ECA stack experiences
August 19, 2005 10:50 AM   Subscribe

I'm considering going on the ECA stack to aid my fat loss and training efforts. Does anyone have general tips, caveats, or other advise for me? Has this drug combination been effective for you?
posted by sid to Health & Fitness (16 answers total)
 
Grrr, broken link. Here's the working one.
posted by sid at 10:54 AM on August 19, 2005


I strongly urge you to consult with a physician before doing so. In particular I would note that:
  • the FDA attempted to ban ephedrine because it is dangerous and the many deaths where ephedrine was useful. "Some of the serious adverse effects associated with ephedrine include hypertension, stroke and myocardial infarction." Not fun.
  • The constant use of painkillers should reduce your ability to feel pain when you need to. Pain is a natural signal from your body to stop doing something, like exercising.
  • Chronic aspirin use can cause ulcers and tinnitus.

posted by grouse at 11:34 AM on August 19, 2005


If you're particularly sensitive to caffeine, start with just EA and slowly add in the C.
posted by rxrfrx at 12:16 PM on August 19, 2005


I lost weight with ephedrine and caffeine a few years ago. Then I quickly gained it back and then some. If you look at just the possible side affects to ephedrine (symptoms similar to schizophrenia, heart attacks, etc.) they are quite scary.
posted by drezdn at 12:22 PM on August 19, 2005


Mixing use of painkillers with training is a TERRIBLE idea. Pain comes from two places- fatigue, or injury. Fatigue will always turn into injury when ignored (overuse). Injury will always get worse if ignored. Your only warning signal is that initial pain, which will be dampened by painkillers. So, there's basically no way you can follow this training plan and not get injured. Bad idea.
posted by bobot at 12:24 PM on August 19, 2005


I thought they banned ephedrine?
posted by delmoi at 12:25 PM on August 19, 2005


That said, doctors are now saying that 81mg of Asprin a day is supposed to be good for you, so I'd guess that that amount probably wouldn't hurt you when taken with Ephedrine.
posted by delmoi at 12:28 PM on August 19, 2005


Mixing use of painkillers with training is a TERRIBLE idea. Pain comes from two places- fatigue, or injury. Fatigue will always turn into injury when ignored (overuse). Injury will always get worse if ignored.

The Asprin isn't for pain, according to Wikipedia:

Aspirin inhibits prostaglandin production outside of the cells, which, in conjunction with caffeine, greatly prolongs the thermogenic effects and increased metabolism by sustaining elevated cAMP levels.

So in other words it amplifies helps the ephedrine's metabolism boosting effects. 81mg/day is supposed to be good for your heart, so I doubt it would cause to much extra wear/tear damage.

I've only taken aspirin once, and it made my face all puffy (very disturbing, let me tell you). Is it actually a very good pain medication? Ibuprophen dosn't do a whole lot for me, and I usually take 4 or 5 200mg pills. I can't believe taking Aspirin would really cause you to not feel pain to the point of injury, but like I said I've never used it.
posted by delmoi at 12:33 PM on August 19, 2005


grouse: My understanding that most of the ephedrine trainwrecks involved people taking many times the recommended dose of the stuff. As for the aspirin, I believe the dose you are supposed to take for the stack is not enough to cause ulcers.

bobot, delmoi: I really don't know if taking aspirin at the dose recommended (the equivalent of one baby aspirin) is enough to prevent your body's natural pain feedback loops. It's definitely a concern for me.

To be clear, I intend to use this while on a fairly intense workout regime, along with a strict dietary plan.
posted by sid at 12:52 PM on August 19, 2005


While it may be good for your heart, it -is- an anti-coagulant and should be used with caution.
posted by phearlez at 1:09 PM on August 19, 2005


My understanding that most of the ephedrine trainwrecks involved people taking many times the recommended dose of the stuff. As for the aspirin, I believe the dose you are supposed to take for the stack is not enough to cause ulcers.

Where does this understanding come from? A physician? Reading primary medical literature in peer-reviewed journals? Or unverified claims by people trying to sell you the stuff or enthusiasts?

Please please please talk to a doctor before starting any kind of medical program, especially this one.
posted by grouse at 2:46 PM on August 19, 2005


I thought they banned ephedrine?

The FDA tried to ban ephedra, an herb which contains ephedrine and many other substances. Pharmaceutical grade ephedrine is legal and easily obtained (search for Vasopro). Also, people generally report less side effects with it.

I wouldn't use ephedra, get ephedrine.

Check out this article by Bryan Haycock for information about ephedrine and ECA stacks. He recommends 20mg of ephedrine and 200mg caffeine 3x/day, 30 minutes before you eat.

Only take aspirin with EC if you are obese.

I'm currently taking EC 3x/day. Before I started taking the drugs I was losing fat at an acceptable rate (at least 1 lb/week average). I believe EC has helped me increase my rate of fat loss slightly, probably less than .5 lb/week. For me, the real benefit of EC is increased energy and the appetite supressant effect.
posted by digitalis3 at 7:19 PM on August 19, 2005 [1 favorite]


Where does this understanding come from? A physician? Reading primary medical literature in peer-reviewed journals? Or unverified claims by people trying to sell you the stuff or enthusiasts?

Actually there is quite a bit of scientific literature on the ECA stack, all affirming its safety and efficacy. But of course, I will consult a physician before commencing a cycle. My aim in asking this question was to get insight from any MeFi members who had used the stack themselves.
posted by sid at 7:20 PM on August 19, 2005


I read this to see what ECA is. I exercise 4-5 times a week, outdoors; and with effort. My first thought on a caffeine ephedra aspirin combo was "heart attack".
Eat some lean (= no fat, but high protein) red meat; see if that might put some energy in your workouts.
posted by buzzman at 8:10 PM on August 19, 2005


Caffeine and aspirin form an essential part of my exercise regimen (long-distance biking). I can't get out of bed without the caffeine, and the aspirin makes the recovery from considerable exertion much more pleasant.

I'm concerned about the idea of exercising on ephedrine, though. I fear that it disrupts the normal pathways that your brain, nervous ganglia, and heart use to communicate regarding the regulation of blood pressure and heart rate. I don't see the benefit of disrupting this pathway, and I can point to several ways it might cause harm, in theory and in the medical literature.

Disclaimer: I am a doctor, but you're not receiving medical advice from me now; you're hearing about my personal experience and opinions which I use to guide my own personal decisions.
posted by ikkyu2 at 9:34 PM on August 19, 2005 [1 favorite]


ikkyu2: i've taken the ECA stack before and, in my case, it did cause a perceptible increase in my heartrate. i was running sprints and lifting weights and it didn't bother me, but it may be of a greater concern to you and your sport.
posted by whatitis at 6:13 AM on August 20, 2005


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