Geranium Extract vs DMAA: What's The Difference?

by Nader Qudimat
Updated July 18, 2023

Regarding pre-workout supplements, two ingredients often come up in the conversation: Geranium extract and DMAA.

Both are touted for enhancing athletic performance and increasing energy levels.

But what's the difference between the two, and is one better or safer than the other?

Let's dive in to find out.

Geranium Extract vs DMAA: A Quick Overview

Geranium extract is a natural substance derived from the stem and leaves of the geranium plant.

It's often used in traditional medicine and is known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

On the other hand, DMAA (1,3-dimethylamylamine) is a synthetic compound that was originally developed as a nasal decongestant.

It's a potent central nervous system stimulant often found in pre-workout and weight-loss supplements.

What Is Geranium Extract?

What Is Geranium Extract?

Geranium Extract is derived from the plant species Pelargonium graveolens.

The plant, native to South Africa, is widely cultivated for its oil, which is used in perfumery and traditional medicine.

The extract has been used for centuries in various cultures for its medicinal properties.

Chemical Composition

The primary active components of Geranium Extract are a group of chemical compounds known as monoterpenoids and sesquiterpenoids.

These compounds are believed to be responsible for the plant's therapeutic effects.

Potential Health Benefits

  1. Antioxidant Properties: Geranium Extract has been shown to have potent antioxidant properties. Antioxidants are substances that can prevent or slow damage to cells caused by free radicals, unstable molecules that the body produces as a reaction to environmental and other pressures.
  2. Anti-Inflammatory Effects: The extract has been found to exhibit anti-inflammatory effects. Inflammation is a vital part of the body's immune response. However, when it is out of control, it can result in conditions like arthritis, heart disease, and cancer.
  3. Antimicrobial Activity: Geranium Extract has been found to have antimicrobial properties, making it effective against a range of microorganisms, including bacteria and fungi.
  4. Potential Neuroprotective Effects: Some studies suggest that Geranium Extract may have neuroprotective effects, which could help protect nerve cells against damage, degeneration, or impairment of function.

Use In Traditional Medicine

In traditional medicine, Geranium Extract has been used for various purposes, including treating wounds, burns, and ulcers.

It has also been used to treat conditions such as dysentery, hemorrhoids, and inflammation of the eyes.

Safety And Side Effects

Currently, there is limited information on the potential side effects of Geranium extract.

However, like any other natural product, it's important to use it responsibly and under the guidance of a healthcare provider.

When using Geranium extract topically, some individuals may experience allergic reactions or skin irritation.

Always do a patch test before using any new product on your skin.

Research On Geranium Extract

There is a growing body of research on the potential health benefits of Geranium Extract.

For example, a study published in the Nutrition Journal found that Geranium Extract positively affected vascular function in healthy humans.

The researchers suggested that changes in gene expression in the volunteers' leukocytes could be involved in this benefit.

Another study found that Geranium Extract could be used in the treatment of chemo- and radiotherapy-induced toxicity, in chemoprevention, in cardiovascular diseases and neurodegenerative diseases, in oral health, or as a cosmeceutical.

It's important to note that while these studies are promising, more research is needed to fully understand the potential health benefits and risks of Geranium Extract.

Benefits Of Geranium Extract

Geranium extract is rich in antioxidants, which can help protect the body against damage from free radicals.

It also has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce inflammation.

Some studies suggest that geranium extract may help improve exercise performance and recovery, although more research is needed.

What Is DMAA?

DMAA, or 1,3-dimethylamylamine, is a synthetic compound originally developed as a nasal decongestant by the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly.

In recent years, it's been used as an ingredient in pre-workout and weight-loss supplements due to its stimulant effects.

DMAA is known for increasing energy levels, enhancing focus, and improving athletic performance.

Benefits Of DMAA

DMAA is a potent central nervous system stimulant.

It can increase energy levels, enhance focus, and improve athletic performance.

Some users also report that DMAA can help suppress appetite, benefiting those trying to lose weight.

Here are some potential benefits:

  1. Increased Energy and Focus: DMAA is known for its stimulant effects, which can lead to increased energy, focus, and alertness. This makes it popular among athletes and bodybuilders as a pre-workout supplement.
  2. Enhanced Athletic Performance: Some users report improved athletic performance when taking DMAA, including increased strength and endurance.
  3. Weight Loss: DMAA has been used in weight loss supplements due to its potential to increase metabolism and fat burning.

