Optimal Recall is a nootropic stack from Neuro-Enhancement Labs designed primarily to improve memory. Unfortunately, it completely fails to meet these claims. If you’re desperate for a memory enhancing nootropic stack, you could try it, as it does include some nootropics that have been shown to increase memory. However most of these are included at too low doses to be effective.
Optimal Recall does indeed contain a few nootropics which have been shown to boost memory, though many are at small doses. There is some synergy between Huperzine A and DMAE. Unfortunately, that’s about it. This stack won’t be very effective at improving your memory. You could easily design a more effective memory enhancement regimen for a fraction of the price.
Put bluntly; Optimal Recall is not an effective nootropic stack. It does contain a few nootropics which have been shown to boost memory, but Pyritinol is the only one which is included at an effective dosage. Some ingredients such as Willow Bark, DMAA, and Cordyceps Mushroom naturally don’t enhance memory or any measure of cognitive performance at all.
Especially puzzling is the inclusion of DMAA. Here we have an obscure stimulant that does not improve memory and has a dubious safety profile. It is advertised as not having a “crash” like that of caffeine, however, anyone who has even the most straightforward understanding of how CNS stimulants work will know that this is just not true. Also DMAA i,s a banned substance by the World Anti Doping Agency. You would think this would be worth mentioning, but Neuro-Enhancement Labs makes no mention of it on their site. Imagine if you were an amateur athlete who failed a drug test due to using this product.
For this stack, the bad outweighs the good.
Optimal Recall Ingredients
One good way to quantify how effective a particular nootropic stack may be is to look at the dosages of each ingredient it contains to see if there is enough to produce a noticeable effect. If a stack includes proper doses of nootropics proven to provide the advertised effect, then chances are the stack itself will work well. Looking for synergy between the ingredients is another way to assess how well a particular stack will work.
Optimal Recall is advertised as an effective memory aid. It is recommended that you take three capsules about 45 minutes before any task you want heightened memory for. We will take a look at how much of each nootropic you will be getting at this dose, and seeing how likely the stack is to boost your memory.
Huperzine A (17 mg each) – Huperzine A is a potent acetylcholinesterase inhibitor which has been shown to improve learning and memory. At a dosage of 50 mg per 3 capsules, the Huperzine included will still be effective. However a higher dose would be more beneficial.
DMAE (50 mg each) – DMAE is a molecule which is similar to choline, and has been shown to provide some cognitive improvements including heightened mood, alertness, and focus. This compound also increases the rate at which the neurotransmitter acetylcholine is synthesized, making it synergize well with Huperzine A. Taking 3 capsules of Optimal Recall will provide a dose of 150 mg, which isn’t terrible. (A recommended dose is 100 – 300 mg, twice a day.)
Taurine (167 mg each) – Taurine is an organic acid which is commonly found in animal tissues. It is vital in some physiological roles including cardiovascular function and the development of skeletal muscles. While it is a common ingredient in energy drinks, its inclusion in a stack designed to improve memory is somewhat puzzling. There has been little research showing Taurine to be an effective nootropic, and it is improbable its presence here contributes to whatever memory-enhancing effect this stack may have.
L-Tyrosine (84mg each) – Tyrosine is a precursor to the production of L-dopa, and one major nootropic benefit is enhanced memory. A typical recommended dose of Tyrosine is between 500 – 1500 mg per day. Three capsules of Optimal Recall will only provide 250 mg. It is therefore unlikely that you will receive much of a benefit from the Tyrosine included in this product.
Pyritinol (67 mg each) – Pyritinol is a water-soluble counterpart to vitamin B6. A main effect of Pyritinol is to enhance the ability of the brain to transport glucose across the blood-brain barrier. Pyritinol also releases norepinephrine which has a beneficial effect on working memory. Taking three capsules of Optimal Recall will provide a dosage of 200 mg, which is a solid daily dose.
Cordyceps Mushroom (67 mg each) – The Cordyceps Mushroom has a long history of use as medicinal fungi, however, there are currently no clinical studies showing any health benefits in humans. Without even one study linking it to improved memory in humans, it doesn’t seem likely to provide much of an advantage.
Ginseng Root (33 mg each) – Ginseng is a popular nootropic which studies have shown to have some health benefits including improving cognitive performance and memory. Optimal Recall includes dried root, which is most effective at a dose of 500 – 2000 mg daily. Three capsules of Optimal Recall therefore only contain 100 mg of Ginseng root. Don’t expect much here.
White Willow Bark (23 mg each) – The bark of a White Willow is sometimes used to ease aches and fevers. Its inclusion in a nootropic stack is somewhat puzzling. Cognitive Enhancement Labs claims it’s included to help enhance the absorption and efficacy of other ingredients in Optimal Recall. However it isn’t obvious how it does this.
DMAA (20 mg each) – Also known as Methylhexanamine, DMAA is commonly used as a sports supplement and is also used recreationally as a general stimulant. Side effects including headache, nausea, and stroke have also been reported. Cognitive Improvement Labs states that it is included to provide an increase in energy without a “crash” as with caffeine. This is pretty misleading. At a 60 mg dose, DMAA is undoubtedly more dangerous than caffeine and is also banned as a performance enhancing substance by the World Anti-Doping Agency. (Something their website fails to mention.)
Optimal Recall’s Value
A bottle of Optimal Recall costs $15 for 20 servings. If it were a more effective stack this wouldn’t be a bad price. However if you’re after real results, you’d be better off buying the active ingredients individually and taking doses high enough to be effective.
Unless you are desperate to improve your memory and the thought of buying individual nootropics and creating your regimen to do this makes you sweat with terror, then there is no real reason to purchase this stack. (If you don’t want to make your regimen, you can also follow our Memory Enhancement Regimen) This stack is unfortunately just not very useful.