Does DMAA Affect Dopamine?

by Nader Qudimat
Updated July 12, 2023

1,3-Dimethylamylamine (DMAA) is a compound that has gained popularity in the fitness industry, often found in pre-workout supplements and fat burners.

The main question we're exploring today is:

Does DMAA affect dopamine?

The DMAA-Dopamine Connection At A Glance

Yes, DMAA does have an impact on dopamine levels in the body.

It stimulates the release of dopamine, which can enhance mood and motivation.

Understanding DMAA

DMAA, or methylhexanamine, is a stimulant originally developed as a nasal decongestant.

It works by causing the body to release norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter that triggers the body's fight-or-flight response.

DMAA has a controversial history due to concerns about its safety and legality.

The Role Of Dopamine In The Body

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, a chemical messenger that transmits signals in the brain and other body areas.

It plays a significant role in how we feel pleasure and is also involved in our ability to think and plan. Dopamine can affect mood, motivation, and physical performance.

How DMAA Affects Dopamine Levels

DMAA stimulates dopamine release, increasing levels of this neurotransmitter in the body.

This effect is supported by research that shows DMAA can enhance mood and motivation, which are heavily influenced by dopamine.

However, the impact of DMAA on dopamine can also have drawbacks, such as dependency and withdrawal symptoms.

Dmaa As A Neurotransmitter Modulator

DMAA is believed to act as a neurotransmitter modulator.

It's thought to stimulate the release of norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter that plays a crucial role in attention and focus.

This action could indirectly influence dopamine levels.

Dopamine and norepinephrine are closely linked in the brain's reward system, and an increase in norepinephrine could potentially lead to an increase in dopamine, enhancing feelings of pleasure and reward.

This is supported by a study that found that DMAA increased systolic and diastolic blood pressure, which could indicate increased norepinephrine levels.

Dmaa As A Dopamine Reuptake Inhibitor

Another theory is that DMAA may act as a dopamine reuptake inhibitor.

This means that it could prevent the reabsorption of dopamine into neurons after it has transmitted a neural impulse.

This action would leave more dopamine in the synaptic gap, enhancing its effects.

However, this theory is yet to be confirmed by scientific research.

DMAA And Dopamine-Related Behavior

DMAA's potential impact on dopamine might also be inferred from its effects on behavior.

DMAA is often reported to increase energy, focus, and motivation, all of which are behaviors associated with increased dopamine activity.

However, these effects are subjective and can vary greatly between individuals.

It's important to note that while these theories are based on the known actions of DMAA and the physiological role of dopamine, direct scientific evidence linking DMAA to increased dopamine levels is currently lacking.

More research is needed to understand the relationship between DMAA and dopamine fully.

While DMAA may have potential performance-enhancing effects, it's also associated with several health risks.

Many sports organizations and health authorities currently ban it due to safety concerns.

The Safety And Legality Of DMAA

Due to safety concerns, DMAA is currently banned in several countries, including the US.

The FDA has issued warnings about DMAA, stating that it can increase blood pressure and lead to cardiovascular problems.

In many countries, including the United States, DMAA is currently considered illegal for use in dietary supplements.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued warnings about DMAA, stating that it can increase blood pressure and lead to cardiovascular problems such as shortness of breath, arrhythmias, tightening in the chest, and even heart attack.

The FDA has also received numerous reports of illnesses and hospitalizations associated with DMAA use, raising concerns about its safety.

Despite these warnings, DMAA remains in some dietary supplements, often under different names, making it difficult for consumers to identify.

Here are some potential side effects of DMAA:

Elevated Blood Pressure

DMAA has been found to narrow blood vessels and arteries, which can lead to an increase in blood pressure.

This can be particularly dangerous for individuals with pre-existing hypertension or other cardiovascular conditions.

Cardiovascular Problems

The constriction of blood vessels caused by DMAA can lead to various cardiovascular problems.

These can range from shortness of breath and tightening in the chest to more severe conditions like heart attacks.

Neurological And Psychological Conditions

DMAA use has also been linked to seizures and other neurological conditions.

