November 21, 2016
Veins on both biceps bulging like pythons, the ripped kid in the t-shirt extended one arm towards me. He opened his clenched fist to reveal a tiny black ziplock bag. He grinned, displaying a perfect set of ivory white teeth and nodded, “Go ahead, try it!” Unbeknownst to me at the time, I was about to experience the effects of the best nootropic stack on the face of the planet, Qualia Mind.
I stepped back and raised an eyebrow. This guy had just finished completely destroying my “REALFit” test score at the ever-popular PaleoFX conference. The conference, a global gathering of biohackers, foodies, physicians, exercise freaks and bacon-and-egg-infused-coffee chugging Crossfitters, features the annual REALFit test to discover the fittest person alive. The fittest person alive at their conference, that is.
Anyways, I thought I had achieved a pretty respectable score on a host of tests including a forearm-destroying two minute maximum pull-ups test, deadlifting body weight as many times as possible in two minutes test (try that one sometime and just try to beat at least sixty, I dare you), a shuttle run, a medicine ball hurl, a vertical leap: you get the idea. This wasn't any walk in the park.
But this guy had just blown my score out of the water. And he now seemed to be extending to me some semblance of a peace offering. That or he was attempting to pull off an illegal drug deal at a health conference.
“What…is it?” I leaned forward and peered into his hand. Emblazoned in tiny gold foiling on the front of a black bag was a logo: Neurohacker Collective.
“It's basically like a God Pill.”
“A God Pill?” Somewhere deep in the back of my self-quantifying, self-experimentation obsessed lizard brain, I felt a twinge of interest. Now don't get me wrong—as a Christian, I would never believe that a mere man or woman can truly possess the superpowers of God. But at this point—just two days into the conference and after having been offered copious amounts of kombucha, kefir and other little-known fermented beverages, dark chocolates, bacon-flavored mints, kale-powdered beef jerky and all other manner of potentially explosive diarrhea inducing samples—the mention of a supplement that could potentially transform one into even a fraction of a deity was a proposition I hadn't yet heard.
I kept staring at the bag. “Um…what does it do?”
“Dude, just try it.” He reached forward, grabbed my forearm with a vice-like gorilla grip and shoved the black bag into the palm of my hand. As if driven by an invisible, curious-infused force, my fingers closed hard around the tiny bag as though it were a handful of precious diamonds.
The guy grinned ear-to-ear one more time, winked at me, and sauntered away. Seemingly unfazed by having just thrown down a shuttle run time that made me look like an arthritic sloth, he stopped and looked back over his shoulder. “Oh, and follow the instructions very, very carefully. Enjoy the experience, man.”
Oh geez. Enjoy the experience? What had I gotten into? This was supposed to be a freaking health conference. Not an MDMA-infused rave. And now I was about to potentially go on a full public display of a crazy drug-infused mind trip.
I looked around. Nobody seemed to be watching. I carefully opened the bag, only to find two additional bags.
I took Bag #1 out and held it up to the fluorescent indoor lights. There were perhaps half-a-dozen capsules inside. On the front, in tiny letters, was written, “Step 1: Upon waking, take three on empty stomach.“
Before I read the front of the Bag #2, I suspected what it would say. After all, I'm a nutritionist, a self-professed guinea pig, and an adviser to a host of companies in the supplement industry. This means I basically design and consume pills for a living.
I'll betcha this will be the fat-soluble, take-it-with-food component.
Bingo. I was right. Bag #2 read: “Step 2: Take six with breakfast.”
I shoved Bag #2 into my pocket. Then I studied Bag #1 again. I hadn't just woken. I wasn't quite sure what I was getting into. But my stomach was indeed empty.
So what the heck?
I glanced nervously towards my twin boys, who, oblivious to my suspicious dealings, were giggling and twirling around on a giant, elephant-sized coffee mug. Upon glancing at my watch, I realized that I had two hours before I needed to be on stage as one of the keynote speakers for the event. I looked back at Bag#1, silently hoping that I wasn't about to turn into an embarrassing father who inexplicably begins climbing into the rafters at a Paleo health conference or a raging carbaholic who is suddenly struck by intense cravings for gluten-powdered baguettes. Then I tipped back my head and swallowed half the contents of Bag #1.
The next 120 minutes were a blur. Like gears gradually grinding into faster and faster motion, my thoughts and word recall and verbal fluency seemed to double in speed within about twenty minutes and kept getting comfortably faster. As I chased my two eight-year-old boys through the expanse of the PaleoFX expo, colors became more vibrant, sounds and light more intense. Allow me to point out that I have indeed micro-dosed with LSD, psilocybin, and MDMA—all of which produced comparable effects. But not at a response time near as fast. Or with as “clean” of a thought pattern.
What the heck was this stuff?
Two hours later, with a belly full of bacon-flavored truffles, beet-powder-infused salmon jerky, and raw camel's milk, I looked down at my hand. My fingers were wrapped around Bag #2.
I opened it, dumped six capsules into my mouth and swallowed. Then I clenched and unclenched my fists, took one deep breath, and stepped onto the massive PaleoFX stage to speak, ironically, about how to safely and effectively hack one's brain.
Limitless & Lucy
Perhaps it was the combination of eighteen different primal fuels and kombucha fermenting in my stomach. Perhaps it was the edgy death-like, I-hope-I-zipped-my-fly fear that accompanies stepping onto stage in front of hundreds of people. Or perhaps it was Bag #2 kicking into action.
But the effects of what was in those two black bags became even more magnified the moment I stepped on stage.
Whatever it was, I didn't complain. I just held on tight for the ride on stage as my mouth worked to catch up to my rapidly firing brain. My lucidity and clarity of thought became unparalleled. I wondered if someone had slipped a No-Doz caffeine pill into my camel's milk, but realized I had none of the agitation or nervousness that accompanies copious such amounts of caffeine. I wondered if this was how Bradley Cooper's character felt in the movie Limitless.
No, scratch that. Probably more like the way Scarlet Johansson's character in the movie Lucy felt when Asian terrorists sewed a leaky bag full of smart drugs into her gut lining, but without any scalpels involved.
I had to find out where this stuff came from.
I had to hunt down this mysterious “Neurohacker Collective“.
So I did. And in this article, you'll discover exactly what I found about the best nootropic stack I've ever used, the actual ingredients packed into Bag #1 and Bag #2, as well as what new and exciting formulas they've cooked up since my experience at PaleoFX.
