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March 13, 2017 admin

Ephedrine 101: What it is, what it does, side effects, and how to use it

In quest of achieving the perfect physique, bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts “experiment” with many substances that can benefit them and accelerate the process. One of those substances is ephedrine. Some people refer to ephedrine as “ephedra”, however, they are slightly different from each other. People who have tried ephedrine know that it can help you lose fat faster. It’s a powerful ingredient and should only be used by individuals who are serious about improving their physique. Moreover, people who haven’t used ephedrine directly have probably used it unknowingly as part of a fat burning product. One powerful fat burner that comes to mind is the original “Ripped Fuel”. In 2004, ephedrine was banned by the federal government and couldn’t be sold over the counter. Fans of ephedrine/Ripped Fuel still rave about it to this day. So, what exactly is ephedrine? How can this amphetamine-like stimulant help you lose fat faster? Is it as dangerous as some people claim?
Disclaimer: The information presented in this article is for educational purpose only. Please consult your physician before using any of the material presented here. Ephedrine’s legal status varies by region, however, supplements containing ephedrine alkaloids are banned in the U.S.
NOTE: Ephedrine is a powerful and potentially dangerous drug and should be used with caution. Although ephedrine can accelerate fat loss, it shouldn’t not be thought of as a magic pill or a substitute for a sound training and nutrition programs.
 

What is Ephedrine (ephed.)

Ephedrine is one of the main 4 active components in the plant “Ephedra” (ma huang). It is also a decongestant and a bronchodilator. Thus, individuals who have asthma usually use it to improve their breathing. Ephedrine treats asthma by reducing swelling in the nasal passages, constricting blood vessels, and widening the lung airways. Even though it is an effective treatment for asthma, ephedrine is also a powerful stimulant and a sympathomimetic amine. It has a chemical structure close to methamphetamine and epinephrine (adrenaline). Ephedrine works mainly by increasing the activity of norepinephrine (noradrenaline) on the adrenergic receptors and stimulates the central nervous system.
 

Forms

Though not many, ephedrine is usually sold in these forms:

  • Ephedrine HCL
  • Ephedrine sulfate

NOTE: Ephed. HCL is more powerful than all other ephedrine forms. Milligram to milligram, the concentration of pure ephedrine in the HCL form is higher. This is not to suggest that other forms of ephed. are ineffective, but merely to emphasize the strength of HCL vs sulfate and other forms.
Ephedrine is almost always sold in concentrations of either 25 or 50 milligrams per tablet with 25 milligrams per tablet being more common. A 25-milligram tablet of Ephedrine HCL will have approximately 20-23 milligrams of pure ephedrine. While a 25-milligram tablet of Ephedrine Sulfate will give you about 16-18 milligrams of pure ephedrine. The different may not seem like much, but the effects will be somewhat different.
 

Ephedrine vs Ephedra

People often mistake ephedrine for ephedra and vice versa. However, they are two different things. Ephedra (ma huang) is the herb from which ephedrine is extracted. Ephedra contains ephedrine and 3 other active components with ephedrine being the most powerful one. Many individuals think that they can use ephedra instead of ephedrine, but this is based on the misconception of them being one thing. Yes, ephedra is also a stimulant and will have a bit of the active and powerful ephedrine component in it, but the concentration will be very low to yield any significant results. In a nutshell, if you want to reap the benefits of ephedrine, use ephedrine NOT ephedra. Ephedra is still a powerful stimulant and can also help accelerate fat loss.
 

Benefits

  • Accelerates metabolic rate
  • Induces lipolysis (breakdown of stored fat tissue)
  • Increases energy levels
  • Preserves lean muscle mass
  • Increases focus and cognitive function
  • Increase power output
  • Delays fatigue
  • Potent appetite suppressant
  • Increases endurance
  • Increases thermogenesis

 

Side Effects

Even though ephedrine has been proven to be safe in young healthy adults at moderate dosages, ephedrine can also cause some serious side effects and should be used with caution. This is even more true for individuals with underlying medical conditions. However, ephedrine is well-tolerated by most individuals. Some of these side effects include but are not limited to:

  • Temporary increase in blood pressure
  • Anxiety
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Insomnia -if taken too close to bedtime-
  • Increased heart rate

NOTE: Consult your physician before deciding to use this powerful stimulant. Do NOT use ephedrine if you are pregnant or have a pre-existing medical condition.
 

