If you’re considering taking a DMAA pre workout—this is one article you MUST read before going down that route. And I don’t mean that lightly.
Probably no other supplements in recent history have caused so much controversy and debate.
Some bodybuilders swear by them, saying they elevate their training sessions to unnatural levels and that they’re both natural and legal. Other guys will tell you they’re extremely dangerous and have been totally banned.
I know you’ll agree with me when I say—it’s tough to know exactly what to believe.
Well, the facts are quite simple—and, I’m gonna tell you everything.
This article brings you the whole uncensored truth about DMAA pre workouts. You’ll learn what they are and how they work. But, most importantly, you’ll discover whether taking a DMAA pre workout is legal and safe—or liable to send you to the jailhouse or hospital.
And if that’s not enough—I’ll tell you the most popular DMAA pre workouts available today.
Are you ready for what will probably be the most shocking read of 2019?
What Is a DMAA Pre Workout?
Pre-workouts are supplements which guys like you and me consume around 30-45 minutes before our training sessions—enabling us to push our bodies to the absolute limits of performance.
These products can prove invaluable to the serious and dedicated bodybuilder—with the best products being able to boost stamina, reduce fatigue, elevate energy levels, raise focus, and improve recovery times.
All of which leads to faster and more impressive gains.
One of the most attractive features has always been that they’re completely natural supplements—we’re not talking ball-shrinking ‘roids here.
Then, someone threw a spanner into the works.
Around nine years ago, pre-workouts gradually started entering the market containing a compound known as DMAA.
Often referred to simply as DMAA pre workouts—they became extremely popular with athletes and bodybuilders due to their ability to raise energy to incredible levels—by acting as a potent stimulant.1
The problem was, the authorities didn’t like it. Soon after DMAA’s introduction into pre-workouts, governmental agencies rushed to prevent this “synthetic” drug from being included in supplements.
But, the manufacturers fought back—declaring it completely legal, as it’s 100 percent natural.
So, is it legal or illegal, synthetic or natural?
Keep reading bro—the story becomes even more crazy.
What Is DMAA?
To understand how a DMAA pre workout functions, let me give you some quick background info.
So, exactly what is DMAA?
DMAA is known under many names—which may appear on the DMAA pre workout label, including:
- Dimethylamylamine (DMAA)
- 2-Hexanamine, 4-methyl (9CI)
This compound was invented back in 1944, originally developed to work as nothing more than a simple nasal decongestant.2
And that’s the key.
It was invented. In a lab.
When consumed, it has the effect of opening up the airways and acting as a central nervous system stimulant—allowing for increased lung capacity and raising energy levels.
Recent studies have indicated that it’s around twice as powerful as caffeine—and remains effective for much longer.3
Hence, it’s easy to see why this would prove an attractive ingredient in a pre-workout.
Yet, things are never that simple.
Is DMAA Banned?
In short, yes—DMAA is banned.
Let me start with the clear facts.
Back in 2012, the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) started on a campaign to remove all products containing DMAA from sale—indicating that as it’s a synthetic drug, and in no way natural, it couldn’t be sold in dietary supplements and was illegal.4
Furthermore, they stated that it posed a serious risk to public health.
Initially, they were actually quite fair. The FDA issued warning letters to manufacturers of products containing DMAA and asked them to voluntarily withdraw their supplements from sale.
However, numerous companies ignored them and, as a result, the FDA used enforcement action against well-known pre-workouts such as Jack3d and Oxy-Elite Pro. Even products such as Mesomorph pre workout DMAA were castigated—forcing them to change their formula.
This action has been copied worldwide, with any DMAA pre workout being declared illegal in the UK, Brazil, Australia, Sweden, and New Zealand. What’s more, it’s been banned by WADA (World anti-doping agency) for use in sporting competition (as methylhexaneamine).5
Then, the arguments started.
NO! Cried the supplement manufacturers—a DMAA pre workout is legal! I can’t have my DMAA pre workout banned! It’s completely natural!
And, that’s important.
You see, for use in a dietary supplement, an ingredient has to meet two requirements:
- It must occur, without alteration, within nature.
- There must be documented evidence that this natural ingredient has been used prior to 1994.6
And some DMAA pre workout manufacturers began to challenge the legality on that basis—it was natural.
I know what you’re thinking—you told me five minutes ago DMAA was invented in a lab in 1944!
It was. That’s a fact.
But incredibly, the guys behind the supplements said it also occurred in nature.
These plants are the kind of bordering flowers you’d normally see in your dad’s garden.
And let’s face it, he’s hardly Pablo Escobar. So if it was true, this could have meant that their supplements were perfectly legal—so the manufacturers produced evidence.
This was a Chinese report called A Study of the Chemical Constituents of Geranium Oil—a 2009 paper that claimed to have found proof of DMAA in geraniums.7
So, all was good, right?