What Is “Neurohacker Collective”?
As you may have heard on the podcast “42 Different Ways To Build A Better Brain, The Problem With Modern Smart Drugs, Hacking Your Neurons & More.”, I did indeed eventually connect with the brilliant minds at Neurohacker Collective—specifically a man named Daniel Schmachtenberger.
During that podcast episode, Daniel described how he began seriously studying health and neurology when he became afflicted with neurological and autoimmune illnesses that had no known solutions in either allopathic or complementary medicine. The insights that lead to his healing came from developing a new model for understanding physiology and pathology. He then applied these insights to helping many people address various forms of complex illness and optimize their capabilities beyond their previous healthy baselines.
As he worked to create Neurohacker Collective, Daniel was simultaneously the academic dean for a college of mind-body medicine and consulted for a host of functional, integrative physicians and medical clinics to help find novel solutions for complex cases. He created and ran a think tank developing complex systems solutions for environmental and social issues, and directed a transdisciplinary group of scholars on a philosophy of mind project addressing core questions of the mind-brain interface and what he calls “an axiomatic reformulation for the epistemology of neuroscience.”
And he's guinea-pigged extensively with psychedelics, nootropics, meditation, depth psychology, and a plethora of other tools for evolving states and stages of consciousness and evolving the human experience.
Ultimately, Daniel focuses on bringing together scientific research on each individual mechanism and pathway supporting cognitive development and integrating them into a whole-systems view, a complex framework of integrative neuroscience that focused for many years on creating one of the best nootropic stacks ever made.
During our podcast, Daniel describes how many “smart drugs” work by artificially increasing one chemical in the brain by overriding its natural function. Problem is, this can cause depletion or neglect of other things, causing imbalances and negative consequences like dependency or a post-smart drug “crash.”
This is because cognitive capacity is a nuanced relationship that involves many variables. Optimizing for one variable of cognitive function at the expense of other critical ones doesn't really bestow comprehensive enhancement of human capability. For instance, having cognitive drive without the ability to focus well could result in you leaping into your office in a post-smart-drug-infused craze and churning out a hundred tiny multi-tasks like a keyboarded berserker…without actually accomplishing anything deep or meaningful or truly productive.
Or you could develop steely willpower without emotional resilience, resulting in you being the smartest guy or girl at the office who treats your co-workers like complete crap because you've suddenly become a robot-like, hard-charging, high-achiever with a complete loss of empathy. For that reason, Daniel's goal was to design a formula that deliberately balances subjective effects to give meaningful enhancement in a comprehensive way—what he describes as “a whole system upgrade.”
In other words, as he designed the capsules that I swallowed in Bag #1 and Bag #2, Daniel's goal was to support the body’s endogenous neurochemical production and regulatory processes, rather than creating fake, temporary, exogenous brain overrides.
Take IQ, for example—also known as “Intelligence Quotient”
Recent research suggests that the notion of a single intelligence quotient vastly oversimplifies intelligence, which is in fact composed of various aspects of what is called “multiple intelligences,” such as verbal intelligence, problem-solving, spatial reasoning, etc.
The studies on IQ were led by Adrian Owen of the Brain and Mind Institute at Western. His studies included more than 100,000 participants from around the globe asking them to complete 12 cognitive tests looking at their memory, reasoning, attention, and planning abilities. These findings were published in an article, “Fractioning Human Intelligence” in the Journal Neuron in December of 2012, and a couple of follow-up articles appeared on Science Daily: “Scientists debunk the IQ myth: Notion of measuring one's intelligence quotient by singular, standardized test is highly misleading” and Western University: Canada: “Debunking the IQ myth“.
This is all based on a theory proposed by Howard Gardner which states that intelligence is not unified, but rather multiple, consisting of a set of relatively independent intelligences including linguistic intelligence, mathematical intelligence, spatial intelligence, musical intelligence, kinesthetic intelligence, interpersonal intelligence, intrapersonal intelligence, naturalist intelligence, and even based on more recent research, the addition of spiritual intelligence and emotional intelligence. According to this theory, different intelligences can develop at different rates in individuals. Thus, a single measure like IQ neglects within-person variability across multiple kinds of intelligence.
So basically, if a smart drug or nootropic promises to increase IQ, you must ask yourself if it is increasing multiple intelligences, or just one factor of IQ, such as your ability to blast through multiplication tables or progress through your Suzuki violin manual at lightning speed.
It's an interesting theory indeed.
And a glance at the Neurohacker Collective website promises that they have fully researched this complex problem for years. As a result, they have designed the best nootropic stack in the world today, containing 28 scientifically researched ingredients designed to amplify all the aspects that matter most for optimal cognitive and nervous system functioning.
Yep, that's quite a claim.
But it's one thing to wax flowery biohacking poetic on a website and quite another to produce a product that actually works. So leading up to my podcast interview with Daniel, Neurohacker Collective hooked me up with a supply of their top-shelf nootropic.
It was time to find out whether my experience at PaleoFX was an isolated fluke, or if this Qualia stuff actually works when used with longer-term dosage in one's comfortable, familiar home and office environment.
Let's delve into my own experience, shall we?
My Experience With Qualia
Now, I'm not going to kick a nootropic, smart-drug infused horse to death and dwell upon what you are probably already aware of when it comes to the claims behind these trendy cognitive-enhancing compounds.
Sure, on my first morning (and for the next four days leading up to my podcast with Daniel), I certainly experienced a manifestation of all of the following claims…
- Better focus
- Increased cognitive drive
- Faster reaction time
- Less distractibility
- Enhanced verbal fluency and memory recall
Frankly, as I describe in my article on How To Make Your Own Smart Drugs, I've experimented with just about every nootropic that exists, and many psychedelic compounds and smart drugs to boot. I certainly get some semblance of the effects stated above with many, many of these supplements. So it would be unfair to claim that Qualia is isolated in its ability to deliver these types of effects.
But with Qualia—and I realize this is a bit nebulous—these effects seemed to just happen faster and cleaner. And in addition to increases in focus, drive and emotional resilience, I noticed a host of other subtle, less-expected, positive experiences.
Take procrastination, for example.
