Overall user experience3.0/10
- It contains a few effective nootropics
- It is underdosed
- We don't know the exact amount of each ingredient it this nootropic stack
- There are many better nootropics on the market
- Questionable quality
It is fairly recently that nootropics as a term have become mainstream with lots of products being branded as natural alternatives to smart drugs, and with little to minimal side effects. And if you look at OptiMind figures, it seems to fit the bill well.
After all, since its launch in 2014, OptiMind, being AlternaScript’s flagship product, has sold over six million capsules. And then there are mainstream media outlets such as Vice and Elite Daily that have reviewed OptiMind pills positively.
So, to find out if all the hype is truly real, we decided to give OptiMind a try and see what it could do for us. Here is what we found out.
OptiMind advertises using at least 14 ingredients touted to heighten focus, increase energy levels, and enhance memory retention. Many of these ingredients have had some degree of scientific research to boast these claims. However, the biggest problem lies not with the choice of ingredients but by listing them as part of a single proprietary blend. There is no mention of individual serving sizes, which is the standard today.
This makes us skeptical as we feel that if a manufacturer cannot (or does not) deliver transparency regarding their product, chances of that product using ‘filler ingredients’ multiplies immensely. Another indication is that it may well be spiking the formula with stimulants instead.
So, to cut to the chase, here are the focus blend ingredients that make up this formula. While some are true winners, others don’t have so much to do in the nootropic arena.
The list starts with Bacopa Monnieri, which is promising since it is a known nootropic for improving memory performance, learning, and retention. Some research also indicates Bacopa to help slow down the rate of forgetting newly acquired knowledge. 
Also, Bacopa is credited with added benefits of accelerating mental processing, optimizing cognition under stress, and promoting relaxation. That said, while it is a good nootropic to start things off with, it is a slow burner, and it takes a while before its effects become noticeable.
The Optimind label lists L-Taurine as the next ingredient right after Bacopa. This is a known amino acid with no recognized nootropic properties. Instead, a more widespread use for taurine is to help with sports performance.
But what taurine does do is promote healthy blood flow and support muscle formation. This can help protect cardiovascular health but without any observable effect on mental performance.
Another promising ingredient, phosphatidylserine, can help sharpen memory, slow cognitive decline, and even promote a positive outlook. Studies have shown this nootropic to assist with slowing down memory loss in the elderly with brain degeneration. 
At the same time, it has also been observed to improve mood, reduce anxiety, and boost mental clarity and socialization.
But what makes it particularly propitious is that it’s the only ingredient on the list that is FDA-qualified to reduce the risk of cognitive decline.
GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC ACID (GABA)
GABA works as the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain that results in inducing relaxation, reducing stress, and promoting sleep, among other functions.
In other words, it can put the brakes on the brain when in overdrive by placing the body and brain into a lower gear. And while it does a great job as an inhibitory capacity, it does seem to interact with certain medications easily, so caution is warranted.
Caffeine could easily have been the star of this product, but it seems otherwise. In fact, the label warns of the product containing 150mg of caffeine per serving with further caution not to consume more than one serving every 3-4 hours.
This could easily mean that there is too much caffeine in this product, or otherwise. We guess we’ll never know since the label does not list the dose.
l-Tyrosine presents brain benefits such as improving working memory and optimizing mental performance under stressful conditions. Clinical studies also slow tyrosine to be effective for sleep-deprived individuals, those subject to loud noise, or others exposed to extremely cold temperatures. 
ALPHA LIPOIC ACID (ALA)
ALA is a naturally occurring compound in the body and gets most of its prowess from its antioxidant capacity. As a nootropic, it raises acetylcholine levels while lowering acetylcholinesterase, which eventually makes more acetylcholine available to the brain.
This can have the potential effect of improving learning and memory, improving focus, and protecting the brain from cognitive decline related to acetylcholine deficiency.
Vinpocetine’s biggest nootropic claim seems to be its cerebral circulatory performance.  This nootropic increases blood circulation to the brain, which can result in improved concentration, attention, and short-term working memory.
While it used to be a staple brain supplement ingredient, manufacturers now prefer using the more potent Ginkgo Biloba in its place for its blood flow- enhancing functions and antioxidant properties.
Huperzine A shares some similarities with ALA in the capacity of building up acetylcholine levels in the brain. And it also inhibits acetylcholinesterase, the enzyme that usually breaks the neurotransmitter down. The result, once again, is more brainpower in general.
Brain boosting properties of huperzine A include learning and memory enhancement along with preventing age-related memory impairment, such as in Alzheimer’s disease.
However, it is essential to regularly cycle supplements that contain Huperzine A to avoid brain dependence on it.
This is a synthetic form of thiamine or Vitamin B1. In its nootropic capacity, B1 has been studied to increase focus, energy, and prevent memory loss. It has a role to play in acetylcholine production and can also help withstand stress.
