Dynamine™ (a.k.a methylliberine) is not a widely-used energy supplement at the moment, but it is certainly receiving a lot of attention. At the time of writing, very few energy supplements or nootropics use this compound. Yet the compound’s creator has created a stir about this “novel stimulant”, so it is bound to start appearing in more and more caffeine pills and energy supplements.
In this article, we’re going to look at:
- What Dynamine does
- How Dynamine supposedly works
- How effective it is as an energy supplement or nootropic
- Dynamine’s side effects
- Whether or not it is a good supplement for you
If you get to the end of the article and you still have questions for us, please post them in the comments section at the end. A member of the team will be right back to you with an answer!
What is Dynamine™?
Dynamine™ is an energy supplement and nootropic currently used in several popular pre-workouts, brain supplements and biohacking stacks.
Dynamine is a patented version of Methylliberine. Methylliberine is a purine alkaloid found in the kucha tea leaf, as well as coffee beans, most forms of tea, cola nuts, guarana, cocoa, and yerba mate. However, the richest source of methylliberine – and the source used to create Dynamine – is kucha tea leaf.
Are Dynamine & Methylliberine the same thing?
Dynamine is a branded form of methylliberine.
While the makers of Dynamine claim that their compound is a special, unique supplement, there is no difference between Dynamine and methylliberine; at least nothing that is stated on the manufacturer’s website.
It is common for specialist nootropics and energy supplement manufacturers to create augmented, enhanced versions of compounds, be it something more bioavailable or more potent than the basic version. But it seems that Dynamine is just straight up methylliberine.
It is unclear how the manufacturer intends to patent something which is naturally occurring in tea leaves, but that is a question for the lawyers!
Who makes Dynamine?
made by Compound Solutions; a supplement manufacturer based in Carlsbad, California.
Compound Solutions do not produce pre-made supplement products that consumers can buy. Instead, they make a variety of ingredients used by other manufacturers to make consumer supplements. Their range includes highly bio-available forms of MCT oil, amino acids, and the well-known and widely-used TeaCrine®.
Dynamine & Teacrine
Dynamine is closely related to TeaCrine®, itself a branded form of a compound called Theacrine. These compounds are similar both in terms of its chemical structure and how it is positioned as a product for Compound Solutions.
According to Compound Solutions, Dynamine is structurally similar to Theacrine (and by extension TeaCrine), and as such, it “is thought” to work in a similar way in the human body except Dynamine supposedly has a much stronger initial effect and shorter half-life:
Beyond the anecdotal nature of the evidence, there are a few problems with these claims. For one thing, the whole justification for the use of Theacrine (and TeaCrine) is that it is itself “structurally similar” to caffeine and is therefore “thought to” behave in a “similar way” in the human body. We’ve never been convinced by these kind of claims. They are almost always vague, with lots of “supposed”, “thought to be”, and other qualifiers scattered about the page so the manufacturer never has to commit to making a claim.
It is all insinuation and inference, no hard evidence.
But even beyond that, this logic itself is shaky. Just because two substances are “structurally similar” does not mean that they behave in a similar way in the human body. If you think about it, you’ll see that this isn’t even remotely true; you’d have to be scientifically illiterate to think so!
Take dihydrogen monoxide (water) and hydrogen peroxide (the bleaching agent): two compounds with very similar structures when viewed as a Lewis Diagram, but with very different effects when consumed by humans!
In other words, the fact that two substances look similar when written in certain diagram forms does not mean they have similar effects on the body.
So what does the evidence say about Dynamine’s effects? Can it really do all of the things Compound Solutions says it can?
What does Dynamine do?
As we’ve already said, Compound Solutions claims that Dynamine works in a similar way to TeaCrine; their other “caffeine alternative”. As such, we can expect the benefits of Dynamine to be broadly the same as TeaCrine (i.e. theacrine), which is in turn said to have similar benefits to caffeine. Dynamine can therefore be thought of as a new kind of caffeine supplement with very slightly different effects.
More specifically, they claim that Dynamine can:
- Rapidly increase focus
- Boost “perceived energy”
- Promote productivity
- Heighten alertness
- Increase motivation
- Improve mood
By the sounds of things, Dynamine is one impressive energy supplement. It actually sounds like an incredible nootropic too, given its ability to boost both focus, energy and motivation!
