The World’s First Epic All-in-One Stack – Qualia Nootropic Review and Whats Next For Neurohacker Collective
Updated 09/19/16 – Hello Eris Fit, Neurohacker and Nootropic enthusiasts. Since publishing our epic post on Qualia, we have some updates we want to share with you all. Not only did we receive some additional information from Neurohacker Collective (NHC) on their ingredients, but we have had even more time to explore this product and it’s use in our daily lives. All the new information is in red.
Check out this video of Thaddeus sharing his Qualia use on a recent trip to the corporate office. Don’t miss this exhaustive Qualia supplement review from Eris Fit updated with info from the Neurohacker Collective.
Bam! It hit me all at once. It was 9am and only 10 minutes after popping “Step 2” of Qualia’s 2 step nootropic stack and my head was floating. “Maybe I should have take a half dose.” I told Chris as we were standing in front of the RealFIT booth. “You’ll be OK in a few minutes, just let the effects mellow for a bit.” Chris said. I still felt like my head was too big and needed a way to bring it down a notch. I had already signed up for the RealFIT Challenge, so I decided to get in another deadlifting session. I had done the deadlift part of the challenge the day before, but wanted a better score. My score was currently 49 deadlifts in 2 minutes using 155 pounds. The leader was in the 50s and I wanted to chase the leader.
1 minute into the 2 minute deadlift challenge and I still felt amazing! I was already in the 40s and still had half the time left. I let it all go and just pounded deadlift after deadlift without resting, all the while focusing on keeping my back straight and not rounding it (I didn’t want to injure myself just for a game).
1 minute later and I now held the Paleo f(x) deadlift record. 72 deadlifts in 2 minutes. The previous all time record was created a year earlier at 71 in 2 minutes. I felt amazing! The Qualia effects had totally mellowed.
The rest of the day I spent in sessions learning new techniques and the whole time I felt more connected and totally absorbed the material.
I crushed the physical activity challenge, earning both a personal best and a Paleo f(x) record and felt infinitely ready to absorb and retain knowledge.
After trying Qualia for one day, received from a friend at Paleo f(x), both Chris and I were really interested in using it on a more long term basis to see what the effects would be. Would the effects last? Was the Paleo f(x) experience just a fluke?
As Qualia is marketed as a nootropic, and a “cutting edge chemistry for radical cognitive enhancement” said to permanently upgrade our brains, we were intrigued.
Qualia is touted a total system upgrade for your mind. The Neurohacker Collective invented it to be an all-in-one stack of nootropics, amino acids, adaptogenic herbs, vitamins and minerals all working in synergy to give your mind a permanent upgrade after a few months of use.
As biohackers, we love trying out products that are supposed to make us better. Qualia’s user experience testimonials certainly qualify it as a must try product.
In fact, our mission at Eris Fit is to take the best of the world of biohacking and bring it into the workplace, a place that sorely lacks enough focus on movement, brain training and optimal health. You can use your upgraded brain as an unfair advantage on your colleagues, or, as we’re attempting to do, level up your whole office by ensuring everyone has access to the best tools for mind and body while at work.
We don’t often market other people’s products to our readers. We do use affiliate links here and there, for products we have tried and really enjoy, as a way to keep this blog going. From now on, we will begin reviewing a few products here and there that we use in our daily lives and have received huge benefit from and that we think others will benefit from. We are also going to review some products that we try out, but haven’t used in the past. Some of those products are given to us to for free to try out (like Qualia) and some we purchase ourselves (Like Bulletproof Products). We’ll try these products out and let you know what we think.
Again, we were each given a 1 month’s supply of Qualia (Step 1 and Step 2, to try out for free). Notice the packaging and labeling has now changed.
Getting into the world of nootropics is a little like getting into the world of recreational drugs back in the 80’s and 90s. People in the community weigh powders on small micro scales, package those into capsules or baggies and even pass them out to friends to try out. Except in this case, it’s legal (mostly*) and instead of taking a drug to bliss out, we’re taking supplements and nutrients to increase focus, creativity and productivity.
Nootropics are one of a handful of gateways into hacking human consciousness and getting the mind to do things we find hard to do without these things.
*some nootropics like Modafinil should only be used by obtaining a prescription from your doctor, though some people find ways around this. We are not advocating for this aspect, but using only over the counter supplements.