Other than these focus blend ingredients, OptiMind lists vitamins D, B12, calcium, and magnesium and its active ingredients.
Vitamin D activates and deactivates brain enzymes involved in neurotransmitter synthesis and nerve growth, making it essential for overall brain health. It also assists calcium and phosphorous absorption in the body, and optimal levels can help prevent low energy levels and mood swings. 
Vitamin B12 is another key nutrient that helps resolve problems with mood and brainpower, particularly linked to age-related cognitive decline. A deficiency can result in irreversible neurological symptoms, and estimates show approximately 15% of adults to be deficient in this vitamin. 
While the skeletal benefits of calcium are well known, it also plays an important part in brain health. Calcium regulates neurotransmitter synthesis and release, controls neuronal excitability, and is a key player in how the brain communicates with the rest of the body.
Magnesium’s role in brain function also has to do with relaying signals between the brain and the body. Its role in brain plasticity makes it a viable contender for improving learning and memory as raising levels can restore lost plasticity and improve cognitive functioning. 
Our Opinion About The Formula
As you can see, in theory, many of these ingredients work great as standalone nootropics or even better when stacked together. However, the problem with OptiMind supplements remains the lack of dosing information.
For instance, ingredients like Bacopa Monnieri, Phosphatidylserine, and L-tyrosine all come backed with supportive evidence that qualifiers them as helpful nootropics.
Others like Alpha Lipoic Acid, Huperzine A, and Sulbutiamine play their part by raising acetylcholine levels and inhibiting acetylcholinesterase. And then there is caffeine, which is perhaps the most well-known stimulant around.
But caffeine is a deal-breaker for many. As they say, too much of a good thing is never a good thing, and including too much caffeine in any formula will never get the nod of approval from any serious biohacker.
Our experience with OptiMind dates back to 2016 when we first tried this product. At the time, it had a high ranking among nootropic stacks and was well-received by the biohacker community. Since, then we’ve had the chance to revisit this product twice over, once in 2018 and then in 2019. Here is the breakdown of these three trials.
Trial period: 4 weeks
We started taking 1-2 capsules of OptiMind daily but soon upped the dosage to 2-3 capsules. Our usual timing was to take the nootropic early in the morning, sometimes on an empty stomach or else with a light breakfast.
The reason for increasing the dose was that we couldn’t really feel any noticeable benefits. Occasionally, there would be a slight energy boost, but nothing too explicit. Even then, the surge was short-lived with the after-effects of feeling jitters after taking three capsules.
Other things that quality nootropics are supposed to deliver, such as improved memory, heightened, motivation, and better flow, were also not part of the experience. We can’t help but say that the experience didn’t live up to the hype.
Upon further investigation, we came to conclude that the formula was seriously underdosed, and it just wasn’t possible to experience any significant cognitive improvement, based on such a weak dose.
Trials Two and Three
The two subsequent tests did not do much to add to the nootropic experience either. It seems that the company behind OptiMind, despite having a good name for their product, actually stopped optimizing their formula long ago. Their 2016 formula seemed to be at a standstill while newer and improved formulas were busy hitting the market.
OptiMind Side Effects
The three trials we underwent did not present any adverse side effects other than some jitters. But just as side effects were missing, so were any noticeable nootropic effects, which brings us back to our earlier conclusion of the formula being underdosed.
And once again, at the risk of sounding redundant, the whole problem comes full circle to the lack of transparency surrounding this product. Since there is no way of knowing how much of what went into the formula, it becomes hard to say if the supplement is actually side-effect-free.
Our suggestion would be to practice caution with this formula until more information becomes available.
The manufacturer’s recommended dosage comes at 1-2 capsules. But based on our experience, we felt the need to increase that number to 2-3.
The one main consideration here is that the OptiMind supplement contains a massive dose of caffeine, which will kick in stimulant effects. Therefore, we would not advise you ever to take it any later than 2 PM. Also, avoid taking it with coffee.
Depending on how every individual reacts to caffeine intake and the absence of caffeine dosage in this formula, it becomes hard to establish an optimal daily dosage.
However, given its underdosed formula, we would consider it safe to start with two capsules. And if your experience is anything like ours, then try three capsules, keeping in mind the possibility of some jitters.
Overall, this is a nootropic that you could very well pass off for better options. There are lots of formulas out there that give you all the right information that you need to make an informed decision, so look into those options instead.
Where To Buy OptiMind?
You can buy OptiMind in their official store. However, we currently do not recommend purchasing this nootropic supplement.
Thomas Roy is a passionate researcher of nutraceuticals and food supplements. He has been testing, experimenting, and developing formulations since 2013. It is his goal to educate consumers about the quality of the supplements they are regularly taking. By developing practical tests for measuring the efficiency of nutraceuticals, he honestly believes this industry has a great potential to become a very transparent one.