Additionally, it can lead to psychological conditions, although the specifics of these conditions are not detailed in the FDA's information.

Risk Of Adverse Reactions With Other Stimulants

DMAA is often found in combination with other stimulants, such as caffeine.

This combination can increase the risk of adverse reactions and amplify the side effects mentioned above.

DMAA Dosing

DMAA, or 1,3-dimethylamylamine, is a stimulant often found in pre-workout supplements and weight-loss products and it's often combined with other stimulants like DMHA.

However, it's important to note that the safety and appropriate dosage of DMAA are subjects of ongoing debate.

Nitric oxide boosters, like nitrates can reduce the side effects of DMAA by improving vasodilation, allowing for a bigger or high dosage of DMAA to be used alongside it.

Recommended Dosage

Based on the available literature, the typical dosage of DMAA in dietary supplements ranges from 25 to 75 mg per day.

This dosage is often split into several smaller doses throughout the day.

Safety Considerations

Despite its widespread use, DMAA has been associated with serious health risks, including heart attacks and strokes.

Therefore, it's crucial to approach its use with caution.

  • Heart Risks: DMAA can increase heart rate and blood pressure, leading to cardiovascular events in some individuals, particularly those with pre-existing heart conditions.
  • CNS Effects: DMAA is a central nervous system stimulant and can lead to side effects such as jitteriness, anxiety, and mood changes.
  • Interactions: DMAA can interact with other stimulants, increasing the risk of adverse effects. Therefore, avoiding combining DMAA with other stimulants like caffeine is important.


What is DMAA?

DMAA, also known as 1,3-dimethylamylamine, methylhexanamine, or geranium extract, is a stimulant once an ingredient in various sports supplements and weight loss products. It's known for its powerful effects on energy levels and focus.

How does DMAA work in the body?

DMAA works by increasing the release of norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter that plays a role in attention and the body's fight or flight response. This can lead to increased heart rate and blood pressure.

What is dopamine?

Dopamine is a type of neurotransmitter that helps transmit signals in the brain. It plays a crucial role in how we feel pleasure and is involved in our ability to think and plan.

How does DMAA affect dopamine levels?

Research suggests that DMAA may increase dopamine levels in the brain, potentially enhancing mood and motivation. However, more research is needed to understand this effect fully.

What are the potential benefits of DMAA's effect on dopamine?

Increased dopamine levels can lead to improved mood, increased motivation, and enhanced focus. These effects can be particularly beneficial in a workout setting, potentially improving performance.

What are the potential drawbacks of DMAA's effect on dopamine?

While DMAA can increase dopamine levels, it can also lead to a number of side effects, including increased heart rate and blood pressure, shortness of breath, and even heart attack. It's also worth noting that the body may become dependent on DMAA for dopamine production, which could lead to withdrawal symptoms when DMAA use is stopped.

Is DMAA legal?

DMAA is currently banned in many countries, including the United States, due to concerns about its safety. It's also banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

What is the FDA's stance on DMAA?

The FDA has issued warnings about DMAA, stating that it's not safe for use in dietary supplements. They've also taken action against companies selling products containing DMAA.

Can DMAA be used safely?

While some people may use DMAA without experiencing adverse effects, it's important to note that it's a powerful stimulant that can have serious side effects, particularly when taken in large doses or combined with other stimulants. It's always best to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen.Are there alternatives to

DMAA for boosting dopamine?

Yes, there are several safer alternatives to DMAA for boosting dopamine levels, including regular exercise, a healthy diet, and certain supplements like L-tyrosine. It's always best to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, DMAA does affect dopamine levels in the body, which can lead to enhanced mood and motivation.

However, due to safety concerns and its current legal status, it's important to consider other, safer alternatives for boosting workout performance.

by Nader Qudimat

Forged by iron and cold steel, I'm Nader, a mid-30s natural bodybuilder. Once a 100lb skinny guy, I've transformed into a 200lb muscular athlete with over 15 years of lifting experience. Today, I leverage my transformation and extensive experience to guide countless individuals on their fitness journeys.

Click here to check out my 12 year transformation: Natural 12 Year Transformation

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