Qualia was deigned to be a “comprehensive whole system upgrade” and allow the body and mind easier access to peak flowstates, creativity, better emotional states and enhanced athletic performance.
Can Qualia truly allow you to
- End Procrastination
- Decrease Anxiety
- Have less Internal Drama
- Have Vivid Dreams
- Respond More Gracefully to Difficult Things
- Evolve Your Perspective and Critical Thinking
- Increase Epiphany and Empathy
- Break the Paleo f(x) Deadlifting Record
- and Much Much More
Those are some pretty amazing benefits, and the more we use Qualia, the more we are starting to experience some of these effects.
Qualia is formulated with a specific quantity and combination of substances that the “Neuro-Hacker Collective” claims will achieve these benefits. The 7 key substances included in this stack are:
- Nootropics (Substances that increase the speed and effectiveness of our thinking and physical performance)
- Adaptogenic Herbs (Long used herbs that increase our ability to deal with stress)
- Choline Donors (Substances that may increase attention, motivation and arousal)
- Key Amino Acids (the building blocks of brain chemicals and hormones necessary to support increased brain and physical function)
- Neuro Vitamins and Minerals (needed to support thinking and processing)
- Neuro Anti-inflammatories and Antioxidants (keeps our brains clear of junk)
These are all things I would normally take on their own from a massive collection of supplement bottles and bags I keep in my cabinet. Collecting all these and adding them into one supplement makes a ton of sense as so many of us who experiment with nootropics and other substances to keep us healthy and agile find it a pain to keep track of and take 10-15 pills at a time.
Now, the actual quantities of each of the Qualia ingredients may help to make this a very effective stack, but in some cases (only a few) the supplements are less than I would normally take in a given day. Neurohacker has graciously spent time to explain their reasoning and the evidence for the quantities of the ingredients they added. This can be found below.
The ingredients and quantities are likely formulated to give the stack the biggest cognitive bang for the buck and are super high quality, bioavailable forms, all in line with very high quality supplements. However, in some cases, I will still have to supplement with additional quantities of some supplements to get the health maximizing effect I am looking for. Depending on your goals, you too may still want to supplement with additional quantities of some of the ingredients in Qualia, so read on to see what those may be.
Another note, and this is important, is that Qualia should be cycled and requests you do so on the product literature that comes with the product. They recommend a 5 day on, 2 day off. Some of the ingredients in Qualia must be cycled (you must take a break from taking them) so your body does not down-regulate it’s own production of these substances.
Click here to try out Qualia and make sure to use the coupon code ERISFIT to get 10% your order.
What’s in Qualia?
Neurohacker (NHC) Response to “What’s in Qualia” section: For anyone interested in understanding why the ingredients were chosen and the science behind them, spend a while on our Formulation page which goes into some detail and provides references.
- Noopept – at 30 miligrams this is plenty of noopept, I wouldn’t take any more and it’s in line with recommendations posted elsewhere. Potent nootropic.
- Phenylethylamine – 500mg. This is said to help boost mood, lower anxiety and stress, increase memory and cognition and may help burn fat. Typical dose is called out as 300mg – 500mg.
- Hordenine HCI – 20mg. Said to increase alertness, concentration, energy and metabolism and is a popular weight loss product. Typical dosage is 25mg three times a day, but since this is being stacked with other nootropics and energy enhancers, the dose is just fine.
- Uridine Monophosphate – 500mg. Enhances learning and memory and also may act as a neuroprotective agent to maintain cognitive health over time. Recommended dosage is 150-250mg twice a day.
- Phosphatidylserine – 200mg. This is one of my favorite go to anti-stressor supplements. I keep some in the cabinet at all times. Also said to keep memory strong and cognition sharp and reduce cortisol. Typical dose is 100mg three times a day for a total of 300mg. I’d like to see this one higher at 300-400mg in Qualia.
- NHC Response: Because Qualia is intended to be taken early in the day in one serving and phosphatidylserine may lower cortisol, 200 mgs is the most we wanted to include factoring circadian rhythms. Some people may use additional phosphatidylserine later in the day, particularly before bed.
- Vinpocetine – 30mg. Protects against cognitive decline and may increase memory. Typical dosage is 5-20mg three times a day or one 30-45mg dose.
- Huperzine A 1%- 5mg (50mcg). A cognitive enhancer that stops the degradation of acetylcholine (known as a cholinergic). It may need to be cycled, meaning you should take a break every so often as it remains in the body for a long time. Suggested dose is 50-200mcg.
