- Definitely increases focus and learning capacity
- Shouldn't cause side effects (although it does contain a lot of ingredients)
- EXTREMELY over-priced supplement
- Costs almost $5 per day on regular prescription
- Contains lots of useless ingredients
Qualia Mind is a top-quality nootropic supplement. Neurohacker Collective have done very well here. If you’re looking for a fast-acting supplement to boost focus, information processing, and mental energy, this nootropic is a great option. If you read our full Qualia Mind review, however, you’ll see that it’s far from perfect. It is extremely overpriced. Better value for money can be had elsewhere.
Qualia Mind Review: How good is this nootropic?
Qualia Mind is currently one of the most popular nootropics in the world. It was released by Neurohacker Collective a few years ago. In a short time though, it has secured a place as one of the most highly-rated brain supplements on the market.
What does Qualia Mind do exactly?
According to the Neurohacker Collective website, Qualia Mind is a fast-acting notropic designed to improve brain performance.
More specifically, Qualia Mind claims to do the following:
- Lift brain fog
- Boost concentration and focus
- Increase energy levels
- Increase “brain nutrition”
- Promote mental clarity
Clearly Qualia Mind is a nootropic focused on improving immediate, short-term executive mental functions.
There’s no mention of long-term brain health, neuroplasticity, or preventing cognitive decline. Instead, Qualia Mind promises rapid improvements in concentration, alertness and mental stamina.
Sounds good to us! The question is, does it actually do any of these things?
Does Qualia Mind work? Is Qualia Mind safe? Is this the best nootropic for you? Or are there better options on the market right now? Find out by reading our detailed Qualia Mind review below!
Qualia Mind Ingredients
Here is the Qualia Mind ingredients list as it looks on the bottle:
In case that isn’t clear, here is a list of the ingredients in Qualia Mind:
- Acetyl-L-Carnitine HCL – 500mg
- Artichoke leaf extract – 500mg
- Bacopa monnieri extract – 300mg
- Rhodiola rosea extract – 300mg
- DL-Phenylalanine – 300mg
- Uridine-5-Monophosphate heptahydrate disodium – 250mg
- N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine – 250mg
- Taurine – 200mg
- L-Theanine – 200mg
- Alpha-GPC – 200mg
- Citicoline – 150mg
- Coffeeberry WCFE – 129mg
- Mucuna pruriens – 100mg
- Phosphatidylserine – 100mg
- Theobromine – 100mg
- DHA – 80mg
- Celastrus paniculatus seed extract – 60mg
- Ginkgo biloba leaf extract – 50mg
- Coleus forskohlii root extract – 20mg
- PQQ – 10mg
- Huperzina serrata leaf extract (1% Huperzine A) – 5mg
We’ll now give you a brief overview of Qualia Mind’s ingredients, what they do or don’t do, and what we make of the scientific evidence backing them up. Post your questions in the comments at the end.
Acetyl-L-Carnitine HCL – 500mg
ALCAR is often used as a sports supplement because of its positive effect on energy metabolism. While many athletes get some good benefits from ALCAR, we don’t think it will add anything to Qualia Mind. 500mg isn’t going to affect cognitive performance in a noticeable way.
Artichoke leaf extract – 500mg
Artichoke leaf extract looked like an exciting nootropic a few years ago. A specific artichoke extract (Luteolin) is known to inhibit PDE4; an enzyme which breaks down cAMP in the brain. Inhibiting PDE4 will increase brain cell signalling. However, we aren’t totally sold on the power of artichoke extract as a focus-boosting nootropic.
Bacopa monnieri extract – 300mg
Bacopa monnieri is easily one of the best Qualia Mind ingredients and a major selling point of this nootropic. Daily Bacopa monnieri supplementation improves memory function. It is especially good for older people, or those struggling with memory problems. The extract used in Qualia Mind is potent.
Rhodiola rosea extract – 300mg
Rhodiola rosea is an excellent anxiolytic. Consuming rhodiola rosea reduces anxiety and improves cognitive performance while under stress. The 300mg in Qualia Mind is more than enough to make you calm and clear-headed when you need to be most.
DL-Phenylalanine – 300mg
Phenylalanine is an amino acid. Its exact function in the human body is unknown (aside from acting as a building block for protein). It certainly has no known nootropic properties. We have no idea why it is in Qualia Mind. A total waste of formula space!
