4 BEST Ephedrine Alternatives for Weight Loss [Legal Diet Pills]
What are the best ephedrine alternative products available today that can replace the alkaloids banned from ephedra dietary supplements in 2004?
The US FDA banned ephedra products containing ephedrine and pseudoephedrine in 2004 due to the risk of serious side effects.
While many of these adverse reactions were caused by misuse or abuse of ephedrine diet pills, it was decided that the possibility of dangerous effects was too high to allow these products to continue to be sold.
This decision was disappointing to the thousands of bodybuilders, dieters and athletes who used to product responsibly to achieve fat loss goals to help increase mental and physical energy levels.
A number of ephedrine alternative ingredients are found in weight loss supplements today. Many of the original ephedra fat burning supplements have been reformulated with legal over-the-counter ingredients that are intended to replicate the effects of Ephedrine HCL.
But not all of these substitutes are safe and legal to buy. What are the closest legal supplements to ephedrine and ephedra that you can buy today and how do they work? This article will address few questions any consumer should be asking before purchase. Click here to buy ephedra supplements online legally without a prescription.
Ephedrine is the primary active alkaloid found in the ephedra plant. This plant has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for over 2,400 years.
You can think of the difference between ephedrine and ephedra by way of an analogy to caffeine and the coffee bean. Caffeine is the active ingredient in coffee just like ephedrine is the active ingredient in ephedra extract.
A variety of species of this plant grow around the world, some more potent than others. The ephedra plant has been used throughout the world and in various cultures for the treatment of breathing and lung disorders.
Today, ephedrine continues to be used to relieve symptoms of the common cold, asthma, bronchitis, sinusitis, and rhinitis. However, it is more widely known as a fat-burning ingredient used to boost energy levels and promote a faster metabolism.
Ephedrine works to enhance weight loss because it is a stimulant, causing a greater amount of activation in the nervous system. This plant alkaloid is an agonist for beta-2 adrenergic receptors in the body.
Consumption of this ingredient can increase the rate at which your body burns calories to provide energy to fuel cellular reactions. One of the ways it works is by increasing thermogenesis, which is the process of converting stored energy into heat.
Ephedrine and ephedra extract were widely studied and found to be beneficial for weight loss, but they were also found to increase the risk of serious side effects. Over-use of these stimulants was linked to heart attacks, strokes, seizures and even death.
After ephedrine and other alkaloids found in ephedra products were banned in early 2004, dietary supplement manufacturers were mandated to pull their products from store shelves in the USA.
Since that time, both consumers and supplement manufacturers have been looking for legal alternatives that could promote the same effects as ephedrine but were safe to include in dietary products.
There are a number of substances that can be used as replacements for this banned ingredient. Many of these ingredients can be purchased online on Amazon or in local stores like GNC, Walmart, and CVS.
How do these purported alternative work and how do their results and side effects compare to real ephedrine diet pills?
Ephedrine Effects in the Body
In order to seek out reliable alternative to ephedrine for fat loss, it is important to understand how this supplement works and how to recreate its effects.
The primary mechanism of action for this natural chemical is on the beta-2 receptors located throughout the airways in the lungs and other smooth muscle and mucosal linings such as those found in the sinuses.
When activated, these receptors cause dilation of the lung airways. This not only increases oxygenation of the blood, but relieves the gasping, wheezing, and struggle for breath that many asthma patients have experienced.
Ephedrine also has the potential to increase activation of alpha receptors that affect arteries in the body. When indirectly stimulated, alpha receptors constrict the arteries, increasing blood pressure.
Beta-one receptors located in the cardiac muscle are stimulated by ephedrine as well, increasing not only heart rate, but the force with which the heart contracts.
All of these changes can increase circulation throughout the body, resulting in greater delivery of oxygen and nutrients to your cells. This can help to boost energy uptake, causing users to feel more energized and increasing endurance.
Another effect of ephedrine is to increase heat production or thermogenesis in the body. Your body burns a significant number of calories while you are at rest to keep your core temperature stable. Ephedrine causes that calorie expenditure to increase so you convert more stored lipids and glucose into heat.
Like other stimulants, this ingredient also suppresses your appetite and blocks hunger signals to the brain. Users who take ephedra-based diet pills often say that they feel less hungry at mealtime and do not need to snack throughout the day.
This can have a considerable impact on weight loss results, making it easier to achieve a calorie deficit. Finally, ephedrine also boosts workout performance, mood, motivation, and can preserve muscle mass in bodybuilders who want to cut fat while protecting lean muscle tissue.
Alternatives with Similar Effects
Ephedrine is not the only substance available in dietary supplements that can promote these effects. A number of other natural fat burners exhibit similar benefits and mechanisms of action to this now-illegal product.
Some of the popular fat-burning ingredients used as alternatives include:
- Acacia Rigidula
- Gotu Kola
All of the ingredients listed above function as stimulants when they are consumed in the right dosages. These products can increase activation of the nervous system, causing your body to mobilize more stored energy and increasing metabolism.
