Banned Stimulants for Drug-Tested Athletes Part 1

Posted by Derek Charlebois on

As a drug-tested athlete, it is your responsibility to make sure you are not taking prohibited/banned substances. Many popular pre-workout supplements contain ingredients, specifically stimulants, that are prohibited in drug-tested sports. Therefore, you must educate yourself on which ingredients you can and cannot take. In this article, we are going to go over a group of compounds referred to as aliphatic alkylamines with stimulant properties. These compounds are currently being used in many dietary supplements but are banned from drug-tested competitions. This article is especially important to USAPL powerlifters who are tested in accordance to WADA guidelines.


Dimethylamphetamine aka Methylhexamine aka 1,3-Dimethylamylamine (DMAA)

DMAA is banned by multiple sport organizations due to it structural similarity to amphetamines. While most supplements that contained DMAA were taken off the market years ago, there are still some supplements on the market that include it.

DMAA is specifically listed on the WADA prohibited list as “Dimethylamphetamine” and “4-Methylhexan-2-amine”. DMAA is listed under Stimulants (S6) in the “Specified Stimulants” section, which also states “Including, but not limited to” at the beginning of the list and “and other substances with a similar chemical structure or similar biological effect(s)” at the end of the list. These two sentences in quotes are vital to determining if the supplement you are taking contains banned ingredients. We will go over two additional ingredients that meet those criteria.


AMP Citrate AKA 4-amino-2-methylpentane citrate AKA 1,3-Dimethylbutylamine (DMBA)

DMBA was only briefly available in dietary supplements as the FDA quickly ruled that it was not a dietary supplement and could not be sold as one. While DMBA is not specifically listed on the prohibited substance list, it is banned from use due to its structural similarity to DMAA. I don't know of any supplements that currently contain DMBA, but it is important to be aware of the ingredient.


2-Aminoisoheptane AKA Octodrine AKA 1,5-Dimethylhexylamine (DMHA)

The newest DMAA “replacement” is DMHA, commonly listed on supplements labels as 2-Aminoisoheptane or Octodrine. While DMBA is not specifically listed on the prohibited substance list, it is banned from use due to its structural similarity to DMAA.

A ton of pre-workouts currently available contain DMHA. If you are a drug-tested athlete make sure your pre-workout doesn’t contain DMHA. While DMHA is currently legal in the U.S., it will be banned in Australia on October 1st.



The purpose of this article is to help educate and inform drug tested athletes and hopefully prevent failed tested. USA Powerlifting has seen in rise in failed tests and my hope is that this article will help prevent future failed tests. Stay tuned for a future article highlighting additional banned ingredients.


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