Product review – Qualia

Damn, I missed last weeks “one post a week” blog post. My apologies to the one random follower out there, who probably doesn’t even care. Please forgive me. I’ll try and churn out two next week to make up for it.

So I’ve gotta talk about the new nootropic/mind enhancer kid on the block, Qualia. I first heard of it referred to as the ‘God pill’, and I  was intrigued. Qualia is the product made by the Neurohacker collective (who churn out GREAT articles and podcasts, check ’em out!), as a kind of ULTIMATE Nootropic.

According to Wikipedia, Qualia, “are claimed to be individual instances of subjective, conscious experience in philosophy and certain models of psychology”. When I told my fiancee about it, he said it made him think of “Equalia” , Lisa Simpsons fantasy world where “everyone is equal”. Either way, its a pretty cool name. But what about the actual product? Well the makers say it is a product to nourish the brain, and enhance focus, creativity, energy, mood and a ‘flow state’ with its 42 (Yes, FORTY TWO!) ingredients. (42 also happens to be the answer to life, the universe and everything. Coincidence?).

Each of the ingredients has an important role and all are well researched; it contains adaptogens, vitamins to support brain health, anti-inflammatories and antioxidants and nootropics. I love how they give detailed information about each ingredient, how it works and where to find more on their website; this is a company that obviously cares about quality and transparency.

So I bought a bottle with the Ben Greenfield discount code, and have tried it a few times. You’re supposed to take it 5 days on, 2 days off so as not to gain tolerance, but as I only have a month supply, I just take it whenever I feel like I need the boost. I’ve taken it on days where I’m a little sleep deprived (even though they say it wont work at it’s best if you’re sleep deprived) and on days where I feel great anyway.  Every time I’ve taken it I have felt calm, at peace, less irritable or annoyed about things, and definitely able to focus on one thing for a long time. The effects are subtle, but that’s what’s great about it; its NOT a stimulant (there are plenty of stimulants out there if that’s your thing). It does contain a stimulant (caffeine) but this is bound to pterostilbine which slows and elongates the effects (by extending the half life) so you don’t feel jittery.

An example of the “I don’t give a fuck” attitude is that one morning after I’d taken both sets of pills, I was getting the train to work, and hopped on just as the doors were closing, unfortunately getting my backpack stuck between the doors. It stayed there for probably 10-15 seconds, while I was trying to pull myself out and some other passengers tried to help me escape. Stressful situation right? Except I didn’t feel stressed. Or embarassed. And as soon as the doors opened, I laughed, thanked the person who tried to help me and continued listening to my podcast. The other thing, is that Qualia contains lots of compounds that protect the brain against stress, so the other day I took some on a night out dancing with friends, where I basically stayed up most of the night (definitely a stress to the brain). The next day I felt fine/pretty normal despite being sleep deprived, and after a good long sleep the next evening, I felt amazing, while the others I stayed up with still were shattered (a few years ago when I used to stay up all night more often, I usually felt more anxious and experienced mood swings, so it was great to not have to worry about that this time).

This product is basically perfect for helping you to deal with stressful situations and also for enhancing learning and productivity – I’m mainly going to try  to use it when I have a ton to things to learn or do things that require lots of mental optimisation. It’s pricey, so I can’t have it all the time, nor would I particularly want to, but well worth it.

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