Well, no—as at the time, this was the only study that proved this, and so its veracity was called into question. Further research was undertaken by independent scientists and they couldn’t replicate these results—it appears there was no DMAA in geraniums.8 9
Undeterred, the manufacturers stuck to their guns—using the ingredient name Geranamine on the DMAA pre workout label—with the FDA and other agencies continuing with legal action against its inclusion.
That’s almost the full picture.
It remains banned, yet despite this, many companies are ignoring this rule and continuing to sell pre-workouts containing this illegal ingredient.
And—there could still be another twist.
Recent research has indicated that, in part, the manufacturers may be right.
It appears some, but not all, varieties of geranium contain naturally-occurring DMAA.10
The story isn’t over yet.
DMAA Side Effects?
The battle between governmental agencies and the DMAA pre workout manufacturer’s has become so obsessed with the natural/unnatural debate that one thing is often forgotten.
The FDA banned it not just because it was thought to be synthetic—but also as it was considered dangerous.
Let’s face it—arsenic is natural—but you don’t want it in your pre-workout.
The truth is, DMAA is not safe.
In no particular order, the dangers associated with taking this drug, include:
Probably the most alarming side effect known—and the evidence for this includes the use of a DMAA pre workout.
A 26-year-old guy was found to have died from consuming the performance enhancer, Jack3d. This supplement had induced bleeding in his brain, which—unsurprisingly—caused his death.11
This was brought to the attention of the FDA, and it’s thought to have kick-started the declaring of DMAA being illegal.
Since that time, many additional cases of cerebral hemorrhage have been linked to the use of DMAA in supplements.12
Again, another DMAA pre workout, Oxy-Elite Pro, was found to be the culprit.
This supplement was being widely used by military guys in California—numerous of whom began to suffer from liver poisoning through the use of this DMAA pre workout.
In at least two cases it was so serious that it resulted in liver transplants being required to save their lives.13
It gets worse.
Another DMAA pre workout has led to at least two deaths through heart attacks.
Again, military personnel were involved.
After consuming their performance-enhancing supplement, they undertook exercise (which is natural to do after a pre-workout). It appears the DMAA placed too much stress upon their hearts—leading to cardiac arrest and, subsequently, death.14
Myocardial Infarction (Heart Attack)
Involving yet again the DMAA pre workout, Jack3d.
A healthy 22-year-old guy had been consuming this supplement for three weeks before his training sessions. The DMAA led to a failure of the left side of his heart—leading to a heart attack. Since this occurrence, numerous other adverse cardiovascular effects have been linked to DMAA.15
Furthermore, the use of DMAA has been also known to:
- Induce tachycardia— a racing heartbeat.16
- Cause nausea.
- Result in violent vomiting.
- Elevate blood pressure to dangerous levels.17
- Invoke feelings of dizziness.
- Promote agitation.
- Lead to psychosis.18
The bottom line.
Let’s face facts. Using DMAA can result in death. Whether or not it’s found naturally occurring in geraniums is, I believe, irrelevant.
The truth is, this ingredient is less understood and has fewer research articles written about it than steroids. To be honest, it makes juicing look relatively safe.
And that’s worrying.
The deaths and liver transplants that have been connected to the consumption aren’t down to guys taking pure DMAA capsules from a bottle. In all the tragic cases, guys were simply consuming a store-purchased DMAA pre workout to elevate their training.
Best DMAA Pre Workouts in 2019
If you’ve read any of my articles before, you know, if nothing else, I’m honest.
Whether natural supplements or steroids—I won’t shy away from the facts. If they work—I’ll tell you.
But, I’ll also tell you how they can screw you up.
We’re all big boys here who can handle the truth.
And here it is.
DMAA is an effective stimulant. Yes, it’s banned, and I agree, it’s probably one of the scariest ingredients I’ve seen. But it does work.
This means that, despite the ban, manufacturers are still putting out pre-workout supplements that contain this dangerous ingredient.
Hence, I’ve put together what I consider the “best” DMAA pre workouts on the market.
1. Centurion Labz Rage
While not one of the “big” names in the bodybuilding supplements market, Centurion Labz have put together a DMAA pre workout that’s proved very popular—known simply as Rage, it’s possibly the best DMAA pre workout 2019.
However, it appears that this supplement may have succumbed to the pressures of the FDA—or Centurion Labz conscience—as it now seems the manufacturers have discontinued this product.
It’s no longer available on their website, being replaced by God of Rage Reloaded—a different pre-workout which doesn’t contain DMAA.
That being said, the original DMAA pre workout Rage is still available from some third-party sellers—so let’s see what it contains.