Like most people I know, I tend to have a history of procrastinating on everything from doing my taxes to cleaning out my desk drawer to organizing the ever-growing collection of random tools in the garage. But by the end of my first day on Qualia, I had somehow discovered the willpower, focus, and drive to organize my entire biohacking gym corner-to-corner, neatly placing kettlebells, monster bands, maces, stability training balls, balance pads, foam rollers, vibration therapy tools, electrostimulation devices and all other manner of other fitness geekery in tightly systematized sequences.
Hooray for me, and perhaps more importantly, the bonus points scored with my wife.
Then came the dreams. Seriously. I dreamt like crazy.
Perhaps part of this was my recent foray into red light therapy on my gonads to increase testosterone production, but it began with mostly sex dreams. Not bad, horny-clowns-chasing-me-down sex dreams but instead intense, lucid, and very pleasant dreams that at one point had me waking up my wife at 2 am for a very, very early morning “workout.” I also experienced the sensation of flying through the air like an NBA player dunking a basketball (every time I took a step in my dream), soaring through space like Superman, driving a car extremely high speeds with extreme precision, and simply staring off the edge of a cliff while watching wisps of clouds below and seeing the whole of planet Earth, as if I were some kind of – well – deity.
Daniel informed me later that within the first week of taking the product, many people do indeed report a reregulation of their sleep cycles—sometimes needing less sleep and sometimes sleeping at different times. They notice they remember their dreams more, there’s more lucidity to them, and that they feel more meaningful. Since science suggests that dreaming is associated with memory consolidation and psychological processing of events, I'll take this as a good sign.
Next, an overwhelming sensation of patience and relaxation.
The next phenomenon was one I didn't notice until after four days. On my fourth morning of taking Qualia, I began to wake up in the morning with an almost lazy feeling that I possessed an “affluence of time.” This may seem ironic considering that a nootropic should actually speed up cognitive processing speed and task achievement. But despite experiencing an enormous boost in cognition, I still felt more patient, settled, and relaxed as I connected my heart rate monitor and began my daily HRV measurement. I spent more time writing in my gratitude journal. I dwelt more heavily on the truth in my OurDailyBread devotions. Life seemed less hectic, less fast-paced.
Focus and empowerment in the face of stress and challenge.
On the fifth day, I noticed something that Daniel mentioned during our podcast: the ability of a full-spectrum nootropic to allow one to respond gracefully to difficult things—specifically an increased sense of empowerment in how one deals with the difficult challenges that arise in life. Instead of going into overwhelm or hopelessness or devastation, Daniel describes that a Qualia user may feel capable of doing what needs to be done in the presence of challenge.
Now mind you, I hadn't yet spoken to Daniel about this effect, and I didn't notice this until after five days. But on that fifth day—when I finally turned on my computer to work and the e-mails came flying out of my inbox like a rabid chihuahua wielding a bullet-slinging uzi—I simply sat there, took a deep breath, and experienced an overwhelming wash of relief and a sensation that everything was going to be just fine.
In other words, the normal morning stress did not faze me. This was getting interesting.
Since recording the podcast with Daniel, I've noticed two more interesting phenomena while continuing to take Qualia.
Less internal emotion and drama.
This includes feeling less concern about what other people think or about proving something to the world.
This manifested itself physically too. My voice has become just slightly more monotone, and a little bit more robotic, especially during business dealings. This had been a tendency for me already, as you may know, if you listened to the podcast entitled “I Am A 98% Angry, No-Nonsense, Perfectionistic, Extremely Unconventional, Rule-Breaking, Fearless Assassin-Sniper.” But it became more pronounced, in a good way. Meaning that I thought more quickly, had better verbal fluency, experienced superior memory recall, and became more like a well-oiled Ferrari engine, but without an actual loss of empathy for others.
The best way I can describe this is that I spoke and argued and debated and podcasted and had phone calls with far fewer vocal “ups and downs.” Sure, I suppose this could be a bad thing if I were, say, an opera singer, but pretty good for getting business done like a well-sharpened sushi knife—cutting straight through the flesh of a conversation or problem like butter.
Sense of “aha.”
The final unpredictable sensation I'm now experiencing while taking Qualia is that of epiphany, which I'd describe as a sense of “aha” or revelation about things that involve though synthesis. This was a pretty cool hidden gem that has led to breakthroughs in business and personal areas that I was originally stuck. I've actually been forced to begin carrying my Moleskin notebook around more religiously because thoughts and epiphanies have begun to strike me at any moment. Brainstorms. Big picture business insights. Sudden plot breakthroughs for my work of fiction. You get the idea. All good things.
What on earth is in this stuff? Let's find out.
Ingredients and How This Stuff Works
Each ingredient included in Qualia is based on a whole system design methodology. This means that Daniel and his team have taken singular care to understand the specific effects of 28 different ingredients and how they combine with each other to affect the mind, brain, and body interface.
I also want to mention that although there have been some formulation changes from the original 1.0 Qualia product to the 2.0 product called Qualia Mind. They've been all upside tweaks, with the same powerful results, now in a more streamlined, once-a-day formula rather than the clunky twice-a-day original formula.
They pulled this off by engaging in a rigorous examination of something called “neuropsychopharmacology,” an interdisciplinary science that combines psychopharmacology (which is the study of how chemicals affect the mind) and neuroscience (which is the study of the neural mechanisms that chemicals act upon to influence behavior).
The team at Neurohacker Collective performed a comprehensive analysis of neuroscience research to determine the underlying regulatory hardware responsible for mediating the desired subjective and performative effects they wanted to get out of a pill. Along the way, their goal stayed constant: to magnify all normal and healthy physiologic pathways and processes. This was done with the goal of evolving a more robust and complex neural network and regulatory system functioning.
The end result was 28 different ingredients split into 7 different categories, and below you will find a full list of Qualia’s ingredients and categories. You can click here for very intense, nitty-gritty details about why they included these specific compounds in this stack and to read more of the research behind the formulation.
Category 1: Nootropic Compounds.
Psychoactive and neuroactive chemicals that play key roles in modulating receptor sites, synaptic enzymes, membrane structures, cerebral perfusion, biogenic processes, neuroendocrine regulation and more.
Category 2: Choline Donors.
Active forms of choline donors that work through different pathways in the peripheral and central nervous system to support acetylcholine levels, along with the other synergistically stacked cholinergics (acetyl donors, acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, racetamic compounds, etc).
