Home Fitness Qualia Mind vs. Alpha Brain (I Tried Both): Who Wins In 2024?
Qualia Mind vs. Alpha Brain (I Tried Both): Who Wins In 2024?
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Qualia Mind vs. Alpha Brain (I Tried Both): Who Wins In 2024?

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Qualia Mind and Alpha Brain are two giant influencer-led nootropic supplements touted to enhance cognitive function. But with all heavily promoted supplements (ahem… AG1, I’m talking to you), you should be take caution with these claims.

So I took both to experience the benefits myself and give you the verdict on which is better.

Quick Verdict

Qualia Mind is a superior nootropic in all aspects. The formulation contains almost all of the ingredients in Alpha Brain but in much higher doses.

In addition, it has several other potent substances that deliver long-term benefits. It’s also a stimulant nootropic, giving you an almost instant boost.

The only issue with Qualia Mind is the price, which is significantly higher than almost all other nootropics. If it’s not out of your budget, you may love Qualia Mind. Give Alpha Brain a shot if you want something more than four times cheaper. It might work better for you than it did for me.

FeatureWinner
IngredientsQualia Mind
DosageQualia Mind
Short-Term EffectsQualia Mind
Long Term EffectsQualia Mind
Third-Party TestingDraw
Clinical ResearchAlpha Brain
Side EffectsDraw
User ReviewsQualia Mind
PriceAlpha Brain
Qualia Mind Cognitive Supplement

Quick Verdict

What Is Qualia Mind?

Qualia Mind Nootropic

Qualia Mind is a premium nootropic supplement with 28 ingredients in one of the most comprehensive and well-dosed formulas on the market.

The company behind Qualia Mind is called Neurohacker Collective.

They specialize in manufacturing supplements that boost cognitive performance, mental wellness, and total physical well-being.

Their method combines rigorous scientific research with holistic health ideas to address the underlying causes of health problems rather than just their symptoms. Qualia Mind is only one of their full range of brain and health-enhancing products.

My Qualia Mind review goes into detail on the formulation and my experiences.

What Is Alpha Brain?

Alpha Brain Side Effects

Alpha Brain is a nootropic developed by Onnit Labs, a well-known manufacturer of health and fitness products and equipment.

Joe Rogan owns a portion of the company, making it one of the most popular nootropics on the market. Alpha Brain was the first nootropic to feature a comprehensive formula study.

This product is touted as a cutting-edge, stimulant-free brain health supplement that will help you get into the zone and perform better regardless of whether you are a student, a working professional, an entrepreneur, or an artist.

My Alpha Brain review goes into detail on the formulation and my experiences.

Qualia Mind vs. Alpha Brain Pro Main Differences

Alpha Brain vs Qualia Mind

Benefits

Both supplements aim to boost brain function and use many of the same ingredients to accomplish the desired outcomes, which include improved attention and memory, lower stress and anxiety levels, and higher creativity and productivity.

Qualia Mind improves focus, memory, and mental clarity by working across several major neurological systems.

Its goal is to help your body’s natural ability to upregulate the production of essential neurotransmitters like BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor) and other pathways required for normal brain function.

Alpha Brain improves your ability to think clearly and focus by encouraging the creation of alpha waves in the brain and supporting the levels of acetylcholine, a critical neurotransmitter.

The formulation aims to get you in the “flow state,” where time seems to stop, and you are the most creative and productive.

Ingredients

Qualia Mind has one of the most extensive ingredients lists of all nootropics, boasting 28 (not all are active) to address every aspect of brain health and performance. Every ingredient’s dosage is disclosed on the label.

Alpha Brain does not consider this necessary and hides the dosages behind three proprietary blends: Onnit Flow Blend, Focus Blend, and Fuel Blend. This policy leaves us guessing how much of each is inside.

Both products share a few components common to many nootropics. I’ll start with them before examining the different elements of the two formulations.

A crucial difference is the presence of caffeine, helped by L-theanine and taurine, in Qualia Mind, which acts as a stimulant and provides a quick and consistent nootropic boost.

