Qualia Mind is a popular nootropic supplement, especially among smart drug aficionados. However, there are definitely some things you should be aware of before you order this product.
In our comprehensive Qualia Mind review, you’ll learn everything you need to know about this brain-boosting, over the counter smart drug.
Including benefits, side effects, and an in-depth comparison between other popular nootropics.
Let’s dive in…
Get 10% off Qualia Mind as a Modafinil.com reader.
Just use this code at checkout: NOOTROPICSADVISOR
What is Qualia Mind?
Qualia Mind by Neurohacker is a nootropic, or “smart drug.” Nootropics are brain enhancing compounds that can improve your brain function, helping you to focus more, absorb information more quickly and completely, stay alert for longer periods of time, and hone your decision-making abilities.
Nootropics can be prescription strength or over the counter, and made of a single ingredient or a blend of ingredients.
Qualia Mind is one of the most trusted and well known over the counter nootropic supplements on the market today. It’s natural, consisting of a unique blend of 28 active ingredients like vitamins, amino acids, and herbs, and it’s extremely popular with the biohacking crowd.
Although it’s more expensive than most nootropic supplements, it’s got a stellar reputation as an effective and trusted product.
So, let’s dive into what makes Qualia Mind such a solid choice — its active ingredients.
Qualia Mind Ingredients
Qualia Mind contains more ingredients than most other nootropic supplement blends, but each plays a distinct and important role.
Its combination of 28 active ingredients—including vitamins, herbal extracts, amino acids, and other brain-boosting compounds—makes for a powerhouse product that many people find extremely beneficial for their mental agility.
Here’s what’s in a single serving of Qualia Mind:
- Vitamin C: 100 mg
- Vitamin D3: 25 mcg (1,000 IU)
- Thiamine: 50 mg
- Niacin: 50 mg
- Vitamin B6: 20 mg
- Vitamin B12: 1,000 mcg
- Pantothenic acid: 50 mg
- Acetyl-l-carnitine: 500 mg
- Artichoke leaf extract: 500 mg
- Bacopa monnieri leaf extract: 300 mg
- Rhodiola rosea root extract: 300 mg
- DL-phenylalanine: 300 mg
- Uridine-5’-monophosphate heptahydrate disodium: 250 mg
- N-acetyl-l-tyrosine: 250 mg
- Taurine: 200 mg
- L-theanine: 200 mg
- Alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine (Alpha-GPC): 200 mg
- Citicoline: 150 mg
- Whole coffee fruit extract: 129 mg
- Velvet bean seed extract: 100 mg
- Phosphatidylserine: 100 mg
- Theobromine: 100 mg
- Docosahexaenoic acid: 80 mg
- Celastrus paniculatus seed extract: 60 mg
- Ginkgo biloba leaf extract: 50 mg
- Coleus forskohlii root extract: 20 mg
- Pyrroloquinoline quinone disodium: 10 mg
- Huperzia serrata leaf extract: 5 mg
But, why exactly were each of these ingredients included in the product? We decided to highlight the 10 ingredients that are the most thoroughly researched with respect to the benefits they provide.
As you read, take note of which ingredients have been researched in humans, rather than merely in test tubes or animal studies.
Generally, ingredients that have evidence backing their use in humans are going to be the most effective, as—unfortunately (but obviously)—humans differ vastly from test tubes and animals, and so certain compounds may not work in the same way in humans as they do in these kinds of studies.
Mild vitamin D deficiency is a rampant problem that manifests in a number of ways, including in poorer brain function. Researchers have found that supplementing with vitamin D may result in short-term improvements in brain function, especially in people who are vitamin D deficient .
Bacopa monnieri Leaf Extract
This medicinal plant has long been touted as a natural nootropic in its native India. It can reduce inflammation in the brain and the central nervous system, providing immediate benefit to every single neuron it affects by allowing them to function more effectively. In traditional Indian medicine, it’s used to help with memory loss, stress management, and poor concentration .
Rhodiola Rosea Root Extract
Rhodiola is a trusted nootropic herb. In fact, one small, high-quality trial found that daily supplementation with R. rosea extract helped to significantly reduce self-reported stress, frustration, confusion, and sadness after just 2 weeks compared to a control. Researchers also noted that those who received the R. rosea extract reported significantly better moods throughout the study, too .
Tyrosine, an amino acid, is a precursor to the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine. Those sound familiar? That’s because dopamine is widely known as a “feel good” hormone, but it also helps you focus and make decisions. Likewise, norepinephrine helps your body respond to pressure or stress more effectively .
L-theanine is one of the compounds in green tea that provides many of its benefits. When combined with caffeine (which is how it occurs naturally in green tea), l-theanine helps to improve alertness, attention, and focus in as little as 1-2 hours .
Alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine is a compound that can act directly on the mitochondria to boost their energy production, while protecting them from harmful oxidative stress damage . It’s been studied not only for its cognitive effects, but also for its effects on physical strength and agility.
Whole Coffee Fruit Extract
Brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a protein that promotes neuroplasticity, or your brain’s ability to learn, remember, and synthesize new information . One small study found that a single 100 mg dose of whole coffee bean extract increased BDNF production in humans by a whopping 143 percent . Note that Qualia Mind contains 129 mg of whole coffee fruit extract per serving, or 90 mg of pure caffeine per serving.
Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA)
DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid found in fatty fish, is key for proper brain development and functioning. One six month long trial found that supplementary DHA could improve self-reported symptoms of depression, verbal communication skills, and self-reported physical health .
Ginkgo biloba Leaf Extract
Ginkgo is an herbal remedy that’s commonly used for a variety of conditions, but it has its fair share of nootropic effects as well. It may aid in the prevention of age-related memory loss, and it can also help to improve BDNF production in healthy, younger adults—thereby boosting cognitive function .
Pyrroloquinoline Quinone Disodium (PQQ)
Pyrroloquinoline Quinone Disodium (PQQ) is a powerful antioxidant quinone compound that may help to improve memory. In one study, after only 12 weeks, daily supplementation with PQQ increased blood flow within the brain and significantly improved attention and memory in healthy older adults .
Is Qualia Mind Safe?
Yes…Qualia Mind is extremely safe with minimal (if any) side effects for otherwise healthy people.
The most common side effect is restlessness, which is why Neurohacker recommends that you don’t take it within 12 hours of bedtime.
However, you should not take Qualia Mind if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or under the age of 18. You also should avoid Qualia Mind if you have any of the following conditions:
- Psychiatric or neurological disorders
- High blood pressure
- Heart problems
- Endocrine disorders, like type 2 diabetes
- Muscular dystrophy
- Liver/kidney problems (affects the body’s ability to safely break down and eliminate the ingredients from your system)
Should you happen to suffer from any of the above conditions, you should consult with a licensed medical professional before you start taking Qualia Mind.
Additionally, you shouldn’t take Qualia Mind if you’re taking any of the following medications/treatments:
- Immunosuppressive drugs/treatments, such as chemotherapy or radiation
- MAOIs, SSRIs, or any other psychiatric medications.
Neurohacker advises “cycling” your use of Qualia Mind to avoid building up a tolerance to the nootropic :
“Qualia Mind is designed to be taken 5 days on and 2 days off each week. This maximizes the benefits while preventing desensitization. It does not matter if the “off-cycle” days are consecutive or apart, so long as they happen each week.”
Watch Out for Side Effects from Individual Ingredients in Qualia Mind
The side effects you should be most concerned about come from the individual ingredients themselves.
For instance, it is well-known that caffeine comes with a number of side effects such as restlessness, headaches, dehydration, and anxiety .
Additionally, taking high doses of huperzine A or other acetylcholinesterase inhibitors for long periods of time may lead to a build-up of acetylcholine called a “cholinergic crisis,” which can cause brain fog, headaches, and muscle cramps .
Even N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine is known to be occasionally connected to side effects such as fatigue and heartburn .
To make a long story short: If you know you have sensitivities to any of the ingredients in Qualia Mind, please consult with a physician first before using the nootropic.
Top 5 Benefits
Qualia Mind offers several benefits, but the top 5 are:
Qualia Mind boasts an impressive lineup of tested and proven focus-enhancing ingredients. As an over-the-counter smart pill option, it provides the hours of focus you need with minimal side effects—making it great for study sessions or long work days where you’ll need lots of brainpower.
