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“An In-Depth Look at DMAA in Dietary Supplements: Unveiling the Risks and Exploring Safer Alternatives”


In the rigorous world of sports and bodybuilding, athletes continuously strive for excellence, seeking every possible advantage to optimize their performance. One critical component in their training arsenal is the pre-workout supplement, a concoction designed to elevate energy levels, augment endurance, and sharpen focus. While the market is inundated with a myriad of pre-workout formulas, there exists a distinct category known for its unparalleled potency: the high-stimulant pre-workouts. This article is dedicated to unravelling the mysteries of these formidable supplements, delving deep into their composition, effects, and the reasons behind their popularity among the fitness elite.

High-Stim Pre-Workouts: A Deeper Dive

High-stimulant pre-workouts stand out in a league, catering to athletes and fitness enthusiasts who crave that extra surge of energy and focus during their workout sessions. Packed with robust ingredients such as DMAA (1,3-dimethylamylamine), DMHA (2-aminoisoheptane), and various geranium extracts, these supplements are synonymous with intense performance enhancement.

DMAA: The Powerhouse Stimulant

Originally developed as a nasal decongestant, DMAA quickly found its place in the fitness world due to its potent stimulant effects. It works by mimicking the action of adrenaline, leading to an increase in heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate, thereby priming the body for intense physical exertion. Athletes report an unparalleled surge of energy, laser-like focus, and a significant reduction in perceived effort, allowing them to push beyond their normal limits.

DMHA: The New Kid on the Block

Following in the footsteps of DMAA, DMHA has emerged as another potent stimulant popularized in the high-stim pre-workout category. It shares a similar structure and mechanism of action with DMAA, leading to increased levels of energy, focus, and endurance. DMHA, however, is believed to have a slightly milder effect, which some users prefer for a more controlled boost in performance.

Geranium Extract: The Controversial Ingredient

Geranium extract has been a subject of much debate in the supplement industry. Early claims suggested that DMAA was naturally found in geranium plants, though this has been widely disputed. Today, geranium extract in pre-workouts is often associated with enhanced mood, focus, and energy. However, its effects are milder compared to the synthetic forms of DMAA and DMHA.

The Allure of High-Stim Pre-Workouts

What draws athletes to these high-stimulant pre-workouts? It’s the promise of transcending their regular performance, shattering personal records, and achieving a state of hyper-focus and determination. These supplements are not for the faint of heart; they are for the dedicated, the disciplined, and those in relentless pursuit of excellence. With this guide, we aim to explore these powerful supplements, unravelling their mysteries and helping you understand their place in fitness and performance enhancement.

DMAA (1,3-dimethylamylamine) is an organic compound that gained popularity in dietary supplements for its stimulating and thermogenic properties. Initially, however, it was used in medicine.



Synthesis and Medicine: DMAA was synthesized by the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly and Company. Initially, it was used as an analgesic and nasal decongestant, aiding breathing by reducing swelling of the nasal mucous membrane.

1960s and 1970s:

Beginning in Supplementation: DMAA started to be used as a dietary supplement additive, but its popularity was low during this period. Bodybuilders and athletes mainly use its stimulating properties.


The peak of Popularity: During this period, DMAA gained popularity as an ingredient in dietary supplements, particularly pre-workout products and fat burners. Its use was associated with improved endurance, increased energy, and aiding in weight reduction.

Controversies and Research: The rise in popularity of DMAA was also linked to disputes and scientific research, which began to indicate potential dangers associated with its use. Side effects such as increased blood pressure, heart problems, and even cases of death were linked to the use of supplements containing DMAA.

2012 and Later:

FDA Actions: In 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began banning dietary supplements containing DMAA. The FDA argued that DMAA is not a safe ingredient in nutritional supplements and could pose a severe health risk.

Expansion of the Ban: In the following years, the ban on the use of DMAA was extended to most countries around the world. Many companies in the supplementation industry had to withdraw products containing DMAA from the market or reformulate them, removing this ingredient.

