Focus is in the Eyes and the Mind. Image by Rebecca Swafford.

Qualia Mind Review – An Objective Look at Its Claim and Benefits

In the short Qualia Mind review essay that follows, I present the external evidence for its effectiveness, my own experience with the supplement, and the reasoning behind my continued use. By way of introduction and disclaimer: I work as a public-sector data scientist, which has provided me with extensive training in assembling and evaluating evidence-based arguments. It’s also provided me with frequent reminders of the hazards of brain fog! Outside of work, I have a lifelong passion for movement and physical training. As the son of a librarian, I also have a compulsion for collecting and occasionally reading imposing tomes. In short, I’m a motivated consumer for a product like Qualia Mind, and I’m fairly well equipped to evaluate its effects in my life.

While Kaldzar has a marketing relationship with Neurohacker, I have no direct or indirect financial stake in its sales and fully fund my own supplementation. I also have a reflexive distrust of fitness influencers and young CEOs who speak in solemn, vaguely spiritual tones about some expensive new health regimen. What follows is presented in good faith.

INTRODUCTION to QUALIA MIND

Qualia Mind is a supplement designed and produced by Neurohacker Collective. As one can probably guess from the names involved, it’s intended to enhance general mental functioning. (“Qualia” is a technical term from philosophy of mind, referring to aspects of subjective experience.) More specifically, Neurohacker lists a number of dimensions of mental function that it aims to address:

  • Memory, including long-term retention, short-term retention, and the speed at which memories can be retrieved;
  • Focus, including the span, intensity, and flexibility of attention;
  • Fluid Intelligence/Thinking Effectiveness, pertaining to abstract reasoning, problem solving, and creativity; and
  • Emotional State, pertaining to emotional resilience, drive, and empathetic capacity. 

Read how memory and cognitive function work, and what you can do to improve it.


The Reasoning and Evidence Behind Qualia Mind

Qualia Mind

Qualia Mind consists of 28 active ingredients, including individual nootropics, vitamins, antioxidants, adaptogens, amino acids, “herbal tonics”, and lipids. The Neurohacker website gives an admirable presentation of these ingredients, with each individual ingredient clickable to reveal a general description of what it does, the rationale behind its inclusion in Mind, and (often voluminous) links to research supporting its use.

Neurohacker also gives a long, fairly technical white paper that describes the specific physiological mechanisms behind Mind’s design, and how its individual ingredients support those mechanisms. The detailed biochemistry in this white paper will likely cause some eyes to gloss over, even with the aid of a powerful nootropic. However, the broader mechanistic pathways that it lays out help give a good conceptual understanding for how Mind works. And these pathways are again supported by voluminous scientific research.


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The effectiveness of the individual ingredients in Mind is very well supported with scientific references. And their assemblage into a single supplement is justified with detailed mechanistic reasoning. However, clinical studies of Mind itself are notably absent. Neurohacker does present positive results from a small pilot study they ran for a distinct Qualia Life anti-aging supplement, which perhaps lends credence to the idea that the Collective makes things that work. But the absence of any direct supporting evidence for Mind is conspicuous by comparison.

Qualia bundle from Neurohacker Collective

This absence of direct evidence is especially notable when you consider two primary lines of critique against big, multi-ingredient nootropics:
1) that different ingredients can interact in potentially unexpected ways, and
2) that different ingredients will generally have different optimal dosing schedules.

In other words, it’s difficult to say in advance just how the different ingredients will combine to strengthen, weaken, or otherwise modify each other’s effects. Further, it’s likely that setting aside interaction effects, the ingredients in Mind taken together on a single schedule will probably be somewhat less effective than each individual ingredient taken on its optimal dosing schedule. With this in mind, it would be nice to see Neurohacker provide some more direct empirical testing of their product.

My Experience with Qualia

As someone who has a fairly cognitively-demanding job, often exercises to the point of central nervous system fatigue, and tries to read and do pretentious things in his spare moments, the promise of brain pills is indeed enticing. Given this, I’ve been supplementing with Qualia Mind for several months now, typically taking a full, seven-pill dose between three and five times per week.

The act of taking the pills itself requires a bit of getting used to. The 28 ingredients in Mind necessarily take up a lot of space, and they give off an aroma that could euphemistically be described as “earthy”.

Qualia - Mind Essentials

I quickly got used to the physical experience of supplementation, though, and even more quickly began to feel a set of positive mental effects. As promised, after taking a dose of Mind on an empty stomach before breakfast, I typically feel an elevation of mood, as well as a hint of greater mental clarity and capacity for focus. Where my experience of Mind has been truly unmistakable, has been at the end of long days of mental labor. Typically, near the end of a day of meetings or deadline-focused work, I feel a characteristic brain fog. This mental fatigue makes palpable my inability to work through complex thoughts. I have a distinct memory of my first full day of meetings on Mind, and the eureka moment I felt at the end of the last meeting, as I realized that my brain still worked!


Click here to learn more about why a good night’s sleep is so important for your brain’s performance.


While the perceptions described above are real and striking, it’s certainly possible to overstate the effect that I’ve perceived Mind to have on my work productivity and general mental wellbeing. I’ve noticed a real albeit fairly subtle boost in my baseline ability to focus on a given task. But this boost alone is far from sufficient to actually make me focus on some task; as the editors of this essay can surely attest, I’m still perfectly capable of extended bouts of procrastination.

Likewise, I’m still very much able to fall asleep in the middle of a page on my train ride home. I perceive Mind to have real effects, and I think these effects bring me genuine value. But Mind doesn’t provide some magical switch to laser-like focus and the sloughing off of poor mental habits. As I’ve experienced it, it’s no substitute for a full night’s sleep, a disciplined approach to mental labor, or active introspection.

Conclusion: Why I Continue to Take Qualia Mind

It’s hard to pin down the precise benefits of a supplement as complex as Qualia Mind. Neurohacker does an admirable job of providing supporting evidence and theoretical justifications. However, they don’t provide the sort of direct tests that would be necessary for absolute confidence in the supplement’s effects. But I believe that absolute confidence is the wrong framework to apply.

Qualia Mind and Qualia Mind Essentials

I continue to buy Qualia with my own scarce funds because I think I’m likely to get more out of it than I put in. Would I bet my life that the mix of ingredients provides me with unique mental benefits, beyond what could be achieved through basic rest and nutrition? No. Do I feel like I’m supercharged into some cognitive juggernaut, unshakable in focus and primed for transcendence? Also no. But between the numerous studies establishing the effects of Mind’s individual ingredients, Neurohacker’s theoretical approach to the specific mix, and my own personal reflections, I believe that the supplement gives me a genuine mental boost, and that this boost is worth the price of admission.


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A final analogy might help flesh out my rationale behind this Qualia Mind review. I invest my personal savings in a mix of stocks. I do this not because I think they will make me fabulously wealthy in a short timeframe. And I do it knowing that there’s some chance that, over a given period of time, they might lose value. But I invest anyway because I have good reason to believe that, on average, over time, I’ll get more value out than I put in. This is exactly how I approach supplementation.

I take a variety of supplements for health, physical performance, and mental wellbeing. With each of these supplements, I take them under some degree of uncertainty. But I also take them with the underlying belief that the benefits they likely confer justify whatever I pay for them and whatever modest risks they might impose. And on this approach, Qualia fits nicely in my portfolio.


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Trevor Thomas

Guest Author

Trevor works as a data scientist in transportation, with degrees in aerospace engineering and urban planning; both from The University of Michigan. His non-work life revolves around lifting and reading heavy things, with mixed success in both.

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