So whether you’re racing to meet an impossible deadline or attempting to get work done well ahead of time, Qualia Mind will help support your need for longer bouts of focused productivity.
Although Qualia Mind does contain caffeine from the whole coffee fruit extract, it doesn’t derive all of its benefits from caffeine and it won’t result in the same “crash” that caffeinated energy drinks or other primarily caffeine-based products can cause. Qualia Mind provides sustained energy that will last you through a full day of work.
Two ingredients, PQQ and Theobromine, are particularly effective at reducing mental fatigue and lowering stress levels [18, 19]. You’ll feel far less tired during the day, especially during the afternoon when energy levels are naturally in a lull.
No Crash or Buzz
As mentioned above, Qualia Mind doesn’t solely rely on caffeine to provide its nootropic benefits. The product provides natural, lasting energy that doesn’t feel buzzy or result in a crash. Instead, it enhances your natural energy and focus levels.
This benefit is made possible by the combination of caffeine and L-theanine in Qualia Mind, which has been shown in several studies to increase cognitive performance while simultaneously reducing feelings of anxiety and distractibility [20, 21].
Qualia Mind is also fast-acting. According to their website, you can start feeling the effects of the supplement in as little as 40 minutes after taking your very first dose.
This claim is likely supported by pharmacokinetic studies of ingredients such as Alpha-GPC and Huperzine A from the Huperzia serrata leaf extract, both of which reach peak concentrations in the bloodstream within an hour after ingestion [22, 23].
Safe and Effective
Other than restlessness that may interfere with your sleep if you take the supplement later in the day, Qualia Mind is safe and free of any other major side effects in most healthy people. But don’t mistake that for a weak formulation. There’s a reason Qualia Mind is a favorite among nootropics users, which is that the product truly works.
For example, ingredients such as the Bacopa monnieri leaf extract are dosed the clinically relevant amounts for being effective. In this instance, 300 mg has been proven to be sufficient for improving working memory and cognitive processing in healthy adults .
At the same time, ingredients like Phosphatidylserine are dosed at a level where it is safe to take them. In the case of Phosphatidylserine, the included dosage of 100 mg has been shown in clinical trials to improve memory function in elderly adults without any adverse events .
NOTE: There is an ongoing clinical trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of Qualia Mind on cognition in healthy adults that was launched in 2020 . This article will be updated once the results of this trial are published in a peer-reviewed journal.
Qualia Mind is one of the more expensive OTC nootropic options, with a 28-day supply costing a regular price of $139.00. This may seem to put it out of the realm of possibility for many people, but there are Subscribe and Save options, discount codes, and seasonal promos regularly available to help you save money on the supplement.
Additionally, Qualia Mind has a fairly high pill burden—with a daily serving consisting of seven pills. While this may not bother you if you find the benefits of Qualia Mind worth it, this is significantly more daily pills than similar OTC nootropics, like Mind Lab Pro.
Qualia Mind vs. Mind Lab Pro
Mind Lab Pro is another trusted, natural nootropic that’s available over the counter. While the two products are similar, there are a few key differences that you should be aware of:
- Qualia Mind has more active ingredients than Mind Lab Pro, although both seem to work very well as nootropics.
- Mind Lab Pro is less expensive than Qualia Mind, but Qualia Mind offers discount codes whereas Mind Lab Pro does not.
- A serving of Mind Lab Pro is only 2 pills per day, while a serving of Qualia Mind is 7 pills per day.
Overall, our pick for the top nootropic supplement goes to Mind Lab Pro — for its price, formulation, and ease of use.
However, once you’re more familiar with nootropics and what you’re personally looking to gain from them, you may want to branch out and try Qualia Mind.
Qualia Mind vs. Modafinil
So how does Qualia Mind compared against one of the world’s safest and most extensively studied smart drugs?