Kicking off with the DMAA ingredient—it’s fairly standard for a DMAA pre workout—containing 60 mg of this dangerous compound (usually it’s found in doses between 50-75 mg).
If you want stimulation, then this is the supplement—but bro, I don’t want to know what this will do to your heart. It’s extremely stimulant heavy, including not just DMAA, but also substantial quantities of caffeine, synephrine, and cocoa bean.
In its other ingredients, it does include some fairly decent performance-enhancing compounds—such as beta-alanine for stamina, creatine for muscle powering ATP, and arginine for impressive muscle pumps.
That being said—some of the doses are about half of what you would expect in one of the best (and perfectly safe) pre-workouts on the market.
- “Sensible” dose of DMAA.
- Contains no proprietary blends.
- Power packed stimulation formula.
- Possibly the best DMAA pre workout 2019.
- Some ingredients are underdosed.
- Only available in two flavors.
- Might be too stim-heavy for many guys.
- Discontinued on the official Centurion Labz website.
2. Bad Wolf Howling PWO
Bad Wolf nutrition has formulated a supplement which, while being considered a “good” DMAA pre workout, doesn’t really come close to the natural and best pre-workouts on the market.
Like Rage—this DMAA powder seems to concentrate on one thing: stimulants. So much so, that it’s put together its own proprietary “stim blend.”
This blend includes caffeine anhydrous, grapefruit, theobromine, synephrine, and DMAA (as methylhexanamine). In total, this proprietary stimulation combination amounts to 1.5 grams (out of a total product dose of 6.3 grams).
Initially, this seems quite impressive—undoubtedly, this supplement will provide a buzz and help you power through your training sessions.
But, proceed with caution.
None of the ingredients in their “stim blend” are quantified. At the very least, too much caffeine can promote some awful side effects, such as headaches and nausea.
But, with no mention of the DMAA dosage—be very careful.
At least with some supplements you know how much of this dangerous ingredient you’re consuming—with this DMAA pre workout, you have no idea.
Apart from stimulants—there’s little else in this supplement to make it stand out. To be fair, it has an effective dose of the lactic acid-killing beta-alanine (3 grams)—but that’s it. In fact, with the numerous stimulants and compounds—such as yohimbine and mucuna pruriens—it appears more like a weight loss pill.
- Contains 1.5 grams of stimulants for guys needing a serious energy boost.
- May assist with weight loss, if that’s what you’re after.
- None of the “stim blend” ingredients are quantified—including the all-important DMAA.
- Could cause side effects in those susceptible to stimulants.
- Contains no other performance enhancers, apart from beta-alanine.
3. GeneTech Pharma Labs – Hemo Shock
Hemo Shock by GeneTech Pharma Labs is a DMAA pre workout which combines four proprietary blends for what it calls the “ultimate” in supplementation.
Let’s take them one by one.
Firstly, the “power and endurance” complex contains 2.5 grams of both creatine and beta-alanine. While both excellent pre-workout ingredients—this is an average dose for one of these compounds, not two—meaning it’s going to be ineffective.
Secondly, the “electrolyte complex” of potassium and magnesium is important for rehydration—but these are standard in many supplements.
Thirdly, the “transport complex” includes agmatine to create impressive pumps. However, this isn’t as effective as the serious pump boosters, citrulline and arginine, found in the best pre-workouts.
Finally, the “energy matrix” combines caffeine and DMAA (as 1,3-dimethylamylamine). At a dose of 260 mg, there’s no telling how much of each is contained.
- It at least tries to cover all elements of a “good” pre-workout, with an emphasis on energy, endurance, and pumps.
- Users enjoy the taste and texture of the powder drink.
- Every ingredient is hidden in proprietary blends.
- 5 grams is insufficient for a combined mix of creatine and beta-alanine.
- The dangerous ingredient, DMAA, is not quantified.
DMAA Pre Workout Summary
Let me be clear.
DMAA is an effective ingredient in a pre-workout. Being more powerful than caffeine and similar to ephedrine in its working processes, it can genuinely skyrocket energy and give you a massive buzz.
But, it can be very dangerous.
At the very least, a DMAA pre workout can induce the unwanted side effects of nausea, vomiting, agitation, and a racing heartbeat. At worst, it can cause stroke, heart attacks, and death.
Remember—as I mentioned earlier, these disastrous effects have been the result of taking a DMAA pre workout—not pure or adulterated DMAA.
To me, the question of whether it’s illegal or not, natural or synthetic is irrelevant.
What’s more, even the best DMAA pre workouts seem to forget there’s more to a performance enhancer than just stimulation—you need stamina, focus, and endurance.
Here’s my advice.
If you want to play Russian roulette, take a DMAA pre workout. If you want a supplement that’s safe and targets every aspect of your training—use one of the best DMAA-free pre-workouts. You will witness incredible returns—and not screw up your body.