Everything you need to know about Ephedrine (and ECAs)

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Everything you need to know about Ephedrine (and ECAs)

ECAs were a very common supplement sold legally over the counter at supplement stores for fat loss. However, it is no longer legal to be sold or is more controlled (depending on where you live). Why is this the case?

Ephedrine is a stimulant and specifically it works as both an alpha- and beta-adrenergic agonist (stimulator). It also increases the release of nor-epinephrine. It has similar actions to adrenalin which is produced by the body and It potently stimulates the central nervous system. It is commonly used in the treatment of low blood pressure after surgery, asthma and allergies. Although it can be used in treatment of obesity, it is not recommended.

Why was it popular in amongst bodybuilders?
It stimulates the breakdown of adipose (fat) tissue and in the process increases the body’s temperature. It also suppresses one’s appetite. Thus, it may be useful in helping one to lose weight. Furthermore, it increases the effectiveness of steroids taken alongside this agent. Not only does it help with weight loss, but some lifters might take this drug before a workout because it increases the strength of a muscle contraction.

Why has this drug become heavily regulated recently?
Surprisingly its regulation does not have much to do with the numerous side effects. Then why is it being regulated? This is, in part, because ephedrine is the primary base used to manufacture methamphetamines (crystal meth). With the increase in meth addiction, it comes as no surprise that accessibility to precursor drugs will become limited to limit the amount of meth that can be produced and sold.

What are the side effects?
There are numerous side effects which range from tremors to irregular or rapid heartbeats, palpitations, headaches, high blood pressure, anxiety, and dizziness. The side effects do tend to subside after some time, they are common initially. They may also decrease in frequency if the dose is lowered. An easy way to know whether you will be susceptible to these common side effects is by seeing your response to caffeine. DO NOT use this drug if you have thyroid problems, heart problems or high blood pressure. It is also possible to overdose on this drug.

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How does one use Ephedrine/ECAs?
The most common use for this drug is to lose weight. It is typically taken a few times a day at a dose of 25mg to 50mg each time. The most common preparation is in an ECA (Ephedrine, Caffeine, Aspirin). The dose for each is: Ephedrine (25mg to 50mg), Caffeine (200mg) and Aspirin (300mg). This combination is very potent for weight loss. Ephedrine alone is rarely used. The combination of caffeine and ephedrine is used to create a better thermogenic effect (fat burning). Aspirin was added to the combination since it blocks a pathway in the creation of fat.

The way to properly monitor if the drug is working is by measuring body temperature. Measure your baseline temperature. If the ECA is working, your body temperature should be more than 1 degree more than baseline. When your temperature returns to normal then the ECA is no longer working and should be discontinued for 4 to 6 weeks.

In powerlifters, ECAs are used to improve strength, mental edge, and energy. It may be used before an event at a dose of 25 to 50 mg before the event. This drug should not be continuously used since its effects will diminish over time. Its effects usually diminish after 2 to 3 weeks.

There you have it. Everything important to know about Ephedrine and ECAs.

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