My Intense Experience Taking Qualia - 2018 Qualia Nootropic Review


Smart drug, brain supplement, cognitive enhancer, nootropic, the God pill.. whatever you want to label it Qualia definitely is unique.

Unique in that people across the world are raving about the profound benefits they are experiencing as a result of this supplement.

But is this hype behind Qualia justified? What are the ingredients that power Qualia? And most importantly, what is is like taking Qualia?

***UPDATE - My new 2019 Qualia Mind Review is now live. You can read this here - Qualia Mind Review - Extraordinary Deep Sleep & Cognitive Benefits

All this is revealed below.

(Note, below I have shared my honest opinion based on the facts and my experiences with Qualia. Though I am am affiliated with the company. If you use the Qualia Discount Code FERGUS you will save on your Qualia order and I will get a small commission).

What Is Qualia?

As I mentioned in my opening sentence, Qualia has many labels.

But in really simple terms, Qualia is a supplement that is designed to help with brain performance.

It is a two step formula that you take on a cyclical basis in the morning.

Step one you take on an empty stomach as soon as you wake up. Step two an hour or so later with food.

The unique formula (which I will cover in more detail below) has been designed to help optimise and enhance cognitive function and brain help.

For a more technical explanation, let's see what the designers themselves - The Neurohacker Collective -  say about Qualia.

Qualia is designed to nourish the mind with over 40 premium brain nutrients to immediately enhance focus, energy, mood, and creativity, while supporting long term brain health. 

The Ingredients & Science Behind Qualia

What is in the Qualia formula?

A lot! Though the ingredient list is rather impressive.

A quick look at the bottles label or the Qualia website and we see the following:

A lot of ingredients packaged into a pill right?!

Let's take a closer look at whats inside Qualia:

Nootropic Compounds

In a nutshell, these ingredients are shown to help with cognitive function and memory.

  • Noopept
  • Huperzine A
  • Phenylethylamine
  • Uridine Monophosphate
  • Phosphatidylserine
  • Hordenine HCI
  • Vinpocetine
  • Theobromine
  • Pure Energy (Pterostilbene bound to Caffeine)

I'm not going to explain the benefits of each ingredient, nor will I list all the references to support the claim... why? Because this will end up being a 6000+ word article and secondly because it has already been done over at The Neurohacker Collective website.

So for all the benefits and references to support these ingredients please head to the Neurohacker Collective website here.


Vitamins to assist with brain function:

  • Vit B1 as Benfotiamine
  • Vit B3 as Niacinamide
  • Vit B5 as Calcium Pantothenate
  • Vit B6 as Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate (P-5-P)
  • Vit B12 as Methylcobalamin
  • Vit C as Ascorbic Acid
  • Vit D3 as Microencapsulated Cholecalciferol

For full benefits/references click HERE.


Neuro-Anti Inflammatories and Antioxidants

Brain supporting anti-inflammatories:

  • BioPQQ
  • Quercetin
  • Curcumin
  • Algal DHA
  • Green Tea Extract: 98% polyphenols, 45% EGCG
  • Bioperine

For full benefits/references click HERE

Adaptogen Extracts

Herbs that help the body adapt to stress:

  • Bacopa monnieri: 45% Bacosides
  • Mucuna pruriens: 98% L-Dopa
  • Ginkgo biloba: 24% glycosides, 6% terpene lactones
  • Coleus forskohlii: 20% Forskolin
  • Artichoke extract: 5% Cynarin
  • Rhodiola rosea: 3% Rosavins, 1% Salidrosides
  • Lion’s Mane: 30% polysaccharides
  • ActivAMP Gynostemma

For full benefits/references click HERE

Amino Acids 

Building blocks used by the body to make neurotransmitters etc:

  • Acetyl-L-Carnitine
  • N-Acetyl Tyrosine
  • DL-Phenylalanine
  • Taurine
  • L-Theanine

For full benefits/references click HERE

Choline Donors

Used to help with the nervous system:

  • Centrophenoxine
  • Citicoline (CDP Choline)
  • Alpha GPC

For full benefits/references click HERE


Minerals essential for brain performance:

  • Lithium Orotate
  • Magnesium Threonate
  • Zinc Picolinate

For full benefits/references click HERE


I told you there were a lot of neat ingredients within.

