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DNP (2,4-Dinitrophenol) is a chemical product that was historically used as an antiseptic, herbicide, and explosive. In bodybuilding, it is used for rapid fat loss, but it's considered extremely dangerous when ingested.

2-4-dinitrophenol dnp

Fig 1. 2,4-Dinitrophenol (DNP) Chemical Structure

Table of Contents


DNP was used for fat loss in the 1930's, which resulted in a number of severe health problems, such as cataracts and even death. The FDA pulled it off the market thereafter. It is said the Soviets gave DNP to their soldiers to raise their body heat during extreme cold conditions.

How it Works

For fat loss, DNP works by dangerously raising body temperature and the metabolic rate. DNP will induce proton leakage from the mitochondria, which causes it to burn more fuel to yield the same amount of ATP (which is the primary carrier of energy within your cells). This makes your body use more energy to do anything. Something as simple as walking to your mail box to check the mail or walking up the stairs at home becomes a huge task for your body. As a result, food that is eaten or stored as fat will have to be used for energy, and new fat stores are unlikely.


The only use for DNP in bodybuilding is fat loss. Animal studies have shown an increase of 60% in metabolic rates for DNP users, and it's likely that in humans that number is even higher. Bodybuilders have reported anywhere from 5-15 pounds of lost mass per week on DNP. However, DNP will also cause water retention, so the user may not lose weight on the scale during this time until the water is flushed out.

DNP will fight to prevent the body from turning food into energy, so an athlete will have a difficult time having any energy to workout. As a result, what typically happens is the athlete will stick to very light training while on DNP.

Side Effects

The side effects are extreme with DNP:

  • Intense sweating
  • Yellow bodily fluids
  • Severe dehydration
  • Electrolyte depletion
  • Reduction of T3
  • Water retention
  • Shortness of breath
  • Vision problems
  • Appetite increase
  • Decreased blood sugar levels
  • Possible DEATH - yes, people have died from abusing DNP. (see below news)
dnp death

Fig 2. DNP death


In addition, the domino effect of sleep problems, lack of energy, constant hunger, and feeling horrible, makes DNP usage unbearable to many.

It is crucial to eat a good diet and drink a lot of fluids while on DNP. A multi-vitamin is recommended daily, as is monitoring urine color.

Important note: Dehydration and electrolyte depletion is a serious problem with DNP use. You need to replenish your electrolyte levels daily.


High dosages of DNP can land a person in the hospital or cause death. The user should start at 200mg per day or less, depending on body weight. From there, slowly up the dosage slightly after a few days, if you can tolerate it. The biggest mistake guys make is when the dosage is upped too quickly because DNP has a 36 hour half life. As a result, the user can find themselves in trouble if dosed too high over a few days. This is because DNP will build up in the system, which will be a big issue as side effects get worse and worse.

Duration: It is not recommend that DNP is ran for more than 2 weeks.

Suggested Dosage: 2-4mgs (milligrams) per 1 kilogram (kg) of bodyweight. 1Kg = 2.2lbs. Therefore, a male who is 100kgs (or 220lbs = 100x2.2) would take around 200-400mgs of DNP/day. 100Kgs x 2mgs = 200mgs.

Dosing schedule example:

  • Day 1-4: 200mg per day
  • Day 5-8: 250mg per day
  • Day 9-14: 300mg per day

Stack DNP with a multi-vitamins/liver support/kidney support such as N2Guard, and drink at least 2 gallons of water per day and make sure you get in plenty of low-GI carbohydrates.


Want to read about DNP on our forums? check out these threads:

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Lev Butlerov holds a Masters Degree in Biology, he is NASM Certified, ISSA Certified, The National Council on Strength & Fitness (NCSF) certified and is currently working on his American Council on Exercise (ACE) certificate. From Lev: I love bodybuilding and the biology, chemistry of the industry. It's my hobby and my love. I have done multiple bodybuilding shows, 2 in Germany in the past 5 years. I hope everyone enjoys my articles. In 2021 (going into 2022, 2023) I will be working on my PhD thesis in physiotherapy and biochemistry, I hope to have some of the bits published here.

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