DMAA vs. DMHA: what’s the difference and what’s better?

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Many athletes, bodybuilders or strength athletes are big fans of Hardcore Boosters that contain strong stimulants. You have probably already heard of the active ingredients DMHA and DMAA or have the terms DMHA Booster or DMAA Pre-Workout Booster read? But what kind of ingredients are DMHA and DMAA actually? How do they work? And what’s the difference between the two? We give you an overview!

DMAA and DMHA Hardcore Boosters

Hardcore Boosters are Pre-Workout Booster and sports supplements that contain strong stimulants, especially so-called amphetamine derivatives such as DMAA (1,3-dimethylamylamine or methylhexanamine), DMBA (1,3-dimethylbutylamine or AMP-citrate) and DMHA (1,5-dimethylhexylamine). The active ingredients ephedrine, which is obtained from the ephedra plant, as well as BMPEA (β-methylphenethylamine) and N, α-DEPEA (N, α-diethyl-phenylethylamine) are also included.

DMAA is one of the classics among these stimulants, it was developed back in the 1940s. DMHA is used by many as an alternative and successor to the popular DMAA. Let’s take a closer look at the two active ingredients.

What is DMAA?

1,3-DMAA is a neural stimulant with an ephedrine and adrenaline-like structure that is used as a pre-exercise stimulant. DMAA can also be found on product packaging under one of the following names:

  • 1,3-DMAA
  • 1,3-Dimethylamylamine
  • 1,3-Dimethylpentylamine
  • 2-Amino-4-Methylhexane
  • 2-Hexanamine, 4-Methyl- (9CI)
  • 4-Methyl-2-hexanamine
  • 4-Methyl-2-hexylamine
  • Dimethylamylamine
  • Geranamines
  • Methylhexanamine

As mentioned above, the active ingredient DMAA has been around for several years. The substance was introduced as a nasal spray in 1944 and withdrawn in the 1980s. In 2006, chemist and amateur bodybuilder Patrick Arnold reintroduced DMAA as geranamine / geramine , claiming it was a natural compound from the geranium plant. However, studies later confirmed that the DMAA was made purely synthetically. The breakthrough came with the substance DMAA as a potent ingredient in the Jack3d Booster from USPlabs.

DMAA und DMHA Hardcore Booster

How does DMAA work?

DMAA is a neurological stimulant that causes a quick burst of energy similar to caffeine and other classic stimulants, but through different mechanisms in the brain. Although the exact mechanism of action of DMAA is still unknown, this drug works by mimicking the effects of human hormones such as adrenaline. DMAA works on the brain’s reward system to increase energy and on blood vessels to increase blood pressure.

By mimicking adrenaline, it activates the fight-or-flight response, much like other stimulants. This can produce a subjective “high” and is therefore used to increase energy during training, for weight loss or as a party pill.

Wie wirkt DMAA?

DMAA as a fat burner

Due to the structural similarities of DMAA with ephedrine and amphetamines, it is used as an effective appetite suppressant and stimulant of the central nervous system. DMAA works remarkably similar to ephedrine in that it stimulates the release of norepinephrine in the brain and indirectly the adrenergic receptor system by increasing norepinephrine activity in the alpha and beta receptors in the body. Together, these effects increase your metabolic rate and increase the breakdown of fats from adipose tissue for energy, a process known as lipolysis.

In addition, norepinephrine is one of the underlying neurotransmitters that stimulates the “fight-or-flight” response in the body, increasing energy, alertness and concentration while reducing hunger. DMAA also acts as a vasoconstrictor that restricts blood flow and ultimately leads to an increased metabolic rate, fat burning and weight loss!

DMAA als Fatburner

DMAA Pre-Workout Booster

Studies show that DMAA-based dietary supplements can increase energy levels by stimulating the central nervous system, increasing blood pressure and releasing adrenaline. One of the main reasons DMAA has been used in so many pre-workout supplements is because it has been shown to increase energy levels and aid exercise performance.

An animal study with a DMAA Supplement showed that the subjects’ physical performance improved significantly. It was found that rats given the supplement improved walking distance and overall running time.

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DMAA as a nootropic

For students, DMAA has been a popular nootropic supplement that provides a mental boost. Studies show that taking the DMAA-based supplement 30 minutes before a test led to an improvement in the subjects’ memory, visual processing speed and reaction time. Taking 5.5 g of a dietary supplement containing DMAA improved reflexes and short-term memory.