I personally took a few of these supplements on their own, lithium, magnesium, zinc, Alpha-GPC, theanine, Carnitine, all of the adaptogens, BioPPQ, curcumin....

So having all these ingredients in one package is rather convenient for a health nerd like myself. 

But not everyone is like me, and not everyone is looking to health and performance edges through mushroom extracts and choline donors.

For Joe average, what is the purpose of all this? Why would you want to consider taking Qualia (we'll get to the 'does it work' question soon!)

Do These Ingredients Work?

 A long list of ingredients is great, but only if they do what they're meant to do, and only if they come in the right doses... and only if the quality is good... I cover all of these points in my article What You Need To Know About Supplements.

Fortunately, Qualia label all the dosages and types of ingredients they use on their label and website. There is no hiding behind a 'proprietary blend' sticker (aka a 'we're not telling you our formula') that a lot of supplement manufacturers use.

This is a good thing for Qualia. It means users can be assured of what they are taking, how much they are taking and if they're getting their money worth.

For example, BioPQQ is an expensive supplement. A supplement manufacturer could simply state that BioPQQ was in their propriety blend without stating how much was actually used. They could do these whether there was 10mgs (which is a decent dose and is the amount in a serving of Qualia) or 0.1mg (which is not really going to do much good).

Also, Qualia share the form of ingredient used. Rather than simply saying 'Magnesium', they go beyond that and show the exact type of magnesium used (in Qualia's case they use Magnesium Threonate - which is shown to be superior at crossing the blood brain barrier - great for a formula focusing on brain performance).

Lots of great ingredients, but it does mean lots of pill popping! Here we see a standard daily serving of Qualia.

As for whether they are beneficial? Answering that question with such a large list of ingredients would require a full time PHD student for a few years!

To know the answer to this question in a short amount of time you have to do one of the following:

  1. Pick an ingredient, and search Pubmed for peer-reviewed research on said ingredient. 
  2. Or you can shorten things further, and look at the research shared on the Neuro-Hacker website supporting the use/benefits of each ingredient.
  3. Or, you can skip all of that and simply try the product itself and see if you notice the benefits of Qualia.

What Is The Benefit Of Qualia?

I was fortunate enough to  have a lengthy conversation with Daniel Schmachtenberger, a core team member of The Neurohacker Collective. 

Daniel explained to me how the real magic in Qualia's brain and cognitive enhancing benefits, is not just the powerful ingredients used in the formula, but their synergistic properties.

Also, he noted, that Qualia was more than a short term brain booster, instead it was formulated in a way that would help boost long term brain health and brain performance.

The following statement from the Qualia website expands upon this idea:

Many nootropics are focused on only optimizing neurochemistry for short term effects. We’re interested in going a step further, and addressing long term cognitive health benefits, including new neuron and synapse development, increased mitochondrial ATP, healthier cell structures, and increased neural complexity.

Qualia has been formulated as a whole body system. By not only supporting brain performance, but also mind, body and energy output Qualia achieves results that users are raving about. 

So what does all this mean in practical terms? What is going to happen when you take Qualia. And more importantly, what will happen if you take Qualia on a regular basis (note, if you do try Qualia, be sure to cycle the product on and off as per the dosage guidelines)?

According to the team at The Neurohacker Collective, Qualia will help with:

Increased Cognitive Performance through improved:

  • Focus / Attention / Concentration
  • Computation / Processing Speed
  • Analysis / Synthesis
  • Creativity

Cognition is the hardware of intelligence. Capacities like memory, creativity, and pattern recognition inform your sense of reality.