Category 3: Amino Acids
The building blocks for key neurotransmitters and hormones, and agents that are part of the processes of cellular energy production, osmoregulation, signaling, antioxidation, neurogenesis, and neuroprotection.
Category 4: Neuro-Vitamins
Key limiting factor vitamins in specific activated forms required for major neuroregulatory and neurodevelopmental processes.
Category 5: Adaptogen Extracts
These herbal adaptogens are concentrating active compounds while maintaining complex synergistic co-factors—supporting adrenal/HPA regulation, long term potentiation, AMPK activation, neurogenesis, catecholamine production, tissue regeneration, and many regulatory functions.
Category 6: Neuro-Minerals
Limiting factor minerals required for major neurochemical regulatory processes in forms that are bioavailable and can cross the blood-brain barrier.
Category 7: Neuro-Anti-inflammatories and Antioxidants
Synergist compounds that support nutrient transport and utilization, cytokine and eicosanoid modulation, neurotrophin factors, redox reactions, cholesterol regulation, and much more.
And lest you think these raw ingredients are sourced from outdated, giant wooden bins in China where they're getting sprayed with ethylene oxide and other preservatives, then take heart.
These folks are using, for lack of a better phrase, high-quality s&*t.
For example, all the Qualia ingredients are chosen based on the strong empirical basis of their safety and efficacy. They take into account several kinds of research: Phase II & III university and clinical trials, quantified self-research data, and over 40+ years of international research on nootropic stack formulation.
All the ingredients are tested for heavy metals, mycotoxins, pesticides, and other forms of environmental toxin, and ensured to be at levels far lower than FDA GMPs requirements. No silica, magnesium stearate, animal, or toxic binders or fillers are used.
They use only high-quality raw ingredients. Many of which come from patented sources and are considered “best in class” in the supplements industry.
Each ingredient is concentrated to the highest potency and bioavailability currently commercially possible.
All of their herbs and botanicals are standardized for potency and purity of active ingredients.
Every single ingredient that Neurohacker Collective uses arrives from a supplier with a Certificate of Analysis (CoA). This ensures its purity and potency.
Then they go a step further and batch test every ingredient coming in by using the most advanced chromatography and spectrometry available and the same spendy kind of lab analysis techniques I talked about in this behind-the-scenes supplement interview with the lead physician at Thorne, including, in addition to batch testing raw materials coming in, pulling bottles of market-ready product and verifying the formulation inside each capsule.
All their nutraceuticals are in the most biologically active form for the purpose intended (i.e. methylated, acetylated, phosphorylated, L-form, D-form, etc). The form of the nutrient makes orders of magnitude difference to its effectiveness. (That's why the $30,000 bottle of ketones I chugged in a recent Snapchat video beats the pants off other forms of ketone salts—because it's in a certain molecular configuration I talk about here.)
In addition to Neurohacker Collective‘s manufacturing lab, they also have a research & development lab where they produce and test dozens of iterations of their nootropic formulations. They have had over two years of internal testing demonstrating safety and efficacy, and have consulted dozens of doctors, researchers, and formulators in the development of Qualia Mind.
- Yes, it's vegan.
- And gluten-free, lest you not want bread with your smart drugs.
- Non-GMO? Check.
- No artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners.
- Hydroxypropylmethylcellulose (HPMC) vegetarian capsules. (Fancy word for fiber, basically.)
And no proprietary blend invocations. Neurohacker is fully transparent with the formulation for Qualia Mind, including their more elusive ingredients. (Good luck finding Celastrus paniculatus seed extract at your local health food store.)
If you’ve seen the surreal smart-drug movies I mentioned earlier (“Limitless” or “Lucy“) you probably have a sense of what may one day be possible, at least if your friend gives you a secret drug while you're facing unemployment and a girlfriend's rejection, or you're being captured by Japanese terrorists. Qualia Mind isn’t quite like what you see in these thrilling movies, but it’s the closest thing to a “magic pill” movie experience that’s out there. Which is especially impressive considering that it is legal. And readily purchasable.
A God pill?
Mmm…that's a bit too potentially blasphemous and offensive for me to continue to label it as such.
But a “magic” pill?
I'll take it.
And now you can too.
If you want to play it safe and just try a month's supply, which is a single bottle, then just click here and use discount code: BGF15 to save 15%.
If you're all in and ready to spring for a monthly subscription (which can be canceled at any time) code: BGF15 will also save you 15% off a subscription order.
Finally, should you be a soccer mom or college student or bartender scratching your head about whether this is something that no folks other than professional athletes or hard-charging CEO's or insane biohackers would ever take, then please know that Qualia Mind is not just some “natural” prescription drug alternative for fringe rich people or self-quantifying guinea pigs.
Scientists, artists, creators, entrepreneurs, activists, parents, and students of every kind are now using this stuff. Qualia Mind is designed for anyone who wants to do meaningful things with their life, have deep and profound experiences, and fully optimize their capability towards those goals, even if it means lucid dreaming, late night sex sessions, and achieving zero e-mails in your inbox at an unfair rate of speed.
Anyways, if you have questions, thoughts or feedback about Qualia Mind, about the concept of “neurohacking” in general, about nootropics, smart drugs, or anything else related to enhancing cognitive performance via nutrition, then leave your comments below and I will reply!
You can also click here to listen to my podcast with its creator Daniel Schmachtenberger. If you want to get your hands on this stuff now, just use code BGF15 to save 15% on either a single order or subscription order. And as that dude in the beginning of this story told me, enjoy the experience. ;)
133 thoughts on “Does A “God Pill” Exist?”
Hello Ben when I first used Quailia Mind I took 7 capsules and I was a bit to energetic and also had really bad Insomnia as well getting in a bit depression mode. I don’t know what it is maybe the dosage (7capsules) was to higher. Do you recommend to take a lower dosage (less capsules) I also purchased CDP Choline and Alpha GPC before which I used but had also a depressive feeling and insomnia so I thought maybe my brain is not tolerant to a Choline supplement. What are your recommendations do you think Choline is not for every one or are this effects normal in the beginning and will reduce by the time till the body and mind are getting used to it. Thanks in advance.
