfect to stack with either Mind Lab Pro or Performance Lab® Mind for complete day and night brain support.
As the name suggests, Performance Lab® Sleep helps to calm the nervous system, relax muscles and extend deep sleep. How does this benefit the brain? Anyone suffering from lack of sleep will know how detrimental poor sleep is to cognitive function; by extending deep sleep, Performance Lab® Sleep helps extend the period of brain regeneration and boost optimal daytime performance.
Performance Lab® Sleep promises to help you ‘fall asleep faster, extend regenerative sleep
phases, and wake up rejuvenated and primed to perform.’
How Performance Lab® Sleep Works:
- Performance Lab ® Sleep soothes the nervous system and brain to accelerate the onset of sleep and extend deep sleep
- Encourages a tranquil sleep by stimulating the release of serotonin and melatonin, the sleep chemicals
- Supports circadian rhythms, helping to optimise sleep patterns, and support overall health
- Soothes the musculoskeletal system to ease joint and muscle discomfort, reducing aches, spasms and involuntary limb movements that can disrupt sleep
- Promotes nightly cell renewal, helping you to feel rejuvenated in the morning.
Montmorency Tart Cherry,
50:1 concentrated ratio (CherryPURE®), 500 mg
Montmorency tart cherry is a rich natural source of melatonin, the ‘sleep hormone’ which helps to regulate your circadian rhythms. Darkness typically stimulates melatonin production, encouraging sleep. Light stops melatonin release, allowing the brain to wake up.
Supplementation with a strong source of melatonin can strengthen the sleep-wake cycle, helping to establish consistent sleep patterns, induce faster sleep and aid sleep if melatonin release has been interrupted in some way.
Performance Lab® Sleep opts for a natural source of melatonin in Montmorency tart cherry, as opposed to the synthetic options used by many sleep supplements. The manufacturers say this aids optimal sleep without morning grogginess or brain fog. 500mg of CherryPURE®, the variety of tart cherry used in Performance Lab® Sleep is equal to a 25g serving of Montmorency tart cherries.
Montmorency tart cherry also supplies inflammation-moderating antioxidants, helping to ease muscles and joints for better sleep.
A 2012 study by Northumbria University into the effects of tart cherry juice on melatonin concluded that ‘consumption of a tart cherry juice concentrate provides an increase in exogenous melatonin that is beneficial in improving sleep duration and quality in healthy men and women and might be of benefit in managing disturbed sleep.’
Working together with tart cherry, the amino acid L-Tryptophan raises serotonin levels, beneficial for mood, relaxation and sleep. The boost in serotonin also stimulates the pineal gland to produce more melatonin.
Research into supplemental L- tryptophan has been shown to increase melatonin levels in animal species to varying degrees.
L-Tryptophan, included in Performance Lab® Sleep as TryptoPure® (250 mg), encourages a bright mood in the daytime with calm sedation at night time, helping the body maintain a healthy circadian rhythm.
(From Magnesium Bisglycinate 300 mg, Magnesium Taurate 200 mg, BioGenesis™ 200 mg)
Chronic insomnia has been linked to magnesium deficiency, with frequent night-time wakening. Performance Lab® Sleep supplies three different forms of magnesium to ensure sufficient bioavailability (plain magnesium is only 30-40% bioavailable).
Magnesium aids sleep by:
- Soothing muscles to encourage the onset of sleep
- Calming the nervous system
- Supporting a gradual drop of blood pressure which precedes sleep
- Helping to prevent muscle twitches and periodic limb movements that can disrupt sleep.
Note that magnesium has been shown to be beneficial for sleep alongside calcium.
Magnesium also acts as a cofactor in converting L-Tryptophan to serotonin.
Choose Performance Lab® Sleep if…
You struggle to gain restful sleep and want a natural melatonin boost that doesn’t, in theory, leave you hung over in the morning. Makes a good partner to either Performance Lab® Mind or Mind Lab Pro.
You can buy Performance Lab Sleep at the official website: https://www.performancelab.com/supplements/sleep/