Writer and nootropic fan Alex Whybrow delivers his full verdict on this potent supplement in our Qualia Mind review. Read on to find out if it’s right for you…
Written by Alex Whybrow – fact checked by Jason M & the editorial team
Alex is a full time writer. He is a creative soul who loves to express himself through his written word. When focus or concentration becomes an issue he turns to nootropics. Aside from the world of nootropic supplementation and writing, Alex is a huge fan of coffee and can regularly be found consuming it and writing about it.
This article complies with the SOMA Analytics editorial policy. Full details of which can be found here
SOMA Analytics is supported by our readers. We may earn a commission when you purchase through links on this page. Our content is checked for factual accuracy by our editorial team and is written by expert nutritionalists.
Qualia Mind is the brainchild of the Neurohacker Collective – a company that was established in 2015 “with the mission of creating best in class well-being products by employing a unique methodology to research and development based on complex systems science”.
At Soma-Analytics, they are a company that we are familiar with, so we were very keen to put Qualia Mind through their paces in this Qualia Mind review.
They claim to have a real focus on science, and that appeals to us – they aim to produce products to help your body to manage its own biochemistry and maintain balance. This, again, is something that we can wholeheartedly get behind.
Qualia Mind has grown to become one of the more popular and certainly well known products on the Nootropic market, so we wanted to take a closer look at it so that we can help you decide whether this is the right product for you. Whether it is the Nootropic that can help you to unlock your potential.
Like most of the products we review, this is a Nootropic with a focus on cognitive performance – in particular, focus and memory, as well as looking to give a boost to energy levels. It’s an attractive proposition, but we have heard these claims before.
The only way to get to the heart of the matter is to put it to the test. In this article we are going to have a detailed look at what benefits you can expect to experience when you take it, what it is made from (and why), how it should be taken and then we will detail our experiences when we started taking Qualia Mind.
We’ll also be answering some frequently asked questions at the end of this Qualia Mind review.
Qualia Mind – Quick Verdict
Qualia Mind is no doubt a powerful nootropic. However, some ingredients are well dosed whilst others are lacking. There is also such a wide variety of ingredients there is likely much that is superfluous.
It is worth trying, but we prefer NooCube, that seems more appropriately dosed and that is much easier to take daily. It is also pretty cost effective in comparison.
Qualia Mind Benefits
We mentioned above that Qualia Mind targets cognitive improvement – “for mental improvement” as it says on their website. In this section we are going to be taking a deeper look into exactly what they are saying and what benefits that you can expect from Qualia Mind.
There seem to be four main benefits that they promote, let’s take a look at each one individually:
Enhance Memory & Cognition
There is a certain stigma attached to people that struggle to instantly remember things – they are perceived as being ‘a bit slow’, and it can impact us at work and socially.
Having a little boost to your memory can help you in every walk of life. If you can start to recall things without having to stop and find them out, imagine how much more productive you can become.
Fuel Focus & Concentration
Whatever you do, whether you are a student at college or whether you are a professional, having more focus is always going to be a major benefit to you.
Imagine no more staring at the wall, or checking your phone every few minutes, or answering an email that could wait. Just focus on the task in hand. It could make a huge difference.
Amplify Drive & Productivity
This goes a little further than just focusing on the task that you are working from – the drive to push yourself to do more. Have you ever felt like you aren’t fulfilling your potential? Well, with more drive, what could you achieve?
Promote Mental Clarity
This sort of brings everything together – having mental clarity means that you are fully engaged in whatever you are doing. You have a sharp memory, you are focussed and your judgement is completely unclouded. You are in the zone.
Now, I can’t imagine that there are many people reading this that wouldn’t be attracted to the prospect of all these benefits.
This is the dream, isn’t it?
That we will be more driven and focussed in our day to day lives and finally start fulfilling our potential.
Let’s now take a look at how they hope to bring about these benefits.
Qualia Mind Ingredients
Neurohacker, as a business, is committed to science and research. All of the ingredients that they use are the result of thousands of hours of work by “top scientists in complex-systems modeling, neurobiology, organic chemistry as well as dozens of MDs and PhDs” – as stated on their website.
