Today’s world is fast paced and busy, you need to be able to function well at school, work, and play, all while performing at the top of your game. Many turn to Adderall to get the focus and brain power they need. 6% of all college students take Adderall nonmedically (not for ADHD) on a regular and as much as 25% have used it at least once to help them study. And with Adderall’s recent link to Early Onset Alzheimer’s, well we should all be looking at better ways to perform. Let me tell you what I have learned.
I have a confession: I pride myself on being intelligent. I love to feel smart, be the go to guy for peoples’ questions, and the man with the answers. I also really enjoy learning, and trying to make myself the best I can be by optimizing my mind and body function to peak capacity. So when I run across anything that can safely help me achieve that, in this case that being Mental Mojo, I get more excited than a six year old on a snow day.
Mental Mojo is a Nootropic Blend (don’t know what that is? Check it out here) that claims to help you think faster, focus better, and remember more; Awesome. Still, it’s a supplement and it going to affect your brain chemistry, so it pays to do your due diligence. It’s a lot of research, reading, and thinking luckily for you all, you have me.
Anytime I run into a product or supplement that claims it can helps me, I immediately have three questions:
- What's in it
- Is it safe
- How effective is it or does it actually work
What's in it?
Before I got started, I did my research; I looked up each of the ingredients in Mental Mojo and started reading. A list of ingredients can be found here.
One thing that Mental Mojo has in it is caffeine, caffeine is going to help you feel energized and focused, but I won’t spend a lot of time on it because caffeine is well documented and because there is a Starbucks on every street corner, I feel confident that a majority of people are familiar with what it is and what it does.
Mental mojo contains a blend of Huperzine A, Acetyl-L-Carnitine, Alpha GPC, Vinpocetine, L-Tyrosine, and Phosphatidylserine. All of which have been linked to better focus, memory retention, and increased cognitive performance. They accomplish this by affecting how your brain absorbs and handles choline and acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter which is basically the NOS of brain fuel, that’s right your brain is going to get fast and furious and were racing for pink slips.
Is it safe?
Anything you put in your body that is going to change how it performs, whether its a supplement, herb, food, or drug should always be checked to make sure its safe and is free of any short or long term side effects. For instance, remember earlier how I said Adderall was linked to early onset Alzheimer’s? yeah that’s a long term side effect, also, it is literally amphetamine, so when looking for a replacement it doesn’t do to jump out of the frying pan just to land in the fire (fire is bad).
In all of my research into Nootropics I have found that there are very few side effects recorded, and are limited to headaches and upset stomach. In fact, Vinpocetine, Huperzine A, and Alpha-GPC have been linked to reducing the risk, as well as the effects of Alzheimer’s. After doing all of my research I felt safe in giving Mental Mojo a try to see if it really works and is safe for me. Because you can read all you want, but until you try something yourself, it’s all second hand data.
Does it Work?
I am my favorite guinea pig, and so I wanted to try it out and see what it did for me. Also, I have learned that while other people may have certain reactions or effects with foods, drugs, or supplements, I can sometimes have a completely different experience, so I wasn’t just going to take anyone’s word for it. I went and got a thirty day supply of Mental Mojo, and got ready to see how it affected me.
My plan was to take it twice a day for thirty days and see if:
- It increased my mental performance, and
- If I had any negative effects from use.
I went and got a blood test over at wellness FX in Salt Lake City to get a baseline of my health on Friday October 11th, and started my 30 day trial on Monday the 14th (I like to start things on Mondays, they just have a good ‘start here’ feeling to them). I’m a programmer and work from home, so being able to focus is crucial in order to accomplish all my goals, and memory is important to juggle my projects with little reference or lost time, and so my experiment began.
Day 1 – 10
I woke up at 7am the first day after getting maybe 4 hours of sleep. So I was tired, I started my day with a multivitamin and the Mental Mojo, within 15 minutes I was already feeling energized and my brain definitely felt like it was going on all cylinders, I was able to get into “the zone” for my work for the day, but I started to drag after 2pm, this was mainly due to my lack of sleep the night before and I was able to stay focused and be productive after taking my second dose of MM
That first night I got a full 8 hours of sleep and after taken my Mojo (yeah baby yea!) I was feeling great soon after, that second day I was on fire, (this time fire is good!). I was able to work fast and get things done, focus came easily and I never struggled to remember what I needed to accomplish my tasks. With a great day of programming behind me I resolved to get at least 6 hours of sleep every night for the rest of the experiment to get the best results.
For the 8 days after that I made sure to do just that, and I got similar results, my brain never felt foggy, my memory was sharp, words and code came to my mind more easily, I was basically the Jackie Chan of Web development. I felt like I was getting the most out of every day and accomplishing a lot, because of that my confidence was high and I was able to land some great clients. life was good, and on day 10 I felt like there was no way this could go wrong.