There are a couple of crucial differences between Modafinil and Qualia Mind you should know about:
- Qualia Mind is an over-the-counter nootropic, whereas Modafinil is a Schedule IV prescription drug
- While Qualia Mind provides ~8 hours of focus and concentration, Modafinil will easily give you 10-12
- Qualia Mind costs $6.32 per serving, whereas a single pill of Modafinil costs $2.30 if you purchase it from a legitimate online vendor.
- Qualia Mind can be taken 5 days per week, whereas Modafinil’s superior alertness-boosting properties means you should not take it anymore than 2-3 times per week
We’re previously written about Qualia Mind and Modafinil before, so we will summarize our recommendations here…
Modafinil is hands-down the superior choice for enhanced cognition and laser focus.
But if you can’t get your hands on Modafinil and need a natural alternative you can take year-round and purchase over-the-counter, your next best option is Qualia Mind
Qualia Mind Discount Codes
Qualia Mind does offer several discount codes, including our exclusive Qualia Mind discount code to provide the absolute best savings—making this otherwise pretty costly supplement much more accessible.
Additionally, the Neurohacker website provides seasonal discounts (like holiday sales) and a price-slashing Subscribe and Save option if you’ve tried it and are a Qualia Mind convert.
Get 10% off Qualia Mind as a Modafinil.com reader.
Just use this code at checkout: NOOTROPICSADVISOR
Can You Buy Qualia Mind on Amazon?
Yes, you can buy Qualia Mind on Amazon.
However, it’s much less expensive to order Qualia Mind directly through the Neurohacker website using our discount code to capture some cost savings that just aren’t available when you order through Amazon or other similar retailers.
Review of Qualia Mind | Verdict
So…does Qualia Mind work? The answer is a resounding yes.
Qualia Mind is a powerful supplement, combining 28 different active ingredients in a single formulation to maximize its brain-boosting potential. If you’re seeking a potent over-the-counter product that will deliver hours of focus and sustained energy on a single dose, then you may want to consider Qualia Mind.
Keep in mind, though, that it may not be the most ideal nootropic supplement for a beginner—as it’s quite pricey and requires you to take seven pills a day.
On the whole though, Qualia Mind definitely delivers on its bold claims to provide immediate, long-lasting concentration and energy. If you’re ready to try it after reading through our Qualia Mind review, be sure to order it directly from Neurohacker and use our discount code to save some money on your purchase.
- Pettersen JA. Does high dose vitamin D supplementation enhance cognition?: A randomized trial in healthy adults. Exp Gerontol. 2017;90:90-97.
- Nemetchek MD, Stierle AA, Stierle DB, Lurie DI. The Ayurvedic plant Bacopa monnieri inhibits inflammatory pathways in the brain. J Ethnopharmacol. 2017;197:92-100. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2016.07.073
- Cropley M, Banks AP, Boyle J. The Effects of Rhodiola rosea L. Extract on Anxiety, Stress, Cognition and Other Mood Symptoms. Phytother Res. 2015;29(12):1934-1939. doi:10.1002/ptr.5486
- Hase A, Jung SE, aan het Rot M. Behavioral and cognitive effects of tyrosine intake in healthy human adults. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2015;133:1-6. doi:10.1016/j.pbb.2015.03.008
- Camfield DA, Stough C, Farrimond J, Scholey AB. Acute effects of tea constituents L-theanine, caffeine, and epigallocatechin gallate on cognitive function and mood: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Nutr Rev. 2014;72(8):507-522. doi:10.1111/nure.12120
- Strifler G, Tuboly E, Görbe A, Boros M, Pécz D, Hartmann P. Targeting Mitochondrial Dysfunction with L-Alpha Glycerylphosphorylcholine. PLoS One. 2016;11(11):e0166682. Published 2016 Nov 18. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0166682
- Bathina S, Das UN. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor and its clinical implications. Arch Med Sci. 2015;11(6):1164-1178. doi:10.5114/aoms.2015.56342
- Reyes-Izquierdo T, Nemzer B, Shu C, et al. Modulatory effect of coffee fruit extract on plasma levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor in healthy subjects. Br J Nutr. 2013;110(3):420-425.