- NHC Response: Huperzine A is part of a synergistic blend of cholinergics that affect acetylcholine (including Uridine Monophosphate, Citicoline, Alpha GPC, Centrophenoxine, additional acetyl donors as well as an NMDA receptor site modulator). 50mcg is the average dose we chose, factoring synergies with the other ingredients.
- Theobromine – 150mg. Like caffeine, said to increase alertness and attention and boost mood. Typical dosage 100-500mg a day. However, some studies show that compared to caffeine, theobromine has little effect in the brain.
- NHC Response: Theobromine, as part of a stimulatory blend, along with other xanthenes like caffeine (particularly in the form of PureEnergy) and other dopamine precursors, can have interesting effects beyond what is found used in isolation. However, it’s still worth looking at the studies listed on our formulation page regarding the effects of isolated theobromine.
- DHEA – 20mg. Enhanced mood, energy and motivation. Possible testosterone increase and fat loss. DHEA is a precursor to testosterone. Suggested dose is 25-50mg.
- NHC Response: Some people may be interested in using higher doses of DHEA for sport/anabolic or anti-aging purposes. We’d suggest seeing an integrative medicine practitioner that focuses on hormone therapy and get some lab work done before going on a high dose, though. 20mg is an amount that’s meaningful and generally well tolerated.
- Pure Energy (Pterostilbene bound to Caffeine) – 209mg. Pterostilbene is an antioxidant, said to be a nootropic in doses below 10mg and able to reduce blood glucose and cholesterol in doses above 250mg. It slows the absorption and increases the half life of caffeine, giving you a bigger effect from the caffeine without the crash. Caffeine is approximately 43% of the compound meaning pterostilbene comes in at 119mg. This compound is claimed to be good for heart health, anti-aging, cognitive protection and athletic performance.
- NHC Response: We have 90mg caffeine in this formula (in the form of Pure Energy, coming in at 209mg of the compound overall). We wanted caffeine in a form that had better peak plasma time. Pterostilbene has been found to have many of the same kinds of benefits that were interesting in resveratrol, but with longer lasting and more cerebral effect. This combo allows less mg of caffeine to have a more significant effect with less crash more sustainably.
Adaptogenic Herbs including
- Bacopa Monnieri: 45% Bacosides 300mg- Bacopa has been used for thousands of years as a memory enhancer, to combat stress and to protect the brain against oxidative damage. This is the standard dose that is typically recommended. Read more about it in our Natural Nootropics article
- Mucuna Pruriens: 98% L-Dopa 100mg- 100-150mg is the standard dose for Mucuna. This natural nootropic works by increasing the level of certain neurotransmitters in the brain. It is usually associated with elevating your mood and detoxing your brain of heavy metals like mercury and lead. It is also starting to be used by body builders and athletes because it can increase levels of growth hormones.
- Ginkgo Biloba: 24% glycosides, 6% terpene lactones 50mg
- Coleus Forskohlin: 20% Forskolin 10mg- This dosage is within the usual recommendations.
- Artichoke Extract: 5% Cynarin 500mg- This is a little below the normal dosages of 750-900mg. Artichoke extract and forskolin have been shown when taken together to increase learning, motivation focus, memory and social skills. This is also the reported main ingredient behind the popular stack CILTEP from Natural Stacks.
- NHC Response: One of the reasons we have a lower dose than has been typically used is that the cynarin is primarily intended to support a process known as long-term potentiation, which is a part of synapse development. All of the cholinergics and synaptogenics in the formula work in synergy, so this is a dose that is meaningful in that regard. If people want higher levels of phosphodiesterase-4 inhibition or cyclic AMP elevation, they may choose to take higher levels of artichoke extract.
- Rhodiola Rosea: 3% Rosavins, 1% Salidrosides 300mg- This is a standard dosing amount. Rhodiola Rosea is another natural nootropic that has been used since ancient times. It is thought to promote longevity and lessen the physical and mental effects of stress and fatigue. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and can protect muscle tissues during exercise. The vikings are even reported to have used it to keep themselves strong and healthy.
- Lion’s Mane: 30% polysaccharides 500mg- This is on the low end of the standard dose of 500-1000mg. Lions mane is one of my favorite nootropics. Read more about it in our Natural Nootropics article
- NHC Response: The dosage rationale here is because it’s being used in conjunction with a number of other ingredients that boost NGF and BDNF levels and support myelination. If people are particularly wanting to upregulate NGF, then additional lion’s mane can be beneficial.
