DMAA (1,3 Dimethylamylamine) is a neurological stimulant that gives a quick burst of energy by releasing various neurotransmitters in a similar fashion to caffeine. But, the mechanism by which DMAA affects the neurotransmitters is different. It was first introduced as a “geranium oil” nasal decongestant. However, there is no DMAA found in the plant geranium, despite the company’s push to market it as so. It is structurally similar to amphetamines and will give false positives in drug tests. And it was recently banned by the FDA in America and a few other countries because of a claim that “DMAA raises blood pressure” which makes it dangerous to take. However, it has been in debate for the last few years as other parties, especially the manufacturers of DMAA containing products, have argued that the blood pressure increase is no more than caffeine, which is considered by the FDA safe enough for children to take. The main uses for DMAA are for working out, sports, and as a party supplement because of its ability to increase confidence, energy, and may even be found as euphoric according to some anecdotal reports.
There is not a lot of research around DMAA, but what is known is that the benefits are all of that which could be expected from a stimulant much like caffeine. People have reported an increase in the following:
- Increases athletic performance 
- Improves weight loss 
- Helps people with attention deficit-hyperactive disorder (ADHD) 
- Effective as a pore-workout stimulant 
- Increases alertness 
- Enhances mental sharpness 
- Increases confidence 
- Increases endurance 
- People report it improves motivation and reduces anxiety
- Promotes weight loss and improves strength and performance 
These benefits can prove very useful when doing an intense workout where you need the positivity and the extra energy to push through. Athletes looking to increase their performance in practice or in competitions will take DMAA to boost their mental sharpness and drive to compete. Also, people will use DMAA in the workplace to boost their confidence and help them win sales, conduct presentations, or other demanding tasks.
How it works
DMAA works as a central nervous system stimulant, mostly affecting the release of norepinephrine and dopamine. The release of norepinephrine is responsible for the increase in focus, energy, and mental alertness. The dopamine is responsible for increasing confidence and mood. These are just the current theories as to how it works based on its affects and its chemical similarity to an amphetamine, however there has not been much research on DMAA itself.
What is recommended dosage?
There is no clinical data or scientific usage research for DMAA. However, based on our research from anecdotal reports, the average normal dose seems to be 10mg of DMAA to start with. You probably wouldn’t want to take more than 20-30mg depending on your bodyweight and tolerance. 75mg was used in the study that proved high blood pressure, so you may want to caution at higher doses.
The current status of DMAA
DMAA is illegal to sell as a supplement in some countries including the United States and Canada, however, people can still purchase DMAA when sold for research purposes.
After the consumption of DMAA, users will experience a huge increase in energy followed by an equally big crash which can lead to lethargy and low mood, more so than caffeine. A study showed that DMAA constricts blood vessels and raises blood pressure. However, some other studies showed no significant blood pressure increases, such as this one which gave 25 mg DMAA to their participants. The study that the FDA used in their decision only tested extremely high doses of DMAA, so no real evidence exists as to whether it is safe at regular doses. This is different from caffeine in that the toxic level for caffeine is at 10g which is the equivalent to about 50 cups of coffee. Whereas DMAA could potentially be dangerous at only a handful of doses. Recent research has shown that caffeine itself may not actually raise blood pressure that much in comparison. Because of this the FDA warns people to not take DMAA and watch out for heart related issues such as tightening of the chest, arrhythmia, and less likely seizures, or even heart attacks. Quick spikes in mood levels can also affect people who have been predisposed to mental disorders such as dementia, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and other neurological disorders.
- There is a big lack in supporting evidence of anything that DMAA does. We have read each of the studies on it, and none have actually provided high quality evidence for or against the use of DMAA.
- DMAA has the negative side effects that come along with being a stimulant (such as increased blood pressure, flushing of the skin, dehydration, etc.)
- The FDA also gives the same warnings about caffeine and all other stimulants. 
- DMAA has a rather rough comedown
- DMAA is very strong at even 10mg and is structurally similar to amphetamines
- DMAA has been banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency
So we will let you decide whether you think it is right that DMAA is banned, is it the political weight of the amphetamine producing pharmaceutical companies protecting their market share, or is it just simply because of a lack of research? Until a study comes out comparing the effects of DMAA on at least a few thousand people over a couple years, we will not know for sure. By looking at the current track of the legal status, we will probably never know. It’s up to the individual if they choose to supplement DMAA only knowing the current information we have.