Black Market Sales: Despite the bans, DMAA was still available on the black market and through specific online channels, posing an additional challenge for regulatory authorities in enforcing bans and protecting consumers.

Effects of DMAA:

Increased secretion of norepinephrine and dopamine:

Norepinephrine: A neurotransmitter and hormone that plays a crucial role in arousal and readiness for action. An increase in norepinephrine levels leads to increased alertness, concentration, and response to external stimuli. In sports and training, increased norepinephrine secretion can help achieve better results and greater motivation to exercise.

Dopamine: Another neurotransmitter that affects mood, motivation, and pleasure. DMAA, by increasing dopamine levels, can contribute to improved well-being, increased motivation to act, and a general sense of satisfaction.

Increase in blood pressure and heart rate:

Blood Pressure: DMAA can cause constriction of blood vessels, leading to increased blood pressure. In the short term, this may contribute to better oxygenation and nutrition of the muscles. Still, in a long time, it poses a severe risk to cardiovascular health.

Heart Rate: An increased heart rate is a natural body reaction to arousal and readiness for effort. DMAA, by increasing heart rate, can contribute to better blood flow and nutrient supply to the working muscles, which may be beneficial during physical exercise.

Stimulation of thermogenesis and acceleration of metabolism:

Thermogenesis: The process of heat production in the body associated with metabolism. DMAA, by increasing thermogenesis, can contribute to the burning of more calories, which, combined with a proper diet and training, can lead to weight loss.

Metabolism: Acceleration of metabolism means increasing the speed at which the body processes and uses the energy provided to it. DMAA, by accelerating metabolism, can help burn calories faster and more effectively use available power.

Substances with Effects Similar to DMAA:


  • Origin and Use: An alkaloid derived from plants of the Ephedra genus, used both in medicine and in dietary supplements.
  • Effect: Stimulates the nervous system, increases endurance, and accelerates metabolism. It was often used as a component of weight loss products.
  • Risk and Regulation: Due to serious side effects such as an increased risk of heart attacks, strokes, and death, its sale in dietary supplements has been banned in many countries.

Amphetamine and its Derivatives:

  • Origin and Use: Synthetic chemical substances used in the treatment of ADHD, narcolepsy, and obesity.
  • Effect: Strongly stimulates the nervous system, increases concentration, reduces feelings of fatigue, and suppresses appetite.
  • Risk and Regulation: Due to the potential risk of addiction, serious side effects, and the possibility of misuse, their availability is strictly controlled, and use without medical supervision is illegal.


  • Origin and Use: An alkaloid in many plants, widely available in coffee, tea, energy drinks, and dietary supplements.
  • Effect: Mildly stimulates the nervous system, increases concentration, improves endurance, and reduces feelings of fatigue.
  • Risk and Regulation: Use in moderate doses is considered safe for most people, but excessive consumption can lead to adverse health effects such as insomnia, anxiety, tachycardia, and others.


  • Origin and Use: An alkaloid found in the fruits of bitter orange, often used in weight loss dietary supplements.
  • Effect: Stimulates the nervous system, increases endurance, and accelerates metabolism.
  • Risk and Regulation: Due to the potential risk of severe side effects, especially when combined with other stimulants, its use is controversial.


  • Origin and Use: An alkaloid derived from the bark of the yohimbe tree, used both in the treatment of erectile dysfunction and in weight loss supplements.
  • Effect: Stimulates the nervous system, increases blood flow, and may contribute to weight loss.
  • Risk and Regulation: Due to the possibility of side effects such as high blood pressure, tachycardia, and anxiety, its use is controversial and banned in some countries.

