ECA Xtreme is a fat-burning supplement sold by Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals.
This product is advertised as containing 25 mg of ephedra extract in an ECA stack formula. Hi-Tech ECA Xtreme is promoted to increase metabolism, suppress appetite and boost energy levels.
According to the Ephedra Warehouse website, ” Our customer reviews show ECA Xtreme is one of the most effective stack weight loss products available.”
What are the ingredients found in this supplement and how does it work? Is this product legal to buy in the United States and can it cause unsafe side effects? We will answer these questions and more in this review.
Currently, this supplement is listed as “Not Available”, “Discontinued” or “Out of Stock” on three different retailer websites. It is not clear whether this supplement will be available again in the future. Click here to buy ephedra supplements online legally without a prescription.
ECA Xtreme Review
ECA Xtreme Fat Burner, manufactured by Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals, is designed to help you lose body fat and keep the weight off.
This product is distributed by the National Institute for Clinical Weight Loss and is promoted for its ability to:
- Enhance metabolism
- Reduce appetite
- Increase energy levels so you can do more
ECA Xtreme contains a number of stimulating ingredients, including an ephedra, caffeine aspirin stack (ECA Stack). This combination is designed to increase thermogenesis in the body, which is the process by which you burn fat (brown adipose tissue) and convert it into heat.
“Stacking” components together that are designed to promote a synergistic effect is common among bodybuilders. Both caffeine and aspirin (found in the form or White Willow Bark in this supplement) can potentiate the effects of alkaloids in ephedra.
However, note that the type of ephedra extract used in this supplement does not contain any ephedrine alkaloids. These alkaloids have been banned for inclusion in dietary supplements by the FDA.
ECA Xtreme Fat Burner Ingredients
ECA Xtreme contains a number of ingredients that are purported to have benefits for weight loss.
The primary advertised ingredient is 25 mg of ephedra extract from the leaves of the plant. The label does not specify which species of the ephedra plant the extract comes from. Some species are more potent than others.
In order for this product to be legally marketed in the USA, it must not contain any of the banned ephedrine alkaloids. Therefore, including of this ingredient will not contribute significantly to the fat-burning potential of the product.
To make up for the removal of these alkaloids, the manufacturer Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals has included several other ingredients which are designed to stimulate your metabolism:
- Kola nut extract – providing 200 mg of caffeine
- White willow bark (an herbal substitute for aspirin)
- Acacia rigidula (from the leaves)
- Green tea extract (from the leaves)
- Citrus aurantium extract (providing approximately 25 mg synephrine)
- Phenylethylamine HCl
- Chromium picolinate
The above-mentioned ingredients are part of a proprietary blend providing a 575 mg dosage in one caplet. The label does not specify the individual dosages provided for each of these ingredients.
Some versions of the Supplement Facts panel posted on other websites mention 1, 3-Dimethylamylamine (DMAA) as an ingredient. This ingredient has been banned in dietary supplements since 2012 due to risk of side effects.
How Does This Supplement Work for Weight Loss?
A number of ingredients in ECA Xtreme have been studied for their effects on boosting energy, appetite suppression and fat loss.
This product is designed to provide an updated version of the ECA Stack, often referred to as the classic bodybuilding cutting cycle.
These three ingredients target weight reduction by helping athletes work harder at the gym, improving motivation and physical stamina, and increasing oxygenation of muscle tissue.
Caffeine and the other stimulants in this supplement can also modestly increase the rate at which your body passively burns calories. By boosting your basal metabolic rate, this stack can make it easier to achieve a calorie deficit.
Finally, the ECA stack is believed to be muscle-sparing, meaning that it preferentially burns fat for energy and preserves lean muscle mass. This is important for bodybuilders and weight lifters who do not want their strength and muscle tissue to be depleted while dieting.
ECA Xtreme does not contain real ephedrine alkaloids, but it does include other ingredients that are commonly used as alternatives to this now-banned thermogenic agent.
Citrus aurantium (Bitter Orange) is a source of p-synephrine, which may also promote modest weight loss through a similar mechanism to ephedrine. It activates similar receptors in the body to boost adrenergic activity.
Acacia rigidula is an herbal stimulant that is widely used in pre-workout energy pills to boost athletic performance and weight loss. The plant is known to contain a specific chemical known as phenethylamine, but in its natural state it contains much less of this alkaloid than the amount that is commonly found in fat loss products.
The FDA is concerned that manufacturers using “creative labeling” may also be adding unlisted ingredients to their products including BMPEA and methylphenethylamine. These are stimulants that produces many of the same effects to the central nervous system as amphetamine.
Does ECA Xtreme work for fat burning diets? For many people, it can be effective in supporting a weight loss program, but it also carries a risk of possible side effects.
Dosage and Usage Suggestions
The manufacturer of ECA Xtreme recommends one tablet three times daily. The label warns consumers not to exceed four tablets in a 24-hour period.
Some individuals may be more sensitive to the ingredients in this product than others. Like caffeine, individual tolerance to the stimulants in this product can vary greatly.
You should start with the lowest possible dose before taking more. Only gradually increase the dose once you are comfortable with the effects.
This product should not be used by individuals under the age of 18, pregnant or lactating women. It is recommended to get the consent of a licensed physician before using this product, particularly if you have a medical condition or are taking any drugs.
This product should not be used for more than 8 consecutive weeks. It is advised to cycle on and off it regularly to prevent tolerance from forming.
Because it can cause stimulation of the nervous system, you should avoid taking it late in the day. Consume the product with lots of water to avoid dehydration and dry mouth.
This product contains as much as three cups of coffee in the recommended serving size. Drinking other caffeinated beverages is not recommended as this could cause too much stimulation.
Do not combine this supplement with medications containing phenylephrine, beta-blockers, drugs that affect monoamine metabolism, medications for blood pressure or alcohol.
While ephedra extract is still considered legal in the US, ephedrine alkaloids have been banned since 2004. These alkaloids cannot be used as ingredients in dietary supplements to promote fat loss, although they are still legal in certain medications to treat asthma and breathing conditions.
Numerous complaints of ephedrine side effects ranging from mild to life-threatening have been reported over the years. According to one source, the FDA received over 18,000 complaints of adverse effects linked to ephedrine and ephedra products.
Even though the Hi Tech ECA Xtreme fat burner does not contain any ephedrine HCL, it does contain other stimulants that behave much the same way. Users incur the potential risk of sometimes serious side effects.
The most common side effects associated with ephedra extract supplements include
- Increased anxiety or nervousness
- Upset stomach, nausea, sometimes accompanied with vomiting or diarrhea
- Increased perspiration
- Difficulty sleeping
Those who are more sensitive to stimulants such as caffeine, or components like Bitter Orange, may experience stronger negative effects. Over-use of this product can also cause dangerous reactions such as:
- Heart palpitations
- Racing heart
- Irregular heartbeat
Individuals diagnosed with any medical condition such as those that affect the cardiovascular system, the central nervous system, or metabolism (such as diabetes) should use caution with such products.
Products like ECA Xtreme Fat Burner can also negatively affect otherwise healthy, young adults. While it may provide positive results for some users, each person may react differently.