Side effects of DMAA

Given the rise in blood pressure and stress-response hormones, taking DMAA can lead to possible neurological and psychological side effects. These side effects include: nausea and vomiting, liver damage, mood swings, increased heart rate and the consequences of high blood pressure.

Is DMAA Legal?

DMAA is banned in competitions according to the World Anti-Doping Agency and due to its structural similarity to amphetamines, it gives a false positive for amphetamines in drug-tested competitions. The sale of products with DMAA is prohibited in the EU and USA.

What is DMHA?

DMHA/Octodrine is a DMAA-like stimulant for the central nervous system that your body uses stimulates with energy and performance. It effectively promotes cognitive functions and suppresses appetite.

Originally, DMHA was used as a decongestant in the medical context. In nutritional supplements, it can help improve performance and increase weight loss. On Pre-Workout Booster or Fat Burners it is listed under different names:

  • 1,5-Dimethylhexylamine
  • 1,5-DMHA
  • 2-Amino-5-Methylheptane
  • 2-Amino-6-Methylheptane
  • 2-Aminoisoheptane
  • 2-Heptylamine, 6-Methyl-
  • 2-Isooctylamine
  • 2-Metil-6-amino-eptano
  • 6-Amino-2-Methylheptane
  • Amidrine
  • Octodrine
  • Vaporpac

The active ingredient DMHA can come from nature or be produced synthetically. In general, companies tend to make it synthetically as this is the cheaper method. But originally DMHA comes from the Juglans Regia Baum. In some Sport Supplements, DMHA is referred to as Walnut Bark Extract (Walnut Bark Extract).

Ist DMAA legal?

How does DMHA work?

DMHA works by increasing the uptake of two neurotransmitters: dopamine and norepinephrine (which also acts as a hormone), although it is still a little unclear how these improved uptake- / Recovery mechanism starts. The bottom line, however, is that it is a powerful stimulant that provokes energy through our risk and reward system.

In general, the effects of DMHA are very similar to DMAA, but not quite as powerful. These effects include:

  • Increased pain threshold
  • Increased heart rate
  • appetite suppression
  • Fat burner (calorie burning)
  • Increased energy levels
  • Improved determination

Essentially, DMHA stimulates a massive fight or flight response in the body that can deliver a massive boost in physical and emotional energy.

DMHA as a fat burner

Since the stimulants are appetite suppressant, DMHA can be used to support fat loss Can be used by reducing the desire for a snack and supporting you with a diet. In addition, the active ingredient increases your metabolism and thus calorie burning, making it ideal as a fat burner.

DMHA Pre-Workout Booster

Pre-Workout Boosters with DMHA are enjoying increasing popularity due to positive reports from hardcore users. As mentioned above, DMHA increases your intake of two key compounds: dopamine and norepinephrine. These two neurotransmitters are essential for increasing your energy levels . The reason for this: Dopamine has shown in studies that it controls a person’s motivation and desire to act. By increasing dopamine, you can also improve your performance in the gym.

Norepinephrine works side-by-side with adrenaline as both are released during the fight or flight reaction moments when a burst of energy is required. Combined, these two connections can trigger a energy and motivation boost in order to get moving and train at the highest energy level.

DMHA Pre-Workout Booster

Side effects of DMHA

DMHA is often cited as a safe and legal alternative to the banned stimulant DMAA. However, side effects can also occur when taking DMHA. These include, among other things: nausea, increased blood pressure, palpitations, depression, addiction and energy crash. People with a weak heart or heart problems should not take DMHA. 

Is DMHA Legal?

DMHA is currently legal and commercially available in the United States; however, this could soon change as the FDA urges DMHA to be considered an illegal product. In Germany, DMHA is a new type of food that has not been approved. 

Conclusion: DMAA vs. DMHA

DMAA is slightly stronger than DMHA: 70-75 mg DMAA is similar to 200 mg DMHA. At the same time, it is more difficult to get high quality dietary supplements that contain DMAA. Because of this, supplements containing DMAA are more expensive than those containing DMHA.

From a practical point of view, there are no differences in properties and effects between these two substances. Both are vasoconstricting agents and stimulants of the central nervous system that can be used as nasal decongestants and to increase energy in dietary supplements. And both DMHA and DMAA can lead to potentially dangerous side effects, centered around cardiovascular problems and psychological complications. 

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