Monday, October 14, 2013

Sport drink doping: "dendrobium orchid extract" is really a methamphetamine analog... or is it?

A new over the counter "energy drink" has hit the market with a "drug" in it that has never been tested in human beings. The "drug" N,alpha diethylphenylethylamine looks exactly like meth but is not as strong.

From Quartz:

Though the makers of CRAZE, Driven Sports, claim that the active ingredient in their supplement comes from “dendrobium orchid extract,” said the statement, researchers could find no evidence that the substance they found in CRAZE comes from orchids or even that it exists anywhere in nature, leading them to conclude that it’s a synthetic drug.


But then a late stage semi-retraction

"... After publication we reached Marc Ullman, of law firm Ullman, Shapiro and Ullman LLP, which represents Driven Sports. Ullman said the NSF International study presented too little data to allow others to check the methodology and lacked a “reference standard,” a substance used as a comparison in evaluating new substances. The researchers, he says, also didn’t clarify whether they tested for another form of diethylphenylethylamine (N,beta-DEPEA), which he said would show up as the alpha form (N,alpha-DEPEA) in tests that don’t try to distinguish the two. Unlike the alpha form, the beta form “doesn’t have methamphetamine-like activity,” Ullman told Quartz. “It’s just grossly irresponsible for these authors to make the claim that CRAZE contains a designer drug.” We have also contacted NSF International for comment...."

Nonetheless, swimmer beware. You could get DQed a significant suspension over stupid, overly marketed energy drink or drinks.


Anonymous said...

Not just DQ'd but suspended for a significant period of time.

Tony Austin said...

How could I have missed that? My bad. and thanks for the catch. I will cross out the word DQ and put "significant suspension."

Anonymous said...

Marc Ullman is talking crap, the alpha analogue was confirmed by the NSF using NMR with a reference standard provided by the Korean Forensic Service. It is not the beta isomer as Ullman suggests, he's just trying to cover Driven Sports' arse.

Tony Austin said...

To my untrained eye it appeared that both Meth and the "dendrobium extract" have the same molecules but the energy drink placed them in different positions.

I believe that H3C is the same as CH3 but is unstable from what I read. Hence, it has all the same molecules but placed in different positions

Anonymous said...

I'm not a chemist but HS chemistry recall is that the position depends on the types of bonds (single, double, etc.) and position of bond (cis, trans) and these effect the action of the molecule (fyi, C and H are atoms and CH3 is a molecule).

NSF is a very good group and thorough

Tony Austin said...

Thank you, I appreciate your contribution here. This is a subject being talked about.