Prototype Nutrition Ketoforce



Craziness over Craze

By Patrick Arnold

Driven Sports (formerly Designer Supplements) is a somewhat popular company in the sports nutrition arena. They have a dedicated cult following due to their history of introducing controversial and intriguing products such as the now infamous designer steroid “superdrol” to the market place. Their latest hit product is a “pre-workout” product called Craze. This product gained insane popularity over the last couple of years and users who have taken it have reported amazing energy and euphoria. Since the ingredients on the label did not seem to list anything that could explain such remarkable effects, much suspicion arose over whether the product might be “spiked” with some sort of undisclosed stimulant compound.

Well, in early February that suspicion reached a fever pitch when supplement retailers disclosed that federal police in Australia told them that Craze (which has been a popular import there) was found to contain a methamphetamine analog. It appears from various sources that the analog they were referring to was N-alpha-diethyl-benzeneethanamine.

As a consequence, Craze has been banned from Australia and all imports are now being confiscated. Curiously, this comes right on the heels of an announcement of the ban of a Rugby player by the Australian Sports Ant-Doping Authority (ASADA) for the same chemical analog plus another analog called 1-phenylbutan-2-amine (which interestingly would be an expected metabolite of the analog allegedly found in Craze). No mention however is made that this positive is the result of the athlete ingesting Craze.

I am following this story closely and right now there is nothing completely confirmed by any official documentation. One thing is curious though, and that is the fact that craze does contain a compound on the label with the exact same molecular formula – differing only by the placement of one of the ethyl groups.

Very curious. What could this mean? Could the aussies have mistaken this listed ingredient for the meth analog? Very doubtful, as they must have been fully aware of the difference. Also, from my research the actual mass spectrum for the analog appears to be recorded in the literature, and so could be matched up. Conspiracy theorists might imagine that a company who wanted to slip such an analog into a product could try to throw testers off by listing an extremely close structural isomer on their label. Hmmm…

Right now it is not clear what is going on but things are unraveling and I will keep everyone updated soon. As far as what the ramifications for Driven Sports would be in the United States should this all prove to be true….well…. that can vary from minor to major. Perhaps a warning from the FDA or worse a criminal charge of adulteration / misbranding etc. Worse still would be a felony charge of distribution of a controlled substances, since analogs of CII substances like methamphetamine can be considered also controlled under US law.

Stay tuned



mass spec

7 Responses so far

Hi, Patrick,

I have been on the dendrobium extract for almost a year since last April when DMAA is suspended by the FDA. while the effects of the dendrobium extract standardized 1% is not stable. Some say it works, some say no effects at all. the quality is not guaranteed, and the effects are not as obvious as that of DMAA. Do you think dendrobium extract work as a stimulant in preworkout supplement. So many companies are using it in their new formula. As a manufacturer and supplier of dendrbium, I am confused with its real effects. Could you kindly advice some reasons and your comments?
thank you in advance.

Best regards
Stanford Lee

Hi Stanford. My gut feeling is that dendrobrium extract does nothing. I suspect it was in the Craze formula as a “red herring”, to distract people from the real active compound – which appears to be the one I mention in this blog

I am not saying necessarily that dendrobrium is there to distract from an ingredient not on the label. Rather it could be there to throw off competitors from being able to copy the formula. Also, there is nothing in the literature to suggest dendrobrium contains the phenethylamine derivatives that the label suggests it does. Its all very strange

This drug would be covered under the UK Misuse of Drugs Act, article 1(C), which states:

Any compound structurally derived from Phenethylamine, an N-alkylphenethylamine, α-methylphenethylamine, an N-alkyl-α-methylphenethylamine, α-ethylphenethylamine, or an N-alkyl-α-ethylphenethylamine …

L. A. King, Forensic Chemistry of Substance Misuse: A Guide to Drug Control, RSC Publishing, Cambridge, 2009

I agree it does look as if Dendrobium is just there to appear as a “Main Ingredient” of the product so everyones focus is on that.

@stanford Lee
The reason you will probably find that most of the time craze is sometimes really strong and other times less potent even when using the same amount is due to the way it’s made. DS will use a variety of active ingredients and add flavouring/colours etc. but to save time they will make a large quantity at once, say 5000 products worth. They will mix all these active ingredients then bottle them up separately. The problem is there are bigger and smaller granules of active ingredient together but they are not always evenly distributed when you take a serving due to the mixing process used for the active ingredients. If you open a tub of craze you will see darker granules at the top and a finer powder at the bottom. It is likely that when taking a scoop you will never get an equal amount of each every time so it will always be different.

Don’t be so confident in Australia’s Federal Police’s analysis. It’s more likely that the testing was done by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) or Customs and Border Protection. Either way they both like to exaggerate things and will find any reason possible to ban anything that is effective, even if it has proof behind it being dangerous. I know people here that have ordered 1kg of Caffeine and customs seized it as being MDMA. They didn’t even test it until he was given a summons and taken to court. Our customs have no requirement to test anything and will seize anything on “suspicion of being prohibited goods”. Similarly for the TGA they will ban anything “that may pose a health risk”. So before testing anything, they can ban it on possibly being a risk. AFP would have had absolutely no involvement in this unless people were actually smuggling drugs here in the Craze containers.

Since April 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned that DMAA was not a botanical ingredient in a dietary supplement. More and more fitness supplement companies use Dendrobium Extract as alternative to DMAA in weight loss and sports nutrition products.

Thanks Patrick,

you’ve certainly got me out of a tight spot. I’ve spent the last month trying to find an off the shelf supplement that could feasibly contain a WADA banned substance.

All the best

Rob x

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