If we look at the official website, Compound Solutions go even further on the amazing benefits of Dynamine:
“Dynamine™ is methylliberine, a purine alkaloid found in the kucha tea leaf. Its molecular structure is similar to theacrine (aka TeaCrine®) and is believed to behave in similar ways in the body. Like theacrine, methylliberine may amplify feelings of energy, mood and focus by activating dopamine receptors and other key neurotransmitters, inhibiting adenosine receptors, all without elevating heart rate or blood pressure.”
We’re also told that Dynamine is essentially a fast-acting alternative to Theacrine. According to some very impressive-looking graphs published by Compound Solutions, Dynamine produces an initial ‘kick’ that is far stronger than Theacrine, but it doesn’t last anywhere near as long (see graph above).
This means that Dynamine and TeaCrine have distinct use-cases; one is for when you need a fast-acting energy booster, the other for “sustained energy release”.
Compound Solutions clearly feel that this makes Dynamine an ideal stacking compound for use alongside both Theacrine and Caffeine:
So if we’re to believe everything that the manufacturer says, Dynamine can deliver pretty much all of the benefits associated with caffeine (and to a lesser extent with Theacrine) but without any of the known side effects of either compound. What’s more, Dynamine is a fast-acting Theacrine alternative which apparently stacks well with both caffeine and Theacrine.
Sound too good to be true?
Well, it is!
We see absolutely no reason to believe that any of these claims made by Compound Solutions about Dynamine – or TeaCrine for that matter – are true. In fact, the evidence (or lack thereof) suggests otherwise!
Does Dynamine really work?
Looking at the available clinical data on Dynamine does not take very long.
There actually aren’t any independent clinical trials on the efficacy of Dynamine as an energy supplement or as a nootropic. At least none we could find. We aren’t going to bother jumping through Compound Solutions’ hoops to get the data as it should be available to us without us having to provide our names, phone numbers, and emails.
Luckily, there is some solid scientific evidence on the efficacy of Theacrine. Since Dynamine and Theacrine are supposedly so similar in structure and effects, the data on Theacrine must apply to Dynamine as well.
The evidence on Theacrine is pretty conclusive: it doesn’t work.
Take this study for example. Researchers gave a group of ~30 male and female soccer players either placebo, caffeine, theacrine, or a combination of theacrine and caffeine. The players were monitored for things like time to exhaustion and cognitive performance. The results are quite compelling:
“The primary results of this study indicate that, compared to PL, 275 mg of Caf or a combination of 150 mg Caf with 125 mg TCr produce some modest cognitive benefits, particularly following the first half of the simulated soccer match. These benefits were not seen with ingestion of 275 mg of TCr alone, which was similar to or slightly worse than PL.”
The researchers did note that the group ingesting Theacrine alone did show a significant improvement in time to exhaustion compared to placebo. However, this improvement was less than that seen in the caffeine and theacrine group, and less than that seen in the straight caffeine group. So while theacrine may be useful for prolonging time to exhaustion, it is not as effective as caffeine.
In any case, the effect may have been down to other variables – the small sample size and poor controls mean the increase in time to exhaustion was not necessarily down to the theacrine.
This skepticism is warranted as similar studies have shown the same thing; namely, that theacrine doesn’t work.
Take this study as another good example. There’s no need to go into great detail here. A summary of the researchers’ findings will do:
“Condition effects or trends were noted for subjective feelings, with values for attentive, alert, focused, and energetic higher for TheaTrim than for placebo and caffeine, while values for lethargic and groggy were lower for TheaTrim than for placebo and caffeine. Heart rate and blood pressure were largely unaffected by treatment. These data indicate that TheaTrim treatment does not result in a statistically significant improvement in cognitive performance but may favorably impact multiple subjective feelings related to energy and mood.”
The manufacturers of Dynamine have gone to a lot of trouble to insinuate that the compound has similar effects to Theacrine.
We would ask, what effects are these?
What are the incredible benefits of theacrine which Dynamine supposedly brings on even faster?
The lack of scientific data made available by Compound Solutions on Dynamine is quite telling. You wont find any on their website simply because there isn’t any.
Is Dynamine safe?
Is Methylliberine safe? Will it cause side effects? Are the risks worth it? These are some really important questions to answer if you’re thinking of taking Dynamine.
One of the only studies we’ve been able to find on Dynamine focused on the compound’s safety rather than its efficacy as an energy supplement or nootropic. So we can actually talk about Dynamine side effects risks with much more confidence than we can talk about Dynamine benefits.