Myths

Does ephedrine desensitize beta-2 receptors? – Yes, but beta-2 receptors have a rapid re-sensitization rate once the agonist is out of the system. Since ephedrine has a half-life of 3-6 hours, there will be a period during each day (most likely at night) where your body has tiny amounts of the active isomers to have any significant effect on beta-2 receptors. Thus, your beta-2 receptors will easily re-sensitize every day. So, literally, ephedrine does desensitize beta-2 receptors, but they quickly gain back their sensitivity.
Does ephedrine need to be cycled? No, it doesn’t. Many people think they need to cycle on and off ephed. to reap the full benefits. This misconception is based upon the above-mentioned “fact” that ephedrine desensitizes beta-2 receptors. But, since beta-2 receptors restore their sensitivity quickly, cycling ephedrine is not necessary.
“Ephedrine must be stacked with caffeine and aspirin to work.” – Many clinical studies conducted on the effects of ephedrine when administered solely have all indicated that it is effective as a standalone and can boost metabolic rate by up to 5%.
Aspirin must be stacked with caffeine and ephed. for full effects – Studies that compared the effects of ECA Stack vs. EC Stack have found no substantial differences in the amounts of fat lost. Thus, aspirin does not have to be stacked with the EC Stack and shouldn’t since the risk is greater than the reward. Another reason aspirin shouldn’t be stacked with caffeine and ephedrine is because of the fact that NSAIDs can impair the activity of satellite cells in muscles and thus negatively affect your short term gains and long-term growth potential.
 

Effect on metabolism and fat loss

Clinical studies have proven that ephedrine can accelerate metabolism by up to 5% in humans. Studies have also found that ephedrine’s isomers can act on beta-adrenergic subtypes. Caffeine seems to stack well very well with ephedrine and can accelerate metabolic rate by a few more percentages. Ephed. can also induce thermogenesis by agonizing beta-3 receptors in brown adipose tissue (BAT) which further accelerates metabolic rate and fat loss. Furthermore, ephed. helps individuals preserve lean muscle mass by reducing nitrogen excretion which helps put them in a state of positive nitrogen balance -which could theoretically help you build more muscle as well-. More importantly, ephed. strongly agonizes beta-2 receptor which has a significant effect on fat loss and making a larger amount of stored bodyfat available for your body to use as fuel.
 

How to use it

NOTE: Overweight and obese individuals should NOT use ephedrine -or any stimulants- since they are already at a higher risk of heart attacks strokes.
Ephedrine will work for everyone regardless of body composition or training experience given that their training program and nutrition plan are both up to par. However, since individuals with higher amounts of body fat have an easier time losing fat just by sticking to a sound diet plan, ephed. usage is more optimal when those individuals get into a leaner condition. Due to ephedrine’s thermogenic, performance-enhancing, and muscle sparing effects, lean individuals who wish to get into even leaner conditions (sub 12% bodyfat) will absolutely love this powerful stimulant. It’ll help them get super lean while retaining much more muscle mass compared to if they were to just to diet alone. It is essential to start off with a lower dosage to assess your tolerance. If things go well and you experience no adverse side effects, continue usage. Work your way up slowly and stop if you experience side effects or restlessness. The following protocol is applicable for most people:

  Morning 3 hours later 3 more hours later Total
-PER DAY-
Day 1 (test dosage) 50 milligrams Caffeine + 0.5 tablet Ephed + (ephedrine HCL) Nothing Nothing  50 mgs. of Caffeine
12.5 mgs. of Ephedrine
Days 2 and 3 Same as day 1 Same as day 1    
Days 3,4 and 5 50 mgs. C + 25 mgs. E (1 tab.) Nothing  Nothing  50 mgs. C
25 mgs. E
Days 6,7,8 and 9 100 mgs. C + 25 mgs. E 0 mgs. C + 12.5 mgs. E Nothing  100 mgs. C
37.5 mgs. E
Days 10,11 and 12 100 mgs. C + 25 mgs. E 50 mgs. C + 12.5 mgs. E  Nothing  150 mgs. C
37.5 mgs. E
Days 13, 14, 15 and 16 100 mgs. C + 25 mgs. E 50 mgs. C + 25 mgs. E  Nothing  150 mgs. C
50 mgs. E
Days 17,18 and 19 100 mgs. C + 25 mgs. E 50 mgs. C + 25 mgs. E  0 mgs. C + 12.5 mgs. E  150 mgs. C
62.5 mgs. E
Days 20, 21, 22…etc. 100 mgs. C + 25 mgs. E 100 mgs. C + 25 mgs. E  0-50 mgs. C + 25 mgs. E  200 mgs. C
75 mgs. E

Important note: Do NOT take your daily dosage of caffeine and ephedrine all at once. Doing side is irresponsible and dangerous. Dosages should be space throughout the day and should be 3 hours apart for optimal effectiveness. Do NOT exceed the daily total recommendations of caffeine and ephedrine. Taking more than the amounts listed above will not yield more results and will increase the potential for serious side effects.
After day 22, you may continue using the same dosage. No further increase in either ingredient will warrant any substantial difference.
For 99% of people, 50-75 milligrams are enough. This is considered to be the sweet spot and a higher dosage is not needed. Keep in mind that ephed. works well as a standalone and doesn’t need to be stacked with caffeine, however, caffeine has been shown to work in synergy with ephedrine and enhance its effects. I do NOT recommend stacking aspirin with caffeine and ephed. any potential positive effect will be very small and the risk of side effects increases.
You may take the EC Stack on an empty or full stomach, albeit stimulants are absorbed best when taken on an empty stomach. Do NOT stack any other stimulants with the EC Stack. So, for example, if you are using a stimulant-based pre-workout supplement, discontinue usage or use your pre-workout instead of caffeine. Do not take your pre-workout 3 times a day, though. But, take it once before your training session for optimal performance -if needed-.
 

