I first heard about Qualia from former Navy Seal Mark Devine who runs Sealfit Academy on his Unbeatable Mind podcast. Some of the interviews conducted by Tim Ferris as well as his 4-Hour Body book got me interested in the concept of biohacking. At first, I tried to enhance cognitive performance through more cardio along with experimentation with ketosis.
For a while my morning routine included waking, having coffee with 1/2 spoon coconut oil and 1/2 a spoon of MCT oil, doing fasted cardio or 5x5 weight training, and then having a creatine post-workout drink. Although I’ve changed multivitamins to assist (now taking 1 capsule Nature’s Way Alive! Max3 Daily Men’s Max Potency), I would always seem to hit an afternoon slump around 3pm and need a coffee to power through the remainder of the day.
I had some success with the Thrive capsule / shake / patch system in alleviating physical fatigue, but the price to performance advantage was not enough to continue. The Thrive neutropic did not have any noticeable effect on mental fatigue.
Enter Qualia. I purchased a single month package off Amazon because I am not yet ready to commit. As a Prime member, the cost was not bad compared to ordering from the Neurohacker Collective directly and taking advantage of one of the 10–20% discount codes I have banging around my email from some mailing lists.
The Qualia packaging was high quality as shown above. The instructions, like Thrive, require the first set of capsules to be taken on an empty stomach and wait 30 minutes before consuming food.
Day 1 — I took a 2/3 dose to ease into the product based on two reviews I had seen on YouTube. The effect of the stack was noticeable. I wake up at 5am. I had the initial Qualia dose on an empty stomach and had my usual breakfast, multivitamin, and coffee w/coconut and MCT oil at 5:30am along with some phase II Qualia you take on a full stomach. At around 7:50 to 8am I usually prepare my second cup of coffee before starting my workday. I poured the coffee and added some creamer. This is where things get odd. Without consciously thinking, I grabbed the spoon with my non-dominant hand, started stirring in the creamer and opened the fridge with my dominant hand to simultaneously put away the creamer. As the fridge door shut I realized what I had just done and made a mental note of it. A few minutes later I hit the office and cleared a 3 day vacation backlog of email in 90 minutes. It was nearly a flow state. Incredible. I finished the day strong.
I did not pack the Qualia for a trip to Atlanta and was off of it for 3 days. I figured that Qualia requires 2 days off per week anyway so no big deal. I count those as days 2 and 3 of my Qualia journey.
Day 4 — I took the full dose. No noticeable effect other than being able to power through the entire day going from task to task without pause. I did observe that I had less “head hunger” / desire to eat when not physically hungry. I also observed a decreased need to check social media outside of the time boundaries I have set for that (usually before 6:30am and after 5pm).
Day 5 — Full dose. Another odd thing occurred in the morning. Before getting dressed I usually check my calendar to see what meetings I’m going to be in and factor that into my clothing choice. This particular day I saw I had a meeting near a local university where there is only metered parking. This is the weird part. Again, without consciously thinking about that parking situation, or the fact that I had a little bit of spare change in my bedside table (I have a change jar near the pantry), I reached in and grabbed that change to put in my pocket. As I hit the door I realized, again, that my subconscious must be working a little harder on my behalf than before.
Day 5 continued — Not only was the fifth day a Friday, it was the Friday after a long week of travel (car trips to Ohio and Georgia). Yet, I was still cranking away in the home office until 6:30pm. Incredible.
Day 6 is underway. I plan to use another full dose. And, since I’ve actually written a Medium post already instead of just thinking about writing one, I’d say it’s going to be a very productive Saturday as well.