Q Sciences EMPowerplus Q96 is a nootropic dietary supplement that competes with Thrivous Clarity. People use nootropics to improve focus, memory, and mood; to support healthy brain function over time; and to enhance overall mental performance. This is a review of how the Q96 and Clarity products compare. You won't be surprised to learn that we, at Thrivous, prefer our product. But I think you'll prefer our product too, when you've read what I have to share with you.
This information is for educational purposes only. It is not medical advice. Please consult a physician before and during use of these and other nootropics.
|Clarity (30 days for $30)||Q96 (30 days for $62.95)|
|This information is updated from Thrivous and Q Sciences websites on 22 February 2017.|
|Bacopa Monnieri extract (25% bacoside)||600 mg|
|Iodine (from Atlantic kelp)||54.4 mcg|
|Iron (as chelate)||3.7 mg|
|Q Sciences Proprietary Nano Blend (Calcium chelate, Magnesium chelate, Potassium chelate, Phosphorus chelate, Copper chelate, Zinc chelate, Manganese chelate, Selenium chelate, Molybdenum chelate)||2249 mg|
|Q Sciences Proprietary Optimization Blend (Choline bitartrate, DL-phenylalanine, Citrus bioflavonoids, Inositol, L-glutamine, L-methionine, Grape seed extract, Ginkgo biloba leaf extract, Germanium sesquioxide, Boron chelate, Vanadium chelate, Nickel chelate)||670 mg|
|Rhodiola Rosea extract (2% salidroside)||300 mg|
|Vitamin A (as retinyl palmitate)||1536 IU|
|Vitamin B Complex||51 mg||Vitamin B Complex||49 mg|
|Vitamin C (as ascorbic acid)||160 mg|
|Vitamin D3 (as cholecalciferol)||384 IU|
|Vitamin E (as d-alpha tocopheryl acid succinate)||100 IU|
|Zinc (from Zinc Sulfate)||11 mg|
Let’s look at the level of scientific evidence for nootropic effects from ingredients in these products. Some ingredients may have multiple nootropic effects. In those cases, we'll take into consideration only the effect with the strongest supporting evidence.
To score the ingredients, we’ll use evidence ratings from Examine.com, an independent and unbiased encyclopedia on supplementation and nutrition that is not affiliated in any way with any supplement company. In cases when Examine.com does not provide an evidence rating, I'll flag the ingredient and estimate the rating.
In the table below, for each ingredient, the “evidence” column indicates the level of evidence on a scale of 0 to 4 for the nootropic effect with the strongest supporting evidence. For example, Bacopa is rated 3 because multiple peer-reviewed, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies support its effect on memory.
|This information is updated from Examine.com, Thrivous, and Q Sciences websites on 22 February 2017. *My estimates of the ratings for Bioflavonoids, Copper, Germanium, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, and Phophorus correspond to the Examine.com rating for ingredients with no evidence. **My estimate of the rating for Phenylalanine corresponds to the Examine.com rating for ingredients with a single double-blind study or multiple cohort studies. ***My estimate of the rating for Vitamin B Complex corresponds to the Examine.com rating for ingredients with multiple peer-reviewed, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies.|
|Vitamin B Complex***||3||X||X|
Clarity Ingredient Evidence: 3.3
Q96 Ingredient Evidence: 1.1
In this comparison of ingredient evidence, Clarity beats Q96 by a wide margin. The product ingredient evidence scores are averages of individual ingredient evidence scores. They reflect the Examine.com evidence scale of 0 to 4, where 0 is practically no evidence, and 4 is strong evidence.
Clarity includes only ingredients that provide nootropic effects according to multiple peer-reviewed, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies. Don't just take my word for it! Please look at the studies yourself, and ask your physician to look at them with you.
Q96 includes several ingredients for which there is relatively little nootropic research. While it's important to consult a physician before and during use of any supplement, I recommend additional caution when using less-studied ingredients.
Now, let’s look at the magnitude of nootropic effect from ingredients in these products. Some ingredients may have multiple nootropic effects. In those cases, as above, we'll take into consideration only the effect with the strongest supporting evidence.
To score the effects, we’ll use effect ratings from Examine.com. In cases when Examine.com does not provide an effect rating, I'll flag the ingredient and estimate the rating.