Hi Ben, my comment is just that although I’m sold just from Reading your piece about Qualia Mind, I am giving pause because on my current income it is a stretch for me. I was wondering if there’s any developments coming up that might decrease the cost of supplements like this, I guess the reason they’re expensive is because of the research and the ingredients. Anyway that was my comment. I expect great things for myself financially, I’m just not manifesting them this minute. Thanks Ben I think you do great work and I think you’re a great writer
Are they any side effects or downer effects when stop using qualia mind?
Not really. From their website: "The only ingredient that produces a come-down effect when not taken is caffeine. Our product contains 90mg of caffeine – about the amount in a cup of black tea, or about a third as much as in a tall Starbucks coffee. Many people will still use some other caffeine source (coffee, etc) on the off-cycle days to prevent this. For maximum benefits, we recommend that people cycle off all caffeine (including this product) for one week every three months or so."
Saying about qualia that It is a product with no side effects Is not accurate.
Qualia mind&focus use the following substances:
-Cdp choline (in “mind”)
Less potent cholinergics:
ALCAR (Acytel L carnitine)
coffee has an acetylcholine promoting effect as well
and Phospydelserine (In “mind”)
that is a lot of cholinergics
Why do I mention these nootropics In correlation with acetylcholine?
Because too much activity of that neurotransmitter In the CNS will give you nasty side effects like depression, anger, apathy and so on…
How much Is too much? I dont know, It really depends on your biochemistry,diet, lifestyle (AC Is the main excitatory neurotransmitter In the PNS, so sports may deplete It out of your system) and for an Individual doing nootropic related-biohacking I would suggest fixing his serotonin levels before playing with AC signaling In the brain.
This is just my experience with qualia, if you are really sensitive to AC like me, qualia could do worst then better.
You can cut back the dosage but you are going to cut back other Ingredients as well In that process, It is one package after all.
I’m looking for a product that doesn’t have any caffeine at all…that’s a bummer!! I am allergic to coffee. There isn’t another supplement that will help me like this limitless pill will w o caffeine?? I tried alphabraain and it’s ok but just got my hopes up w Qualia.
There is a caffeine free version of Qualia. Look for it on their website.
There is a caffeine-free version here: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/qualia
Thoughts on Tian Chi and Qualia taken at the same time?
Can be done, but probably only necessary for very cognitively demanding days.
Thanks, Ben. Hope you’re having a good one.
I don't believe Qualia still features the 2 Step formula… They now have Focus and Mind, with Mind being the more powerful/comprehensive product, but focus is still efficacious.
I’m a huge fan of the podcast and love all of the info on Qualia. The websites and links seem to have moved from Step One and Step Two to Qualia Mind and Qualia Focus. Is this a renaming thing or are they different products? If so, have you noticed any differences? If I missed the answer to this previously, that is on me, but, hey, help a guy out. Thanks very much and keep doing what you do.
Hi, I am certainly interested in trying the product, but due to high blood pressure I am a little concerned about the huperzine A. Can you comment regarding that and if there are any known medications this shouldn’t be taken with?
Hi Will, I always recommend folks speak with their doctor about any supplements they plan to take along side of existing medications.
I’ve been taking the new version of this – I’m only taking part of the dose and feeling positive benefits. Are there certain supplements you can recommend that are similar yet more affordable? $100 per mo for one supplement is not affordable when I take many different supplements. Thanks!
I'm not aware of anything like it that works as well as Qualia. I would check out my new article on nootropics though. You might find some useful information there: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/article/brain-ar…
Hi, I wonder what happens when you stop using Qualia after a certain period? Do you get addicted to benefis?
Firstly, thanks for the article and all the knowledge you share! I’ve purchased Qualia and would appreciate your advise on specific time I should be taking the supplement.
Throughout the week I wake up at 6am, consume a caffeine based pre-workout immediately upon waking and head to my boxing gym. By 7:45am I’m on my way to work with a protein shake in hand along with some BCAAs. As I intermittent fast, my first meal (minus the post workout protein shake at 7:45am) isn’t until around 12pm.
As seen on Qualia’s suggested use, users are directed to consume Step 1 immediately upon waking on an empty stomach. However because I’m heading directly to the gym and regularly consume caffeine upon waking, should I wait until after my workout to consume step 1? For step 2, I’ll assume that the appropriate time for this dose is with my first meal around 12pm unless you suggest otherwise.
I’ve also purchased Thorne Elite Multivitamin after seeing another one of your articles. When do you recommend I take my AM Thorne Multivitamin? Alongside Step 1 or Step 2 or Qualia?
I really appreciate your feedback Ben!
I'd say the recommendations are pretty clear and there for a reason. I'd take Step 1 on an empty stomach upon waking, have your morning coffee, then take step 2 and Thorne AM with your first meal as this is the recommendation for both.
I took Qualia for over a year (the 3/6 protocol). I noticed very little, if any, improvement in cognition. I didn’t see any significant changes in working memory, mood, energy, sleep, and so on. Maybe it just didn’t work for me and actually works for others. Regardless, I’ve been rolling-my-own from “Smart Drugs for Thought” with measurable results. I’ve also been taking Genius Joy in addition to several other products from Genius Brand and have noticed improvements in working memory tests … I’ve begun remembering my dreams at night once again … and my recovery scores in the morning are much higher according to my Whoop.
As a 63 year old disabled with chronic Lyme after losing the vision in my right eye, I have gone down a rabbit hole I never saw coming as all the wheels came off the cart my life was rolling on.Scans of a swollen brain with plaques and nausea that makes every invasion of the body snatchers movement seem like an independent decision are in my rear view mirror I think. Thinking clearly is still an issue. Nootropics formulas might be reducing my blank stares at screens waiting on my prompting, but my main takeaway from nootropics is like you remembering my dreams. Mundane dreams are with me when I wake, so the results are mixed and somewhat unexpected.
I’d like to preface that I am a competitive athletic 33yo male and have my bloodmarkers checked quarterly. Thankfully I fall in normal-optimal ranges in 95% of them. I had been supplementing 2-3x/wk since Feb and last had my work done in end of June. The only other supps I take are zinc, magnesium and fish oil. I intermittent fast 16hrs 3x week.
My integral doctor’s jaw dropped at my DHEA and Progesterone levels. I understand everyone can react differently but a ~2x normal level could be dangerous if it’s not limited to my response. I thought I’d let you know and share.
Did you have this issue?
If you have analytics as to why these levels would be ok or justified I’m all ears.
Looking into this. Will get back to you ASAP.
Ben / Derek – Did you have any follow up thoughts on the impact on DHEA / Progesterone levels?
Ben, what type of multi vitamins do you recommend taking with Qualia. I currently take animal pack, but don’t want to overdue it while taking Qualia. Thanks
My go to is the thorne am/pm – https://greenfieldfitnesssystems.com/product/thor…
Hi Michael, I’m 36 and in a mostly similar situation to you (minus the kids). Same ***** schedule and dosage. I would also like to know how Qualia compares – my only concern with its ingredients is the addition of caffeine and taurine. A main attractant of ***** is that it is not in any way a stimulant, so I am free to enjoy a cup of coffee now and again without getting all amped up.
Everyone: you have to take the 2nd dose of QUALIA with a healthy fat. I highly recommend fish oil…but you can do coconut oil…and during the day keep drinking water. I take other antioxidants as well while on qualia when the fatigue feelings pop up. One of the guys that is the advisor to the neurohacker team shared this information about fats with dose two with me…can not stress it enough!! It is because of the formula so please get the fat in. And some folks with an imbalanced microbiome in the gut might feel fatigue if your healthy gut bacteria aren’t there in abundance…so consider taking a good quality probiotic (and be sure to feed you’re gut some pre-biotics)
Great question. I’ve sent it to our science team at Neurohacker to get you a better answer than I could give you. Stand by for an answer.
Cannot do traditional Caffeine due to random PVC’s and Mitral Valve Prolapse.
Is/are the caffeine(s) derivative in your product ‘safe’ ?
Did you ever get your answer to this?
Sorry this was never answered. The original formula did have caffeine. There is a new caffeine-free version though here: BenGreenfieldFitness.com/qualiamind Use code: GREENFIELD2018 to save 15%.
Like more info
Is this safe to take while breatfeeding?
No. No pregnant or breastfeeding mothers. The ingredients in Qualia are real and not meant for developing systems.
Sounds legit. Look forward to trying this on my own
Hey Michael, I’ve been taking Qualia roughly about 1 week. Going into my second scycle off. I have also been experiencing fatigue. Last Sunday, I pretty much slept all day. The night before I had a good 8 hours worth of sleep. In addition, last week was a bit irregular for me. My body has been used to working dayshift’s 12pm – 8 or 10pm. Last week I pretty much worked all evening shifts 8pm – 5am. I’m not sure if the fatigue and or desire to sleep was caused by my irregular sleeping patterns or Qualia? I’m curious to know what your experience has been lately?
Qualia made me tired. Step 1 gave me energy (Because I don’t ever take caffeine and step 1 is loaded with it). But, step 2 I took 45 minutes later in a full 6 capsule dose, and 2 hours later, I was drowsy. I had a full nights sleep, lunch, and a good morning workout. No reason to feel tired. I can say I’m disappointed with Qualia thus far. I’ll try it for the rest of the month, but I must say that it doesn’t feel like a 150$ well spent at this point.
I am starting my second week of Qualia. I also feel extra sleepy. I am normally a person who sleeps well at night and have been getting plenty of sleep. I’d say I got slightly more sleep than I need this week, and I still did not beat the desire to fall asleep. I’m also going to see how it goes for the rest of the month. Qualia’s website makes reference to this problem that some people have. They seem to think it will go away and that I might want to reduce the dosage for Part II until the sleepiness starts to go away.
Hi Ben. Thanks for all the great info on this. I have one question; I am in the military and am subject to random drug testing. Are there any ingredients that could come up on a drug test?
Go to GlobalDro.com and pull up any ingredients you are concerned about. DHEA for example..
Qualia has really been working for me and making a huge focus in my mental energy. On the other hand, I am waking up earlier than I want most mornings. I’m about 150 lbs. and am taking the minimum (1 & 2) dose 5 days per week.
I contact them and they told me that they are working on a caffeine free formula and I will definitely try that when it comes out.
In the meantime, any suggestions?
Keep blue light blocking glasses on when you wake up until you get to the time you WANT to wake up, then blast yourself with blue light, like this: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2016/06/how-to-r…
I have been taking Qualia for about a week and a half now and it is making me extremely tired. I know that people reportedly experience a period of sleep adjustment and regulation. This seems more extreme than what others are talking about as it lasts most of the day, all I wanna do is sleep. I am wondering if anyone else has experienced this and also if it could possibly be that Qualia is re-regulating my neuro chemistry and that I simply need extra rest during this period. If this continues then I will have no choice but stop using Qualia, however, I have noticed some of the positive benefits. Any insight would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
I use optimind.io to create my own custom “god pill”.
Ben these are high amounts of B vitamine complex, and possible side effects are increased appetite and increased libido. Also I saw you working with BPC 157. Man I used to work for 6 yrs in a lab with prof. Sikiric, who discovered the compound. If you need any additional info about the compound, let me know.
I want more info on the compound. Please enlighten us.
Please elaborate on this BPC 157, before ordering this product. TY
I’ve been taking Qualia for about a month and a half now. I was prepared to see if I felt anything at all, or would have to sort of “role-play” alongside to help create some placebo effect, but that did not turn out to be a problem.
Qualia hit me on first trying it like a clear blue sky. I did experience my sleep cycles resetting, and the most profound change is that I no longer have an issue with dense fog while waking up. I sleep deep, and would set multiple alarms and sleep through them. During the first 5 days of regularly taking them, I began waking up naturally without an alarm – snapping awake. A month and a half later and I sleep better, and wake up without fog, or alarms. Life-changer!
In general I feel myself procrastinating less, switching more smoothly between tasks in focused bursts, not hesitating and moving about with more motivation. This can be from something as trivial as switching between multiple apps exporting and processing media + posting + social etc, or more situational awareness of your environment and interpersonally – at least that was my experience. Can go through pomodoros like they were caprese! I took Qualia with me on a 10 day work trip with an intense schedule and a lot of public speaking / facilitating, while also working a remote full time job. In a situation that would have given me anxiety (too many plates spinning) or worry about not being prepared enough, that would actually undermine my confidence, i was able to sink into a feeling of trusting in myself and having everything I need to handle it all – I was in the flow. Qualia helps me access that more intuitively.
I feel like if you take Qualia along with actively creating a vision of yourself, a practice, your community, or any transformation you want to work on, this will support you to realize that out in the world, maybe with a little less friction, maybe with a little more flow..
