Is DMAA Dangerous?

by Nader Qudimat
Updated July 17, 2023

DMAA, or 1,3-dimethylamylamine, is a stimulant widely used in pre-workout and weight-loss supplements.

Its popularity stems from its ability to enhance athletic performance and promote weight loss.

However, the safety of DMAA has been a topic of much debate, leading to legal battles and differing stances among regulatory bodies and manufacturers.

Is DMAA Dangerous: Quick Overview

While DMAA can boost energy and improve athletic performance, its potential side effects, particularly cardiovascular health, have raised concerns about its safety.

Understanding these risks is crucial before deciding to use DMAA supplements.

What Is DMAA?

1,3-dimethylamylamine, or DMAA, is a synthetic drug known for its stimulant properties.

It was initially developed as a nasal decongestant but has since been incorporated into dietary supplements for its performance-enhancing effects.

DMAA is known to increase energy, improve focus, and promote weight loss, making it a popular ingredient in pre-workout supplements and weight loss aids.

The Popularity Of DMAA In Supplements

DMAA gained popularity in the fitness and weight loss industry due to its potent stimulant effects.

It's often found in pre-workout supplements, where it's used to enhance energy, focus, and endurance.

In weight loss supplements, DMAA is used for its appetite-suppressing properties and its ability to boost metabolism.

Read more: What is DMAA Pre-Workout?

Studies Indicating The Dangers Of DMAA

On the other hand, some studies highlight the potential dangers of DMAA. One study found that DMAA significantly increased blood pressure without affecting heart rate.

This could lead to adverse cardiovascular events, especially in individuals with pre-existing heart conditions.

Reported Side Effects Of DMAA

Users of DMAA have reported a range of side effects, from mild to severe.

These include increased blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, and in some cases, heart attacks.

It's important to note that the severity of these side effects can vary greatly depending on individual health status and the amount of DMAA consumed.

  1. Cardiovascular Effects: DMAA can cause an increase in heart rate and blood pressure. This can lead to serious cardiovascular events such as heart attacks and strokes in some individuals, particularly those with pre-existing heart conditions.
  2. Neurological Effects: DMAA can cause neurological symptoms such as headaches, jitteriness, and seizures. It can also lead to mood changes and feelings of anxiety or agitation.
  3. Gastrointestinal Effects: Some individuals may experience gastrointestinal distress, including nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea after consuming DMAA.
  4. Liver Damage: There have been reports of liver damage and failure associated with using DMAA, although these cases are relatively rare.
  5. Risk of Dependency: DMAA has stimulant properties, and dependency is associated with regular use. This can lead to withdrawal symptoms when the substance is discontinued.

Benefits Of DMAA

DMAA, also known as 1,3-Dimethylamylamine, is a synthetic drug originally used as a nasal decongestant but is now sold as a dietary supplement.

It is often used for attention and focus enhancement and is popular among athletes and bodybuilders for its stimulant effects.

According to WebMD, DMAA is known to provide energy and mental stimulation.

Users have reported that it gives a feeling of being high on a stimulant and is much stronger than coffee or caffeine.

This makes it a popular choice for those seeking a boost in their workouts or needing to stay alert and focused for extended periods.

Another source mentions that DMAA supplements may benefit people looking to build their body, strengthen immunity, and increase efficiency.

This is why it's often found in pre-workout supplements and weight loss products.

Here are more benefits of DMAA:

  1. Increased Energy: DMAA is often used as a pre-workout supplement due to its ability to increase energy levels. This can lead to improved workout performance and endurance.
  2. Enhanced Focus: DMAA can enhance focus and concentration, which can be beneficial during workouts or other activities that require mental alertness.
  3. Weight Loss: DMAA has been used as a weight loss aid due to its ability to suppress appetite and increase metabolism. However, the safety and effectiveness of DMAA for weight loss is not well-studied and the FDA does not approve it for this use.
  4. Mood Enhancement: Some users report improved mood and reduced stress levels after consuming DMAA. Read more on how DMAA affects dopamine here.

Side Effects Of DMAA

Despite its benefits, DMAA is not without its side effects.

The FDA warns that taking DMAA can raise blood pressure and lead to cardiovascular problems ranging from shortness of breath and tightening in the chest to a heart attack.

In addition, Wikipedia mentions that DMAA is an indirect sympathomimetic drug that constricts blood vessels and thus affects the heart, lungs, and reproductive organs.

It also causes bronchodilation, inhibits peristalsis in the intestines, and has diuretic effects.