Uridine-5-Monophosphate heptahydrate disodium – 250mg
Uridine monophosphate is a really interesting nootropic. In our opinion it is one of the most exciting yet understudied nootropics in the world right now. The studies we do have are very promising though; Uridine has been found to improve learning, and to accelerate synaptic formation (source). However, 250mg is far too much. You don’t need to be taking more than 100mg to see results. Better to just take a lot of CDP-Choline.
N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine – 250mg
Tyrosine is an amino acid. However, it is not like other amino acids. Multiple clinical trials have shown that Tyrosine supplementation improves cognitive performance in people placed under extreme stress – cold exposure, sleep deprivation, and more. The 250mg in Qualia Mind is more than enough for you to see all the benefits associated with Tyrosine. One of the best nootropics for students and people with stressful jobs, for sure.
Taurine – 200mg
Taurine is an amino acid that is sometimes supplemented for its general health-promoting properties. Some people take it to bolster cardiovascular health. It has absolutely no nootropic effects whatsoever. In our opinion, there is no reason for any brain supplement to contain so much taurine!
L-Theanine – 200mg
Theanine is another amino acid. MOst of you have probably heard of theanine; it is found in high concentrations in black tea. Theanine can be a great nootropic; it reduces the side effects of caffeine while heightening its focus-boosting effects. But it has no real brain enhancing properties of its own.
Alpha-GPC – 200mg
This is where Qualia Mind gets its real firepower from. Alpha-GPC increases acetylcholine levels in the brain. Acetylcholine is primary executive neurotransmitter in humans. More acetylcholine means faster information processing, faster memory recall, and faster reaction times. Alpha-GPC is a superb focus and memory booster. 200mg is plenty, especially as it is in combination with citicoline.
Citicoline – 150mg
Citicoline is easily our go-to nootropic for improving focus, learning and recall speed. Like Alpha-GPC, it increases acetylcholine levels in the brain, which increases concentration, information processing, and more. Citicoline also promotes healthy brain cell formation. The benefits of Citicoline are many and varied!
There’s no real need to use both Alpha-GPC and Citicoline. Just pick the right one for you and dose it properly (for Citicoline, that’s about 250mg per day).
Coffeeberry WCFE – 129mg
Whole Coffee Fruit Extract is definitely one of the most talked-about substances in the biohacking world right now. According to some supplement manufacturers, WCFE dramatically increases BDNF levels. They also say that WCFE protects brain cells from oxidative damage. There are only a few studies “proving” these claims, and many are manufacturer-sponsored.
It’s also worth noting that the 129mg of WCFE in this nootropic provides 90mg of caffeine – about the same as an average espresso.
Mucuna pruriens – 100mg
Mucuna pruriens is widely-used in biohacking circles, usually in hormone supplements. It is said to raise testosterone production in the testes. These claims seem to be soundly proven by clinical studies. While having higher testosterone levels would improve mood and general cognitive performance, we don’t think it adds much to Qualia Mind.
Phosphatidylserine – 100mg
Many people forget about phosphatidylserine, but this is one of the better ingredients in Qualia Mind. Phosphatidylserine is a necessary component of brain cell membranes. it is also needed for cell signalling – without enough phosphatidylserine, your brain can’t get rid of dying brain cells!
We can make our own phosphatidylserine, but as e age our levels steadily decline. Supplementing with phosphatidylserine has been shown to significantly improve several different aspects of cognitive function, particularly in older groups (source). The 100mg we get from Qualia Mind is enough to see similar benefits.
Theobromine – 100mg
Theobromine is a compound found in cocoa. It is often said that theobromine is a kind of caffeine alternative; a stimulant capable of raising your focus and mental stamina. However, studies have found that theobromine is drastically weaker than caffeine -about 10x weaker! If you want a stimulant to ramp up your focus, just use caffeine.
DHA – 80mg
DHA is a fatty acid which makes up a staggeringly large proportion of your brain’s gray matter. Consuming DHA is a fantastic way to promote a healthy, functioning brain and to reduce your risk of experiencing cognitive decline (source).
Celastrus paniculatus seed extract – 60mg
This is not a common ingredient in nootropics. In fact, Qualia Mind is the only nootropic that contains this ingredient (to our knowledge). Celastrus paniculatus is a tree native to India. The Neurohacker Collective website makes a lot of claims about Celastrus paniculatus, and they reference several scientific studies to back these claims up. After checking these studies out though, we’re not convinced. We don’t think you’ll get much from Celastrus paniculatus.
Ginkgo biloba leaf extract – 50mg
Of all the Qualia Mind ingredients, Ginkgo biloba is probably the one that older people will be most interested in. Gingko biloba improves cerebral blood flow. It does this by increasing blood viscosity and dilating your blood vessels. This leads to better oxygenated brain cells, which means better mental performance. We think you should use slightly more than 50mg per day though for optimal results.
Coleus forskohlii root extract – 20mg
Coleus forskohlii – or its active ingredient Forskolin – is a common ingredient in testosterone boosters. It is not regularly found in nootropics for a very good reason; it doesn’t improve cognition! We’ve never seen a robust, reliable study showing significant improvements in mental function from coleus forskohlii supplementation. More waste in the Qualia Mind formula.
PQQ – 10mg
PQQ – or Pyrroloquinoline quinone – is a quinone molecule capable of acting as a REDOX agent. In other words, it can act as an anti-oxidant and then be recycled back into an active form by glutathione. PQQ has been found to reduce biomarkers of inflammation by as much as 45% (source).
Huperzina serrata leaf extract (1% Huperzine A) – 5mg
Huperzine A inhibits the enzyme acetylcoloinesterase. This enzyme breaks down acetylcholine between synapses. By inhibiting acetylcholinesterase, Huperzine A causes a steady build-up of acetylcholine, which improves multiple different measures of mental performance. You need to regularly cycle Huperzine A. More on this in the Qualia Mind side effects section.
Our thoughts on the Qualia Mind formula
All things considered, Qualia Mind is a very good nootropic supplement.
It is capable if enhancing several different aspects of cognitive function, including concentration, information processing, memory formation and recall, and general brain health.
Users of Qualia Mind will see benefits quickly too. We would expect most of you to see improvements in focus and mental energy in a couple of hours. You can expect improvements in memory and learning within 6 weeks.
However, this nootropic stack is far from perfect.
Qualia Mind contains several ingredients that do not contribute to better cognitive functioning. Phenylalanine, Mucuna pruriens, Taurine – none of these substances improve cognition in any way.
Because of the Huperzine A, you need to cycle Qualia Mind to avoid experiencing serious side effects.
The Qualia Mind formula could be put together in a more focused way too. For example, there’s no need to have both Alpha-GPC and Citicoline – we always recommend picking one and dosing it properly.
Finally, there’s the cost. You can get the same benefits for almost half the cost of Qualia Mind!
All-in-all, Qualia Mind is not a bad nootropic at all. It will work very well for the vast majority of users. But there are more balanced stacks for less money.
If you want a short-term focus booster and you don’t mind paying a lot of money for it, Qualia Mind is a great option.
If you want total brain optimization, a simple formula, minimal side effect risks, and good value for money, we think there are better nootropics out there!
Price – How much does Qualia Mind cost?
Our biggest issue with Qualia Mind is the cost, which is exorbitant.
Your first bottle of Qualia Mind will cost you $69.50. Each bottle contains 154 capsules, but the daily serving is 7 capsules. So for $69.50, you get a 22 day supply of Qualia Mind.
That means Qualia Mind costs $3.15 per day.
And that’s with a heavily discounted first bottle!
Your second bottle of Qualia Mind costs $119.00.
So that’s $119 for a 22 day supply, or $5.40 per day.
That is an EXTREMELY expensive nootropic supplement!
Side Effects – Is Qualia Mind safe?
We think the Qualia Mind side effect risks are low.
We don’t think you are likely to experience serious side effects while using this nootropic – at least not if you use it as instructed by the manufacturer. The Neurohacker Collective are a respected, reputable brand. Their custmers tend to also be big “fans” of the brand. We don’t think Neurohacker Collective would risk causing harm to their customers.
The ingredients used in Qualia Mind are natural, widely-used, and they’ve all been thoroughly tested in clinical trials.
While some of them offer no nootropic benefits, they have not caused any serious side effects in clinical trials.
However, Qualia Mind is not completely safe. Each daily serving does provide around 90mg of caffeine.
That is roughly the same amount of caffeine that you get from an espresso. As you are no doubt aware, 90mg is enough caffeine to produce noticeable physical side effects, which include:
- Heart palpitations
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pains
- Difficulty focusing
It is important that you keep track of your daily caffeine intake to make sure you are not consuming too much. Long-term abuse of caffeine leads to dependency, chronic insomnia, and hypertension. We recommend cutting out a cup of coffee if you start using Qualia Mind. If you highly sensitive to caffeine – or you’re using other stimulants at the same time – you should consider using a caffeine-free nootropic.
However, if you are not overly affected by caffeine and you are keeping track of your daily consumption, this brain supplement should be perfectly safe. Caffeine is well-understood and, in general, it is safe for most people (when used in sensible amounts).
All of the other Qualia Mind ingredients are thought to be generally safe for regular, long-term consumption.
That said, there is one ingredient you need to be very careful with: Huperzine A.
Huperzine A risks
Huperzine A inhibits the enzyme acetylcholinesterase. This enzyme catalyzes the breakdown of acetylcholine in the brain.
By inhibiting acetylcholinesterase, Huperzine A causes a build-up of acetylcholine in the brain.
In this short-term, this means rapidly increasing concentration, drive, focus, and mental clarity.
However, there is such a thing as too much acetylcholine. If you keep your brain’s acetylcholine “emergency release valve” turned off for too long, levels will become excessively high and you’ll run into problems.
Common side effects of too much acetylcholine are:
- Inability to focus
- Short-term memory loss
- Loss of motivation
- Muscle cramps
You must regularly cycle Huperzine A in order to avoid these side effects.
Qualia Mind doesn’t contain much Huperzine A, but the amount only determines your cycle length. It is vital that you take a full week’s break from Qualia Mind every 3-4 weeks. After a few cycles, take a longer break from Qualia Mind to give your brain a chance to reset.
In Conclusion – Is Qualia Mind a good nootropic?
If you’ve read our full Qualia Mind review, then you’ll know we have very mixed feelings about this nootropic.
As a complete, daily brain supplement, it is solid. Qualia Mind is capable of quickly heightening focus, enhancing learning, and increasing mental stamina. It will give you tunnel-like focus for a good few hours, and it will help with working memory.
However, compared to other nootropics on the market today, Qualia Mind does not look like a good purchase to us.
The biggest issue with Qualia Mind is that it is extremely over-priced. At over $5 per day once you are on a full-priced subscription, Qualia Mind costs almost 4 times what the best nootropics on the market today cost.
In other words, you can get a product similar or even superior to Qualia Mind for a quarter of the price. Need we say more?
When should I take Qualia Mind?
Each daily dose of Qualia Mind is split up into 7 vegetarian capsules. For maximum results, Neurohacker Collective recommend taking all 7 capsules first thing in the morning, preferably on an empty stomach. The ingredients in Qualia Mind have long-term effects, so the time of day you take it doesn’t really matter.
What is the difference between Qualia Mind and Qualia Focus?
Qualia Mind and Qualia Focus are both nootropics made by the Neurohacker Collective. While there is some overlap, Qualia Mind and Qualia Focus are designed with very different users in mind, and they each have very different effects. Qualia Mind is designed primarily to produce short-term increases in focus, learning, information processing, and working memory function. Qualia Focus, on the other hand, is designed to promote long-term, physical brain growth and development.
Does Qualia Mind have caffeine?
Yes, Qualia Mind contains caffeine. Each 7 capsule serving of Qualia Mind contains around 90mg of caffeine. While caffeine is not listed as an ingredient, the Coffeeberry® WCFE contains some caffeine. For reference, 90mg of caffeine is about what you get from an average espresso.
Brian Johnson is a former academic researcher, psychologist, and tireless proponent of bio-hacking. Brian has dedicated all of his time since leaving academia and private practice to promoting the benefits to be obtained from the application of biotechnology and bio-hacking supplements. He has years of experience with nootropics, as well as prebiotics, probiotics, and other natural nutritional supplements. He has published scholarly research on natural nootropics; you can find his papers on his Google Scholar page.