I take the recommended 5 days on, 2 days off, 3-6 but even if I take more days off, I feel an easier access to flow space, and in general does feel like there’s a lot of good stuff happening in my brain. After doing my own research on some of the ingredients and their complementarities it also helped me understand how the ingredients work together.
Have tried Qualia for a month now and have not noticed any difference in any cognitive or any other abilities. Seems like an expensive fluke to me. Don’t waste your money.
I agree. I just finished my bottles of Qualia and did not notice anything. I suppose some people are just non-responders….
I know it’s a little over a month since this podcast aired but I was curious if you were still taking Qualia? And if so what are the most notable changes?
I’ve been taking Ciltep for a few months but after listening to your podcast I was considering making a switch to Qualia. Just wanted to know your thoughts.
Thanks for you time. Love the podcast!
Great episode! Looks like a product worth testing. I was surprised to see coleus forskohlii and artichoke extract included. Are there any studies that back claims for these? I thought at this point it was all anecdotal and that I had read artichoke extract wasn’t a great source of luteolin, especially orally.
We do not recommend taking Qualia with Amantadine.
Amantadine modifies dopamine and is anticholinergic so there are the possibility for a number of complications.
Under 100 of naturally occurring ldopa is generally well tolerated for most people. The dose of huperzine A is specifically formulated in the combination with the other cholinergic compounds to also be well tolerated. 30mg of Noopept taken orally vs sublingually will have decreased absorption for many people this is the equivalent of 10mg taken sublingual.
Great piece. Just listened to the podcast on it too! I was curious what your thoughts were on how to take Qualia while intermittent fasting. Take Step One on an empty stomach and then Step Two with the first meal, even if that is past noon?
Do you think it would be too much to continue drinking Kimera Koffee with this in terms of having too many nootropics in my system.
Thanks a lot!
You could "cheat" and take Step 2 with a small amount of oils, like a handful of fish oil capsules and a tablespoon of coconut oil and that could work for absorption and to have both worlds. And yes, you can still drink Kimera with this, but just know you'll be getting extra caffeine in your system.
Sounds good. Would there be a downside to waiting until the afternoon and my first meal to take Step 2? On the Neurohacker website it recommends just waiting at least 30 minutes between the steps so I know that protocol would follow that guideline, but I wasn’t sure if there was anything in step 2 that would interfere too much with sleep if taken too late.
Would “cheating” by taking Step 2 and JUST the handful of fish oil capsules (as opposed to consuming the tbsp of coconut oil) work in your opinion? In case I am out of the house I can foresee it being a little easier to carry Qualia and the fish oil with me than also having a container of coconut oil.
Thanks again for your help!
Hey, I take Qualia with intermittent fasting and do precisely that – wait to take Step Two until I have my first meal. Works fine.
As for Kimera – they don’t list how much of each ingredient they use, so you are a bit in the dark. Qualia does have Taurine, Alpha-GPC and L-Theanine, so you might get more than you need. If you like your Kimera, you can always start slow on the Qualia and build up to a stronger dose to see what happens.
Thanks Jordan! Very helpful. Yeah I’m planning on starting with fa low dose of Qualia (keeping the right ratios for Step 1 and Step 2) and building it up.
Would this replace the Thorne Multi Vitamin Elite or taken in addition to it? Based on the ingredient list I’ll keep up with taking fish oil from Thorne but see that taking both the MV and Qualia would lead to really high levels of the B vitamins.
You could still take https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/multi and still keep taking fish oil too. B Vitamins are water soluble so you can't overdose on them. ;)
Perfect. Thanks Ben!
Jacob- why do you say levodopa is dangerous? I take it on and off for sleep and I haven’t had any negative side effects.
In answer to the queries about whether this stuff is “legal” for athletes and as Ben seems to be fudging the issue, it’s not. Well at least Step One isn’t. Big disappointment that the “brilliant minds” could not produce a product without DHEA.
Use GlobalDro.com – depends on the sport!
Well no, not really.
It’s on WADA’s prohibited list in and out of compeititon.
But just to play along, I did go to GlobalDro.com and sampled sports I wasn’t sure about…and in everything from badminton to golf, from snowboarding to UFC and weightlifting, DHEA is banned.
“Even” pro baseball has banned it.
It IS stupid that it is prohbited, but it is.
I thought triathlons were your thing (banned).
So what sport is it you compete in that is outside WADA’s remit and lets you use DHEA?
I'm not competing in any sports right now.
We are working on a formulation without DHEA
Good sh*t Ben. Thanks!
Is this not a one way ticket to adrenal fatigue in our already fast paced lives?
This stimulates cognition more than adrenals. The caffeine is bound up causing it to release very slowly…
We only include 90mg of caffeine which is bound to pterostilbene and we do have a lot of adaptogens and B vitamins which are healthy of adrenal glands. The only way this would lead to adrenal fatigue is if someone was taking this in the place of sleep.
Ben, what % cut do you get, if any, when someone buys Qualia through the link on this site? Would be helpful in evaluating your objectivity/bias.
I think it's around 10%, but not 100% sure. I'd buy it myself either way, whether or not I got a commission.
I know you have been a long time Tian Chi fan, so would you consider Qualia something you would replace Tian Chi with, would you consider adding it to your daily regimen (I assume you take Tain Chi daily), or would you take Qualia for a certain purpose and Tian chi for another and what would that be? Lastly, if you take Qualia, can you benefit by doing so on one day when you’d like, or is it more beneficial to take for an extended time period?
Thanks for answering these questions.
I want to try this plz email me info
Have you tried skipping a few days of this supplement to see if there are any “hangover effects” by missing a dose?
I’m interested in giving this a go but am a bit nervous about the jitters, as I tend to be a bit sensitive to just about every preworkout supplement on the market. I can’t afford to have an unsteady hand (I’m a surgeon). Did you have any of the classic jittery feelings that you can see with high stimulant supplements?
Seems like fun product.
Only question I have is about the ingredient Lithium Orotate. My only knowledge of Lithium is for treating people with Bipolar depression. So is it safe to ingest this?
Looks like they dont ship to Canada yet, too bad. Will check back, hopefully they open up international shipping sometime!
We are working on expanding distribution outside of the U.S. Please click the clink below and put your name on the list so we can notify you when we ship to your area.