Increased Psychological performance through improved:

  • Emotional Resilience
  • Drive
  • Willpower
  • Confidence
  • Contentment
  • Empathy
  • Intuition

Confidence, willpower, and empathy are critical capacities for engaging the world. Qualia is designed to support the neurochemistry that creates these abilities.

Increased Physiological performance through improved: 

  • Sensory Acuity
  • Reaction Speed
  • Spatial Awareness
  • Physical Energy

 Your brain and nervous system are influenced by your surrounding body. So your mind is an embodied phenomenon.

Sounds amazing right?

I thought so too. 

After looking through the ingredient list, speaking to the team, chatting to other Qualia users and also spending some time on the Qualia website I figured I had to give it a shot myself! 

My First Time Using Qualia

I recorded my first time experience using Qualia in the video below, so I recommend checking that out for my comprehensive analysis:

 If you'd prefer to read, here's what went on:

  • A few hours in, a wave of 'energy', but different to a caffeine or sugar rush
  • Almost an 'antsy' type of energy, and I felt as if I didn't use it it would be wasted
  • As a first time experience, it was a little strange. Distracting even.
  • It did get to a point where I wondered if this was normal, if I was ok, if I should take it easy and relax or if I should try and get some work done.
  • Again, distracting as it was my first time.
  • This 'energy' did die down and stabilise, and I did adapt to the feeling.
  • I managed to get into work mode and cranked out some solid work.

Later in the day however I hit a bit of a wall. 

  • Around 2-3pm I simply hit a wall. 
  • I know many people suffer from this mid afternoon slump, but this is something I personally haven't experienced in many years (though it used to be a common occurrence, you can hear how I got out of this hole HERE)
  • It lasted about 15-20minutes, and then I was fine again.
  • That night I slept normally, and my Oura Ring - read my Oura Ring Review HERE -  score was normal.

Did I have heightened awareness and improved cognitive performance? It's hard to say. 

I have experimented with some nootropics in the fast, and I have definitely experienced these things (word recall was faster, focus was more profound, and mental energy was solid - no crashing or desires to switch off and have a break).

But I couldn't tell if this happened on first use due to the wave of 'unstable energy' that I experienced. It was distracting, I was a little nervous and anxious as to what was going to happen, and I wanted to pay attention to how I was feeling so I could document it (rather than going with the flow and becoming engrossed in work etc).

In all honesty, my takeaways from my first time trying Qualia are as follows:

  • Starting with a 2/3 dose for someone who doesn't regular use caffeine/coffee/nootropics was probably too much to me as a first time use.
  • I was distracted 'waiting' to see how I would feel, which may have impaired how I responded to Qualia on my first use.
  • Qualia isn't meant to be a short term aid, in fact, as I mentioned above a lot of the benefits from Qualia appear after regular use. Plus, they even mention not to treat it as a crutch - for instance, it's not going to dig you out of a hole if you've had a bad nights sleep (they even say it works best after consistent good sleep).

Those are my thoughts after my first time trying Qualia.

But rather than finish here, I decided to update this article 2 months later after using Qualia on a regular basis.

Thoughts After 2 Months Of Qualia Use

It's been 2 months since I first tried Qualia. I have been taking it consistently ever since, following the recommended on/off cycles.

Here are my thoughts after 2 months of Qualia use:

