What is N-methyltyramine (NMT)?
N-methyltyramine (NMT), otherwise known as 4-hydroxy-N-methylphenethylamine, is a stimulant that has become popular in pre-workouts and fat loss supplements. This ingredient is chemically similar to other ingredients like octopamine, hordenine, synephrine and phenylethylamine (PEA), and it is derived from the amino acid tyrosine.
N-methyltyramine is considered to be a neurotransmitter, and it has a number of benefits for bodybuilders and athletes.
Where does N-methyltyramine (NMT) come from?
N-methyltyramine is found naturally in various plants. It was first isolated from Barley, and as a result of the use of barley in brewing, beer is relatively rich in N-methyltyramine. It is also common in Acacia species, including Acacia rigidula, and it is found in Citrus aurantium, which is otherwise known as bitter orange (1).
N-methyltyramine (NMT) Benefits
N-methyltyramine is used as a stimulant and focus enhancer. It can produce these effects by stimulating the release of noradrenaline, a neurotransmitter involved in the 'flight or fight' response, which causes an increase in concentration, increased heartbeat, and vasoconstriction (2).
it also acts as a weak alpha-2 adrenoreceptor antagonist, which means it prevents the breakdown of, therefore increases activity of adrinergic, dopaminergic and serotonergic neurotransmitters, which may also play a role in mood and energy (3).
M-methyltyramine can increase the secretion of insulin, and of the hormone gastrin, which increases gastrointestinal motility and pancreatic secretions (4).
N-methyltyramine (NMT) Benefits for Bodybuilding
The increase in focus and energy makes N-methyltyramine well suited to use in pre-workout formulations. It is often touted as a replacement for banned supplement DMAA.
Insulin controls levels of blood sugar, but it also has anabolic properties, and high insulin levels may be desirable for people looking to put on muscle.
N-methyltyramine (NMT) Side Effects, Safety and Negatives
N-methyltyramine is a largely unstudied compound, and what we do know is based on a small number of rodent studies and studies that have been performed on similar compounds, including precursor molecule tyramine.
This compound is often included in weight loss formulations, despite evidence pointing to the fact that N-methyltyramine has been shown to inhibit fat breakdown and stimulate pancreatic hormones like anabolic insulin, and gastrin, which stimulate appetite (5). That said, the stimulant effect of this ingredient is likely to suppress appetite, and it is probable that N-methyltyramine will work for some people well but perhaps not for others.
Additionally, the effect of N-methyltyramine as a stimulant has been called into question, because, like tyramine, it has low lipid solubility, therefore it is unlikely to cross the blood-brain barrier. It also has a short half-life, and it must pass through a conversion step in body before it causes the release of noradrenaline. N-methyltyramine breaks down to octopamine, an inactive analogue of noradrenaline. Octopamine is packaged in the synaptic vesicles in place of noradrenaline, reducing the amount of this excitatory neurotransmitter that is released, therefore heavy, frequent dosage with N-methyltyramine may cause a decrease in the normal noradrenaline response.
People who are using an MAO inhibitors, which can be used in the treatment of conditions like depression, should avoid N-methyltyramine and related compounds, because of the risk of an acute hypertensive episode (6). In some people, N-methyltyramine has been implicated as a cause of headaches and migraines (7)
N-methyltyramine (NMT) Dosage & Ingredient Timing
There is no established or recommended dosage for N-methyltyramine, but 200mg is a usual dose when it is included in a supplement. To get the most from the effects of N-methyltyramine, it should be taken about half an hour before a workout.
N-methyltyramine (NMT) Supplements
Stacking N-methyltyramine (NMT)
N-methyltyramine will stack very well with other pre-workout ingredients, like creatine, BCAAs and pump boosters. It also goes well with other stimulants, and may potentiate their effects. N-methyltyramine is being hailed as the new DMAA, so make sure to use it safely and responsibly.
(1) T. A. Smith (1977). "Phenethylamine and related compounds in plants." Phytochem. 16 9 – 18.
(2) Camp BJ. Action of N-methyltyramine and N-methyl beta-phenylethylamine on certain biological systems. Am J Vet Res. 1970 Apr;31(4):755-62.
(3) Koda H, Yokoo Y, Matsumoto N, Suwa Y, Fukazawa H, Ishida H, Tsuji K, Nukaya H, Kuriyama K. Antagonistic effect of N-methyltyramine on alpha2-adrenoceptor in mice. Jpn J Pharmacol. 1999 Nov;81(3):313-5.
(4) Yokoo Y, Kohda H, Kusumoto A, Naoki H, Matsumoto N, Amachi T, Suwa Y, Fukazawa H, Ishida H, Tsuji K, Nukaya H. Isolation from beer and structural determination of a potent stimulant of gastrin release. Alcohol Alcohol. 1999 Mar-Apr;34(2):161-8.
(5) Stohs SJ, Hartman MJ. A Review of the Receptor Binding and Pharmacological Effects of N-methyltyramine. Phytother Res. 2015 Jan;29(1):14-6.
(6) Sathyanarayana Rao TS and Vikram K. Yeragani VK (2009) Hypertensive crisis and cheese Indian J Psychiatry. 51(1): 65–66.
(7) D'Andrea, G; Nordera, GP; Perini, F; Allais, G; Granella, F (May 2007). "Biochemistry of neuromodulation in primary headaches: focus on anomalies of tyrosine metabolism". Neurological Sciences. 28, Supplement 2 (S2): S94–S96.