Banned Pre-Workout Supplements – What You Need to Know

ANS Performance Ritual - Our Top Rated Pre Workout

There are many supplements available in the market today and many people, including athletes, use these on a regular basis. Supplements are very useful in providing individuals and sportsmen the energy and nutrition that their bodies require in high quantities. However, some pre workout supplements have been banned by certain organizations that govern competitive sports for various reasons.

Is My Pre Workout Banned?

Unfortunately, this page is not maintained as often as we’d like. If you want a quick answer, ask the guys at Price Comparison Engine about your specific supplement. You can hit them up on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.

About the Most Common Bans

Banned pre-workout supplements are basically those that have been found to contain banned substances. While an organization will say a certain product is banned, it’s most likely due to something inside of that product. A good example is the presence of 1,3 dimethylamylamine in a popular pre-workout supplement such as Jack3d. While Jack3d is definitely legal, certain athletes cannot take it and MUST check their drug testing sponsors before using ANY products! It is also banned for general use in many countries and is only recommended for use under medical supervision.

Banned by who?

First, you need to consider who you are getting tested by. One organization is different than another?

Athletes are prohibited from using banned supplements as these may enhance their performance and give them an unfair advantage over other athletes. It is for these reasons that most athletes, including those competing in NCAA undergo regular and thorough blood and urine checks. These tests are carried out to confirm the presence or absence of banned pre-workout supplements and others.

WADA – the World Anti Doping Agency

WADA is the acronym for the World Anti Doping Agency. WADA is the body charged by national governments and sports organizations across the world in enforcing the use of supplements and controlled substances in the sporting world. Most of their efforts are in the world of research, education and enforcement of controlling banned substances and making sporting events drugs free. The headquarters are in Montreal, Canada but its seat is in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Caffeine is no longer banned by most agencies

Caffeine, however, was removed from the list of banned substances by the world anti-doping agency. While checks are still being carried out on athletes with high amounts of Caffeine in their bodies, it is not banned and certain levels of the drug in the system are acceptable. Athletes used to get banned for having elevated levels in their systems.

Athletes sometimes ask to know if nitric oxide banned for use by athletes, can be found in other drugs such as prescription medicines. This is because nitric oxide can offer unfair advantage to its users. But don’t panic if you read “nitric oxide banned” in the print media – that kind of phrase is nonsense. You can’t ban a life-supporting gas molecule. It’s often the stimulants in these nitric oxide supplements that get banned by organizations like the MLB, WADA, and the NCAA.

There are, however, many approved pre-workout supplements available in the market. These are newer and more modern. They have been developed especially to assist bodybuilders and others engaged in exercising their bodies such as athletes, maximize on the benefits of their workouts.
Athletes, especially those expecting to participate in international sporting events need to take extra care when using supplements as they are held responsible for any products found in their bodies. They need to consult widely before using supplements so they may know without a doubt what supplements are approved and what supplements are banned. It is interesting to note that the most popular and most widely used supplements all contain substances that have been banned.

There are plenty of reviews available, both online and with manufacturing companies, to indicate which pre-workout supplements are the best and the most effective.

An analysis of any pre-workout supplement should answer the following questions. Is it affordable? Do I get value for money? Do users report any noticeable increase in muscle growth? Once such questions are addressed then it is possible to confirm the effectiveness of the supplement – and that’s what this site is for.

NSF Certified for Sport Products are not Banned

In conclusion: If you’re not under drug testing for 1,3 dimethylamylamine or caffeine it’s typically okay to use most pre workout supplements. But if you are, you’ll want something NSF certified for Sport, such as Oh Yeah! Rush


Leave a comment
  1. Jake Smith 16. Dec, 2011 at 4:19 pm #

    hello, does C4 pre work out contain 1,3 dimethylamylamine or any other banned stuff?

    • Admin 19. Dec, 2011 at 11:56 am #

      Hey – Good question, but no – You can read more about this on our C4 Extreme page. Basically, an older version of C4 had 1,3 dimethylamylamine (DMAA) in it, but no longer does. If you see a label on the net that says it does, it’s simply out of date.