In the table below, for each ingredient, the “effect” column indicates the magnitude of nootropic effect on a scale of 0 to 3 for the effect with the strongest supporting evidence. For example, Bacopa is rated 2 because it may provide a notable increase to memory.
|This information is updated from Examine.com, Thrivous, and Q Sciences websites on 22 February 2017. *My estimates of the ratings for Bioflavonoids, Copper, Germanium, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, and Phophorus correspond to the Examine.com rating for ingredients with no effect. **My estimates of the ratings for Phenylalanine and Vitamin B Complex correspond to the Examine.com rating for ingredients with subtle effect.|
|Vitamin B Complex**||1||X||X|
Clarity Ingredient Effect: 1.4
Q96 Ingredient Effect: 0.3
In this comparison of ingredient effect, Clarity beats Q96 by a wide margin. The product ingredient effect scores are averages of individual ingredient effect scores, weighted by individual ingredient evidence scores (from the “Ingredient Evidence” section above). They reflect the Examine.com effect scale of 0 to 3, where 0 is practically no effect beyond placebo, and 3 is strong effect.
Clarity includes ingredients that may provide notable improvement to focus, memory, and mood. Multiple peer-reviewed, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies support these effects.
Q96 includes ingredients that may provide notable improvement to focus and mood. It also contains ingredients that may provide less dependable improvements to memory and energy. Judging from the individual ingredient effect scores, the most reliable nootropic ingredients in Q96 for general supplementation are probably Ginkgo, Inositol, and Zinc. Vitamin E may provide reliable nootropic benefits only for specific medical conditions, as indicated by a physician.
Next, let’s look at the effective dosages of ingredients in the formulas for these products. To measure them, we’ll compare each ingredient dosage against a recommended dosage. And we'll approximate the recommended dosage from the middle of the recommended range of dosage per serving for nootropic effect from Examine.com, taking into account both concentration and amount. In cases when Examine.com does not provide a recommended dosage, I'll flag the ingredient and estimate the recommended dosage.
Keep in mind that this is a simplified comparison, which does not account for factors like possible benefits from more servings per day, complementary interactions between ingredients, nonlinear relations between dose and effect within recommended ranges, and of course under-studied ingredients.
In the table below, for each ingredient, the "dosage" column indicates the recommended dosage. And the product columns indicate the percentage (capped at 100%) of the recommended dosage provided by their respective formulas.
|This information is updated from Examine.com, Thrivous, and Q Sciences websites on 22 February 2017. *My estimate of the dosage for Vitamin B Complex is double the summed RDIs for B Vitamins.|
|Bacopa||300 mg (55% bacoside)||91%|
|Ginkgo||180 mg (24% flavone glycoside, 6% terpene lactone)||100% (180 mg) ?|
|Inositol||12 g||1% (100 mg) ?|
|Magnesium||300 mg||100% (300 mg) ?|
|Methionine||900 mg||33% (300 mg) ?|
|Rhodiola||450 mg (1% salidroside)||100%|
|Vitamin B Complex*||51 mg||100%||96%|
|Vitamin C||950 mg||17%|
|Vitamin E||2,000 IU||5%|
|Zinc||7.5 mg||100%||100% (7.5 mg) ?|
Clarity Formula Effect: 5.6
Q96 Formula Effect: 5.2
In this comparison of formula effect, Clarity beats Q96. The product formula effect scores are sums of individual ingredient effect scores (from the “Ingredient Evidence” section above), weighted by individual ingredient evidence scores (from the “Ingredient Effect” section above) and product ingredient dosages.
Clarity has an open formula that clearly indicates ingredient concentrations and amounts. Together they show that Clarity provides approximately full dosages of Bacopa, Rhodiola, Vitamin B Complex, and Zinc.
Q96 has a proprietary formula that hides ingredient concentrations and amounts. Even based on the amounts indicated for its blends, and assumptions of otherwise standard concentrations and proportional formulation, it's hard to make reasonable guesses for dosages of some of its ingredients. So I've made some generous assumptions. Q96 may provide approximately full dosages of Ginkgo, Magnesium, Vitamin B Complex, and Zinc. And it provides a one third or smaller dosage of remaining ingredients that have evidence for nootropic effect.
Finally, let’s look at the value of these products. One bottle of Clarity sells for $30 ($40 without a subscription). And one bottle of Q96 sells for $62.95. These prices are updated from Thrivous and Q Sciences websites on 22 February 2017.
Clarity Value: 19
Q96 Value: 8
Thrivous Clarity is more than 2 times more valuable than Q Sciences EMPowerplus Q96, judging from the combined metrics of this comparison. The product value scores are product formula effect scores (from the “Formula Effect” section above) divided by product prices and multiplied by 100 (just to make them easier to read). Basically, they show the relative nootropic effect you may reasonably expect per dollar spent on these products.
As mentioned at the beginning of this product comparison, we at Thrivous prefer our own product. And now, after sharing this review with you, I hope you'll prefer it too. If you’re currently using Q Sciences EMPowerplus Q96, please talk to your physician about all the good reasons to switch to Thrivous Clarity.
By the way, if you happen to prefer placebo pricing, we can make a special arrangement to sell Clarity to you for $62.95. ;) Otherwise, get Clarity now for an effective price of $30.