1,3-Dimethylamylamine (DMAA) Powder: Review and Side Effects
1,3-Dimethylamylamine (also called DMAA, 1,3-dimethylpentylamine or methylhexaneamine) is a potent CNS (central nervous system) stimulant that comes in poweder format. It’s commonly advertised as being derived from geranium oil, but Natural Products Insider reports that such is not the case; DMAA is not naturally derived from geranium oil.
It was originally patented by Eli Lilly as a nasal decongestant in 1944, but largely abandoned until re-introduced as a dietary supplement (Geranamine™) by Proviant Technologies, the parent company of Ergopharm.
Up until very recently, you could find DMAA in many over the counter sports and weight loss supplements.
On the sports supplements front, you could find it in USP Labs’ Jack3d, Isatori’s PWR, Nutrex’s “regular” HemoRage and the concentrated version as well. In these “pre-workout” formulas, 1,3-dimethylamylamine is added to provide a boost of energy and concentration that enables users to press through the most grueling of workouts.
Weight loss products that featured 1,3-dimethylamylamine in their formulations include Ripped Freak, OxyElite Pro, Spirodex, RoxyLean, Phenphedrine, Rx6, Velocity XT and ErgoLean’s Amp 2. Claims include increased energy and fat burning, an elevated metabolism, and so on.
Despite the claims made by the various retailers for DMAA, there is exactly ZERO published research on its effects on fat burning and sports performance.
That’s right, ZERO.
However, there’s no disputing this ingredient’s potent stimulant effect.
When combined with caffeine and nootropics (ingredients that enhance focus and concentration) it makes a very effective pre-workout cocktail.
In weight loss supplements, it also provides a boost of energy that many find helpful for making it to the gym at the end of the day.
As far as claims of weight loss, elevated metabolism and thermogenesis goes, these all need to be taken with a grain of salt. CNS stimulants (like caffeine and ephedrine) have a demonstrated tendency to moderately elevate metabolism, so it’s not unreasonable to assume 1,3-dimethylamylamine will do the same.
Just how much so is a matter of some speculation.
What about 1,3-dimethylamylamine side effects?
Because DMAA is a CNS stimulant, its side effects are similar to those of other stimulants—like caffeine, ephedrine and even amphetamine. Thus, products containing it are not ideal for anyone with heart disease, hypertension and related disorders.
And, here’s an important point…
Even if you’ve got plenty of experience taking stimulants, I advise extreme caution; DMAA can “hit” much harder than either caffeine or ephedrine and it is often combined with other stimulants that enhance its effects.
Bottom line? It’s potent stuff to be sure, so treat it with respect.
For instance, I took the ephedra stack (ephedrine/caffeine/aspirin) for years, and two-to-three scoop servings of caffeine-based pre-workout supplements (like BSN’s NO-Xplode and Gaspari’s SuperPump 250) and never had a problem.
Despite having this tolerance, DMAA-supplements pretty much tear the top of my head off. I like its effects, but only in very, very small doses. Therefore, I don’t take any DMAA supplement where I can’t control the dosage (which means I won’t touch any of the weight loss supplements). Currently I use half a scoop of Isatori’s PWR supplement (half the recommended dosage) prior to my weight training sessions.
Some concern has been raised about its use in party pills in other parts of the world, and there have been some reports of adverse incidents associated with its use.
If you’re interested in any supplement that contains DMAA, see if you can’t get a sample to try before making a purchase (especially for fat burners, where you often can’t control the dose by reducing serving size). Smart local retailers interested in making you into a lifetime customer will often have samples on hand and should be happy to provide you with one.
With 1,3-dimethylamylamine there’s no middle ground; you’re either going to love this stuff, or you’re going to hate it.
You won’t find 1,3-dimethylamylamine in many products anymore. While the legal status is currently up in the air, the FDA sent letters to 10 supplement manufacturers in 2012, warning them the use of DMAA is illegal as it is a synthetic supplement (and not a naturally derived one) with no proven safety record. The FDA is still moving on this. It’s also a banned supplement with the World Anti-Doping Agency and other major sports organizations.
Lately there have been high profile cases where people have died while taking DMAA, although we have yet to see documented proof that attributed their deaths entirely to the supplement. In cases like this, there are often extenuating circumstances – like heat, dose size, dehydration, and perhaps an underlying health issue. Two peer reviewed clinical studies (here and here) have shown that sensible use of DMAA is not particularly dangerous.
Since it’s likely to be banned in the near future, many companies have already reformulated their products.