Never mind the supplements involved in this match up. There’s an intense philosophical debate underlying the Mind Lab Pro vs. Qualia question. Both sides of the debate including:
- Individualism – represented by Mind Lab Pro’s “Universal Nootropic” stack that only targets the key brain bio-pathways shared by all individuals.
- Collectivism – represented by Qualia’s huge collection of nootropics that target any and all bio-pathways, even the ones unique to only parts of a demographic (as well as Neurohacker Collective’s “open investment” business design).
So, my first question here: Is it better to try covering all ailments known to humankind, putting the onus on the collective to split the bill, or to simply focus on the key cogs responsible for making everything work, permitting users the option to individually spend their additional cashflow as they see fit?
Depending on the final outcome of this comparison review, we may need to amend (or completely rewrite) a few constitutions. Hold tight, friend-O’s, and let’s read the review.
Mind Lab Pro vs. Qualia Ingredients
Mind Lab Pro Supplement Facts
Qualia Supplement Facts
First off: I’ll probably need some heavy-lifting nootropics to take on this review. In a typical nootropic comparison review, I’m pitting one supplement against another.
In the Mind Lab Pro vs. Qualia stand off, however, I have one behemoth nootropic supplement against a two-for-one double stack behemoth supplement. Hence, in terms of ingredient count, this Mind Lab Pro vs. Qualia review pushes my mental hard-drive to the limit.
Therefore, once all is said and done here, I’ll also be taking the winning nootropic to rejuvenate my big, fat brain back into working order. Let’s check out the dietary supplements’ formula designs to see which one is up for the task:
Mind Lab Pro: Universal Nootropic for 100% Brain Power
First off, as the Universal Nootropic, Mind Lab Pro® seems to work for anyone with a brain. (Not everyone has one, unfortunately.) Which is quite the feat when you consider the full complexity of the brain.
Some nootropics do well at energizing the brain. Others do well at clearing brain fog. Mind Lab Pro, on the other hand, tackles all cognitive issues due to its simple, yet diverse, nootropic formula. Furthermore, it’s the diverse simplicity that makes all of this possible, because Mind Lab Pro only uses the latest and greatest natural nootropic ingredients. As a result, Mind Lab Pro can support the following brain bio-pathways:
- Energy – of the non-stimulant, non-caffeinated variety.
- Brain Chemicals – acetylcholine, dopamine, serotonin and more.
- Blood Flow – because better circulation results in better brain function.
- Brainwaves – for creative, free-flowing alpha brainwave mental states.
- Neuroprotection – protects neurons for the future.
- Neuroregeneration – rebuilds neurons from the past.
Every brain pathway is covered. And by simultaneously covering all of these pathways, Mind Lab Pro helps boost brain performance for better memory, mood, mindset, learning and more. Although, stimulation has been removed from the equation as Mind Lab Pro keeps its caps clean and caffeine-free.
Every nootropic is research backed. What’s particularly cool about this is that as new research develops and strengthens on new nootropic findings, Mind Lab Pro stays formulated with the times, tossing out past ingredients for superior options. Read my in-depth Mind Lab Pro Review.
Mind Lab Pro Update: 2017 Formula
The updated Mind Lab Pro formula makes a few upgrades worth mentioning, especially if you’re holding onto the previous formulation. The changes made by Opti Nutra: The replacements of Pterostilbene and Vinpocetine with Maritine Pine Bark Extract and Vitamin B9; the fuller Bacopa extract spectrum (9 bio-actives); the upgrade to BioGenesis™ B vitamins. I’m partial to the Maritime Pine Bark addition: this antioxidant herbal has been gaining major traction in the nootropic community as of late for its well researched boosts on attention and focus. Plus it reduces the risk of scurvy. (Thank God!)
Qualia: The Two-Step Collectivist Cognitive Enhancer
The word “qualia” is defined as: “the internal and subjective component of sense perceptions, arising from stimulation of the senses by phenomena.” With regards to Qualia, the nootropic supplement, the phenomena giving rise to sense perception are some 42 ingredients, split between two supplement stacks — aptly named “Step One” and Step Two”.
Neurohacker Collective categorizes those ingredients into the following categories:
- Nootropic Compounds – Mostly the synthetics and semi-synthetics.
- Neuro-Vitamins – Vitamin B’s, vitamin C, and vitamin D.
- Neuro-Anti Inflammatories and Antioxidants – Free radicals and inflammation be gone!
- Adaptogen Extracts – Potent standardized herbal extracts.
- Amino Acids – Pro-metabolic, pro-mood, and pro-focus aminos.
- Choline Donors – Thankfully, no choline bitartrate in this cholinergic combo.
- Neuro-Minerals – Lithium, Magnesium, and Zinc.
