My granddad used to teach a memory course and when I was just a kid he taught me the secrets of the linking method for memory. From then on I had always been fascinated with cognitive enhancement by multiple means, I guess you could even say bio-hacking was in my blood. I discovered nootropics over 15 years ago and have been fascinated by the subject ever since. I’ve worked with multiple nootropic companies doing everything from assisting with formulation and encapsulation to content creation. Now that I’m in Asia, I was looking for a source a bit closer to my new home: enter Netherlands based company, OmniMind.
I had written a couple of articles for OmniMind so I already had a working relationship with the guys. I was interested in testing out their formula and hoping it would be a suitable stack for me. Luckily, they offered to send me a sample out to give it a try. I’ve been cycling it for the past 4 weeks and can honestly say I’m very pleased. The first sample was on the house, but they’ve got a repeat customer on their hands from this point on.
In addition to synthetic nootropics, I’m a big fan of the holistic perspective and very appreciative and thankful for the adaptogens. Synthetic nootropics are good for a cycle or two with a break, but I like to incorporate adaptogens 5 days out of 7 most weeks. In addition to some nutrients (a B-vitamin complex that’s essential for nervous system support and co-factors for the creation of multiple neurotransmitters) that are essential for baseline performance, the OmniMind formula is primarily adaptogenic in basis.
I like the fact that a lot of the ingredients are either nutrients or enzymes you already need regardless of your performance and enhancement goals or tried and true adaptogens that have been successfully used in the Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine tradition for literally centuries. Luckily for us, science is finally catching up to the knowledge of the ancients so there is plenty of scientific research and a wealth of clinical studies on these adaptogens chosen for OmniMind.
I won’t lie, one of the things that I like best about OmniMind is it suits multiple of my stated needs from a stack. It’s not only cognitive enhancing, but many of the ingredients are known for improving longevity, balancing and brightening mood and toning adrenal glands improving adrenal function. I love caffeine but stimulants don’t always love me back in the same way. A bit of caffeine is great as an antioxidant and to brighten the mind, but if you’re like me, too much stimulation is going to lead to anxiety and other issues. The adaptogens actually improve your adrenal response which means less fight or flight. In short it’s more energizing than it is stimulating.
Adrenal toning via adaptogens also has other applications. Immune system support, for instance is a great example. I developed a formula of my own that has a lot of the same adaptogenic ingredients as OmniMind and found when I take this adaptogen blend I don’t come down with whatever flu or other bug is going around, I’m not as stressed and my mood is more favorable. For someone who deals with anxiety and depression, the additional benefits beyond cognitive enhancement are vital. In other words, if my motivation and mood aren’t in line, it doesn’t matter how on the ball my mind is I’m not going to achieve as much.
The adaptogen blend in OmniMind, as I had mentioned, is similar to one I’ve been using quite a while, a stack I’d designed specifically for myself. So it was bound to be a winner for me personally, Bacopa monnieri is one of the main ingredients. It has long been a part of both Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine traditions.
It was traditionally known as a memory tonic and mood balancer. In fact, science shows us that protecting the mood and relieving anxiety are one of the mechanisms of its action as far as memory and learning goes. In addition to that, it’s a cholinergic, specifically an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor. That means it inhibits the enzyme that breaks down acetylcholine, the learning and memory neurotransmitter, within the synaptic gap. It also stimulates protein synthesis in the hippocampus which is responsible for consolidating new memories, hence its efficacy in learning. The compounds in Bacopa also facilitate interneuronal communication. In addition to that, it’s a potent brain antioxidant that has been shown to assist in regeneration of brain tissue so it’s not only a cognitive enhancer but neuroprotective as well.
In addition to Bacopa extract, OmniMind contains another of my favorite adaptogens. Rhodiola rosea extract is another adaptogen included in OmniMind. Like Bacopa, it was long favored within the Indian Ayurvedic tradition as well as in TCM and parts of North America and Europe. Rhodiola has multiple benefits from increased cold resistance and power output to allowing the body to adapt to physical and environmental stressors. It has been shown to enhance mood and motivation via some of its monoaminergic and catecholaminergic action. Depression and anxiety not only destroy your motivation but can literally lead to neuronal death, not to mention the fact that positive mood often leads to positive actions which helps to create a dopaminergic feedback cycle that benefits your mind, mood and overall well-being. Rhodiola has been suggested as a potential sports, workout and fitness enhancer as well, so OmniMind is not only a cognitive enhancer and neuroprotectant but could be an excellent pre-workout formula.