They subjected all of their products to a series of beta tests on top of this research.
Let’s take a look at what they use in Qualia Mind, and what the main ingredients are designed to do for your cognitive function. Hold tight, because there are quite a lot of them.
Vitamin C (as ascorbic acid)
Vitamin C has an important role when it comes to neuron maturation and myelin formation, which helps to protect them from damage. These two functions are thought to play a big role in how our minds work, with one study showing that higher levels of vitamin C being responsible for improvements with memory, focus, attention and decision making.
Vitamin C, as we know, is also a powerful antioxidant, which fights free radicals that can damage your brain. Vitamin C is absolutely crucial for healthy living and it’s a welcome addition to any supplement.
Vitamin D3 (as cholecalciferol)
Your brain tissue contains many vitamin D receptors and it has been proven that vitamin D can help to remove amyloid plaques, which can lead to Alzheimer’s Disease. By maintaining strong levels of vitamin D, you can help prevent cognitive diseases.
This is an ingredient more for long term brain health than daily cognitive performance, but it is important to keep vitamin D levels high to give this long term protection to the brain.
Thiamine (as thiamine HCl)
Thiamine, or Vitamin B1, is essential to brain cell metabolism, which in turn are precursors to important cell components. If you have low levels of thiamine, you may experience ‘brain fog’ and poor memory. It is so important that you keep these levels to the required amount for your brain to function correctly.
Thiamine can also help support ATP, which supplies your brain with energy. The more energy your brain has, the quicker you can think.
Niacin (as niacinamide)
Niacin is thought to help protect your brain cells from injury and stress, which can cause memory loss and dementia. It also helps to stimulate the production of mood boosting neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine. Studies have suggested that niacin is great for both brain health and cognitive performance.
Vitamin B6 (as pyridoxal-5-phosphate)
Found naturally in foods such cereal, chicken and eggs, studies have suggested that vitamin B6 is good for brain development, mental function and mood. A B6 deficiency can lead to confusion, dementia or an inability to focus, so it is important to keep levels up.
Vitamin B12 (as methylcobalamin)
Vitamin B12 is another thing that, if you don’t have enough in your body, can impair your brain function – especially your memory. In a study of elderly people in Korea, it was found that there was a correlating link between B12 levels and cognitive function, so it is very important to make sure you are getting enough.
Pantothenic Acid (as calcium pantothenate)
Pantothenic acid, or vitamin B5, is found in every single cell in your body. It is vital for brain function, helping to boost memory and regulate your nervous system by producing neurotransmitters, such as acetylcholine.
Found in red meat, Acetyl-L-Carnitine is involved in fatty acid metabolism which has a direct impact on your brain function. Like vitamin B5, it aids the production of acetylcholine. Studies have shown that it can slow down the effects of dementia, and that it can increase your capacity to learn.
Artichoke Leaf Extract
Artichoke Leaf Extract is known for its ability to reduce inflammation, as well as its cognitive boosting qualities. It can stimulate the growth of new neurons in your brain, which aid memory, learning and liver function.
Bacopa Monnieri Leaf Extract
Used for centuries in traditional medicine, Bacopa monnieri is a plant that is thought to increase certain chemicals in your brain that are involved in memory and learning. It may also help to alleviate stress and anxiety.
Rhodiola Rosea Root Extract
Rhodiola rosea root extract has been used for centuries to help people with anxiety, depression and fatigue. It stimulates the nervous system and in a trial it is proven to show “significant, consistent and steady improvements in stress symptoms, fatigue, quality of life, mood, concentration, disability, functional impairment and an overall therapeutic effect”.
DL-Phenylalanine is mainly used for pain relief – it blocks the enzymes that break down your body’s natural painkillers. However, it is also thought to improve your memory and cognitive function.
N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine (or NALT), is particularly useful during stressful situations – it converts into L-DOPA, which produces dopamine. In times of stress, this can help you to think more clearly.