- Gynostemma pentaphyllum extract: 150mg- 100-500mg is the standard dose. Called southern ginseng or cheap ginseng, this is actually not related to panax ginseng but has some similar qualities.
- NHC Response: The primary reason we included it is for AMPK activation – which is involved in glucose utilization, mitochondrial function, and cellular aging process.
- NHC Response on Choline Donors as a Category: The choline donors in Qualia were chosen as parts of a comprehensive acetylcholine optimization process. We spent a long time dialing this in and we believe it is done with significantly more complex nuance than in other nootropic stacks we’ve seen. Centrophenoxine has been shown to have greater central nervous system effects on acetylcholine than most other choline donors. Citicoline and Alpha GPC have some central nervous system and some peripheral nervous system effects. There are also varying plasma concentration time curves with each of these, as well as varying pathways that can have more or less effectiveness based on people’s unique physiologies. It’s easy for some people to become over-cholinergic, while others are less sensitive to choline and can tolerate higher doses and report benefit from them. In this standardized version of the formulation, we had to make something that was meaningfully choline-supportive while being well-tolerated by most people. For that reason, we relied on Centrophenoxine as our primary choline donor for our purposes, with support from Citicoline and Alpha GPC. If Centrophenoxine was not in the formulation, we would have used higher doses of the other two. If people do choose to supplement with additional choline sources, it’s wise to pay attention to signs of choline dominance (i.e. tight neck or jaw). Also note that Uridine Monophosphate is another choline donor (it converts in the body to CDP-choline). For the body to make acetylcholine, acetyl donors also matter so that acetyl groups are not the limiting factor. So our Acetyl L-Carnitine and N-Acetyl Tyrosine are also part of the acetylcholine production process. Huperzine A must also be factored (which enables presynaptic acetylcholine to get across the synapse more effectively by inhibiting acetylcholinesterase). And less total acetylcholine is required on the postsynaptic neuron because Noopept modulates acetylcholine receptor sensitivity. All these elements (and more) are involved in how we address comprehensive acetylcholine pathway optimization, and our doses were determined based on these relationships.
- Thaddeus Here – I am choline dominant and if I take certain choline supplements I absolutely get a stiff jaw that’s immediately noticeable. This was a concern of mine in using Qualia, but to date I have never had this experience using Qualia and that goes back to the care they have put into the formualtion.
- Centrophenoxine: 250mg- Standard dose is 200-500mg. This choline source is in step one of Qualia.
- Citicoline: 75mg- Standard dose is 250-600mg which may be increase to 500-2000mg depending on your tolerance and whether you are choline dominant or not.
- Alpha GPC: 100mg- Standard dose is 300-600 mg but that does not take in to account the other choline sources so this is an acceptable dose. Having a choline source in your stack is very important. It gives your brain the needed neurotransmitters to maintain optimal function. It also can improve memory, protect against oxidative stress and has general anti-aging properties for the brain.
Key Amino Acids
- NHC Response on Key Amino Acids: N-Acetyl Tyrosine and DL-Phenylalanine serve many purposes. There’s a principle in permaculture that says when designing a sustainable system, every element should serve multiple functions, and every function should be served by multiple elements. Which leads to the robustness of the system. This is one of our design principles. Each ingredient is chosen for its synergy with other things, multiple things affecting certain pathways, and each ingredient affecting multiple pathways. N-Acetyl Tyrosine is an acetyl donor to help form acetylcholine, a tyrosine source, involved in thyroid hormone production. But the primary reason for it as far as brain chemistry goes is that tyrosine is a precursor for dopamine. The DL- version of Phenylalanine also does a number of things. It’s been shown to help with pain regulation as well as metabolism. Its primary purpose, however, is that phenylalanine converts to tyrosine (which then converts to L-DOPA, which then converts to dopamine). You also have to factor that this stack contains L-DOPA from Mucuna Pruriens. Our primary purpose for the tyrosine and phenylalanine is as dopamine precursors. We determined our doses by considering N-Acetyl Tyrosine and DL-Phenylalanine together, combined with the L-DOPA from Mucuna, and some of the dopaminergic support from a number of other ingredients. Had we just been using DL-Phenylalanine, or just using N-Acetyl Tyrosine, we would have used higher doses. Factoring these synergies, we would not consider our doses ‘low.’ We recommend understanding these complex synergies well before adding things to the stack.
