Qualia – Performance Enhancing Supplement

This isn’t technically about information technology, but it is about getting your IT right. If you can’t focus, if you aren’t motivated, then you won’t be at your best on the job.

I’m trying out a supplement called Qualia from Neurohacker Collective, and I’m going to tell you about it along the way. Putting it here will help me be more aware and systematic about this experiment, and I hope the information will be of use to you too.

There are two “steps” to Qualia. You take 3 capsules of Step One in the morning on an empty stomach at least 30 minutes before you eat anything. You take the 6 (six!) capsules of Step Two with food anytime after that, but probably not later than lunch. The capsules are vegetarian and contain a cocktail of herbals, with a modest amount of caffeine–90 mgs total, if I remember correctly, about a single cup of coffee.

My wife got a sample of Step One with the swag at a conference she attended recently. I tried it and experienced a modest boost. Nothing to get excited about, but after reading the reviews and documentation, I decided to try it for a month.

Day 1

  • I took Step One at 5:50 AM, and took Step Two with breakfast and a cup of coffee at about 6:45.
  • Modest boost in the morning, tapering off around 10 AM when I also got very hungry. A bit of an energy slump before lunch.
  • Sipped at another cup of coffee in a thermos all day, which is less than I would normally have required. I made it stretch until about 3:30 PM.
  • After lunch, my energy began rising steadily. I noticed some impatience with coworkers and customers, but not to the point of irritability. It really seemed to be because I wanted to move.
  • Felt pretty good by the time I got home, none of the usual after-work doldrums.

Day 2

  • Best sleep I’ve had in weeks, even though the documentation warned of possible sleep disturbances for the first few days.
  • I took Step One at 6:30 AM and drank a cup of bulletproof coffee instead of eating breakfast.
  • I’m usually pretty groggy for the first hour or so of the day, but my morning energy was through the roof. I was ready to leave the house 15 minutes early and actually enjoyed the commute.
  • I was not super motivated first thing at work–but not down either, which is good–and I sipped on another cup of bulletproof until about 10:30.
  • Took Step Two with a snack at 11 am and had good, steady energy for the rest of the day.

Day 3-4

  • Another good night’s sleep. Hmm.
  • The documentation recommends skipping two days per week to prevent building up a tolerance to the supplements. The weekend seems the logical place to break, and I started on a Thursday, so days 3 and 4 were sans Qualia.
  • Day 3 was good, but by the end of day 4 I was beginning to drag again, and I didn’t sleep as well.

Day 5

  • Monday. The dreaded Day of Mon.

To be continued…

(BTW, I’m not getting paid for this in any way. Of course, if someone tries to give me money, I probably wouldn’t refuse it.)

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