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Last modified on July 31st, 2021
There’s a lot of interest in so-called nootropics right now and among the most popular of those types of supplements is something called Qualia Mind. Qualia Mind is often promoted by Dave Asprey, the founder of Bulletproof Coffee and a “neurohacker.”
Qualia Mind is an expensive supplement, and some of the reviews from users are mixed, so we decided to drive in provide you with a comprehensive review of this product.
Don’t buy Qualia Mind until you check out what we say below.
What Is Qualia Mind?
The benefits the company that makes Qualia Mind say it might bring to your life include:
- Designed to support cognitive function
- Nourishes the brain for peak performance
- Mood support
- More mental clarity
- Supports healthier brain cell structure and neural complexity
- May help with concentration
- Could enhance creativity
Above are a lot of big claims, so it’s important to use to determine what supplements are high-quality and which ones over-promise and under-deliver.
Qualia Mind has a whopping 24 ingredients in total, all of which are geared toward cognitive enhancement.
Each of the ingredients is chosen for its own unique benefits, but they all work synergistically together. Even though Qualia Mind is an expensive supplement, the theory is that you’re getting a lot of potent ingredients in one formulation rather than having to buy them all separately, which would be much more expensive.
Qualia Mind is from the Neurohacker Collective, and the ingredients and dosages, according to the company, are well-researched to support the complex interactions and processes that occur in the brain.
The Neurohacker Collective says that uses only the most potent and high-purity ingredients.
They also select the most bioavailable form of all ingredients. That means that your body can absorb them and use them in the way they’re meant to be. We talk about this a lot, but the form of a nutrient you use is extremely important.
When you choose any supplement, you should always think about bioavailability.
Qualia Mind Ingredients
There are a lot of ingredients in Qualia Mind—24, in fact. We’re going to cover them as much as we can, focusing on the most important ingredients as far as the effects they produce.
Each of the Qualia Mind ingredients falls into one of a few larger categories, and that’s how we’ll break them down for the purposes of this review as well.
A nootropic is a supplement or synthetic substance that is meant to improve mental performance. Some of the specific goals you might have when you take a nootropic include better memory and motivation, focus, and creativity.
The following are the ingredients in Qualia Mind that are categorized as nootropics.
- Huperzia Serrata: This herb is frequently used in Chinese medicine, and it may help improve memory and brain function. In Asia, it’s used as a dementia and Alzheimer’s treatment.
- Mucuna pruriens: This supplement is often called natural Adderall. This well-studied herbal supplement has long been used in Ayurveda, and it may boost energy and focus, helps with productivity and it can improve your overall mood and outlook. This is also an adaptogen that helps reduce stress, and it may even increase libido.
- Celastrus paniculatus seed extract: Also used in Ayurveda, the seeds of this plant are used to improve cognition, and it can help improve intestinal health.
- Alpha-GPC: This is a chemical made in the body naturally, but it can also be used in supplement form. It’s a prescription medicine in Europe. Alpha-GPC can be used to help improve blood flow to the brain and to support thinking and memory. It appears to work by increasing the brain chemical acetylcholine.
- Theobromine: This is an alkaloid found in the cocoa plant as well as in tea leaves. It’s a stimulant, and it can also lower blood pressure.
- Cognizin citicoline: This nootropic ingredient is a patented form of citicoline that helps fuel your brain and keep you alert, focused, and mentally sharp.
- Bacopa monnieri: Bacopa monnieri or Brahmi is used in Ayurvedic medicine. It can help reduce anxiety and improve memory. Research backs up its ability to reduce stress and improve brain function. It’s also packed with powerful antioxidants.
- Coffeeberry: Coffeeberry is a brand of coffee fruit nutrition ingredients. Coffeeberry is included as one of the ingredients in Qualia Mind because it has stimulant properties.
- Uridine monophosphate: This Qualia Mind ingredient is a nucleoside that can support cognitive function and healthy sleep patterns. It’s one of the building blocks of the molecules in your body that carry information, which are DNA and RNA.
- Gingko Biloba extract: This Qualia Mind ingredient has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine. It has antioxidants, it can fight inflammation, and it’s been shown to help reduce cognitive decline, anxiety and stress. It’s thought Ginkgo Biloba can help improve blood flow to the brain. It may help improve your perception of well-being and brain function, and studies have indicated it could help with focus and attention span.
The following are the key vitamins that are included as ingredients in Qualia Mind:
- Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol): Vitamin D deficiency is linked to depression and other mental health conditions. Having adequate vitamin D levels is important for brain function and a reduced risk of mental illnesses.
- Vitamin C: This is often thought of as playing a role in the health of your immune system, but the value of vitamin C extends to your brain. Vitamin C concentrations are highest in the brain, and it’s needed to convert dopamine to serotonin. Vitamin C also modulates neurotransmitter release in cells, and it helps maintain an optimized cognitive performance.