      As far as “other banned stuff” goes, the answer will 99% be no, but you need to check with your drug testing organization to make sure. There’s nitrates, N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine, and Mucuna Pruriens, but those are always legal from every organization we’ve seen so far. Double check just in case. 1,3 dimeth is the most important thing to beware of in these supps.

    • Shawn 07. May, 2012 at 2:59 pm #

      C4 contains Synephrine, which will cause a positive test under NCAA rules but idk what org your reffering to

      • Admin 08. May, 2012 at 9:59 am #

        Good point. It depends on your drug testing organization.

        Your best bet is to check with your governing body, and to cross-reference every single ingredient on your group’s specific banned list.

        Your super best bet is to stick with something that’s 100% NSF Certified for Sport for your organization.

  2. Jared 07. Feb, 2012 at 3:27 pm #

    ive been taking the Craze pre workout supplement and i play football in high school. On the warning it says it may contain banned substances but i want to know for sure. Can anyone tell me if there is any banned substances in Craze?

    • Admin 14. Feb, 2012 at 5:23 pm #

      It’s impossible to answer this question with the information at hand. You need to test with your drug testing organization. What drug testing rules do you go by? Do you get drug tested ever? Have you cross-referenced all of your rules’ banned substances with the ingredients in the Craze?

  3. spyros Asimakis 14. Mar, 2012 at 2:30 pm #

    is no shotgun (vpx)legal..?

    • Admin 14. Mar, 2012 at 9:26 pm #

      Yes, at least in the US! Why do you ask?

  4. Jon Andrew 21. Mar, 2012 at 1:58 pm #

    Is 1.m.r. pre workout contain 1,3 dimethylamylamine or any other banned substances?

    • Admin 26. Mar, 2012 at 11:12 am #

      1MR used to have DMAA in it up until around August 2011 or so. If you have an older tub, then you might have it – newer stuff does not. Check the label and confirm with the store you purchase it from, and cross reference your banned substance list!!

  5. Jon Andrew 22. Mar, 2012 at 4:18 pm #

    How long does the excess caffeine from pwo’s stay in your body’s system?

    • Admin 26. Mar, 2012 at 11:10 am #

      Everyone’s different, but caffeine’s half life is about 4 hours. Drink plenty of water and give it time, but stimulants are quick to be flushed from the system. What’s not quick are some of the brain’s withdrawal symptoms, but if you’re taking a drug test, a few days should be more than enough for caffeine. See a doctor and talk to your drug testing sponsor just in case though – slow metabolisms may be completely different!!

  6. spiros asimakis 13. Apr, 2012 at 12:51 am #

    Cause i m an athlete with chance to participate to the olympics and recently i had a doping test(Wada) and before that i used shotgun and i m now a lot of nervous because of this..Doesnt contain any suspicious ingredients right/??

    • Admin 18. Apr, 2012 at 6:19 pm #

      I don’t think so, but you need to cross-reference every ingredient on the list with your banned substances list. If you’re really serious, you should stick with NSF-Certified supplements only. Stuff like MTS Machine Whey and Muscle Pharm Assault.

  7. Matt 30. Jul, 2012 at 4:57 pm #

    Is superpump max banned in the NCAA? I’ve been taking it but I’m gonna be playing division III in three weeks.

    • Admin 01. Aug, 2012 at 1:09 pm #

      From the looks of it, none of the ingredients are banned. Cross-reference all of the ingredients across the NCAA list and double-check though!

  8. Dan 04. Mar, 2013 at 11:40 am #

    Hi I was wondering if Optimum Nutrition Platinum Pre-, N.O. Explode 2.0, C4 Extreme, or SuperPump Max contain any NCAA banned substances (besides the caffeine)? If so, what are the best pre workout supplements I can take as an NCAA D1 athlete?


  9. Superman2144 03. Feb, 2014 at 9:07 pm #

    does Betancourt Bullnox Androrush contain 1,3 dimethylamylamine ?

    what advise can you give me in regard to this product as a pre -work out against its competitors eg jack3d, N.O. Explode 2.0, superpump max

    • Admin 14. Mar, 2014 at 12:41 pm #

      The current version does not!

  10. Amanda 02. Mar, 2014 at 11:02 pm #

    Do you know if Igniter Extreme for women contains any banned substances for the NCAA? I’m running track and don’t want to chance my eligibility in any way. Thanks!

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