- N-Acetyl Tyrosine: 250mg- Standard dose is 350mg. This nootropic has anti-stress benefits along with the ability to boost overall cognition. I can also alleviate some of the cognitive symptoms of sleep deprivation.
- DL-Phenylalanine: 300mg- Standard dose is 500mg. This essential amino acid can increase motivation, improve memory and aid in attention and focus.
- Taurine: 500mg- Standard dose is 500-2000mg. Taurine can help increase the neurotransmitter GABA which can lead to positive changes in mood. It has has been shown to increase exercise capacity, vision, can increase blood flow throughout the body.
- NHC Response: We recommend taking a look at our formulation page to find out the primary purposes for each ingredient. In the case of Taurine, it was included primarily for its role in neurogenesis (the development of new neurons). This is in combination with a number of other neurogenic ingredients (e.g. Methylcobalamin, Lion’s Mane), and so the dose again is in relationship to those other compounds. If someone wanted to use additional Taurine at night, that would work for most people.
- L-Theanine: 200mg- This is a great nootropic found in green tea that can help your brain switch in to an alpha wave state which is associated with relaxed focus. Read more about it in our Natural Nootropics article
Neuro-Vitamins and Minerals
- Vit B1 as Benfotiamine: 100mg
- Vit B3 as Niacinamide: 50mg
- Vit B5 as Calcium Pantothenate: 850mg
- Vit B6 as Pyridoxal:5-Phosphate: 20mg
- Vit B12 as Methylcobalamin: 1,000mcg
- Vit C as Ascorbic Acid: 250mg
- Vit D3 as Microencapsulated Cholecalciferol: 2000IU- While this is the proper form of D we should be supplementing with, I would not choose to include this in the stack. In the summer, I get all the D I need from the sun and do not wish to supplement. In addition, D levels are very specific to each individual and while some people may benefit from this, there are others who do not need additional D. This is one I would remove from the formulation.
- NHC Response: Compared to ideal physiologic ranges (used in the cutting edge of the integrative medicine world – rather than standard ranges based on averages of people many of whom have sub-optimal health), we find that Vitamin D deficiency is pretty ubiquitous throughout most of the industrialized world. Vitamin D plays a role in so many vital processes, from bone density to macrophage development and activation to myelination. Many people working at the leading edge of Vitamin D supplementation utilize doses much, much higher than this. We used a relatively low dose relative to what many people would likely be recommended based on personalized lab testing. Vitamin D is the primary nutrient involved in myelination and protecting nerves and axons, serving a critical role in brain health.
- Lithium Orotate: 3mg- I was really glad to see this included in the stack. Before starting this stack I took 4.5mg a day, so I was taking a little more before.
- NHC Response: Most people who get positive experiences from Lithium do take 4.5mg of yield. Many people take even higher doses than that. You could do blood labs or quantified self experimentation and play with that. 3mgs is a dose that could produce a meaningful effect while being generally well tolerated for regular use.
- Magnesium Threonate: 75mg- Most magnesium threonate supplements are in 500mg doses, so I am not sure why this does is so small.
- NHC Response: We have 75mg yield of Magnesium Threonate. Important to be clear on the distinction between elemental yield (the actual amount of magnesium) and input (magnesium threonate (or any other form) as a whole compound, of which threonine comprises most of the weight). The typical dose of Magnesium Threonate by itself is 144mg elemental magnesium. This is the dose Life Extension uses of the Magtein brand. They are one of the companies that has pioneered work with Magnesium Threonate the most. So at 75mg, we’re at about half the usual dose. Additional Magnesium Threonate could be taken before bed. The reason we didn’t include more is that magnesium at higher levels could begin competing for absorption with other ingredients in our stack. Magnesium threonate was specifically chosen, over other forms of magnesium, based on the research showing its seemingly unique ability to elevate magnesium levels in the central nervous system. Other forms of magnesium can be useful for other physiological purposes and could be used in conjunction with Qualia, so long as they are separated by a couple hours. Many people report good systemic results using topical magnesium oil (magnesium chloride), which has the benefit of not needing to be absorbed through the GI system.
- Zinc Picolinate: 15mg- This is less than the 50mg normal dose that most recommendations and supplements call for.