In this clinical investigation, researchers examined the effects of both Dynamine in isolation and in combination with TeaCrine on a group of 125 healthy young men and women. Various doses and combinations of the supplements were tried, along with a placebo group for control. The researchers monitored various measures of cardiovascular function. They found:
“While small changes were found in some cardiovascular and blood biomarkers, no clinically significant changes occurred. This suggests that DYM alone or in combination with TCR consumed at the dosages used in this study does not appear to negatively affect markers of health over four weeks of continuous use.”
This means that as far as we can tell, Dynamine is unlikely to cause any adverse health problems or side effects if used in sensible doses for no longer than 4 weeks.
That said, we do need to stress that this is one of the only studies available on Dynamine, and it does have its limitations. For one thing, the volunteers were all young, healthy, and in good shape. In other words, Dynamine may not cause cardiovascular problems in young, healthy people, but in older, obese people with a history of heart trouble, it might be a different story!
Ultimately, we can’t conclude that Dynamine is safe simply because it hasn’t been sufficiently studied. On a cost-benefit analysis, Dynamine doesn’t look great either. As far as we can tell, Methylliberine doesn’t do a great deal other than give you some more stamina (in some situations). So any risks are weighed against almost no discernible benefits.
Dynamine Side Effects
While we don’t have any specific scientific data on the side effects of methylliberine (Dynamine), we can infer from the known side effects of theacrine and caffeine; two compounds that Dynamine’s manufacturers say are very similar in effect and pharmokinetics to Dynamine. Therefore, we can say that the likely side effects of Dynamine include:
- Inability to focus
- Elevated heart rate
- Heart palpitations
- Shortness of breath
- Panic attacks
Again, we have no hard scientific data on the likelihood or severity of Dynamine’s side effects because it has never been properly studied.
If you’re looking for a way to safely boost energy, enhance focus, increase motivation, and improve physical performance, we recommend using a natural stimulant that is better understood. Caffeine stacked with Theanine and B Vitamins is an option since we understand the risks involved so much better than we do with Dynamine (or any form of methylliberine).
Dynamine vs Caffeine: Is it the better stimulant?
At this point, you are probably wondering – is there any point taking Dynamine over caffeine?
When we compare the two stimulants, there certainly seems to be very little to choose between Dynamine and caffeine.The clinical data shows little difference between the effects of these two stimulants. Several studies even show caffeine as having an edge on Dynamine, and there is certainly far more evidence supporting caffeine’s use as a stimulant than there is for methylliberine.
However, there are some differences that might make people prefer Dynamine to caffeine.
For one thing, Dynamine has a much longer half-life than caffeine. This means the effects tend to last longer than the effects of caffeine. It also means that the peak effects are less intense. The result is a generally longer but more subtle experience than you get from taking large doses of caffeine.
There is also some evidence that repeated use of Dynamine does not lead to tolerance build up like it does with caffeine. This is a HUGE benefit as caffeine tolerance builds very quickly and soon has habitual users consuming doses that do not give them much benefits but do cause serious side effects.
But at the end of the day, the clinical evidence points to caffeine being generally far more effective than Dynamine and much more reliable in its effects. If half life and side effect risks are a concern for you, we think you are better off restricting your caffeine dose or avoiding stimulants altogether rather than opting for something like Dynamine which is much more expensive than caffeine but nowhere near as effective.
What does Dynamine do to your body?
Dynamine works by preventing the neurotransmitter adenosine from binding to receptors in the brain, decreasing fatigue and increasing energy. This is the same way caffeine affects the brain.
How long does Dynamine take to kick in?
The manufacturers of Dynamine claim that it only takes 15 minutes to kick in. Most users find that Dynamine takes at least 45 minutes to really start working.
Is Dynamine natural?
No Dynamine is not natural. Methylliberine can be naturally found in relatively large quantities in kucha tea leaves, Yerba Mate, Cocoa, and Coffee. However, Dyanmine is a synthetic analogue of methylliberine.
Why is Dynamine banned?
Dynamine is not banned in most countries. Nor is it banned by any major sports associations. Some supplements which contsain Dynamine may also contain other substances which are banned. Be sure to check the label carefully before using any stimulant supplements, even if they are 100% natural.
Brian Johnson is current Editor of Vagarights.com and a long-time writer for VAGA. A former psychologist, Brian is passionate about improving mental health and finding ways to stave off cognitive decline. He is an expert on nootropics, cognitive enhancement and biohacking more broadly. You can see his work on Google scholar.