What Does DMHA Do and How is it Related to Ephedra?

Recently DMAA has come under fire in the use of sports enhancing drugs and weight loss supplements. However, it seems more and more products are now using DMHA in its place, almost overnight. Where did this “new ingredient” come from and what exactly does it do? And what does it have to do with Ephedra?

How many times have you seen a faceless profile picture duping innocent people into buying supplements they don’t need or even just spewing false information? It can sometimes be difficult to discern what’s legit information and what’s a scammy sales pitch.

So if you’ve come here looking to correct information that you think is falses – you’ve come to the right place.

We are going to be delving into how DMHA and Ephedra got here, what do they do, dosage, and its possible side effects below.

What is DMHA?

DMHA, also known more formally as dimethylhexylamine, is a stimulant that is very similar to DMAA. It was originally developed medically to act as a decongestant in the 1950s. However now its found a new use as a performance enhancer and pre-workout supplement to burn fat.

Keep in mind that you are not going to be seeing ‘DMHA’ on ingredient labels or the sides of packaging anytime soon. DMHA goes by a lot of different names – some you have probably already heard before, including:

  • 1,5-Dimethylhexylamine
  • 2-amino-6-methylheptane
  • 2-amino-5-methylheptane
  • Octodrine

A Supplement By Any Other Name

Octodrine is the one most commonly used on weight-loss supplements you have probably seen or used before.

It used to be assumed that 2-amino-6-methylheptane came from the incredibly toxic plant known as the Aconitum Kusnezoffii. However, extracting and processing this compound to be non harmful is an expensive endeavor, so 2-amino-6-methylheptane is made fully synthetically.

2-amino-5-methylheptane on the other hand is actually totally natural. It is extracted from the bark of the Juglan Regia tree. Or as you may know it, walnut tree bark.

Is DMHA a Legal Component of Supplements?

The answer to this is a resounding…maybe. In April of 2019 the FDA in the United States told manufacturers that they had to remove DMHA from their supplements. But this was mainly because many of them did not submit or update their proper NDIN forms.

DMHA is not totally banned, just yet. DMHA has been appearing in products since 2017, and when used in appropriate doses has seen no serious consequences.

Because it comes from walnut tree bark and was used medically in the past, it is difficult to create a case for DMHA to be banned completely.

DMHA and Athletes

According to the US Anti-Doping Agency, Octodrine is indeed not included on the list of FDA-approved medications for athletes.

Because it is a stimulant, there is no way to discern when it has completely left an athlete’s body or how much of it is enhancing the performance.

It will also show up similarly to amphetamines on a test. This means if you are an athlete, or if your current place of work does strict drug testing, the chances of DMHA falsing your drug test is very likely.

What Does DMHA Look Like?

DMHA is a stimulant and is akin in structure to DMAA and Amphetamine. However it does contain H3C unlike DMAA and Amphetamine. Like amphetamine it has NH2, and like DMAA it contains two strands of CH3 yet no H3C.

This means DMHA behaves in a similar manner, but is far less potent.

How Does DMHA Affect the Body?

The reason for DMHA sudden upswing in popularity may be due to the fact that there have not actually been a lot of studies on the effects of DMHA. This means it is relatively unknown what both the shortterm and longterm effects on humans in relation to performance or weight loss are.

But, because it is similar to DMAA it will act as an MRA of catecholamines – meaning your adrenaline will be pumping for the duration of your workout period.

DMHA is also a bronchodilator and narrows blood vessels – this allows for greater oxygen intake and flow.

How Will I Feel When Using DMHA?

Because it acts similarly to Amphetamine it will increase dopamine in the body – allowing for an increased pain threshold and reducing fatigue during workout or training sessions. It also will suppress appetite because of this. 

It’s been reported by several users that the comedown of DMHA is a lot smoother compared to other stimulants. However the effects of DMHA are felt gradually – so don’t expect any sudden bursts of energy as soon as you use it.