L-theanine, an amino acid derived from green tea, is a very effective antioxidant commonly incorporated in nootropics due to its positive effects on stress and anxiety alleviation.

Additionally, it boosts verbal fluency and executive function. [1][2]. The recommended dose is 200 mg. Alpha Brain likely contains around 150 mg, and Qualia is on point with 200.

L-tyrosine is another shared cornerstone nootropic component that boosts cognitive adaptability and facilitates seamless task transitions [3]. Both products contain 250 mg of L-tyrosine.

Qualia Mind, Alpha Brain, and 90 percent of nootropics on the market contain Bacopa monnieri. The ayurvedic herb improves verbal learning, memory acquisition, and delayed recall by helping brain receptors process information [4].

Qualia Mind again hits the recommended 300 mg of Bacopa, while Alpha Brain is underdosed with only around 100 mg.

Huperzine A, a component of both the Qualia Mind and Noocube formulations, is thought to help with recovery from traumatic brain injuries and improve brain function in Alzheimer’s patients [6,7]. Both products are well under the recommended dose.

Alpha GPC may improve cognitive function, memory, and focus and even outperforms caffeine in specific tasks [13]. Qualia has a serious dose of 300 mg, while Alpha Brain’s entire Focus blend is 240 mg, leaving Alpha GPC with around 100.

Caffeine is an essential component of Qualia Mind’s composition. It stimulates the nervous system, instantly increasing energy, focus, and concentration. The product contains 90 mg of caffeine, roughly the same as a cup of espresso.

Qualia Mind contains L-theanine and taurine, which enhance the potency of caffeine, resulting in the best nootropic combination.

I’ve already talked about L-theanine, but the combination deserves attention because the amino acid enhances the benefits of caffeine while lowering its negative effects. [8][9].

Taurine also works brilliantly with caffeine and is associated with improved performance while reducing the requirement for caffeine to get the same effect [10].

Qualia Mind contains Citicoline, which optimizes brain pathways and boosts neural regeneration, focus, brain energy, and memory [11][12].

Rhodiola rosea is used to help the body cope with stress, anxiety, and depression [5], and Qualia Mind has a strong dose of the adaptogenic herb.

Furthermore, Qualia Mind includes 100 mg of Phosphatidylserine, which has been shown to increase cognitive function.

Qualia Mind contains other potent ingredients such as Algae DHA, Coleus Forskohlii, Ginkgo Biloba, L-dopa, and others, all of which contribute individually or synergistically to the formulation’s overall potency and effectiveness.

Cat’s claw is one of the few ingredients found only in Alpha Brain. Traditional medicine has used the plant to boost the immune system and reduce inflammation. Alpha Brain even lists it as a separate ingredient, not as part of the blends, but clinical studies haven’t proven its effectiveness yet.

Stimulant vs. Non-Stimulant

Alpha Brain vs Qualia Mind Benefits

Qualia Mind contains caffeine as a stimulant. The clean version of Alpha Brain is a non-stimulant product without ingredients capable of stimulating the nervous system and delivering fast nootropic boosts. 

Qualia Mind is also available in a non-caffeinated version for those who avoid stimulants but still want to experience the precise formulation.

At the same time, a stimulant version of Alpha Brain called Alpha Brain Black Label is also available.

This review compares only the standard versions of the two products, namely the stimulant Qualia Mind and the non-stimulant Alpha Brain.

Short vs. Long-Term Effects

Nootropics are most effective when used on a daily basis for a longer period of time. My experience with effective nootropics revealed minor effects in week two, with more significant ones in weeks three and four of my 30-day trials.

Manufacturers recommend 3 to 4 months of use to fully benefit from the product and establish its quality. However, after a month, you should have a clear notion of whether a supplement is effective.

Qualia Mind functions effectively in the short and long term. When combined, caffeine, L-theanine, and taurine are dependable and effective energy and focus stimulants that can be taken as an immediate pick-me-up when needed. 

However, the product also contains many nootropic components to provide meaningful and impactful long-term benefits.

Qualia Mind supports neuron synaptic formation and brain mitochondrial function, which is especially important for people in advanced age looking to retain optimal cognition. 