- NHC Response: A primary reason we included zinc involves the zinc-copper ratio, which affects neurotransmitter balances. This is largely based on work pioneered by Dr. Walsh. Zinc and copper exist in a dynamic relationship to each other, where the ratio between them affects many things in the body, from viral immunity to neurotransmitter regulation. Since it is common for zinc to be low relative to copper with regard to neuroregulation, we included a small amount of zinc for that purpose. While many people would benefit from higher doses of zinc, it’s believed to be problematic for other people at higher doses, particularly those with elevated MMP-9 levels, which can occur with pathogen exposures, including mold. Also in consideration for the rare people who have elevated copper relative to zinc. Higher zinc supplementation may be recommended based on lab work – factoring zinc and copper levels, MMP-9, etc.
- BioPQQ: 10mg- Standard dose is 10mg. PQQ is a great supplemet for your brain. It can promote nerve growth factor (NGF) which can help you brain repair itself after being damaged and can also help to protect your brain from further damage. It also promotes the creation of new mitochondria which are the powerhouses of our body.
- Curcumin: 500mg- Standard dose is 500mg. We all probably know the antiinflammatory effects that curcumin has on the body. What you may not know is that it is also able to increse brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) which help to create more neurons in the brain. Curcumin can also help you deal with stress better and may be able to reduce age related memory loss.
- Algal DHA: 200mg- Standard dose is around 500-1000mg.
- NHC Response: We do recommend most people supplement with additional Omega fatty acids. Because omega-3 deficiency is so ubiquitous, and long-chain omega-3 in the form of DHA is crucial for the brain and hormones, we wanted to include at least a base amount. However, including it in a powdered version in an intact way is a tricky thing to do. The amount we included was the most we could feasibly get in to address basic daily needs. There are many good complex omega formula’s on the market (eg, Udo’s choice DHA). We also particularly like BioPC formula by BodyBio, based on the work of Patricia Kane, which includes a complex phospholipid blend along with the omegas.
- Green Tea Extract: 98% polyphenols, 45% EGCG 500mg
- Bioperine: 10mg- Standard dose is 5-10mg. Bioperine is as 955 extraction of piperine which by itself doesn’t has much effect. It does however have a large effect of increasing the bioavailability of some of these ingredients like curcumin.
- Quercetin: 200mg
Click here to try out Qualia and make sure to use the coupon code ERISFIT to get 10% your order.
Who is Behind the Introduction of Qualia?
They have now updated their webpage to include more information about the people involved. You can find that information here: http://neurohacker.com/ethos/
The Neuro-Hacker Collective (makers of Qualia), founded in 2015, is a bit nebulous about who they are. For instance, here is the description of who they are from their website:
We are Neurohackers. We come from a variety of backgrounds – some scientific, some entrepreneurial, some formal, a lot learned through direct experience and trial and error. What we have in common is a shared understanding of the potential of Neurohacking and a shared commitment to the principle of Empowered Responsibility.
This doesn’t tell me much. I mean, are these a bunch of young kids messing around with their parent’s money and making things up? The description they left did not give me a high level of trust in who they were and whether they had the skills to back up the claims they were making.
I was able to find a list of their team here and here: The founders of this company have previously created and ran global engineering think tanks, colleges, disruptive technology companies, environmental non-profits, multi-billion dollar public companies, political activist organizations, and intentional communities. This new venture is the biggest and most exciting yet – upgrading the bio-hardware that consciousness runs on.
The listing of the team members and a Linkedin search helped me understand that most of the team has been working to evolve human consciousness.
Interview with one of the founders
Last week I was able to talk with Jordan Greenhall, one of the co-founders of Neurohacker Collective. I asked him quite a few questions about their product Qualia, the people behind it’s development, and also where they are headed for here.
Neurohacker Collective was founded by 4 people.
- Jordan Greenhall
James Schmachtenberger – CEO
- Daniel Schmachtenberger
- Adam Ellis
Along with the founders, you will also find a list of some the other people involved on their Angel.co profile here.
What you won’t find there is some of the people that helped to develop and test the science behind their product.
While I was not given names, here are the backgrounds of some of these people.
- Group lead at Stanford Medical School.
- Educational Philospher from Harvard and founded a company called Lectica?
- Harvard trained Evolutionary Biologist from the Santa Fe Institute, founder of Ronin Institute.
- Physical Neurochemist from University of Portugal
- Cognitive Scientist
These are just a few of the many people involved.
