Ephedrine is a sympathomimetic amine that has a variety of clinical and supplemental uses. Ephedrine may also be one of the most talked about supplements to ever exist in the fat loss industry. It is chemically quite similar to the illegal drug derivatives amphetamine and methamphetamine (Speed and Crystal Meth) although the legality and availability of ephedrine and pseudo ephedrine varies much more depending upon your location and may be found in medicines and supplements as it does not offer the same negative biological effects as these drugs, although it may have adverse effects in some users and caution is warranted with this stimulant.
Ephedrine is technically described as (1R,2S)-2-(methylamino)-1-phenylpropan-1-ol and is an herbal extract from the Ephedra family of plants. It is a stimulant of the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) as opposed to the central nervous system (CNS) as it does not cross the blood-brain barrier efficiently (unlike its close cousins the amphetamines).
What happens when I take ephedrine? :
You may not know this but Chinese Herbal medicine has used ephedrine for centuries. It is best known as a bronchial dilator; as such it has been a common treatment for asthma and bronchitis, allowing greater air flow.
Ephedrine is an adrenergic stimulant, meaning an increase in adrenalin and noradrenalin reception is seen. This generally equates to increased respiration and heart beat, increased nervous system activity, enhanced strength and speed, longer endurance for physical activity and uprated cAMP activity which is part of the fat release mechanism and as such very popular with dieters.
Many users note an increase in cognitive focus and ability to concentrate even with minimal sleep, hence its use by many recreational users as a study aid or by people such as long distance drivers to remain awake and alert despite sleep deprivation. This use has never been clinically studied for safety reasons and it is generally not advised to use this compound for this purpose without careful consideration. As ephedrine can cause a stimulated nervous reaction, with jitters or hyperactivity it is not recommended to drive or operate machinery whilst using Ephedrine as the stimulant effect may create a hazard. The effect of Ephedrine is somewhat more focused than strong coffee or other caffeine stimulants and as such users should always test their reaction to Ephedrine first before committed use. You may notice shaking hands, tremors, rapid heart rate and extreme difficulty falling asleep whilst using Ephedrine, although many of these effects will depend upon your natural reaction to stimulants, with some users finding the effects far stronger than others.
Ephedrine may also show some involvement in Serotonin production in the brain. This is one of the feel good chemicals produced in the brain and as such some users of Ephedrine report feelings of euphoria or bliss whilst using it, which may account for its addition to Ecstasy or E drug tablets. Ephedrine is also sometimes marketed as a legal Dance drug for this natural high which some users may experience. Although as with any stimulant the effects will vary greatly from user to user and the possibilities of negative side effects mean users should always be extremely careful with dosing. Also, as with any stimulant, diuresis (increased water flushing) may occur, this can result in dehydration if sufficient additional water is not ingested to offset this problem.
SPORTING AND FAT LOSS USE OF EPHEDRINE (EPH)
Ephedrine and herbal Ephedra compound equivalents are often used by athletes and those involved in demanding physical activities as a pre workout stimulant. The increased nervous stimulation offers increased strength and endurance and can provide rapid improvements in training effects. If used in this way it is advised that the user should be experienced with stimulant use and be free from all cardiovascular illness as increased heart rate will occur which can be dangerous in some users.
EPH as Ephedrine is also commonly known may be found as part of an ECA stack. This stack refers to the Ephedrine, Caffeine and Aspirin fat loss stack (many users replace full Aspirin with Salicin or herbal equivalents). Later EPH or ECA stacks may also use natural versions of caffeine or have other thermogenic and fat loss agents added alongside the Ephedrine or Ephedra compound.
The fat loss powers of the EPH or ECA stacks are well known amongst most athletes and physique trainees. Careful use of these compounds increases thermo genesis (metabolic heat production or fat burning) and can allow users to shed even stubborn body fat as part of a calorie controlled diet and exercise programme. Fat loss can be as much as double that of a non EPH supplemented diet programme.
EPH or Ephedrine stacks show various other benefits to dieters and athletes however. The increased cAMP activity can show an improvement in overall metabolic efficiency, which means more muscle mass may be maintained even on a strictly lowered calorie intake. This is ideal for strength and weightlifting athletes and is actually beneficial to all dieters as retained lean mass will help prevent fat accumulation rebound once a diet is ended.
The use of Ephedrine stacks enhances workouts which can also mean increased respiratory output during workouts, meaning faster fat loss again, but also the weakness caused by low glycogen on a restrictive diet can be avoided, meaning productive workouts, both as cardiovascular energy systems training or weight training remain despite limited food intake.
Ephedrine as an SNS stimulant may also help curb cravings and reduce overall appetite due to its role in serotonin production, helping dieters avoid binge eating or sugar cravings and improving the overall effectiveness of the diet.
Unlike Clenbuterol and other stimulant drugs used during dieting, Ephedrine may remain effective for up to 12 weeks at a time in users and therefore offers much longer effective spans than the 2 to 4 weeks seen with most illicit drugs used by physique athletes for dieting purposes.
When starting Ephedrine therapy it is important to increase water intake and begin with a single dose of an EPH or ECA stack in the mornings. Do not increase the dosage until several days use to assess tolerance. If needed additional doses may be taken during the day, although due to the stimulant nature of Ephedrine products it is advised never to use them within 5 hours of your normal sleep time as insomnia may result. If you find the side effects intolerable, reduce the dose the next day or discontinue use altogether. Never use high doses of Ephedrine even if you find you tolerate it well as negative effects may occur without obvious symptoms. Treat Ephedrine as a powerful medicine, not as a recreational or harmless substance.
After a maximum of 12 weeks use always discontinue Ephedrine use to allow SNS system recovery and adrenaline receptors to become sensitive again.
Ephedrine is a very powerful stimulant and may not be suitable for all users. Those with heart conditions, diabetes, in pregnancy or taking various other medications should never use Ephedrine or Ephedra based compounds. Some users may not have hypersensitivity to Ephedrine and Ephedra compounds but nonetheless dislike the jittery or nervous feelings caused by such stimulants, or they may have trouble sleeping whilst using such compounds.
In these cases it is recommended that users look at non-stimulant diet aids which may take the form of insulin control aids, thyroid hormone boosters or natural herbal variants - all of which are increasingly popular in the diet aid and sports supplement industry.
For users requiring extreme fat loss in a short space of time it is possible to combine EPH or ECA stack use with these other non-stimulant fat loss aids for more extreme results, although caution should always be taken to follow the same slow dose build up and other Ephedrine advice.