Keep in mind however that DMHA can also cause blood pressure and heart rate to rise and shortness of breath – so when you do get that energy expect it to last long.

When Should I Take DMHA and How Much?

Normally most industry professionals recommend a DMHA dosage of 1mg to 1kg of body weight.

It’s also recommended you take DMHA 2-3 hours after you eat and 30-60 minutes before your workout.

Remember that DMHA is a stimulant so using it late at night can cause insomnia and poor sleep.

Should I Take DMHA With Other Stimulants?

With any stimuli there are definite do’s and don’ts when combining two or more.

It is highly discouraged to take DMHA with Adderall or alcohol. Adderall greatly increases adrenaline, and although the substances have been used in the treatment of ADHD combining the two can lead to serious adrenal fatigue.

Alcohol, being a depressant, can also have negative effects on your nervous system when combined with DMHA.

If you want a quick, and inexpensive, energy rush for workouts while using DMHA you might want to combine it with regular caffeine. DMHA can actually boost the properties of caffeine and vice versa. However begin doing this in smaller doses as you never want exceed your tolerance.

So What About Ephedra?

Ephedra is a plant and is also known as Ma Huang. It is commonly confused with Mormon Tea – and that’s because they’re both the same plant. However Mormon Tea is found in North America and Ma Huang is found predominantly in Asia. Mormon tea also contains no ephedrine – the chemical that gives ephedra its effects.

Ephedrine was another popular fat burner that has a very similar molecular structure to DMHA and DMAA.

How Does Ephedrine Work?

Ephedrine also contains CH3 and NH2 like amphetamines, DMAA, and DMHA. So it acts very similarly – it raises blood pressure and heart rate and suppresses appetite.

This of course makes you move quicker and burn fat faster.

What is Ephedrine Used For?

Ephedrine was extremely popular in the 1980’s up until the early 2000’s. It was used predominantly as a weight loss supplement and athletic performance enhancer.

However, it also had a wide array of medicinal uses including treating allergies, hay fever, bronchitis and asthma. Although it is widely most known for its ability to treat nasal congestion.

It has also been known to reduce cold, flu, and fever symptoms. As well as relieve joint and bone pain.

Is Ephedrine Legal?

Ephedrine is not completely legal. It definitely cannot be used in dietary supplements but can still be used in some medicinal practices. Ephedrine has a long and sordid history with the FDA in the United States. In 1997 the FDA restricted the use of Ephedrine in dietary supplements and a ban on products that contained Ephedra and other natural stimulants like cola nut and guarana. Few companies in the dietary supplement industry fought back against the ban because the FDA did not prove it to be unsafe before banning it from shelves. Which the FDA then did – successfully.

Then in 2003 the FDA banned the use of Ephedra in any products completely. To which the dietary supplement industry fought again. Supposedly because the FDA did not prove that low doses of Ephedra were harmful. In 2006 however an appeals court sided with the FDA and the ban on Ephedra was in full effect.

The NCAA, NFL, and the Olympic Committee have also prohibited the use of Ephedrine. It may also be discouraged by some employers who conduct mandatory drug testing.

Ephedra vs DMHA

Because Ephedrine is an extract of the plant Ephedra it’s hard to ban the bush outright. You may see supplements still list Ephedra as an ingredient – but without any Ephedrine alkaloids.

Because it was so popular and effective many supplements and fat burners will try to imitate what Ephedra can do – DMHA being amongst the most popular.

Users have varying opinions on which is better – some claiming DMHA some claiming Ephedra. But because of it’s ban and legal disapproval DMHA is outranking Ephedra in popularity.

In Conclusion

Always talk to a professional before you take any kind of supplement or are planning on using it for an extended period of time.

For a fast and safe result be on the lookout for anything with DMHA or it’s other aliases. However, make sure the doses you are taking are the recommended safe ones. Also try to avoid Ephedrine unless recommended from a trusted source.