I’ve been taking Qualia since I was given some at PaleoFX too. I really love the effect it has on not only my brain function but my vision, willpower and stamina when going through an intense workout. My business partner broke the PaleoFX record for deadlifts during his first time trying Qualia. Great review of it by the way. We did a review as well and I really liked that every question or concern that we had about the dosage and ingredients were answered by NC. Shows that they really have researched these ingredients and speaks to their transparency and commitment to developing a quality product.
What about caffeine tolerance? I’m one of those people who can’t stand much and it takes forever to clear my system. Ginkgo and Rhodiola have caused issues in the past too….
The psilo bound to the caffeine helps a ton with that….
Didn’t you discuss in the podcast that the pills given to you by the guy at Paleo FX (“God pill”) was not Qualia but another product they have in development that is going through testing and is not yet available to the public? This article suggests that it was Qualia that you were given.
I misunderstood…the God Pill is just basically Step One shoved into a single pill…
Hey ben, alright so straight to the point…would you consider not using qualia consistently in an attempt to avoid becoming used to the positive effects. If things seem so good and lightning fast on it…do you have a worry of not being able to function without it in a way? I feel that one would get used to having such high cognition that it can be debilitating when off of it…curious to hear your thoughts
I've been off it for a week now as a test and zero deleterious results.
I have a 13 year old boy with Autism…would these be safe for him to take?
I am not a doctor and this is not to be taken, interpreted or construed as medical advice. Please talk with a licensed medical professional about this. These are just my own personal thoughts and not a prescription or a diagnosis or any form of health care whatsoever. But I don't think this is for autism. For that, listen to this: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2016/10/361-12-f…
driven, perfectionist. May want to add Methyl Folate to your mix. You may be homozygous MTHFR mutant! Methyl folate is active form your body uses in many pathways. Folic Acid, not converted by MTHFR mutants to active form is in many vitamins, foods, protein mixes and more and causes problems for many. Check out Nutrient Power by William Walsh and Dr Ben Lynch for more info.
Methyl Folate can be very useful for people with MTHFR mutations, but because the folate cycle is so specific to genetic mutations we did not include it as it wasn’t something we didn’t think we could standardize across all genes.
Enjoyed the piece and listening to the interview.
I wonder – what might be the effect on athletic performance?
Paul, a good friend of mine also tried it right before some fitness competitions at PaleoFX and broke the deadlift record. I’ve found that it gives you that extra motivation and stamina to power through a hard workout.
Thanks for this great article and the podcast. I just wondered if you were thinking of making Qualia available via your website. I emailed the Qualia people, and they are not sending it to the UK yet, which is where I live.
What about withdrawal, and does the recommended 2-day abstinence per week (from the supplement) have any noticeable crash effect?
I had zero crash effect or withdrawal.
The only chemical that can create dependence or withdrawal and we only use 90mg of caffeine as its bound to the pterostilbene most people will not feel any crash or withdrawal. For those very sensitive to this, they may want to consume some small caffeine when they are cycling off Qualia.
I know you said it is a legal product. But are any of the ingredients (or the whole) possible problems for a regular U.S. government administered drug testing program?
None of the ingredients are scheduled by the US Government.
Thanks Ben. I notice the Qualia site says to take 3 x Step 1/6 x Step 2 if you weigh 150 lbs, and 4 x Step 1/7 x Step 2 if you weigh 200 lbs. Unfortunately the bottles only contain enough for the 3/6 protocol; the bottles leave you about 4 days short each month on a 4/7 protocol. Since I take it you are closer to 200 lbs than to 150 lbs, are you concerned that you are not receiving all the effects you can by utilizing the 3/6 protocol? Also, perhaps you can put a bug in Qualia’s ear to produce bottles that contain enough for the 4/7 protocol.
Mike, consider the bug placed.
Per the 3/6 dose question, what we have found is that the weight of the individual is not necessarily the deciding factor and most people, even bigger folks, can and should do the 3/6 dose. If you absolutely need to take a higher dose then it is also a good idea to increase the cycle off days by another day a week, which will also help keep you in line with the number of pills in each bottle.
Would you recommend still taking Tian Chi with Qualia? HerbWorks recommends taking Tian Chi first thing in the morning on an empty stomach about an hour before taking any other energy or nootropic supplements. The Tian Chi seems to have both nootropic and overall body/energy/immune function benefits. It has really helped my HRV, etc. Looks like the Qualia should also be taken first thing in the morning on an empty stomach…. if I was to use both, which would you take first….or would the Qualia replace the Tian Chi most of the time? Thanks!
You could take both, since TianChi is an adaptogen and works on a different part of your physiology, but if you do, I'd take it mid morning on an empty stomach. Which to use totally depends on your health history, hormones, etc. If adrenally fatigued, possibly TianChi. Otherwise, Qualia.
Thank you for sharing this …experience. I find myself wondering when I’ll get around to reading your fiction. Still, I am really praying that the actual delivery of these pills was fiction – some guy hands you some pills and says, “follow the directions, man. Don’t worry about what’s in it”, and then slinks off into some dark alley.
I’ve never bought illegal drugs – but my guess is that’s exactly how such a deal would go down. So, if it is true – please don’t be so foolish. Curiosity is known to have killed more than one cat, right?
A manufacturer’s name and a sealed package might instill more confidence in a product, but some folks are really sneaky; maybe you should limit yourself to known dealers like Thorne? Just sayin’.
check out 5-meo dmt
Excellent writing, Ben! Very engaging story telling, plus excellent expose’ on Qualia.
Agree! Love it that Ben writes all his own content.
Where he finds the time is unfathomable!
Hey Ben great piece – one question does interact with other supplements like peptides which u have written about previously
Totally apples and oranges and you can use the two together…
Great article! My question is this, are all of the ingredients USADA acceptable for competitions like running and triathlons?
Listen to this, we discuss that: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/neurohacker
Qualia contains DHEA which is a banned substance by USADA. However, they are working on a DHEA free formula now.
Having tried it myself – it certainly is performance enhancing on many levels!
$20 off $149 is like 13.5%- not 20%.
Hey Ben, if it could be confirmed/assured to be WADA compliant, I’d give it a try. I’m surprised that Supplement manufacturer don’t consider this right from the start. This should really be a “must have” for supplements. Please let us know when the formula is corrected & identified to be WADA compliant – Thank you!