The market for workout stimulants and weight loss supplements has continued to rise over the past few years, partly because of new discoveries on traditional medical practices as well as technological impacts in the manufacturing process.
There are many products on the market and new ingredients keep emerging from what seems to be out of the blue. Some older ingredients, like DMAA, also still exist, despite suffering various controversies.
Before taking any supplement, especially those provided for workout stimulation, it is important to carefully review the label and ingredients used in the product.
According to research, many ingredients featured in weight loss supplements and stimulants have devastating side effects that could be short or long term.
Some ingredients included in supplements are pending approval, but even some of the approved ones tend to contain various undesirable side effects.
In fact, there are cases where ingredients are approved and then later banned after comprehensive research studies reveal potential harm. This is why it is very crucial to review your ingredients before consuming them.
DMAA is one of the popular stimulants on the market with a confusing reputation of being both very effective, yet potentially dangerous.
Here is a descriptive review of the ingredient, including what it is, the benefits, side effects, and some top products that contain it.
What Is DMAA?
As aforementioned, DMAA is an ingredient that is included in workout stimulants and weight loss supplements.
The acronym stands for dimethylamylamine, and DMAA is known by several other names, including 4-methylhexan-diamine, 1, 3 DMAA, Methylhexaneamine, Geranamine, and Forthane, among others.
DMAA is recognized as a neural stimulant and exhibits the same structure as adrenaline and ephedrine. It has been used for pre-workout stimulation and produces sharp spikes of energy like caffeine does, albeit using a different brain mechanism.
DMAA was introduced back in 1948 as a nasal decongestant (to relieve nasal allergies) and could be purchased under the popular name Germanium oil extract. In recent times, DMAA has been used mainly as a neurological stimulant and party pill.
It is discouraged for athletes to use DMAA due to its similarity to amphetamines in terms of structure. It provides a false positive on drug tests for other banned stimulants. Dimethylamylamine is very stimulatory, but has yet to be thoroughly studied in isolation.
The ingredient is featured in over 200 pre-workout supplements and is linked with weight loss as well as muscle development. There is no evidence on the dosage recommended for the ingredient.
However, 10-20 mg seems to be the standard prescription with ranges reaching up to 40-60mg per day.
How DMAA Works
Although DMAA has been around for several decades, it is still not understood very well and there is no sufficient research material to shed more light into how it really works.
However, manufacturers and some varied studies have revealed that DMAA causes the release of norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter that naturally occurs in the brain.
High levels of norepinephrine in the brain come with increased energy, mental alertness, focus, and concentration. It is also believed that DMAA causes the release of dopamine, another neurotransmitter that is linked with improved moods and feelings of euphoria.
When ingested, DMAA passes the digestive system untouched and is absorbed into the bloodstream, where it crosses the blood-brain barrier into the central nervous system to stimulate the release of norepinephrine and dopamine.
The supplements also contain several other ingredients that may result in an energy surplus, mood elevation, and endurance characterized by DMAA products.
There are no supplements that contain only DMAA in the formula; all of them feature only a little amount of the ingredient.
The benefits of DMAA have never been in question, especially since the compound delivers exactly what is promised. As a potent stimulator, DMAA causes quick spikes in energy and stimulates users to perform exceptionally in their workouts.
It was originally offered to remedy nasal congestion, but now serves primarily to improve workout performance for athletes, aid in weight loss, and alleviate symptoms of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder).
Manufacturers promote dimethylamylamine to have the following key benefits:
DMAA stimulates the central nervous system and as such, it is associated with various benefits of CNS stimulation including enhancement and improvement of cognitive abilities. DMAA can cause heightened focus and senses.
This is why it is used by some professional workers and students to improve the senses.
As a stimulant, dimethylamylamine also causes a boost in energy levels and has been said to be more effective than caffeine and other natural stimulants. It is not quite known how DMAA boosts energy, but this effect is associated with adrenaline stimulation.
Its structure resembles ephedrine and adrenaline, which are stimulants naturally occurring in the human body.