- Sinn N, Milte CM, Street SJ, et al. Effects of n-3 fatty acids, EPA v. DHA, on depressive symptoms, quality of life, memory and executive function in older adults with mild cognitive impairment: a 6-month randomised controlled trial. Br J Nutr. 2012;107(11):1682-1693. doi:10.1017/S0007114511004788
- Sadowska-Krępa E, Kłapcińska B, Pokora I, Domaszewski P, Kempa K, Podgórski T. Effects of Six-Week Ginkgo biloba Supplementation on Aerobic Performance, Blood Pro/Antioxidant Balance, and Serum Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor in Physically Active Men. Nutrients. 2017;9(8):803. Published 2017 Jul 26. doi:10.3390/nu9080803
- Itoh Y, Hine K, Miura H, et al. Effect of the Antioxidant Supplement Pyrroloquinoline Quinone Disodium Salt (BioPQQ™) on Cognitive Functions. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2016;876:319-325. doi:10.1007/978-1-4939-3023-4_40
- Neurohacker Collective (n.d.). Instructions for Qualia Mind. Retrieved from https://www.neurohacker.com/faqs/instructions-for-qualia-mind
- MedlinePlus (n.d.). Caffeine. Retrieved from https://medlineplus.gov/caffeine.html
- Adeyinka A, Kondamudi NP. Cholinergic Crisis. [Updated 2020 Sep 11]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2020 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK482433/
- RxList (n.d.). Tyrosine. Retrieved from https://www.rxlist.com/tyrosine/supplements.htm
- Deijen JB, Orlebeke JF. Effect of tyrosine on cognitive function and blood pressure under stress. Brain Res Bull. 1994;33(3):319-23. doi: 10.1016/0361-9230(94)90200-3
- Malaguarnera M, Gargante MP, Cristaldi E, Colonna V, Messano M, Koverech A, Neri S, Vacante M, Cammalleri L, Motta M. Acetyl L-carnitine (ALC) treatment in elderly patients with fatigue. Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2008;46(2):181-90. doi: 10.1016/j.archger.2007.03.012
- Nakano M, Yamamoto T, Okamura H, Tsua A, Kowatari Y. Effects of Oral Supplementation with Pyrroloquinoline Quinone on Stress, Fatigue, and Sleep. Funct Food Health Dis. 2012;2(8):307-324. doi: 10.31989/ffhd.v2i8.81
- Scholey AB, French SJ, Morris PJ, Kennedy DO, Milne AL, Haskell CF. Consumption of cocoa flavanols results in acute improvements in mood and cognitive performance during sustained mental effort. J Psychopharmacol. 2010;24(10):1505-14. doi: 10.1177/0269881109106923
- Owen GN, Parnell H, De Bruin EA, Rycroft JA. The combined effects of L-theanine and caffeine on cognitive performance and mood. Nutr Neurosci. 2008;11(4):193-8. doi: 10.1179/147683008X301513
- Kahathuduwa CN, Wakefield S, West BD et al. Effects of L-theanine–caffeine combination on sustained attention and inhibitory control among children with ADHD: a proof-of-concept neuroimaging RCT. Sci Rep. 2020;10:13072. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-70037-7
- Examine (2018). Alpha-GPC. Retrieved from https://examine.com/supplements/alpha-gpc/research/
- Li YX, Zhang RQ, Li CR, Jiang XH. Pharmacokinetics of huperzine A following oral administration to human volunteers. Eur J Drug Metab Pharmacokinet. 2007;32(4):183-7. doi: 10.1007/BF03191002
- Peth-Nui T, Wattanathorn J, Muchimapura S, et al. Effects of 12-Week Bacopa monnieri Consumption on Attention, Cognitive Processing, Working Memory, and Functions of Both Cholinergic and Monoaminergic Systems in Healthy Elderly Volunteers. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:606424. doi:10.1155/2012/606424
- Kato-Kataoka A, Sakai M, Ebina R, Nonaka C, Asano T, Miyamori T. Soybean-derived phosphatidylserine improves memory function of the elderly Japanese subjects with memory complaints. J Clin Biochem Nutr. 2010;47(3):246-255. doi:10.3164/jcbn.10-62
- ClinicalTrials.gov (2020). Safety and Efficacy Study of Qualia Mind on Cognition in a Healthy Population. Retrieved from https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT0438972/