- Vitamin B1: This is also known as thiamine, and it helps your body turn food into energy. There’s some evidence thiamine can help prevent Alzheimer’s disease, and it plays a role in the maintenance of the blood-brain barrier. Thiamine helps your body form ATP, too, which is used by every cell for energy.
- Vitamin B6: This B vitamin helps your brain create neurotransmitters, and it regulates how your brain uses energy. There’s some evidence that B6 deficiency could be associated with cognitive decline and dementia. Studies have shown older people with higher blood B6 levels have better memory.
- Vitamin B12 (methylcobalamin): Low levels of vitamin B12 can impact brain chemicals that affect mood and other functions. Low levels of B vitamins, including B12, are linked to depression.
- Vitamin B5: This vitamin, also known as pantothenic acid, is one of the most important that we consume. It’s needed to make red blood cells that carry oxygen around the body, and it makes stress and sex hormones in the adrenal glands. It helps with the proper functioning of your nervous system.
- Niacinamide: This is called B3, and it’s not the same as niacin. Niacinamide is sometimes used as a treatment for depression. It helps your body break down nutrients into energy.
Under the category of antioxidants in the list of Qualia Mind ingredients is something called pyrroloquinoline quinone or PQQ.
PQQ has garnered a lot of attention lately. The use of a PQQ supplement could help improve your energy levels and mental focus, as well as overall longevity. It’s a vitamin-like compound that can protect against cellular damage. It also supports mitochondrial function and the development of new mitochondria.
An adaptogen is often described as an herbal pharmaceutical. When you take these herbal supplements, they combat the effects of stress on your body. Adaptogens work to create balance in your adrenal, pituitary and hypothalamic glands, which are all involved in your stress response.
The specific adaptogen in Qualia Mind is called Rhodiola Rosea.
Rhodiola Rosea can reduce stress and fatigue. It’s also been shown to reduce symptoms of depression and improve brain and exercise performance.
Rhodiola Rosea has also been investigated for the potential anti-cancer properties because of one specific compound it contains called salidroside.
Amino acids are a building block of protein, and they play essential roles throughout your body. For example, you need amino acids for the synthesis of neurotransmitters and hormones. Many people take amino acids as supplements to improve mood and athletic performance.
The amino acids that are in Qualia Mind include:
- N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine: This amino acid may help support healthy working memory and information processing. It can also help you adapt to stress in a healthy way.
- Acetyl-L-Carnitine: The inclusion of this amino acid in Qualia Mind can help your cells produce energy. Some people find this amino acid also helps them deal with symptoms of depression.
- Taurine: Taurine is a naturally occurring amino acid, and it’s also used in supplement form healthy metabolism and to help with long-term memory storage.
- L-Theanine: This amino acid is found in green and black tea and also is available as a supplement. L-theanine may reduce insomnia, anxiety, and stress. It tends to create a calm, non-jittery sense of focus for a lot of users.
- DL-Phenylalanine: A neurotransmitter precursor, which is used by the body for dopamine synthesis. Dopamine as well as norepinephrine and epinephrine are needed for healthy thinking and cognition, mood regulation and energy levels.
There are two herbal ingredients in Qualia Mind.
The first is an artichoke stem and leaf extract. Artichoke has long been used medicinally. The reason artichoke is included is to support antioxidant defense and metabolic health as well as vascular health.
Artichoke leaves are thought to have powerful cell defense effects.
There’s also something called forskolin extract. It comes from the root of an herb in the mint family. Forskolin supplements are often used to help people lose weight, but they have other benefits.
As far as being a nootropic, it’s the only supplement that is thought to be able to naturally boost something called cyclic adenosine monophosphate or cAMP in the brain. It is an important part of your brain cells’ neural signaling. cAMP can produce growth in the neurons and synapses, meaning that the connections in the brain get stronger.
Lipids are the building blocks of our cells. They include fat-soluble vitamins like A, D ,E, and K, hormones, and fats.
One liquid in Qualia Mind is called phosphatidylserine, which comes from sunflower lectin. This fatty substance protects your cells in the brain and helps transport messages. It’s thought that as we age, our levels of phosphatidylserine decrease, but it’s important to keep your brain sharp and prevent memory loss and cognitive decline.
Also included in Qualia Mind is DHA as docosahexaenoic acid from algae. DHA is an essential fatty acid that’s beneficial for brain health. DHA is produced in small amounts by our bodies, but we need more from either food or supplements.
DHA may protect against cognitive decline related to aging and may also help protect against depression.
How to Take Qualia Mind
Qualia Mind has some pretty specific instructions that come with how to use it. According to the company, your dose and how you take it are going to depend on individual factors, including your sensitivity to other medicines or supplements, the effects you want to get and your body weight.
The standard dose that most people find works for them is seven capsules. You should ideally take Qualia Mind first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach.
If you get nausea or have any stomach upset, take it with your first meal of the day.
You shouldn’t take more than 10 capsules at any one time and no more than 12 in a day.
The Neuro Hacker Collective recommends that within these parameters, you experiment a bit to find what’s going to be right for you.
