Let’s be honest, reducing body fat is not easy. Regardless of how tight your diet is or how hard you train, slashing fat - especially when you’re getting closer to your goal after you’ve lost some lb’s already, can be really frustrating.
And the lower your body fat becomes, the more you tend to struggle with cravings and hunger pangs every. Dieting. Day. Ughh… And with decreased caloric intake also comes a bigger challenge to keep your energy levels up to have a relevant level of workout intensity.
Unless you were living under a rock in the 1990’s and 2000’s, you most likely remember a lot of buzz around ephedra, ephedrine, Ma Huang or its similarly named counterparts. And, tons of people were using it with success to shed lots of unwanted stubborn fat at a relatively fast pace.
Maybe if you were like many users, you were an extremely happy consumer of a few different ECA stack supplements back then as well. ECA stands for Ephedrine/Caffeine/Aspirin, which is a combination of 20mg ephedrine, 200mg caffeine and a light dose of aspirin or white willow bark - which is a source of salicin (aspirin like).
White willow bark containing salicin is metabolized in the body to salicylic acid, which is a precursor to aspirin.
Legal Status and Availability
Also like many natural over the counter supplements (OTC) that have experienced a high degree of success and/or abuse, ephedra in addition to its related components, were banned in 2004 and have since been illegal for OTC purchase for use as a weight loss aid.
Aside from being medically scripted and supervised, ephedra, ephedrine and the like are not that easy to find and incorporate into our arsenal of tools in our fat loss efforts these days.
Ephedrine; A Fat Burning Legend
Ephedrine (ih-fed-rin) is one of the four active parts of the herb Ephedra. It is known to trigger fat reduction by increasing energy expenditure via increasing the amount of fat available for fuel. It has been cited that increases in metabolic rates have been seen up to 5%. This initially may not seem like much, but it adds up quickly equating to many more calories burned over the course of a week, a month, etc.
Ephedrine and ECA stacks interacts with our muscle and fat cells, increasing heat (energy) output in them. It may also prevent muscle glycogen depletion while encouraging the use of fat for fuel.
Pertaining to the ECA stack, ephedrine has nice synergistic flow with caffeine. The most successful blend has been 20mg of ephedrine combined with 200mg caffeine and many cases, aspirin or as mentioned earlier - white willow bark extract included as well.
Aspirin is a pain reliever. When taken as part of an ECA stack, aspirin prevents norepinephrine levels from decreasing. In other words, its helps maintain the stimulation effects that the caffeine and ephedrine help provide.
Just like someone with a delicate allergy to peanuts probably shouldn’t consume peanut butter or knowing that we probably should not dehydrate and fast ourselves for days on end while consuming a deadly amount of caffeine and 5x suggested dose of yohimbine while sitting in a sauna… we should also apply some good common sense if utilizing something such as ephedrine or an ECA stack.
Do you have any cardiovascular concerns? Are you very sensitive to stimulants? Do you have high blood pressure? Are you diabetic? Any and all “yes” answers here should automatically yield a “no” answer to whether or not ephedrine would be suitable for you.
Who Benefits Best from Ephedrine?
Ephedrine has been examined quite well and for those with whom ephedrine is suitable, its an effective tool to enhance short to medium term fat reduction and even improvements in performance, especially in trained individuals.
However, ephedrine does not always work in all situations. We must remember that we can’t outwork a sloppy diet, poor hormone balance and a lifestyle exempt of any physical exercise. Having a smart diet is always an important part of anyone’s fat loss program.
Longer term looks at sedentary individuals with pre-existing conditions or abusive tendencies has produced negative results. While ephedrine has shown weight reductions here independent of exercised individuals with proper dietary changes, efficacy is greatest with minimal side effects when responsible use of ephedrine is combined with exercise and proper diet in healthy individuals.
Should Ephedrine Be Cycled?
The short answer is; yes. When used over time, the body will build a tolerance to ephedrine and become less effective. And, using more is not a smart solution. More does not mean better in this situation. When it comes to any strong stimulants, this is the general rule of thumb.
The Bottom Line…
Ephedrine and the ECA stack is a stimulant that can squash your hunger cravings and increase your body’s metabolic rate.
May preserve lean muscle mass when restricting caloric intake and may also help improve physical performance, although studies are lacking here.
Ephedrine is generally safe and tolerated well with suitable users who consume it responsibly. However, common side effects some users may experience are short term elevations in heart rate, blood pressure and jitters - most of which tend to be adapted to by the body well after a week or so of use.
Negligently taking too much ephedrine or combining it with alcohol, other drugs or simply taking if you have any pre-existing health conditions (especially anything cardiovascular related~!) can lead to serious consequences. But then again, so could drinking an insane amount of water all at one time or eating a bag of peanuts knowing that you have a nut allergy...
Ephedrine is very useful in cases of low blood pressure, improving asthma symptoms with accompanying breathing problems and relieving nasal congestion among other medicinal uses.
For the right healthy and suitable person, ephedrine is used to amplify fat loss efforts in one’s quest to achieve their best beach body.
If you would like to discuss ephedrine or any other weight loss tools that are often used under medical supervision, let us know how we can help or we can schedule a short complimentary call to discuss today what may be suitable for you and your goals.
The YOUTH-Rx Team
Disclaimer: By writing this blog, we are not recommending this drug. Some of our readers who are already taking these or similar compounds or have used in the past, have requested that we give some basic insights on it. Furthermore, we are simply providing some highlights of information that is available in clinical and scientific literature. Always consult with a medical professional pertaining to your medical conditions, concerns, medications and interests.