Individually, each nootropic category impresses with its ingredient selections, quality, and dosage levels. Most supplements that shoot for 42 ingredients (or even half that: 21 ingredients) are ineffective and scammy; yet, Qualia actually pulls this off — and double props for eschewing the whole proprietary blend trend.
Collectively, I have reservations with how all of these ingredients work together. For the most part, these nootropics are probably safe and side effect free. But the risk of poor ingredient interactions increases with more ingredients (umm obvi).
In addition, I’m surprised Qualia thought to include caffeine, which is generally a crutch in the pre-made nootropic game. I prefer to take my noots with an optional side of caffeine. (The keyword being “optional”.) Read my in-depth Qualia Review.
With 42 ingredients in one corner, I’d be surprised to see any nootropics that aren’t shared by both formulas. As it turns out, there is only one: Maritime Pine Bark Extract.
However, don’t let this fool you: Even the nootropics shared between these products differ in their qualities and quantities from supplement to supplement — even if it seems like both products are operating at almost the same level of exceptionally high quality.
Here are the key ingredients and features that ultimately set these products apart:
Mind Lab Pro
- B Vitamins (as BioGenesis™) – Both nootropic supplements smartly stack B vitamins. However, Mind Lab Pro uses the more bio-active and faster-acting BioGenesis B vitamin brand.
- Citicoline (as Cognizin®) – Again, both supplements feature Citicoline, yet Mind Lab Pro also supplies a hefty 250 mg of the research backed Cognizin® CDP Choline (vs. Qualia’s 75 mg Citicoline).
- Lion’s Mane (Full Spectrum) – Qualia supplies 30% Lion’s Mane extract. However, Mind Lab Pro gives us the full Lion’s Mane extract spectrum.
- Phosphatidylserine (as Sharp-PS®) – Most supplements use the soy-derived phosphatidylserine. Mind Lab Pro sticks with the sharper, cleaner, sunflower-derived Sharp-PS®.
- L-Theanine (as Suntheanine®) – One of my favorite nootropics, L-theanine, can be found in many nootropic supplements. And Mind Lab Pro steps it up with its Suntheanine® branded L-theanine.
- All Natural, Caffeine-Free – Finally, I drink enough coffee and caffeine as it is, so I’m always down for a clean, green energy source that doesn’t rely on synthetic stimulation. Mind Lab Pro fits that bill.
- Noopept – Despite not being a true racetam, Noopept seems like a piracetam-like experience, boosting cognition and “psychostimulation” at the cost of potential tolerance risks.
- Caffeine (as Purenergy™) – Good ol’ caffeine! Brought to us in a snazzy Purenergy package, which mixes this energizing drug with the juicy pterostilbene antioxidant nootropic.
- DHEA – An interesting choice by Qualia, given its banned prohormone status (a caution to users prone to drug testing). However, research is also weak on this one, with some users claiming mood benefits.
- BioPQQ™ – Quality trademarked PQQ antioxidant. The potent antioxidant status probably enhances cognitive longevity, whereas one elusive study also claims PQQ may assist stress, fatigue, and sleep.
- Ginkgo Biloba Extract – For potentially millennia, this ancient nootropic herb has enhanced cognition by boosting cerebral circulation and improving dopamine activity. A great herb for both the young and old — but especially for the old.
- 42 Total Ingredients – I could also list through 37 more ingredients on this list but will save you the eye strain (and me the finger strain) by ending the ingredient mentions here. Although it’s worth noting that other key nootropics are included in Qualia, such as L-Dopa, Huperzine-A, Curcumin, Vinpocetine, and more. The only question: how well do they work with each other?
- Two Step Set-Up – Mind Lab Pro packs its formula into a single bottle product. Qualia spreads its formula across two bottles; Step One using a 3 Veggie Capsules serving size and Step Two switching to a 5 Tablets serving size. Strange to see a pill in such a luxury brand.
Potency & Quality
Are the nootropics in these supplements bio-actively potent and powerful? Yes.
Are the nootropics also of exceptional quality and safety? Yes.
For both Mind Lab Pro and Qualia?? Yes and Yes …ish. Probably.
Although, I’ll qualify those Yes’s before explaining the “ish.”
Mind Lab Pro vs. Qualia shows that both provide exceptional quality, highly potent nootropic ingredients across the board. However, most of all Mind Lab Pro’s nootropics come in their best, most bio-active formats, with Opti-Nutra cutting no corners on the capsules either, cramming those clean, green Plantcaps full — leaving the rice filler and other unnecessary additives to the birds and lab rats.
Typically Mind Lab Pro demolishes in this category, yet Qualia puts up an impressive fight here with its high number of highly potent nootropics — standardized herbal extracts, correct vitamin and mineral forms, etc. — stacked in clean, smart and green capsules and tablets. However, the sum total of Qualia’s design comes across as less clean than Mind Lab Pro’s tight, focused, 11-ingredient stack.
(And here I explain the “ish.”)
