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Are you struggling to lose those last couple of pounds and looking for a faster route? Throughout this article, I will be describing how to take an ECA stack, including the proper dosages and precautions. If cardio and eating clean are taking too long for your liking, then it might be time to take the leap and try something more extreme.
Keep in mind that ephedrine in its pure form cannot be purchased in the United States. Furthermore, Ephedra has been banned in supplements since 2004. This article is for educational purposes only, and I do not condone the use of any illegal supplements. Honestly, this combination of compounds is for an experienced individual who understands the potential negative outcomes.
ECA Stack Dosage Information
ECA stacks have been around for a long time, and they are proven to result in weight loss if taken correctly. A standard stack consists of ephedrine, caffeine, and aspirin. The three work synergistically as a potent thermogenic.
A standard ECA stack should be taken as follows:
25mg ephedrine every 4-6 hours (no more than twice a day)
200mg caffeine every 4-6 hours (no more than twice a day)
81mg aspirin each day (baby aspirin)
Generally, an ECA stack is taken prior to working out, and then once again throughout the day. This results in a total of 50mg ephedrine, 400mg caffeine, and 81mg aspirin each day.
As a general rule of thumb, it’s not good to take more than 400mg of caffeine in a day. If you browse around the internet, you will notice that some people take three doses throughout the day, but this is overkill.
You obviously want the thermogenic effects to last most of the day, but you also want to get some sleep at night. For this reason, I recommend taking the first dose sometime in the morning, and the next dose 4-6 hours later.
People often question whether the aspirin is necessary, and it definitely is. Not only is aspirin a blood thinner, but it prevents norepinephrine levels from decreasing in the body. Elevated norepinephrine is what drives the stimulating effect that this stack produces.
The video below by the Anabolic Doc on YouTube is fantastic for understanding the mechanism and synergistic effects. If you’re more of a visual learner, I strongly suggest checking it out.
Weight Loss and Effectiveness
Chances are if you’re considering an ECA stack, it’s because you’re trying to lose weight. Several studies have been published that prove ephedrine and caffeine are very effective to burn fat. It is no surprise that ECA has been used by all sorts of people since the 1970s to lose weight.
So how much weight can you expect to lose? Well, it varies of course, but a rough estimate is about 1kg (2.2 pounds) each month. The 1kg each month is without changing your current diet and activity level. If you’re working harder in the gym and eating cleaner than you normally do, then you can expect to lose more weight.
You don’t have to question whether this combination of compounds works, because it definitely does. Pairing the following habits with ephedrine and caffeine will result in even more weight loss, but you should try not to lose more than 2 pounds each week.
Cardio – Preferably low-intensity steady-state cardio so that you can monitor your heart rate. HIIT will likely burn too many calories when paired with an ECA stack, so it’s best to take it easy. An example of low-intensity steady-state (LISS) cardio is incline-walking on a treadmill – I recommend 8-12% incline at 3mph.
Caloric Deficit – This one is a no-brainer, but you need to be in a caloric deficit in order to lose fat. The deficit does not need to be as intense because of the thermogenic effects of the stimulants, but it’s still necessary. A good rule of thumb is to consume 300-500 fewer calories than normal each day.
Resistance Training – You most likely have a background in weight training if you’re reading this article. Nonetheless, it’s important to note that resistance training will help burn more calories on this stack. Lifting weights will also prevent any possible atrophy from occurring from too much of a caloric deficit.
Side Effects and Health Risks
There are numerous side effects and health risks associated with caffeine, ephedrine, and aspirin tablets. Many of them are rather mild, but you should take caution with this stack if you have a family history of heart problems.
Hyperactivity (mainly due to overstimulation)
Over 50 clinical studies conducted on ephedrine have indicated there are no serious side effects when taken for athletic performance.
No heart attacks or strokes
No permanent psychological changes
More than anything, pay attention to your heart when you’re taking this stack. Palpitations are definitely noticeable, and if you experience them you should stop consumption immediately.
For the most part, ECA is safe, but you must understand the risks either way. I do not recommend taking this supplement if you have a family history of heart disease or heart failure.
Alternatives To An ECA Stack
Safety should always be your number one priority. If you’re concerned about the safety of ECA, there are plenty of safe alternatives to burn fat.
Thermogenic Pre-Workout: Helps your body produce more heat while you’re working out. These generally contain more caffeine per serving than usual. I recommend Nitro Surge by Jacked Factory on Amazon.
Phen24: Phen24 is a pill made of all-natural ingredients that helps speed up your metabolism. There is both a day-time and night-time formula that each serve different functions. I like to think of the day-time version as a multi-vitamin with caffeine, amino acids, and cayenne pepper. The night-time version is a more complex blend of ingredients but contains no caffeine.
Caloric Deficit – I’m mentioning this again because it’s literally the only way you will lose fat. You can take all the supplements you want, but if you’re eating too much you will never lose weight. Whether it’s eating less or doing more cardio, find a way to get it done.
Obtaining The Ingredients
If you’re in the United States, the chance of you being able to purchase pure ephedrine or ephedra is slim to none. Other countries such as Canada still have ephedrine tablets widely available.
Generally, the only way to get ephedrine in the United States is by taking asthma medication. Most of these medications, namely Bronkaid and Primatene tablets, contain 25mg of ephedrine and 200mg Guaifenesin per dose.
I do not condone or promote buying these medications for any reason other than their intended purpose. Regardless, they are commonly used as substitutes for pure ephedrine. Note that consistent guaifenesin use can be harsh on your internal organs.
Caffeine and aspirin, on the other hand, are fairly easy to obtain. You can buy pure caffeine pills on Amazon that are 200mg each, and baby aspirin is sold OTC at most pharmacies.
An ECA stack can be very beneficial for losing weight, especially when you’re trying to get to a single digit body fat percentage. Throughout this article, I have described the dosage, effectiveness, and mechanism of action. You can definitely get by without this stack, which is why I also provided some alternatives.
Once again, none of the information in this article should be taken as medical advice. You know your own body better than anyone else does, so it is up to you to decide whether or not this is right for you. Lastly, all of the compounds needed for this are generally inexpensive, so cost should not be an issue.