Furthermore, DMAA is considered extremely addictive by some users.

As mentioned earlier, users have reported feeling high on a stimulant, which can lead to dependency and withdrawal symptoms when usage is stopped.

Recommended resource: DMAA: Benefits, Side Effects and Safety

The Case Of Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals

Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals, a manufacturer of dietary supplements, has been at the forefront of the legal battles surrounding DMAA.

They argue that DMAA naturally occurs in geranium plants and should be considered a dietary ingredient.

This stance has led to a series of legal disputes with the FDA.

Studies Supporting The Safety Of DMAA

Several studies suggest that DMAA may be safe when used properly.

For instance, a study by Bloomer et al. reported that while DMAA did increase blood pressure, the increase was not significant enough to cause concern in healthy individuals.

However, these studies often emphasize that more research is needed to understand the safety profile of DMAA fully.

The Controversy Over DMAA's Natural Occurrence

One of the key controversies surrounding DMAA is whether it is naturally occurring or synthetic.

Some argue that DMAA is found in geranium plants, while others maintain that it is synthetic.

This debate has significant implications for the legal status and regulation of DMAA.

DMAA Alternatives

Given the potential risks associated with DMAA, many individuals seek safer alternatives.

These include other stimulants like caffeine and theanine and non-stimulant ingredients like beta-alanine and creatine.

These alternatives can offer similar benefits to DMAA without the associated health risks.

The Legal Status Of DMAA

The legal status of DMAA varies by country.

In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has ruled that DMAA is not a dietary ingredient and is, therefore, illegal to include in dietary supplements.

However, some manufacturers, such as Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals, have challenged this ruling, leading to ongoing legal battles.

The FDA's Stance On DMAA

The FDA maintains that DMAA is not a dietary ingredient and is, therefore, a synthetic drug that should be regulated.

They have issued warnings about using DMAA in dietary supplements, citing potential health risks such as high blood pressure, shortness of breath, and cardiovascular problems.


What is DMAA?

DMAA, short for 1,3-dimethylamylamine, is a synthetic drug that was originally developed as a nasal decongestant. It's an amphetamine derivative used in some dietary supplement products marketed for performance enhancement and weight loss.

What are the benefits of DMAA?

DMAA provides a quick burst of energy, similar to caffeine. It's often used in pre-workout supplements to increase energy, drive, and focus.

What are the side effects of DMAA?

Some reported side effects of DMAA include elevated heart rate, increased blood pressure, and potential cardiovascular risks. It's important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any supplement regimen.

Is DMAA illegal?

DMAA is considered illegal in several countries due to its potential health risks. In the United States, the FDA has issued warnings about DMAA and it's generally not recognized as safe.

Can DMAA be found in dietary supplements?

Yes, DMAA has been found in some dietary supplements, particularly those marketed for weight loss and performance enhancement. However, many manufacturers have removed DMAA from their products due to safety concerns.

How does DMAA compare to other stimulants like caffeine?

While DMAA and caffeine both boost energy, they work in different ways. DMAA is a more potent stimulant and its effects can be more intense and longer-lasting.

Is DMAA safe to use in pre-workout supplements?

The safety of DMAA in pre-workout supplements is a topic of ongoing debate. Some studies suggest potential health risks, so it's important to use caution and consult with a healthcare professional.

Can DMAA help with weight loss?

DMAA has been marketed for weight loss, but limited scientific evidence supports these claims. It's always best to approach weight loss through a balanced diet and regular exercise.

What is the recommended dosage for DMAA?

Dosage recommendations for DMAA can vary, and following the instructions on the product label is important. Due to potential health risks, starting with a low dose and monitoring your body's response is recommended.

What should I do if I experience side effects from DMAA?

If you experience side effects from DMAA, it's important to stop using the product and consult with a healthcare professional immediately.

Bottom Line: Is DMAA Dangerous?

While DMAA can enhance athletic performance and aid in weight loss, its potential side effects, particularly cardiovascular health, have raised concerns about its safety.

 It's crucial to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen, especially those containing potent stimulants like DMAA.

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

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Search This Site

About FitFrek

FitFrek operates as an independent platform, offering comprehensive workouts, programs, routines, guides, and unbiased reviews to accelerate your progress. We pride ourselves on our honesty, delivering straightforward and candid insights. FitFrek does not offer medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment services.

FitFrek © 2013 – 2023 All Rights Reserved
Exclusive Site of Nader Qudimat
magnifier cross menu
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram