Controversial Ingredient: 1,3-Dimethylamylamine (A Closer Look)


By Matt Samansky

Supplement Review Editor

In 2006, USP Labs unleashed Jack3D, a product now revered among the best of supplement lore. Why was this pre-workout so popular and what made it so effective? Its success was attributed to its incorporation of an ingredient known as 1, 3-Dimethylamylamine.

Put simply, 1, 3DMAA is an extremely strong stimulant with a molecular structure akin to that of amphetamine. Like amphetamine, DMAA increases the release of catecholamines norepinephrine and dopamine. Increased levels of norepinephrine, lead to an increase in focus while increased levels of dopamine elicit a positive response in regard to one’s demeanor. Providing Spider-Man-esque alertness and Captain America’s euphoric personality, 1,3DMAA supplementation fast became the talk of the town.

Thanks to its ability to easily cross the blood/brain barrier, this ingredient is quickly made bioavailable, but that’s not all. With a half-life as long as it’s name, 1, 3-Dimethylamylamine remains in the body for up to 9 hours providing an entire day’s worth of energy.

Fast-forward to 2013, the Baltimore Ravens had just edged the San Francisco 49ers to win the Harbaugh Bowl, the Food and Drug Administration slapped a ban on 1, 3-Dimethylamylamine. Supplements containing the popular stimulant quickly sold out, seemingly never to be made available again. 

Would we ever experience the extreme energy, freaky focus, and skin-tearing pumps associated with one of our favorite ingredients?

Fear no longer, friends, because the ban has been lifted and 1, 3-Dimethylamylamine is back! As of this writing, only one company is marketing products consisting of DMAA, however we can assume others will follow.

As previously mentioned, 1, 3-DMAA is a neurological stimulant which elicits a speedy spike of energy similar to that of caffeine, ephedrine, and adrenaline. Due to it’s extreme potency, this ingredient is NOT recommended for beginner lifters.

I’m a cynic and subscribe to the belief that if it’s not banned, it probably doesn’t work. Scrutinized, praised, banned, and legalized, DMAA has been through the ringer, but one thing is constant; it works.

My experience supplementing with DMAA, and Jack3D specifically, has elicited some of the greatest training sessions I’ve ever had. I fondly remember returning to my home gym after freshman year at college (USP Labs’ famous pre-workout in tow), shocking childhood friends with the intensity I brought to the weights. I’d be so focused on the sets and reps that friendships were nearly shattered when I failed to acknowledge the presence of others.

You can certainly expect similar affects from the familiar ingredient, but do not be surprised if it does not live up to the hype. I am doing my best to quell expectations, but I still feel like a kid days before Christmas morning!

Safety: Due to it’s rather shady history, I understand if you are reluctant to sample 1, 3-DMAA. It was a best seller before being banned by the foremost authority on dietary supplements. But the ban has been beaten and the prodigal son has returned to us. The FDA must have conducted sufficient research on the ingredient for it to be re-released to the public. Similarly, I failed to experience any negative side effects from supplementing with DMAA. Having said that, I will reserve my seal of approval until I purchase my next bottle of 1,3-Dimethylalamine laden powder. 22/25.

Quality: As previously mentioned, DMAA would have had to been continuously studied for the FDA to lift it’s ban. I trust their authority, however I must sample the new compound to make a final statement. 21/25.

 Effectiveness: 1, 3-Dimethylamylamine works. It’s as simple as that. Quite possibly the most effective energy supplement to have ever been taken off and put back on the market, it’s reputation exceeds itself. I suggest a beginner’s dose of 10-20mg of DMAA to assess your tolerance before graduating to a larger serving size. 25/25.

Price: Blackstone Labs is selling a pre-workout laden with 1, 3-Dimethyl.  From trials and tribulations, we all have come to know, cheap products usually elicit low quality results. I believe you get what you pay for and DMAA is an ingredient proven to work. 22/25.

Overall: There is a method to the madness and a reason for the hype. The reintroduction of 1, 3-DMAA to the supplement industry is historic. I feel like a kid waiting in line to purchase a new video game or for a new movie. Despite the controversy surrounding it, I can’t wait until DMAA finally returns to the shelves and to my supplement cabinet. 90/100.

Is there a supplement on the market you are weary to try? Shoot me a Facebook post, tweet, email, etc. and let me know! I will gladly be your guinea pig, and give my unbiased (and critical) opinion.

Editor’s Note: As with any of the supplement reviews found on, this review is not an endorsement nor does it replace the guidance of a medical professional. This and all reviews found on are solely the opinion of the reviewer. Always consult with a medical or nutrition professional before beginning any supplement program.


After a series of concussions ended his high school wrestling career, Matt discovered bodybuilding, quickly immersing himself in the world of fitness, nutrition and supplementation. A National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Trainer, Matt founded UFit Sports Performance and Nutrition and has helped dozens of clients achieve their fitness goals. Having tried and tested countless supplements, Matt is highly regarded as a credible evaluator of nutritional products.