What’s Next For Neurohacker Collective?
Qualia is their general purpose cognitive enhancement supplement. Their plan is to also launch 16 new products by the end of 2017.
These new products will include:
- Superuser Stack
- Flow State Stack
- Skills Learning Stack
- Anxiety Stack
- Meditation Stack
You may not see these exact terms used, as things like anxiety may be regulated carefully by the FDA and Neurohacker will have to get an anti anxiety stack out to us by calling it something different and being bvery careful about the claims they make. Nevertheless their plan is exciting.
The most exciting part of our conversation was their 5 year plan.
What they are planning will in my opinion, increase the growth of the citizen science movement to levels never before seen. I believe that citizen science is the future of the medical industry.
They are trying to develop a new science that is adaptive to complex systems in an effort to begin the process of collecting and analyzing data from many different sources when it comes to health.
Basically, they are trying to design the ultimate database for self quantification that will allow people to share any information they choose about their health and overall wellbeing. This will enable people to learn what changes they can make in their own life to achieve a desired outcome based on the metrics they already have about themselves. These could be things like increased physical and mental performance, health and longevity, better sleep, improved emotional intelligence and any other thing you may want to improve. This is what biohacking and citizen science is all about.
Imagine that in 5 years there are 2.5 million people that have put monthly tracking data in to this system. There will be an open API, so many different companies and organizations can plug data in to it. You will then have an AI agent that knows all the data you have put in to the system, plus it will have access to all the data that the other 2.5 million people have put in to it. Then the AI system will be able to make recommendations based on what would be best for you specifically and acting as your personal performance agent or coach.
For example, you can tell the system that you are wanting to get in to a triathlon and want to know how to best increase your endurance and speed. The system will then make recommendations on the things you should change or do that can help you get to that point.
NHC Response to “What’s Next for Neurohacker Collective?”: To make a claim about the ability to treat anything that is an FDA categorized condition requires going through appropriate FDA approval. While we may go that direction with certain products and technologies in the future, our initial products are in the supplement space, direct to consumer, which don’t require FDA approval and can’t make any formal claims regarding medical conditions. It’s best to think about them as supporting wellness and optimization of various subjective and cognitive functions.
We already have products in development and testing for many other goals, related to ones you mentioned and beyond, and when the time is right we’ll be rolling those out. We’re also working on the ability to have more customized versions of Qualia at scale. Beyond supplements and nootropics, we’re working on many exciting things in the neurotech space in general, so stay tuned!
Like Thaddeus, I noticed some anxiety and jitteriness after taking the full dose of step two, so for the first two weeks, instead of taking 5 tablets of step two, I just took 4. After two weeks I switched to taking the full dose again and haven’t noticed any negative effects since then.
I noticed that on the days that I cycle off of Qualia, I get an overwhelming sense of purpose and positive, motivated emotional state. Its really hard to describe the way it feels. The only other time I have felt this effect was when experimenting with modafinil.
After about 3 weeks of taking Qualia, I noticed that my visual perception became much more vivid. I don’t know if my eyesight is actually improving or if it is just related to an increase in focus. I first noticed this when I was looking up at the tops of trees and was able to almost zoom in on leaves or animals that were there.
Colors have also become more vivid. Its almost like the difference between standard definition and high definition video. Its actually quite profound.
Using Quantified Mind, I tested many different parameters including:
- Reaction Time
- Attentional Focus
- Visual Processing
- Verbal Learning
- Working Memory
I increased my scores in every category, with the most notable being verbal learning, working memory and attentional focus.
I also have much more focus when working and when meditating. I was extremely impressed by the effects Qualia is having on my cognition.
Since the second week of taking Qualia, I have noticed that my morning fasting glucose level is on average 5 points lower than it used to be, especially on the morning after days that I had some type of intense physical activity. I assume that this is because of the phosphatidylserine and the effect it has on cortisol.
As you can see from the screenshot of my sleep tracker, Qualia has significantly increased the quality of my sleep. I actually can’t believe that it had such an effect on my sleep.
Some other things I noticed were in relation to my dreams. The amount of dreams that I remember when I wake up in the morning has increased along with how vivid and real my dreams seem.
NHC Response to Chris’s Experience:
One of our core memes is “empowered responsibility.” The fact that you’re tracking your biometrics and psychometrics as closely as you are with Quantified Mind tools, paying attention to your experience, and then adjusting accordingly, is great to see!