  • There is definitely something to it!
  • When channeled properly, the 'energy' (energy is not the right term, but it's all I can think of at the moment) is quite powerful.
  • When you get into that 'groove', into work mode, or flow state as some call it, Qualia really works wonders. 
  • Creativity is heightened, memory recall is solid, and you just 'feel good' while wanting to get the task at hand done.
  • However, if pulled out from this state - distracted, or if you go and do something else that doesn't require much mental capacity (going for a walk etc) then it can almost be too much.
  • You will get pulled from one direction to the next - you see something and that triggers a memory, then that triggers an idea, next minute you're scheming a new business venture, only to be pulled away with another idea.
  • Uncontrolled it would leave me a little 'scattered'.
  • However, if this was tamed, it was very powerful and I could get a lot of work done and produce some solid content.
  • I found the full dose was simply too much for me. I personally couldn't handle the full dose (soft I know).
  • It would leave me too 'scattered' and with my mind bouncing around.
  • Also, a full dose would cause me to crash hard in the afternoon. We're talking full - I need to lie down - shut down.
  • For those reasons I didn't use a full dose often.
  • A two third dose was much more manageable. However it would still cause a mild slump in the afternoon. I could cope with this and would simply go and get some sun during this slump, or do the dishes or gardening etc.
  • Still though, the 2/3 dose on days I didn't need the peak/trough was unnecessary
  • I found myself using a 1/3 dose a lot. It was a much more tolerable yet still noticeable effect.
  • This was my 'normal day' dose. And there was no afternoon slump, which was great.


Closing Thoughts

Those are my experiences on Qualia!

What are my closing thoughts? Here goes:

  1. The science behind the product is solid, and the team are not only passionate but authentic. They live and breath this stuff. They're for real and they want to great a great product that helps people.
  2. The quality of ingredients used in Qualia are second to none. The best of the best. Plus the dosage amounts are shared - a huge plus.
  3. The ingredients themselves are also amazing, like I mentioned earlier, I actually take a lot of the ingredients in Qualia as stand-alone supplements. So having them bundled into one capsule is amazing.
  4. There is definitely something too it. It does help you with that 'flow state' and I notice profound changes to my state of mind and work when using Qualia.
  5. However, it can leave you (or at least left me) a bit scatter brained - especially with the full dosage. For me, a full dosage actually made it hard to focus. Apparently this is common and is why you need to experiment with dosing.
  6. The afternoon slump that I experienced on the full dose also sucked. I have worked long and hard to recover from my health ailments so that I didn't have an afternoon slump. Again though, this was remedied by cutting the dosage.

Will I continue using Qualia?

- sure. I will fluctuate between a 1/3 dose and the 2/3 dose on days I need that extra boost.

Also, this may seem a bit silly, but I see Qualia not only as a nootropic brain enhancer, but also as a really good multi-vitamin!

Some of the ingredients in Qualia are really great. Lithium, zinc, curcumin, green tea, B vitamins, BioPQQ (love that stuff!), rhodiola, lions mane, magnesium....

These are all amazing nutrients that our bodies thrive on. As I have mentioned a few times, I often take these supplements on their own. So to have them packaged up in one product is really cool. I almost see Qualia as a super-multi-vitamin (with added cognitive enhancing properties!)

Which is another reason why I will continue taking it. Oh and also I'm excited about the longer term cognitive performance benefits from using Qualia.

I should've come up with an experiment of some sort to quantify this, but it's too late now. Anyway apparently there are some research studies going on looking at the longer term effects of regular Qualia use, so I look forward to seeing those results.

And thats a wrap! I hope you got some great insight from this article (and video). 

If you have tried it, I'd love to hear your feedback and thoughts - just leave a comment below.

If you too would like to try it, you can use discount code FERGUS to save 10-15% off your order from .

Order a bottle, experiment with it and let me know how you get on!

*** Note - I will be publishing a new Qualia Mind Review very soon, be sure to enter your email below so I can let you know when it's live ***

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This blog post was written by Alex Fergus. Alex is a ISSN Sports Nutrition Specialist, Fitness Professional and certified Superhuman Coach who continues to expand his knowledge base and help people across the world with their health and wellness. Alex is recognized as the National Record Holder in Powerlifting and Indoor Rowing and has earned the title of the Australian National Natural Bodybuilding Champion. Having worked as a health coach and personal trainer for over a decade, Alex now researches all things health and wellness and shares his findings on this blog. Learn more about Alex's Credentials HERE.

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