Starting on the 11th day I started to get complacent and I let some bad habits get the best of me, I was taking the mojo but I didn’t feel the initial focus burst at that I felt the first couple days. I was allowing myself to get distracted during times when I should have been focused on work projects, whether it was social obligations or just silly things like Netflix, after a few days I got discouraged because I felt like the Mojo wasn’t working. So on the 15th day I reviewed my data ( I was recording when I was going to bed, waking up, my diet and when I was working out so that I can see what variables are being effected) and realized that I was getting less and less sleep, not eating great, and I hadn’t worked out in 3 days.
The next day I decided to buckle down and make sure that I was eating a healthy diet, working out for at least 30 minutes a day as well as getting 6 hours of sleep a night. Also, I made the decision that when it came time to work on something, I would remove distractions. And that day I immediately noticed a HUGE improvement in my focus and memory, I was trying to make Mental Mojo do the work for me, but the Mojo couldn’t make me sit down and do what I needed to do, it could only give me that extra edge to excel. equipped with the proper habits the mojo was back, and I was killing it at work.
Around day 20 I started to notice that my memory was better even before I took it in the morning, and I felt the effects even quicker, almost like it had built up in my system, so I decided to look into it and after searching online of some forums I found people have seen and reported cumulative effects from taking Nootropics consistently. One down side is that I didn’t feel the kick that I first felt after taking it, I think that I grew used to the amount of caffeine that Mental Mojo and it wasn’t affecting me as much as it did when I first started, but I still felt the focus and memory effects while I was taking it, so it didn’t discourage me as much, in fact, I preferred it because sometimes too caffeine can give me a “strung out” feeling.
On the 26th day, I noticed I lost almost all focus and got really tired after 3:30 pm, but it was a super busy day and I got so focused on what I was doing that I hadn’t eaten anything, and I merely had low blood sugar, and felt better after eating, I was still sluggish for the rest of the day, so I needed to make to not skip meals.
As I finished up the last few days of my Mental Mojo experiment, I didn’t take the supplement 2x a day as I felt like I didn’t need it to get the same effect, but I still felt focused and had great recall. Projects that I had worked on during the beginning of the experiment over three weeks ago were still fresh in my mind with very little review, it was a great feeling, but it also made me lax in my habits and I allowed myself to get distracted and I was not as effective.
The weeks after
I am a big believer that when you take a supplement or drug for a consistent period of time that you should go off it for a little bit, just to give your liver, body and brain a rest. (The obvious exception being for those medications your doctor prescribes to you. Always listen to your licensed physician) and so I made sure I didn’t take Mental Mojo for 2 weeks to see how I felt and reacted.
For the first week after I stopped taking it, I didn’t feel much different but starting on that first Saturday, I did feel like I wasn’t retaining information as well, things that I recently read weren’t quite sticking as well, and my focus didn’t have the same intensity as before. The cumulative effects were wearing off.
What came of taking Mental Mojo for thirty days? Are the claimed results real? Or Is it all just snake oil? Was it safe? Do I have any permanent damage from it, what did I learn?
From my own personal experience I can tell you that Mental Mojo works, you’ll be a better thinker, you’ll remember more, and even feel more creative. When I took it right before the gym it even worked as an effective pre-workout as the added focus helped me work out harder.
Of course, the caveat is that it isn’t magic, it won’t do any work for you, and it won’t motivate you, if I wasn’t working, then neither was the mojo. It only works to increase your effectiveness, a force multiplier for your own effort. If you took the mojo and got to work then you will just plain get more out of your time. And unlike Adderall (in my case at least) it doesn’t give you one a track mind and allows for more creative thinking as I felt like I would think myself into ruts when on ADHD medications.
Lastly it won’t be nearly as effective if you aren’t sleeping enough or eating decently. The less sleep you get and the less fuel your body has, the less efficiently your brain is going to work in general, and any supplement can only do so much to make up the difference, that doesn’t just apply to Mental Mojo, but any supplement I have taken.
In review, if you are in crunch time and want to get more out of your work or studying, I highly recommend taking Mental Mojo, you will perform better, but if you take it expecting a 1 to 1 experience with Adderall well then you’ll find yourself disappointed, because this isn’t Adderall, this doesn’t build tolerance like Adderall, it won’t keep you up way too late, and you will have way better memory retention.
Don’t take my word for it though, I’m my own best test subject and you are yours, so go test it yourself and see what results you get and then tell me about it in the comments. I’d love to hear your experiences. Also, if you have any questions about what’s in it and/or want to learn more about the Nootropics in Mental Mojo, ask away.