Taurine is an amino acid that works to calm your brain by increasing glycine and GABA. It works throughout the nervous system and helps to prevent brain deterioration.
L-Theanine is another amino acid. This one helps to alleviate anxiety, and similar to taurine, it is particularly effective in times of stress.
Alpha-Glycerylphosphorylcholine (alpha GPC)
This cholinergic compound, which we will just refer to as alpha GPC, is used to increase the level of acetylcholine in brains, which helps fight against memory impairment.
Uridine-5-Monophosphate (UMP) is found in all living organisms, from bacteria to humans. It is another substance which can increase dopamine release, as well as supporting the production of neurotransmitters, which could speed up how quickly your brain works.
This brain chemical occurs naturally in the body, and many studies have suggested that it can aid mental focus, energy, and attention. It is used as a prescription drug in Japan, which adds weight to these claims.
Organic Coffeeberry (90 mg caffeine)
Coffeeberry is high in antioxidants, which help to protect your brain against damage, and can also raise your levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which improves your brain function. It is also thought to have a positive impact on mood.
Velvet Bean (Mucuna pruriens) Seed Extract
Velvet bean seed extract contains an amino acid called Levodopa (L-Dopa), which is involved in the production of dopamine. As well as boosting our mood, dopamine helps to transmit nerve signals which can help us think more quickly and clearly.
Phosphatidylserine (from sunflower lecithin)
There have been several studies that suggest that phosphatidylserine can help boost short-term memory, mood and concentration. It can help prevent some of the mental decline associated with ageing.
The primary active compound in dark chocolate, Theobromine has been linked to verbal fluency and memory.it is thought to encourage blood flow to the brain, which helps you to feel alert and focused.
DHA (as Docosahexaenoic Acid from Algae)
DHA is essential for the brain development in young children and babies, but it is also thought to be critical in adults for maintaining normal brain function. By increasing your level of DHA, you should notice an improvement in your ability to learn.
Celastrus Paniculatus Seed Extract
Celastrus paniculatus seed extract has been found to aid intestinal health, but it is also thought to help brain health as well, decreasing lipid peroxidation.
Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract
Ginkgo biloba leaf extract has been shown to help with Alzheimer’s disease, and may boost memory and brain speed in healthy adults. It is more likely to have a preventative impact, rather than a positive one.
Coleus Forskohlii Root Extract
Foroskolin can help to boost the production in your brain of cyclic adenosine monophosphate. This is a signal carrier, so producing more of this will help to speed up your brain and boost your focus.
Pyrroloquinoline Quinone Disodium (PQQ)
It has been shown by studies that PQQ can increase blood flow in your brain, in particular the cerebral cortex which is there to aid your memory, attention and focus. With more blood, these three attributes should be improved.
Huperzia Srrata Leaf Extract
Huperzia serrata has been shown to increase the production of acetylcholine, which as we have already seen, helps to treat diseases that can impact on our memory. The more acetylcholine that we can produce, the healthier our brains could be.
As you can see, this is a very long list of ingredients. There is a lot more than we see in most of the other nootropics that we review and the doses are actually pretty generous – and so in theory this is a pretty potent nootropic.
We would like to point out that, despite the extensive research on the part of the makers of Qualia Mind, Neurohacker, more independent research needs to be conducted in the nootropics industry. There hasn’t been enough done to fully back the findings above.
Work is being done on this, but as the nootropics industry is a relatively young one, it is taking a while for the research to catch up.
Taking Qualia Mind Supplements
As a result of the huge list of ingredients, which all have an important part to play in the make up of Qualia Mind, the recommended dose is big. It’s massive, in fact. It is suggested that you take 7 capsules in one go, first thing in the morning.
This will seem like a lot, particularly on an empty stomach, so you can take them after a meal or with a snack if you would prefer. Either way, this is a pretty big commitment to take 7 capsules each and every morning.
Using Qualia Mind
We were excited about trialling Qualia Mind – it is highly regarded in the nootropic industry, and one of the best-selling products around. We wanted to see for ourselves the impact that it can have on performance levels, so we put it to the test.
