It’s a popular sports pre-workout powder supplement that contains a methamphetamine-like compound, but don’t expect to see it on store shelves anymore.
The manufacturer of Craze, bodybuilding.com, reports that sales have been suspended as has production. That move comes after an analysis from scientists in the U.S., the Anti-Doping Agency and the Netherlands found a chemical cousin to speed in the supplement, a chemical never tested on humans – methamphetamine analog N,α-diethyl-phenylethylamine (N,α-DEPEA). To make matters worse, the compound is not on the label of Craze. The independent labs identified N,α-DEPEA in Craze samples.
An article in Drug Testing and Analysis calls it a designer drug, while Driven Sports, the company that markets Craze, denies the product has any amphetamines. In response, the company has posted results on its website from another lab that reports the product is free of amphetamines.
USA Today has done a series of reports on the owner of Driven Sport, Matt Cahill, who the paper says has a history of putting controversial products on the market.
Natural supplements sometimes give the impression that they contain the best of what nature offers. In fact, one of the samples of Craze was purchased from The Natural Health Shoppe, an online vitamin distributor. The second sample came from General Nutrition Center (GNC) a nationwide distributor of supplements.
The FDA regularly finds banned substances hidden in the formulations, particularly those that promote weight gain, athletic and sexual prowess. Craze is called “Performance Fuel” that gives users a lift while lifting. It is advertised as containing phenylethylamines, chemicals derived from nature, such as chocolate, but that term can also define synthetically produced drugs.
Not only is (N,α-DEPEA) a stimulant but it is considered to be addictive. The other side effects for humans are simply not known. Supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, however if the product contains active ingredients it is supposed to have FDA approval.
The FDA is unable to investigate every product that is sold but can issue warning letters and initiate seizures and recalls or file criminal charges.