CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Could your workout supplement get you too pumped up?
Several investigations just published in drug testing journals say a widely used powder and pill known as Craze and Detonate contain a substance similar to methamphetamine.
Harvard Medical School researchers called the compounds they claim to have discovered powerful, highly addictive stimulants. We called several Heartland Gyms and athletes and most were familiar with the supplements. Many had taken them in the past, and were shocked to hear of the compounds alleged similarities. However, several trainers noted many supplement makers seem to be pushing the limits.
Michelle Smith, an athlete and personal trainer from Poplar Bluff said, "Craze gave me an intense increase in energy. an inability to sit still, but also aided in completing an extremely difficult workout routine."
Miquel Reyes of Cape Girardeau said Craze gave him "Awesome energy and focus." Reyes also said Craze: "Actually gives you sort of a crazy feeling."
Researchers started their testing because several athletes failed urine tests after taking Craze.
Harvard experts said ingredients were similar -- but likely less potent than meth -- however stronger than ephedrine. Researchers said that the mixture that could put your body at risk for heart attack and stroke.
Meanwhile Heartland trainers and dietitians say people need to always consult their doctor or trainer before taking any supplement -- calling many ingredients vague potentially harmful.
Trainers tell us old school nutrition is always the safest best, and the best advice is to get your energy from food.
"Usually if you eat clean and that means lean meats and fresh vegetables you'll get all the energy you need," said Brian Guilliams. "A lot of people turn to supplements when they don't have time to cook. The best idea is to pre-package your food or prepare your meals for the week at one time."
People I spoke with who quit taking Craze say they did so to try another supplement.
Meanwhile, many suppliers no longer offer Craze or Detonate for sale.
Gaspari Nutrition so far hasn't commented on the research.
Attorneys for Driven Sports offered this statement:
"We believe that the "Short Communication" (this is not a journal article) published in Drug Testing and Analysis falls well short of the standards that the scientific community and the public at large should expect from NSF and a Harvard researcher. Extensive analytical work by a DEA registered lab in Michigan and a Swedish laboratory retained by Driven Sports indicate the presence of n-beta DEPEA in CRAZE. This is a related but very different substance from the one identified by NSF. It is also very difficult to distinguish these two substances unless you know precisely what you are looking for and are using the proper test methodology. Significantly, the "Short Communication" in Drug Testing and Analysis does not state that the authors used a validated test method when conducting their research or whether they even considered the possible presence of the n-beta analogue. This would be a critical oversight.
In the absence of a careful analysis of dendrobium (the ingredient in CRAZE at issue) to rule out the presence of naturally occurring DEPEA analogues, it is impossible for the authors to comment with any authority as to the source of this substance. Just because a substance is patented does not mean it is not found in nature, and just because it is not mentioned in the literature does not mean that anyone has ever looked for it before.
Since accusations were first made that CRAZE contained methamphetamine, Driven Sports has undertaken extensive analytical studies of Craze and its conclusions regarding the safety and composition of Craze have not changed: the product is safe and effective. This period of extended study has, however, given the Company greater insight into the complexity of the testing process and the difficulty of scientifically differentiating between the analogues of components found in our ingredients.
We have also submitted 4 independent double blind placebo controlled safety and efficacy studies on Craze for publication in peer reviewed journals. These studies, conducted in 177 people, show that Craze did not induce any harmful effects on clinical laboratory parameters and that there were no adverse events reported." - Marc Ullman from Ullman, Shapiro & Ullman LLP.