Side Effects Of DMAA

While DMAA can significantly boost energy, it's not without its risks.

Some users have reported side effects such as increased heart rate, high blood pressure, and nervousness.

In rare cases, DMAA has been linked to more serious health problems, including heart attacks and strokes.

Despite its potential benefits, DMAA has been associated with several adverse effects and banned in several countries due to safety concerns.

  1. Cardiovascular Risks: DMAA can increase blood pressure and heart rate, leading to serious cardiovascular events such as heart attack or stroke, especially when taken in high doses or combined with other stimulants.
  2. Neurological Effects: DMAA may cause neurological effects such as seizures, and it has been linked to several cases of hemorrhagic stroke.
  3. Psychiatric Symptoms: Some users have reported psychiatric symptoms such as anxiety, irritability, and mood changes after taking DMAA.

Geranium Extract And DMAA: The Controversy

There's been controversy over whether DMAA is a natural or synthetic compound component of geranium extract.

Some manufacturers claim that DMAA is naturally present in geranium extract, but many experts dispute this claim.

The FDA has stated that DMAA is not a dietary supplement ingredient and is illegal to market as one.

DMAA vs Geranium Differences And Similarities

DMAA and Geranium extract are quite different in their origins and uses.

DMAA is a synthetic compound known for its stimulant effects and is often used in pre-workout supplements and weight loss products.

On the other hand, Geranium extract is a natural product derived from the Geranium plant known for its antimicrobial properties and rich phytochemical content.

Despite these differences, both DMAA and Geranium extract have been associated with health benefits such as increased energy and focus (DMAA) and antimicrobial activity (Geranium extract).

However, both also come with potential side effects.

DMAA has been linked to serious cardiovascular and neurological risks, while the potential side effects of Geranium extract are less well-known but could include allergic reactions or skin irritation.

It's important to note that while DMAA was once claimed to be a natural constituent of Geranium, it has been widely disputed and is not supported by scientific evidence.

Therefore, the use of Geranium extract does not equate to the use of DMAA.

The Verdict: Geranium Extract vs DMAA

When comparing geranium extract and DMAA, it's clear that both have their pros and cons.

Geranium extract is a natural substance with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, but its stimulant effects are not as strong as DMAA.

On the other hand, DMAA is a powerful stimulant that can significantly enhance athletic performance. Still, it comes with a risk of serious side effects and is considered illegal by the FDA.


Is geranium extract the same as DMAA?

No, geranium extract and DMAA are not the same. Geranium extract is a natural substance derived from the geranium plant, while DMAA is a synthetic compound.

Is DMAA illegal?

Yes, the FDA has stated that DMAA is not a dietary supplement ingredient and is illegal to market as one.

Can I use geranium extract and DMAA together?

Using geranium extract and DMAA together is not recommended due to the potential for increased side effects.

What are the side effects of DMAA?

Side effects of DMAA can include increased heart rate, high blood pressure, and nervousness. In rare cases, it can lead to more serious health problems like heart attacks and strokes.

Does geranium extract have any side effects?

Geranium extract is generally considered safe, but some people may experience allergic reactions or skin irritation.

Can I use geranium extract or DMAA for weight loss?

While some people use DMAA for weight loss due to its appetite-suppressing effects, it's not recommended due to the potential for serious side effects. Geranium extract is not typically used for weight loss.

Are there any safe alternatives to DMAA for pre-workout supplements?

Yes, many safe and effective ingredients, such as caffeine, beta-alanine, and creatine, can be used in pre-workout supplements.

How does DMAA enhance athletic performance?

DMAA is a central nervous system stimulant that can increase energy levels and focus, enhancing athletic performance.

Does geranium extract enhance athletic performance?

Some studies suggest that geranium extract may help improve exercise performance and recovery, although more research is needed.

Where can I buy geranium extract or DMAA?

Geranium extract can be found in many health food stores and online. DMAA, however, is considered illegal by the FDA and should not be purchased or used.

Bottom Line

While geranium extract and DMAA have their benefits, they also come with risks.

It's important to research and consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen.

Remember, the key to a successful workout isn't just about the supplements you take but also about a balanced diet, regular exercise, and adequate rest.

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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