As I already mentioned, Qualia’s ingredients work individually, each presented in their superior, potent formats. However, Qualia makes two missteps that may lessen the formulas’ overall impact: 1) not every ingredient is entirely necessary here (e.g., ALCAR helps elderly cognition but not average, healthy users; DHEA needlessly adds a banned prohormone to the mix; caffeine is… well, caffeine). And 2) the high ingredient count also probably increases the risk of negative ingredient interactions (or counter-actions).
Due to missteps with tolerance issues with regards to Noopept, Qualia seems like it may be a little off-kilter compared to Mind Lab Pro’s stable, sturdy formula. Hence, Mind Lab Pro scores points here.
Value: Mind Lab Pro vs. Qualia
|Price||Servings||Price Per Serving|
|Mind Lab Pro||$65||30||$2.17|
In addition, Qualia charges a little more than three times the price of Mind Lab Pro, despite providing only 22 days worth of caps and tabs. Although, you may decrease the price per serving for both products, if you buy Qualia’s subscription plan ($129 per 22 servings, charged via autoshipment) or Mind Lab Pro’s 3 bottles (+ 1 free bottle) at an average $1.63 per serving (+ free shipping). Either way, you get a discount.
Mind Lab Pro or Qualia: Which is better?
Mind Lab Pro has a cleaner, tighter, more universally effective design.
Most noteworthy, Mind Lab Pro does all this without the help of synthetics and caffeine, focusing only on the best natural nootropics on the market — nothing more, nothing less. Furthermore, the chosen ingredients not only comprehensively cover all nootropic bio-pathways but also synergize well to improve cognition beyond each ingredient’s individual potential.
Qualia has more nootropics and more servings for more money.
Qualia packs a ton of quality, premium nootropics into two massive daily servings: 3 veggie caps for Step One, 5 tablets for Step Two — for a wide spectrum of bio-benefits. It’s a hugely ambitious nootropic supplement. In addition, it is backed by an equally ambitious “open investment” business design and pricing model. In conclusion, Qualia is an overall impressive cognitive enhancing supplement that could slim down to a more affordable and, ironically, more focused and effective design. Still, Qualia gets props. And, Qualia does seem to value quality as much as Mind Lab Pro does, which is saying a lot.
Mind Lab Pro vs. Qualia is a close call. As some customer reviews indicate, Qualia seems to effect an instantly noticeable improvement on cognition. However, Mind Lab Pro’s review suggest of a sustained increase in mental performance over time. What explains this difference?
Qualia’s caffeine and Noopept, for one — the latter diminishing in effect over time, if consumed daily.
This is why I’ve personally gravitated towards Mind Lab Pro: to substitute unsustainable synthetic stimulation with all-around better brain performance, an improved cognition for both now and later. Furthermore, if I want to supplement Noopept or other racetams on the side, I can do so independently of Mind Lab Pro. (And, especially relevant for the cash-strapped, it would be much cheaper than Qualia’s overall price.)
Ultimately, parts of Qualia’s products work for parts of the cognitive enhancing demographic.
Whereas all of Mind Lab Pro’s “Universal Nootropic” design works universally. Therefore, in conclusion:
Mind Lab Pro > Qualia
Want some? Buy Mind Lab Pro here.
Read my Best Nootropic Supplements to Buy in 2021 list here.
I appreciate the broad view with which you approach this, however, I was disappointed to detect some strong favouritism in the delivery.
“With 42 ingredients in one corner, I’d be surprised to see any nootropics that aren’t shared by both formulas. As it turns out, there is only one: Maritime Pine Bark Extract.”
In the MIND LAB PRO LIST (AGAINST QUALIA?) we find:
“Maritime Pine Bark Extract – A new ingredient addition to the Mind Lab Pro formula, this antioxidant extract also serves numerous bodily and cognitive health benefits”
The Geek says
Thanks for pointing out the Maritime Pine Bark Extract mishap. You’re exactly right in suggesting that this isn’t a truly “Unique Feature” to either supplement. I’m thinking I included it on the Mind Lab Pro side because it’s a somewhat new addition to the MLP formula — or maybe I simply forgot to take my noots the day I wrote this review. But I’ll fix this to keep it even steven.
Appreciate the read. Thanks,
this is the most insightful comparison i have seen on the entire internet.
while most others are just matching/comparing the ingredients, your review is the only one which brings out the philosophical difference, which in turn helps us understand the vision of each parties… thanks friend-O, keep up the good work…
Michael Benz says
Thank you so much for your thorough and insightful review! It really sharpened my sensibility for how to evaluate nootropic stacks. I’m just getting started with Mind Lab Pro. Qualia has that seductive allure of more nootropic chemicals, but my intuition agreed with your analysis – Mind Lab Pro seems to be following the more effective and sustainable Minimum Effective Dose approach. Fewer ingredients with synergistic qualities beats the kitchen sink approach.