There’s also cycling that you should do. This means that Qualia Mind is going to be most effective if you cycle your use. You should take it for five days and then take two days off a week. For most people, that might mean you take the weekends off when you aren’t working or studying.
This can keep the supplement effective.
You don’t have to do your off-cycle days consecutively. You can do what works for you.
According to the Neuro Hacker Collective, Qualia Mind works best if you’re also taking care of your health holistically. For example, while you take it, try to get enough sleep, exercise, and practice self-care. This can help improve the results you see with Qualia Mind.
Are There Any Qualia Mind Side Effects To Be Aware Of?
First, you should not take Qualia mind if you take an SSRI or an MAOI. You should also speak to your doctor before taking any supplement, including Qualia Mind
As far as side effects, these tend to be minor for most people, if they occur at all.
They might include:
- Digestive problems
What happens at first is that you may notice a few side effects, but as you get used to Qualia Mind, these should end up diminishing or going away altogether.
There is one big issue that could lead to more serious side effects, and this is common across different types of nootropics with a lot of different ingredients. Because of how Qualia Mind affects dopamine, serotonin, and other brain neurotransmitters, you could end up raising your levels too much.
If you were inadvertently taking something that raises your serotonin levels in addition to Qualia Mind, for example, you could experience serotonin syndrome.
Serotonin syndrome can range from mild to severe, and it can be deadly if it’s not treated. Symptoms of serotonin syndrome can include:
- Loss of muscle coordination
- Rapid heart rate
- High blood pressure
- Dilated pupils
In severe, rare cases, serotonin syndrome can include seizures, irregular heartbeat, fever and unresponsiveness. That’s why you shouldn’t take Qualia Mind if you’re on medicine like an SSRI—there is the risk of serotonin syndrome.
What is the Neurohacker Collective?
The Neurohacker Collective is the company responsible for Qualia Mind. Their philosophy is about taking a whole-system approach to the mind and body and looking at psychological, pharmacological, and neurological dimensions as systems that interact with one another.
The company was founded in 2015, and they started with their Qualia nootropic line.
Qualia Mind Reddit Reviews
We went to a lot of sources to find out what real users think about Qualia Mind, including Reddit.
There were good Qualia Mind reviews on Reddit. Some users went into great detail about how they’ve seen benefits of using Qualia Mind.
There are complaints as well.
First, some people just don’t feel it’s effective.
Some Reddit users also take issue with the fact that there are just so many ingredients in Qualia Mind so you can’t know what’s positively affecting you if something is, nor can you easily figure out what could be causing negative side effects.
Some people on Reddit who have tried Qualia Mind feel that even though it’s more time-consuming, they’ve gotten better results trying a wide variety of nootropics to see what really works well for their brain chemistry, but this is a personal preference.
Qualia Mind Reviews on Amazon
On Amazon, Qualia Mind has hundreds of ratings and an average of four stars.
Some users say that they almost instantly start to feel their brain fog clearing, and they notice a more streamlined thought process. Users also note that it gives them sustained mental focus and helps them feel like the best version of themselves.
There are a lot of positive reviews on Amazon for the Qualia Mind product, but there are also some people who feel it wasn’t effective for them. This could be an issue with not taking a high enough dose, but also what’s important to realize with nootropics is that everyone is different. Finding nootropics that you feel are beneficial for you is often the result of trial and error.
Along with a lack of effectiveness, there was a significant share of reviewers that do feel Qualia Mind is a very expensive product.
Other Qualia Mind Products
There are two other Qualia Mind variations.
There’s Qualia Mind Caffeine-Free. It’s a similar price and formulation but if you’re sensitive to the effects of stimulants, you might prefer this option. Users of Qualia Mind Caffeine-Free feels like it gives them a more clean source of energy and focus.
There’s also a formulation called Qualia Mind Essentials, which is much less expensive than the original Qualia Mind.
The big difference between Qualia Mind and Qualia Mind essentials is that Qualia Mind has ingredients like PQQ and CDP-Choline. Qualia Mind Essentials has fewer ingredients overall, and you can take fewer capsules.
These two are not meant to be used together.
Overall, when your budget allows for it, Qualia Mind is the more comprehensive nootropic from Neurohacker Collective.
To sum up our Qualia Mind review, do we think it’s a quality product?
To put it simply, maybe. Some people have great results with Qualia Mind and it’s backed by a lot of bloggers, scientists, and other people that we respect in the world of natural supplements.
The ingredients are powerful, but there are some downsides to keep in mind too.
First, you may be sensitive to some of the ingredients, or some might not work for you at all. With so many ingredients in one product, it is hard to know.
It’s also expensive, so if you’re one of the people Qualia Mind doesn’t work for, that’s quite a bit of money you lose.
Our recommendation, if you clear it with your doctor, would be to try Qualia Mind for a month and see how it goes. You should be able to see results pretty quickly with this type of supplement, and it’s not necessarily one that has to build up in your system for a long time for you to know how you feel about it.
If you take any other medicines or supplements that affect your serotonin level, it’s recommended that you don’t take Qualia Mind.