Using a DMHA pre-workout supplement can be rocket fuel, I’m telling you it really can take your workouts up to a completely different level, producing serious gains in muscle tone alongside strength.
But there are problems with DMHA supplements as well. Is DMHA banned, is it even legal? Is it the same as DMAA, and which is best?
So what I’m going to do here is talk you through everything you need to know. How DMHA works, the benefits you’ll get in the gym, how to dose it and use it, its legal status, DMHA Vs DMAA, and vitally, where you can still buy 100% pure DMHA.
What Is DMHA?
DMHA (Octodrine) was originally mass used as a nasal decongestion in the USA in the 1950s. It is actually a naturally occurring substance which is found in walnuts, amongst other things.
But the DMHA found in DMHA supplements is now actually synthetic, and comes in two forms:
The second construction is by far the most usual one used in supplements, because it has the most research behind it and it’s the most easily synthesized (more easily made).
It acts as a stimulant. At the doses in supplements, DMHA is a potent mental and physical stimulant, which is why it is favored by athletes and bodybuilders.
You could even have used it in a supplement already as it’s known by more than 20 different names. In fact, the FDA in the USA had to issue letters to 12 companies last year warning them that they were supplying DMHA in something labelled as a dietary supplement, when it’s not legal for DMHA to be in a dietary supplement. These companies were using alternative names to try and get around that law.
How Does DMHA Work?
DMHA supplements work as a stimulant in the body, producing significant benefits.
DMHA works in the following ways:
1. Noradrenaline (more commonly known nowadays as norepinephrine) is a hormone and neurotransmitter. It deals with vigilance and response. It helps to manage our fight or flight response alongside adrenaline. You know when something extreme happens and you get that physical and mental surge that gets you to act? That’s what I’m talking about.
When we sleep, levels of noradrenaline are low, then as we wake, they increase. They are mostly stored though, and flood the body when a response physically and mentally is needed.
DMHA increases the uptake of noradrenaline, meaning more of it is created and is made available (usually within about one hour of taking it).
2. Dopamine is one of the human body’s most crucial hormones and neurotransmitters. It deals with reward and motivation. Some people think it is the hormone which makes us happy, but that’s not the case. It can make us feel pleasured, and give a buzz, but that’s more about artificially creating the response we get when we achieve something and dopamine floods our brains.
So by flooding our body with dopamine we are creating a situation where we chase reward more thoroughly, and feel even happier when we reach it. That makes us want to achieve more, and that positivity soars upwards. You can see how that massively benefits over achievement in the gym.
DMHA Supplement Effects For Bodybuilding
Put together, 100% pure and safe DMHA supplements produce the following effects in relation to bodybuilding and sporting performance:
- Heightened sense of satisfaction and fulfilment during achievement
- Promotes a dramatic increase in physical energy chasing reward
- Makes us more vigilant and mentally focused
- You’ll experience better clarity of thinking
- Depression and anxiety are calmed and a sense of well-being replaces them
- Produces more physical strength
- Increases focus, drive, and determination during workouts
You imagine what it was like when cavemen were hunting. That surge of excitement and energy, that drive to get the reward that kept people fed, and allowed us to develop. That’s exactly what DMHA supplements are giving you, and elevated response that will really help you to power through a workout.
I’m telling you that you will get a significant surge if you take an hour before you hit the gym. You will get an incredible burst of physical energy.
But more than that, it’s about the determination it gives you. You will be relentless, you will push harder, you will complete routines you couldn’t before.
The rewards you will feel, will also be enhanced. That will give you such a mental boost that you’ll want to get back to doing it quickly. It creates a situation where you hit the gym more often and hit it harder because the buzz it gives you is incredible.
Is DMHA A Fat Burner?
Some people also market DMHA as a fat burner. I want to be careful here, because I don’t want you to fall for any of that false marketing.
DMHA obviously makes you work out harder, so as long as you eat a good diet then you will cut naturally.
Also, DMHA is definitely an appetite suppressant. So again, alongside exercise you will cut significant amounts of fat.
But it’s important to understand that it’s not a true fat burner. There’s nothing in it which tells your body to burn more fat, it does not change your body’s response to how it uses fuel. I’m telling you this because DMHA supplements sold as fat burners are often twice the price, when it’s literally the same thing.
Because there haven’t been any real human studies done on DMHA as a sporting stimulant (and surprisingly virtually zero done on it as a nasal decongestant either) then working out what the right dosage range should be is impossible.
So what we have to do is look at our own personal experiences, and benchmark against people online to get an average.
Whenever I’m thinking about trying a new supplement, I look online to see the dosage range people work within, because that will give you a great starting point.
DMHA dosage for bodybuilding always seems to fall between 50 mg and 250 mg, taken as a single dose about one hour before hitting the gym.
However, 250 mg is a very high dose. I would start at 50 mg and see how you feel. Then use 100 mg. Most people feel very strong effects and get all the benefits they need from 100 mg, and don’t need to go higher, so that’s the sort of dose I’d recommend you look at working with.
DMHA Side Effects
There really are significant bodybuilding benefits for using DMHA supplements.
However, it’s not all good, and that’s the same with any supplement which messes around with hormones and neurotransmitters in the body.
As long as you keep the dose moderate, then the side effects should really be non-existent. You might feel a little flushed, a little nauseous, but that will be it.
But if you take elevated doses and you have underlying problems, then you could hit problems:
- DMHA narrows blood vessels and can increase the severity of glaucoma
- It increases heart rate significantly (and that’s before you work out)
- Raises your blood pressure
If you have any health problems relating to blood, vascularity, your heart, your blood pressure, then don’t take this stuff unless you get checked out first.
Also, because it’s spiking dopamine levels, if you take it at high doses for a long time then your body starts to shut down its natural production because it’s relying on the spike that you are creating for it.
So if you suddenly stop taking DMHA supplements after prolonged use it can cause a significant dip in dopamine levels, which can create depression. Keep your doses low, and taper down.
DMHA Vs DMAA (and DMBA)
DMAA is a more potent cousin of DMHA. In fact, it’s 20% more powerful to use. But it is banned globally.
DMAA and DMHA are banned in all sports, but only DMAA is banned from being sold at all.
This also applies to another derivative of DMMA, called DMBA. That’s more potent than DMHA as well, and is very close in molecular structure to DMAA, so that’s completely banned as well.
DMHA’s not banned yet. It can’t be sold for any particular purpose, but it’s not illegal to sell it, you just can’t make claims that it’s a dietary supplement or that it specifically benefits you.
Buying DMHA Supplements
Let’s finish this guide to DMHA pre-workout supplements by telling you where you can buy them safely.
DMHA supplements can be really dodgy to use unless they are 100% pure and safe. That means having guarantees that their construction has been properly done when made, and that what you are buying only contains DMHA.
Thankfully, Science.bio are a company I’ve trusted for years and who offer product guarantees. They have an independent lab batch test every single batch of every single supplement they sell. Those independent lab certificates are then published on the product pages.
10 g of DMHA supplement powder costs just $40. Slightly more expensive is DMHA in liquid form. You get 3000 mg dosed at 100 mg/mL. Far more convenient, but more hurtful on your wallet.
I don’t know how they do this, but they also sell 100% pure DMAA as well. No idea how they get around the fact it is banned for sale, but they do.
You can buy two different formats of DMAA (1,3 & 1,4) in powder and liquid for exactly the same prices as DMHA supplements.