You mentioned ‘increased visual perception,’ which is a common thing we’ve heard from people early on. Our initial intention was to increase sensory acuity, but we hadn’t expected it to be subjectively perceptible. A positive side effect. 🙂
Two days before my massive summer vacation, I popped the first two pills.
Qualia is split up into two bottles. A Step 1 and a Step 2. You take 3 capsules of Step 1 on an empty stomach (so for me, first thing in the morning). Then you take 5 Step 2 tablets. At Paleo f(x) I found this was a little much for me. I felt like I had too much caffeine and was a bit jittery and light headed.
So I started with 2 capsules of Step 1 and 3 tablets of Step 2 in order to keep the ratio of nutrients to the same.
Step 1 by itself gave me a very calm focus. It was only after I took Step 2 at Paleo that I experienced the head rush.
At 11am, with my lunch, I downed the three tablets of Step 2. I definitely felt focused, on task and creative. I was less distracted than usual and popped through my usual work in record time. I was able to close my email browsers and totally ignore them while I focused on my task.
I felt more creative than ever. I was motivated and able to sit down for 3 hours and crank out an amazing 10 blog posts in record time. My usual record was about 1-2 posts max.
I felt “on” the whole day. Even though I have a lot going on, I felt calm and focused.
While on vacation in California over the summer, and into week 2 of Qualia, I was totally unmotivated to do any structured physical activity. I wasn’t sure if it was the Qualia or the jet lag, or my body just needing a rest. My mind was on fire, and I could sit down at my laptop and crush blog posts. I was super creative. I was ON!. It was amazing. I have only experienced this in a few limited flow sessions before, but with Qualia, the flow sessions were predictable and high quality. However, I was really disturbed about the physical effects of not feeling motivated to get up and workout.
So I stopped taking Qualia on vacation and decided to wait until I was back into my normal routine and work schedule to try it back out and see if it still have a draining effect on my physically. My motivation to perform physical tasks and workout did not improve.
When I got home, I got back into my routine and my physical energy was back on track. I started up Qualia again and felt motivated both to do creative work and to get into the gym and train. My lack of motivation on vacation was likely my body telling me it needed a rest.
NHC Response to Thaddeus’s Experience:
Glad to hear you were crankin’ on blog posts and in creative flow – that’s exactly what we were shooting for in designing Qualia 🙂
Does it Work, and Would We Recommend it?
I think you can see from the results above that it does result in some very positive changes.
If you are looking for something to upgrade many of your different cognitive functions , then look no further.
That being said, this is their base formula and if you are looking for some more specific results in some areas, then you may do well to experiment with adding other things in combination with this stack. We absolutely recommend the stack, but still believe that a few of the ingredients like magnesium could be a little higher.
Click here to try out Qualia and make sure to use the coupon code ERISFIT to get 10% your order.
I am very excited to see what the ingredients are in their upcoming stacks and what the results are of the software and database that they are building. When we are able to leverage the data of millions of people to make changes in our own lives, our knowledge and understanding of our own biology will evolve at a rate never seen before.
We will let you know as soon as we have any more information on new developments or products.
NHC Response: One of our key differentiators and special sauce, beyond just big data analysis, is our approach to understanding and modeling complex regulatory processes. This is the theoretical framework within which we big data analysis becomes particularly meaningful. Science is about both data and theory: we need big and good data…and, also good hypothesis generation, identification of mechanisms and causal relationships, etc. Better models and hypotheses end up needing a lot less data to make a lot more meaning. And then with more data, it’s that much more meaning.
We’re focused on developing better understanding of synergy and combinatorics – what things do together differently than they do in isolation, what they do in different ratios, what they do that’s unique to a person’s individual biochemistry, etc. It’s not adequate to just look at what each nutrient or therapy or hack does in isolation, but need to look at what they do in synergy with other mechanisms, factoring timing, personalization, etc. This is where the structure of clinical trials fails us. In personalized medicine, we’re trying to understand how combinations of things work on specific individuals. But the structure of a clinical trial is to select exactly one thing, control for all other factors, compare that one thing to a placebo, and do it on as large a group as possible. But what happens when you you’re trying to understand how multiple compounds work together, in various ratios, for a specific individual? This requires a much more complex model of understanding how human physiology and biochemistry work, which is really at the heart of what we’re working to pioneer: including but beyond big data analysis, and into complex modeling.