Products that contain DMAA have been shown to increase the production of the neurotransmitter dopamine.
In fact, more testimonials support this benefit as DMAA-based supplements often cause a temporary euphoria sensation that can elevate the mood and increase happiness.
Improved Workout Performance
Many bodybuilders specifically use DMAA as a pre-workout supplement. The energy-release property of this ingredient makes it a perfect pre-workout for strength and endurance.
It is linked with improved cognitive abilities and will heighten focus and motivation.
This is a benefit arising from the combined advantage of euphoria, increased energy, and enhanced focus. These effects increase tolerance towards pain and can provide valuable intense workout support for challenging sessions.
Muscle Growth & Weight Loss
From research studies, DMAA can cause blood vessels to become narrow (vasoconstriction). When the vessels are narrow, blood pressure will naturally increase and this is often associated with lower intensity muscle growth.
However, the speed and level of muscle growth experienced also depends on dosage and other factors.
There are several other minor benefits that users have claimed, ranging from increased brain capacity to a sense of wellbeing.
Nonetheless, these claims come from those who use dimethylamylamine as a party pill to elevate their moods and set the atmosphere for fun and entertainment.
Other benefits credited to DMAA may also be from the added ingredients found in most DMAA supplements available in the market.
DMAA Possible Side Effects
DMAA seems to be very effective as a pre-workout and neural stimulator. Unfortunately, it is masked under several concerns and has been linked with various side effects. After it was approved as a decongestant in 1948, the FDA lifted its approval in 1970.
More recently, Canada, among other countries, have already banned DMAA from all supplements and products. Some of the potential side effects include the following:
- High blood pressure
- Difficulty breathing
- Heart attacks and seizure
- Chest congestion
- Energy depletion and crushed moods
- Death when consumed in high amounts
DMAA was listed as one of the prohibited drugs by the World-Anti-Doping-Agency in 2010 as it shows a false positive in drug tests done to identify “dope” medications.
The FDA also warned against DMAA and listed worst case side effects that range from arrhythmias to psychiatric disorders, neurological conditions, and nervous system disorders.
Nevertheless, most studies and reports concerning the potential harm of DMAA are linked with overuse (abuse/overdose).
DMAA is said to be containable in doses between 25 and 75 mg, pending scientific proof. Doses above this range can cause various undesirable side effects.
DMAA Top Products
Although DMAA is banned from use in supplements in Canada and some countries, it is still very effective especially when taken within the required doses.
As aforementioned, many bodybuilders use DMAA supplements as pre-workouts and have achieved exceptional results without suffering the listed side effects.
The trick is to use top products that only include a small amount of DMAA that is just enough to cause the wanted workout benefits.
Not all supplements contain the same amount or quality, especially since DMAA is a synthetically manufactured neural stimulant.
Some manufacturers provide natural dimethylamylamine extracted from plants, but they are still subjected to industrial processing.
When looking for DMAA supplements, it is advisable to review all aspects including safety, research information, manufacturer reputation, and user reviews.
Choosing one particular supplement as the best in the market is generally subjective. However, some have ingredients that are less worrisome or have more potent formulas optimized for immediate benefits. They include:
This is one of the top fat loss products you will find in the market. It features other ingredients, like green tea extracts and yohimbe, to increase natural adrenaline and improve workout performance.
Code Red also has smaller, safe amounts of DMAA and is specifically offered for fat reduction (to optimize fat metabolism). It removes the stubborn belly fat and also improves cognition, focus, and muscle development.
Hemo Rage Black
This was once touted as the best pre-workout booster with an extremely potent formula. One scoop of the powder is enough to give you a boost in energy and agility in your workout.
It also includes Teacrine for extended energy effects and has been shown to deliver insane focus, energy, strength, and endurance.
There is a newer formula that does not contain DMAA, but you can still find DMAA formulas if you are looking for its benefits. You can also find beta-samples.
This is another top DMAA product provided for workout efficiency and muscle development.