Clinical Research

Alpha Brain has the advantage over Qualia Mind in only two areas—price and clinical research. The Onnit nootropic was the first product to have peer-reviewed, double-blind studies done on the complete product.

The study lasted 6 weeks and discovered taking Alpha Brain significantly enhanced delayed verbal recall and executive functioning compared to a placebo group [14]. However, the study was paid for by Onnit, so there will always be doubt about bias.

Be that as it may, it’s still better than Qualia Mind, which lacks a complete formulation study. Most of the individual ingredients are well-researched, and the doses in Qualia are largely sufficient, but the synergizing effect of a complete formula remains the most important aspect.

Side Effects

Nootropics might cause occasional side effects such as gastrointestinal issues and headaches. The presence of so many ingredients in the two formulations increases the likelihood of experiencing unwanted effects.

Most people have no problems with nootropics, and I count myself among them. Neither Qualia Mind nor Alpha Brain have caused me issues.

I have examined a large number of customer reviews for Qualia Mind and found no notable complaints of adverse effects.

I found some people suffering from nausea or headaches from Alpha Brain, but given the number of reviews, the percentage of people with adverse effects is minimal.

It is also important to note a single serving of Qualia Mind comprises 7 capsules, which is a bit too much, in my opinion.

User Reviews

Qualia Mind has received over 2,300 reviews thus far, with a score of 4.5/5. I read through many reviews, and most of them rave about the product, as one would expect from such a high-quality supplement.

Being recommended by Joe Rogan is one of the best advertisements a product can receive, so Alpha Brain has nearly 30,000 Amazon reviews and 7,000 on its website.

The score on Amazon is 4.3, whereas on the website, it is 3.5. Many customers remark about not feeling any effects, but a high score from so many reviews suggests overall satisfaction with the product.   

Price

Product1 Bottle1 Bottle1 Bottle Subscription
Qualia Mind$39.00 / 22 servings w/ subscription ($1.77/ serving)$159.00 / 22 servings ($7.22/ serving)$139 w/ subscription ($6.31/serving)
Alpha Brain$34.95 / 15 servings ($2.33/serving)$79.95 / 45 servings ($1.78/serving)$67.96 / 45 servings ($1.44/serving w/ subscription)

My Experience With Qualia Mind And Alpha Brain

Qualia Mind vs Alpha Brain Experiences

My experience with Qualia Mind has been outstanding, but this is to be expected. The caffeine, L-Theanine, and taurine combo works as a charm and can make every day more productive and enjoyable.

I was not sure I would experience the more gradual effects, but I did. I examined my mental performance during the 30-day trial of Qualia Mind, and by the end of it, I can confidently say I was “smarter.”

By this, I mean I could think more clearly, remember information more easily, and, very importantly for me, distract less.

I can’t say the same for Alpha Brain. My experience matches that of the users who don’t feel anything. The product has a solid formulation with many proven nootropic agents, but the doses are too low to have a significant effect.

Perhaps using it for longer will be more beneficial.

Should You Choose Qualia Mind Or Alpha Brain?

Qualia Mind is much better in every way. The majority of Alpha Brain’s ingredients are also found in Qualia, but the former’s doses are twice as big. In addition, Qualia has a handful of additional potent substances.

The stimulant stack also works as intended, and Qualia can replace your daily dose of coffee because the effects are much more significant. But Qualia is also four times more expensive than Alpha Brain.

Paying 7 bucks per serving and gulping 7 pills each morning is not for everyone. If you want something much cheaper that can still deliver long-term nootropic effects, I would recommend Noocube and Nooceptin on Mind Lab Pro, but Alpha Brain is also a decent nootropic, and it works for some people.

Best For Short & Long Term

Qualia Mind

Qualia Mind

Code “LBEB” saves 15%

A comprehensive stimulant-based nootropic formula for effective cognitive enhancement.

CHECK CURRENT DEALS

Best Non-Stimulant Option

Alpha Brain

Alpha Brain

A nootropic supplement backed by prominent podcasters and clinical research for boosting brain function.