OmniMind also contains the enzyme and neurotransmitter precursor Tyrosine which is one of the twenty natural alpha amino acids necessary for protein synthesis. Multiple studies suggest that this dopamine precursor may also relieve tiredness, stress and improve mental functioning. The added energy, by the way, is another pleasant peripheral if, like me, you’re planing on using OmniMind as a cognitive enhancer, mood balancer, stress reliever and pre-workout supplement.
L-theanine is another of my all time favorite cognitive enhancers. Like I said, I come from a holistic perspective and it’s nice when one ingredient does double duty in addition to serving as a synergistic part of the whole stack. L-theanine is cardio-protective, neuroprotective, slightly calming and focusing. It’s actually an amino acid that is found in green tea leaves and guayusa. Once again, L-theanine has been theorizd to be helpful as a mood lifter and stress reliever in addition to improving focus and attentiveness. It’s also a great way to tamper the more “stimulating” aspects of some of the other ingredients like caffeine and rhodiola extract. In addition to being neuroprotective, cardioprotective and cognitive enhancing L-theanine has been suggested to possibly prevent strokes and speed recovery from strokes as well as improving immune function and preventing growth of cancer.
Caffeine is one of the most widely used psychoactives in the world. Taken to excess it can raise cortisol levels, but balanced with the OmniMind stack it provides just enough push, along with rhodiola, NADH and tyrosine to add some good energy overall to the stack. Caffeine improves vigilance and attentiveness in part by stimulating the central nervous system as well as by blocking the adenosine receptor, the neurotransmitter that signals tiredness. L-theanine is like its mirror twin and both compounds have been shown to be more effective combined than taken alone.
If you’re going to be taking any cholinergic stack, you need a good source of choline. I love the fact that, once again, OmniMind is going natural here. For choline, OmniMind contains DMAE Bitartrate which is a naturally occurring compound found in the brain and certain foods like anchovies and sardines. Once again, DMAE is known to improve energy levels (both mental and physical) as well as mood.
Then there’s the B-vitamin complex. OmniMind chooses the most vital B-vitamins related to neuronal function. Niacin or Vitamin B3 is also great for energy, mood and healthy nervous system functioning. B-12 is another energizing and fatigue reducing vitamin that is great for memory, mood and nervous system health. Vitamin B-5 (found in avocados) is another great mood and memory enhancing B vitamin vital to a healthy brain and nervous system.
Another really awesome ingredient in the OmniMind stack is the Co-enzyme NADH+. NADH is one I’ve really enjoyed for years. It is like a super B-vitamin and has a lot of the same neuroprotectant and energizing functions. It is also great for mitochondrial energy. Mitochondria is not only the basic energy currency of the body, it’s also a compound whose production is one of the most energy intensive tasks your body undertakes, so supplementation of NADH+ has a palpable effect on energy, mood, motivation and even vitality. I even find it slightly aphrodisiac, personally. Studies show that NADH+ can improve alertness, concentration and energy as well as being an excellent way to work on improving overall physical and cognitive health and longevity. It also happens to be another potent antioxidant both in the brain and the body as a whole.
For me, as a long time nootropic aficionado and formulator of nootropic stacks, I really appreciated the obvious time and thought put into creating this stack. In addition to all of the above, OmniMind contains Bioperine which is a proprietary extract of black pepper (Piper nigrum). Black pepper not only acts as a vaso-dilator but “primes” the stomach allowing for better absorption and, as a result, greater bio-availability of all the previous ingredients.
As supplements become more and more popular there are more folks getting into the game. One thing that set me at ease, OmniMind is completely willing to share their Certificates of Analysis for all their ingredients. This way I know what I’m getting has been tested for identification, purity and lack of heavy metals and other foul things that are completely contrary to my goals as a bio-hacker. This is a bit of transparency you don’t see even in some of the larger and trusted names in the supplement and nootropic industry. Speaking of transparency, I can’t stand stacks that hide behind a “proprietary formula.” A lot of times these guys are dumping a bunch of inerts and fillers and a nominal amount of the important active ingredients to save money. OmniMind actually shows the amounts of each active ingredients found in its formula.
OmniMind was a great stack in my opinion and I can’t wait to get my next bottle. I took one to two caps four to six days a week each week and really appreciated the subtle but palpable enhancement as a result. It goes a few steps past the simple adaptogenic stack I had personally designed myself for my own use including a few other ingredients (like the B-vitamin complex, NADH and the black pepper for improved absorption) so if you’re looking for a great all-purpose stack that’s suitable for most days of the week, I