Hordenine, also known as N,N-dimethyltyramine, is an alkaloid and a chemical naturally found in barley (Hordeum vulgare) as well as from the bitter orange plant. It can also be found in algae, cacti, and some grass species. Hordenine is a nootropic compound and included in many dietary supplements used for cognitive performance, athletic performance and weight loss.[1] Hordenine can also be used as a stimulant and fat burner due to its associated with tyramine and noradrenaline.[2]


A lot of anecdotal reports suggest that hordenine is used as a productivity booster often in the place of stronger nootropic drugs like Modafinil or Adrafinil through the adrenergic system. It is often paired with other smart drug compounds and nootropics such as Piracetam, Aniracetam, Noopept or Choline for greater effect as people say it allows them to work at mentally demanding tasks for extended periods of time. It is also known to promote greater levels of cognitive energy and it is said that it helps provide with a serious motivation rush whenever it is taken. Some anecdotal reports also suggest that hordenine enhances cognitive performance. The most common health benefits of hordenine include:

  • Improves brain function
  • Increases dopamine and boosts mood[7]
  • Improves athletic performance and weight loss and fat loss[8]
  • Increases energy and motivation
  • Controls appetite[10]
  • Increases heart rate, blood pressure and blood flow[9]
  • Reduces gut movements[9]
  • Acts as an inhibitor of noradrenaline uptake and can affect the sympathetic nervous system[11]
  • Increases energy and athletic performance

The interesting benefits of hordenine may be as a preworkout or stimulatory agent for some other purposes (professional / work related tasks), but is not necessarily well studied. Ingesting hordenine supplements can give you a significant boost to your mood, promote mental drive, help you concentrate and allow you to persevere in the face of brain strain. Additionally, hordenine is often used by bodybuilders as a pre-workout supplement or to promote fat loss and strength. [3][4]
A study determined that when Hordenine is given to trained male athletes it caused a significant increase in Noradrenaline levels which reached a peak 90 minutes after ingestion.

How it works

The chemical compound alkaloid in hordenine interacts with the adrenergic system to promote focus and concentration among others. While the research on hordenine is not conclusive by any means, there is preliminary evidence that this drug can be an noradrenaline uptake reuptake inhibitor and hordenine supplement is unlikely to be deaminated by intestinal MAO as this is predominantly MAO-A. Consequently, it is likely to be absorbed and could affect the sympathetic nervous system, by virtue of its action as an inhibitor of noradrenaline uptake. [5]
Hordenine itself produces a mild central nervous system stimulant effect as indicated by elevated heart and breathing rate. Results of some experiments in pharmacological models show that hordenine is an indirectly acting adrenergic drug. It liberates norepinephrine from stores. In isolated organs and those structures with reduced epinephrine contents the hordenine-effect is only very poor.[4]
Hordenine is a beta-2 adrenergic agonist, which boosts energy and inhibits the reuptake of the neurotransmitter noradrenaline (also known as norepinephrine). A reuptake inhibitor extends the amount of time the neurotransmitter remains active in the brain, providing increased focus and alertness.[6]


Hordenine is considered to be generally safe and well-tolerated in healthy adults but as a mild central nervous system stimulant it is certainly not recommended for people who have heart conditions or high blood pressure. Some common side effects may include nausea, insomnia, dizziness, anxiety, upset stomach, mood swings, even rapid heart rate, and hallucinations. If any of the mentioned occurs, you are recommended to discontinue supplementation completely at least for a few days until things return to normal and then stay at the recommended levels.


The average dosage level for Hordenine is up to 30 mg taken in split 2 or 3 times a day. When you take it for a workout, you are recommended to take this is about 30 minutes before exercise when you use it as a fat burner, then take first dosage in the morning and about six hours later. This may also be the best routine to follow if using Hordenine for its mental benefits.
While stacking with others, it can be with caffeine, Acetyl L-Carnitine, and even PEA for fat reduction and helping to enhance the increased energy production as a pre-workout aid.