To tell you a little bit about our team member that did the trial – he is a freelance web designer by day. He works on our site as well as others, and he has a young family – 3 children under 7. Needless to say, he sometimes struggles with mental fatigue and concentration.
He began taking Qualia Mind at the recommended dose – 7 capsules a day, first thing in the morning. He reported that, to begin with, he would feel quite queasy after taking this dose, suggesting it was too much for him on an empty stomach. However, he persevered with it as he wanted to see what it could do when used as per the instructions.
For the first week or so, he reported that he didn’t really notice that much. He was well aware that this is quite normal, and it is rare to feel an effect that early. In fact, Neurohacker offers a 100-day guarantee, where you can claim a refund if you don’t feel anything after 100 days, which gives us a guide as to when to expect an impact.
After about a week and a half, though, he did start to notice something. It was just small to begin with, but he found himself having a little more time at the end of each day – he would set himself a number of tasks to complete, as usual, and find himself making a start on the next day’s tasks by late afternoon. On the Friday of that week, he had time to collect his kids from school – something that has rarely happened.
You might call it marginal gains, because he says he didn’t feel any different – he just noticed that he was getting more done. He told us that if he hadn’t been taking notes for us, he may not have noticed it at all – he may have just put it down to having a good week. But he couldn’t deny that there had been a change.
This continued. He found himself, after a few weeks, feeling like he could take on extra work. His week, that seemed so tightly packed, had suddenly opened up. He had more capacity for work, and therefore earnings. He was in a brighter mood as well – taking more time to play with his family. It is difficult to say whether the mood boost was a direct result of taking Qualia Mind, or just the fact that things were going well at work – but he was honest with us and said that he didn’t really care what was causing it, he was just enjoying it!
He has continued to take Qualia Mind, after the trial finished. He has no intention of stopping any time soon. Other than a little bit of nausea when he first started taking them, which has since subsided, he has not experienced any side effects. The only issue that he has reported is that it can be a little tough, physically, to take 7 capsules at a time.
Pros and Cons
We would like to point out here that, due to the nature of nootropics, everybody will have a slightly different experience when taking them. The pros and cons that we are listing below are based on our experience, and the experience of people that we have spoken to who have taken Qualia Mind.
Pros of Qualia Mind
Increased productivity – to put it simply, taking Qualia Mind, in our experience, meant that you could get more done, allowing you to really make the most out of every day. We are not alone here, many people have reported the same increased focus and concentration.
Improved mood – many people that we have spoken to have reported that they felt in a happier mood when they took Qualia Mind, particularly after stressful situations that may have impacted their mood negatively previously.
Cons of Qualia Mind
Large dose – there’s no getting around the fact that 7 capsules is a lot to take on an empty stomach. The physical act of swallowing these may put people off.
Expensive – Perhaps as a result of the large dose, the capsules end up being quite expensive as you have to buy so many of them. They are not the most expensive on the market, but the price might make some people think twice.
Does Qualia Mind have any side effects?
Some people have reported some dizziness, nausea, headaches and indigestion after taking Qualia Mind, but these are generally mild. If you experience any of these, we suggest taking a break from Qualia Mind.
Should you take Qualia Mind every day?
Unlike most nootropic supplements, Qualia Mind is not recommended for daily use – you should have five days on and two off every week. The two days off can be consecutive, or non-consecutive, so it could be that you take them during the week and have a break over the weekend.
How long does Qualia Mind take to kick in?
As with most nootropics, you can expect to feel the effects of Qualia Mind about an hour after you have taken it, but it can take a couple of weeks to feel the full effects.
With the usual caveat that we need to include – that all nootropics will have a varying impact on different people – we found Qualia Mind has a positive impact on our productivity and mood when tested.
The most important thing for us was that it created more time for our ‘subject’. He got to see more of his family as a result of taking this supplement, and that likely appeals to many people.
While the suggested dose is incredibly large for a nootropic, and the price is high compared to some of the competition, we think the results more than justify this. If you are looking for a Nootropic to try, to give you a little boost, then Qualia Mind is certainly one for you to consider.