It is offered by MuscleTech and features ingredients like geranium extract (DMAA), Yohimbe, and Deanol Bitartrate to increase different neurotransmitters, boost energy levels, and elevate focus and moods.
Hydroxystim is one of the best pre-workouts you can ever hope for and it contains naturally derived DMAA to prevent the side effects associated with synthetic variations.
It also contains caffeine anhydrous and Huperzine extracts to increase energy and provide neurotransmitter balance respectively.
This supplement was provided to help you dominate the gym and was once considered the best workout matrix. It is designed for hardcore trainers who want to train harder and more efficiently.
It features ingredients like creatine, l-Citruline, caffeine, Rhodiola Rosea, Beta-Alanine, and Pinus Pinaster.
Jack3D also comes in different sweet fruit flavors to make it more appealing as a pre-workout and provides an outburst of energy required to endure tough workout sessions with heightened focus and determination.
Xtreme Napalm contains various natural ingredients that are carefully mixed to help deliver benefits such as increased energy, focus, alertness, concentration, increased buffering, and hydration.
It also reduces the accumulation of lactic acid and removes the free radicals produced when working out. Napalm has been in the market for quite some time and has the fewest concerns of all DMAA supplements.
It is offered as a pre-contest supplement that improves energy and moods in preparation for a tough challenge. It can also be used as a pre-workout to speed up weight loss and muscle development goals.
What’s more, there are no carbohydrates in the formula, which makes it ideal for active users who do not need any more carbs in their diet.
SNI Nitric-Blast is yet another workout formula designed for advanced trainers who want extreme amounts of energy, strength, and focus to endure tough sessions.
It contains DMAA (geranium extracts) alongside other ingredients like Arginine AKG, Beta Alanine, Taurine, Histidine AKG, and caffeine anhydrous.
The formula should need about 10 minutes to go active, so it should be taken about 15 minutes before your workout session begins.
There are several other top brands that contain DMAA on the market. It is difficult to find DMAA in the label and you will most likely see the ingredient “geranium extract,” but it basically refers to the same thing.
DMAA Instructions On Usage
It is very crucial to read all the manufacturer instructions and labels before taking DMAA supplements to stimulate your workout. Overuse can cause adverse side effects that include irreparable organ damages, shock, and death.
Although it has massive benefits with regards to workout performance, it is advisable not to take dimethylamylamine supplements every day. Rather, they should be taken in cycles with long spaces of non-use in between.
In fact, this method has been shown to provide the best results as overworking yourself in training can be detrimental to both health and goals. This will also help you avoid dependence on DMAA, as it has a mental euphoria that can be addictive.
The lowest doses of 10-20 mg are considered safer than higher 40-60 mg doses. One can take multiple low doses in a day depending on their need for focus and increased energy. However, one daily administration is very recommendable and considered safer.
Besides, there is no scientific backup on the safe dose and this standard range is essentially derived from manufacturer information provided for most offers. The effects can last many hours followed by a sudden drop in energy, focus, and moods.
This always tempts some people to take another dose, but this is very ill-advised. Some users have also reported anxiety and difficulty in focusing after taking the supplement.
This is due to increased blood pressure, which can lead to anxiety. If you have a history of being anxious when excited or stimulated, it is best to avoid DMAA supplements and find other alternative workout stimulants.
DMAA – Dimethylamylamine Review Summary
Overall, DMAA is very effective in stimulating the central nervous system and contributes to different pre-workout benefits. If you are in search of products that will enhance your cognitive abilities and increase your energy levels, then DMAA can be of great benefit.
Nevertheless, there is limited research and information about the product and reports of several potentially dangerous side effects and even death is enough reason to stick to safer options.
If you must, it is advisable to only use DMAA within the recommended dosage and for the appropriate reasons. Usage for euphoria and mood elevation properties is prohibited, as it can easily lead to overdose and complications.
More importantly, shop from credible licensed manufacturers that offer DMAA supplements. Make sure you have reviewed the offer in detail and know its potential side effects and how to go about avoiding or relieving them.