CHECK CURRENT DEALS

References

  1. Hidese, S., Ogawa, S., Ota, M., Ishida, I., Yasukawa, Z., Ozeki, M., & Kunugi, H. (2019). Effects of L-theanine administration on stress-related symptoms and cognitive functions in healthy adults: a randomized controlled trial. Nutrients, 11(10), 2362.
  2. Williams, J. L., Everett, J. M., D’Cunha, N. M., Sergi, D., Georgousopoulou, E. N., Keegan, R. J., … & Naumovski, N. (2020). The effects of green tea amino acid L-theanine consumption on the ability to manage stress and anxiety levels: A systematic review. Plant foods for human nutrition, 75, 12-23.
  3. Steenbergen, L., Sellaro, R., Hommel, B., & Colzato, L. S. (2015). Tyrosine promotes cognitive flexibility: evidence from proactive vs. reactive control during task switching performance. Neuropsychologia, 69, 50-55.
  4. Morgan, A., & Stevens, J. (2010). Does Bacopa monnieri improve memory performance in older persons? Results of a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial. The journal of alternative and complementary medicine, 16(7), 753-759.
  5. Cropley, M., Banks, A. P., & Boyle, J. (2015). The effects of Rhodiola rosea L. extract on anxiety, stress, cognition and other mood symptoms. Phytotherapy research, 29(12), 1934-1939.
  6. Li, J., Wu, H. M., Zhou, R. L., Liu, G. J., & Dong, B. R. (2008). Huperzine A for Alzheimer’s disease. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (2).
  7. Mei, Z., Zheng, P., Tan, X., Wang, Y., & Situ, B. (2017). Huperzine A alleviates neuroinflammation, oxidative stress and improves cognitive function after repetitive traumatic brain injury. Metabolic Brain Disease, 32, 1861-1869.
  8. Williams, J. L., Everett, J. M., D’Cunha, N. M., Sergi, D., Georgousopoulou, E. N., Keegan, R. J., … & Naumovski, N. (2020). The effects of green tea amino acid L-theanine consumption on the ability to manage stress and anxiety levels: A systematic review. Plant foods for human nutrition, 75, 12-23.
  9. Haskell, C. F., Kennedy, D. O., Milne, A. L., Wesnes, K. A., & Scholey, A. B. (2008). The effects of L-theanine, caffeine and their combination on cognition and mood. Biological psychology, 77(2), 113-122.
  10. Souza, D.B., Del Coso, J., Casonatto, J. et al. Acute effects of caffeine-containing energy drinks on physical performance: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Eur J Nutr 56, 13–27 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00394-016-1331-9
  11. Nakazaki E, Mah E, Sanoshy K, Citrolo D, Watanabe F. Citicoline and Memory Function in Healthy Older Adults: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial. J Nutr. 2021 Aug 7;151(8):2153-2160. doi: 10.1093/jn/nxab119. PMID: 33978188; PMCID: PMC8349115.
  12. Jasielski, P.; Pi?del, F.; Piwek, M.; Rocka, A.; Petit, V.; Rejdak, K. Application of Citicoline in Neurological Disorders: A Systematic Review. Nutrients 2020, 12, 3113. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12103113
  13. Parker AG, Byars A, Purpura M, Jäger R. The effects of alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine, caffeine or placebo on markers of mood, cognitive function, power, speed, and agility. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2015 Sep 21;12(Suppl 1):P41. doi: 10.1186/1550-2783-12-S1-P41. PMCID: PMC4595381.
  14. Solomon, T. M., Leech, J., deBros, G. B., Murphy, C. A., Budson, A. E., Vassey, E. A., & Solomon, P. R. (2016). A randomized, double?blind, placebo controlled, parallel group, efficacy study of alpha BRAIN® administered orally. Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental, 31(2), 135-143.

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James de Lacey James is a professional strength & conditioning coach that works with professional and international level teams and athletes. He owns Sweet Science of Fighting, is a published scientific researcher and has completed his Masters in Sport & Exercise Science. He's combined my knowledge of research and experience to bring you the most practical bites to be applied to your combat training.