Below is a list of 50 dietary supplements that were found to contain DMAA potentially and are no longer available with this ingredient on the market:

  1. Jack3d (USPlabs)
  2. OxyElite Pro (USPlabs)
  3. 1. M.R. (BPI Sports)
  4. Hemo Rage Black (Nutrex Research)
  5. Geranium Oil Extract
  6. Napalm (Muscle Warfare)
  7. Code Red (Enhanced Athlete)
  8. CRZ The O.G. (Driven Sports)
  9. Lean EFX (Formutech Nutrition)
  10. Nitric Blast (Bio-Engineered Supplements & Nutrition, Inc. – BSN)
  11. Superpump 250 (Gaspari Nutrition)
  12. Dexaprine (iForce Nutrition)
  13. Spirodex (Gaspari Nutrition)
  14. MethylHex 4,2 (SEI Pharmaceuticals)
  15. Phenadrine (APS Nutrition)
  16. Nitro AMP (GAT)
  17. Hyper F.X. (BSN)
  18. Stimerex-ES (Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals)
  19. Lipodrene (Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals)
  20. White Lightning (APS Nutrition)
  21. Craze (Driven Sports)
  22. Detonate (Gaspari Nutrition)
  23. NOXPump (Dorian Yates Nutrition)
  24. Black Bombs (Dorian Yates Nutrition)
  25. Methyldrene 25 (Cloma Pharma)
  26. Diablo Inferno (ANS Performance)
  27. Atomic 7 (Universal Nutrition)
  28. Razor 8 (AllMax Nutrition)
  29. Mesomorph (APS Nutrition)
  30. Iron Horse Show Time (Iron Horse Series)
  31. Hellfire EPH 150 (Innovative Diet Labs)
  32. Methyldrene EPH (Cloma Pharma)
  33. Thermobombs (Synthetic Supplements)
  34. FireStorm (G.E. Pharma)
  35. Hemo Shock (Genetic Edge Technologies)
  36. Hydroxytrol (Foundation Nutriceuticals)
  37. Lipofire (Metabolic Nutrition)
  38. Revolutions PCT Black (Finaflex)
  39. Lean Dreams (ALRI)
  40. SP250 (Gaspari Nutrition)
  41. Slim F.X. (Athletic Xtreme)
  42. HydroxyElite (Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals)
  43. Lipodrol (Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals)
  44. Red Wasp 25 (Cloma Pharma)
  45. Black Mamba Hyperrush (Innovative Labs)
  46. Dust Extreme (Blackstone Labs)
  47. King Cobra (Blackstone Labs)
  48. ECA Xtreme (Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals)
  49. D-Stunner (Betancourt Nutrition)
  50. Pump-HD (BPI Sports)

The withdrawal of numerous dietary supplements containing DMAA from the market represents a significant step towards ensuring consumer safety. DMAA, a potent stimulant, gained popularity due to its ability to enhance endurance energy levels and contribute to weight loss. However, this compound has been associated with numerous severe side effects, including cardiac issues, hypertension, and even fatal outcomes.

The decisions by regulators worldwide to ban the use of DMAA in dietary supplements reflect a growing awareness of the risks associated with the help of substances that have yet to be thoroughly vetted for safety. It is crucial to highlight that dietary supplements are not as rigorously regulated as pharmaceuticals, meaning their ingredients may need to be thoroughly researched for safety and efficacy before being released. This requires extra caution from both consumers and regulatory bodies.

The list of withdrawn products includes various manufacturers. It spans different supplement categories, from those intended to boost endurance and energy to products aimed at aiding weight loss. This demonstrates how widespread DMAA was in the dietary supplement industry.

In the context of DMAA’s withdrawal and other similar substances, the importance of consumer education and awareness should also be emphasized. Many individuals turn to dietary supplements seeking quick and easy solutions for their health issues or to enhance athletic performance. However, a lack of knowledge about potential risks can lead to decisions that may have serious health consequences.

In conclusion, the market withdrawal of dietary supplements containing DMAA is a crucial move towards protecting public health. Nevertheless, there remains a need for further increasing awareness about the risks associated with certain substances in dietary supplements, as well as the need for further regulation in this industry. Consumers should be encouraged to thoroughly check the ingredients of the supplements they intend to use and consult with healthcare professionals before starting any supplementation. By doing so, risks can be minimized, and the potential benefits of dietary supplements can be maximized.

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