Practical application

By now, you should know how ephed. can help augment your fat loss endeavors. If you are still not convinced of how ephed. can help you lose fat faster, read along. By now, you should also know that ephed. has been proven to boost metabolic rate by about 5% in humans. This many not seem like much to some people, but allow me to give you a real-life example:
John is a serious fitness enthusiast who happens to be in a somewhat lean condition. He just finished a bulking phase and will transition into a cutting phase within the next few days. He has his training and nutrition programs dialed in and is looking to use some extra help to retain more muscle mass and accelerate fat loss. So, he plans on using an EC Stack when things get a bit harder or when he hits a plateau.
John knows that a caloric deficit is the number 1 factor to lose weight/fat. He calculated his maintenance calories to create a caloric deficit. His maintenance calories are 2500 calories per day. Thus, John’s body needs 2500 calories every day to maintain optimal function and weight. So, John’s metabolic rate is 2500 calories / day.
Fast forward, John has been dieting for 5 weeks and is willing to start using an EC Stack because his progress has slowed down a bit. Given that the EC Stack can boost metabolic rate anywhere by 5-8%, John’s metabolic expenditure will increase by 5-8%. So, the numbers may look like the following:
John’s CURRENT metabolic rate (after weight lost and metabolic adaptation) = ~ 2300 calories per day. So, John now needs 2300 calories per day to maintain his weight.
John starts an EC Stack and his metabolic rate increases by 5%. His metabolic expenditure is now = 2300 + (2300 * 0.05) = 2300 + 115 = 2415 calories per day.
So, John’s energy expenditure has increased by 115 calories without doing anything different. He is not doing any extra activity and he hasn’t changed his diet. Let’s do some more math.
115 calories burnt PER day * 7 days = 805 extra calories burnt per week.
805 calories burnt PER work * 4 weeks = 3220 extra calories burnt per month.
And to lose one pound of weight/fat you must burn 3500 calories from stored energy. Thus, 3220 / 3500 = 0.90 lb.
Therefore, John has burnt approximately ONE extra pound of fat per month without doing any extra work. As you can see, the numbers add up very quickly. The results will also be enhanced by the fact that ephed. has helped John retain a larger portion of his lean muscle mass. So, he will look much better and have a better body composition.
 
 

Best Ephedrine supplement

Ephed+
Getting your hands on some high-quality ephedrine can be somewhat difficult. Quality, legality, availability and cost are all important factors that come into play. In my opinion, ephed+ is the best ephedrine supplement you can get your hands on. It is genuine pharmaceutical grade drug that has the purest form of ephedrine, ephedrine HCL. It is also cost effective and can be purchased LEGALLY at Eva’s Supplements NYC. Per the FDA regulations, Eva’s Supplements only carries ephed+ in stores. Eva’s Supplements is the only store in NYC that legally carries ephed+. So, if you are looking to get shredded for the summer, make sure you stop by one of Eva’s Supplements stores today and get yourself a few boxes of ephed+. Make sure you mention “fitnotice” for a discount on your purchase.
 
References
Aaron M. Cypess, 1. L.-T. (2015, Jan 6). Activation of Human Brown Adipose Tissue by a β3-Adrenergic Receptor Agonist. Retrieved from NCBI: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4298351/
Astrup A, B. B. (1992, July). The effect of ephedrine/caffeine mixture on energy expenditure and body composition in obese women. Retrieved from PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1619985
Astrup A, T. S. (1991, Mar). Thermogenic synergism between ephedrine and caffeine in healthy volunteers: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Retrieved from PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2000046
Bell DG, J. I. (1998, April). Effects of caffeine, ephedrine and their combination on time to exhaustion during high-intensity exercise. Retrieved from PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9562293
Bell DG, J. I. (2001, Aug). Effect of caffeine and ephedrine ingestion on anaerobic exercise performance. Retrieved from PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11474345
BJ, S. (2012, Dec 1). The use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for exercise-induced muscle damage: implications for skeletal muscle development. Retrieved from PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23013520
Daly PA1, K. D. (1993, Feb 17). Ephedrine, caffeine and aspirin: safety and efficacy for treatment of human obesity. Retrieved from PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8384187
Examine.com. (2017). Ephedrine. Retrieved from Examine.com: https://examine.com/supplements/ephedrine/
Haller CA, J. P. (2004, April). Enhanced stimulant and metabolic effects of combined ephedrine and caffeine. Retrieved from PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15060505
Jacobs I, P. H. (2003, June). Effects of ephedrine, caffeine, and their combination on muscular endurance. Retrieved from PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12783047
Train, J. A. (2001, Oct-Dec). Ephedra and Its Application to Sport Performance: Another Concern for the Athletic Trainer? Retrieved from Journal of Athletic Training: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC155439/
Vansal SS, F. D. (1999, Sep 1). Direct effects of ephedrine isomers on human beta-adrenergic receptor subtypes. Retrieved from PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10449190

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