Some are more potent than others and some have a higher risk of side effects than others. It is important to research any ephedrine alternative you intend to use thoroughly to determine whether it is safe for you or not.
Note that some of the ingredients listed above have now been banned in supplements by the FDA as well. Depending on where you live, not all of these ingredients may be legal
One of the most widely used substitute for ephedrine in dietary supplements is Synephrine. This is a plant alkaloid that comes from Bitter Orange extract (Citrus Aurantium).
Synephrine, while not exactly similar to ephedrine in its chemical structure, behaves much the same in regard to its mechanism of action. Synephrine is considered a stimulant to the central nervous system and acts as a beta-agonist.
Both have the same effects such as constricting blood vessels, which in turn increases blood pressure and heart rate. Both can suppress the appetite and make users feel more energetic. Research also shows that it can increase the thermic effect of food, but this product has not been well-researched compared to Ephedrine.
It has been shown to increase lipolysis (fat burning) and to boost the basal metabolic rate. However, it is not as potent as ephedrine and requires a dosage that is significantly higher to produce significant fat loss.
“Ephedra-free” weight-loss products containing Bitter Orange (which contains p-synephrine), like ephedrine, can contribute to increased blood pressure, accelerated heart rate, and other negative effects on the cardiovascular system. Use of synephrine as an alternative may not be safe for everyone.
2. Ephedra Extract
Another alternative is to use ephedra extract without the banned ephedrine alkaloids. The legal status of this product requires some explanation.
When the FDA made it illegal to sell supplements containing ephedra, they specifically targeted species of this plant that contained ephedrine alkaloids. However, not all of the varieties of the ephedra herb actually contain this alkaloid.
There are several species of this plant (like E. Nevadensis that grows in the USA) that do not contain any ephedrine alkaloids. These versions of the extract are legal to include in fat burning supplements and are the closest thing you can get to real ephedra pills.
These products are only effective because they have replaced ephedrine alkaloids with other natural and herbal stimulants too boost metabolism. While many of these products have positive reviews online, it is important to investigate the ingredients found in each before buying to determine whether they will work for you.
Clenbuterol is an unscheduled synthetic compound that is often used by bodybuilders as an alternative to ephedrine. However, this chemical can cause some seriously dangerous side effects and is not recommended for everyone.
Clenbuterol is also defined as a sympathomimetic amine and functions as a beta-adrenergic receptor. Like ephedrine, it is also used in the treatment of chronic breathing disorders, asthma and nasal congestion.
This product can increase blood pressure, stimulate the central nervous system, boost aerobic capacity, increase the body’s basal metabolic rate and acts as a bronchodilator.
The results of taking Clen are similar to ephedrine, but this product works at a much smaller dosage. It has a much longer half-life than ephedrine, which makes it more dangerous to use.
Clenbuterol also increases release of a compound known as adenyl cyclase, an enzyme involved in the production of energy (adenosine triphosphate or ATP).
Clenbuterol is popular among bodybuilders and athletes for its thermogenic properties and is sometimes used in a cutting cycle to enhance fat burning results.
However, when it comes to the use of clenbuterol vs. ephedrine for fat loss, consumers should be aware that it is not particularly effective as a weight-loss supplement, especially for those that have to lose more than a few pounds.
Long-term use can also cause permanent damage to your heart muscle, which is why the FDA has never approved this drug for use in humans.
Some people look to the prescription weight loss drug Phentermine as an alternative to ephedrine. While they have some similar effects, these drugs work on different pathways in the body.
Phentermine is an appetite suppressant and is also considered a psychostimulant with similar pharmacological properties to amphetamine. It does have a modest metabolism-boosting effect, but most of its benefits come from controlling appetite and helping users stick to a calorie-restricted diet.
Qsymia is a medical obesity treatment that combines phentermine and another drug topiramate, which was initially used as seizure medication. Many doctors now prefer to prescribe Qsymia instead of Phentermine (Adipex-P) on its own.
Using phentermine to produce weight-loss is comes with its own risks like high blood pressure as well as potential for increasing bad cholesterol levels or worsening symptoms diabetes. It is not intended for use beyond a 12 weeks, unless directed to continue taking it by a physician.
While a doctor may decide that Phentermine is an appropriate alternative for you, this product requires a prescription to buy and comes with a long list of serious interactions and contraindications.
The European regulatory authorities denied Qsymia approval for sale in the EU due to a risk of potential heart problems, psychiatric side effects and risk of impaired cognitive function.
There are a number of products that ae used as alternatives to ephedrine diet pills, but not all of these substances work equally well. Also, some of the fat burners taken by dieters and bodybuilders today can pose considerable risk of side effects.
The closest legal supplement to ephedrine is synephrine, which affects some of the same receptors in the body and has been shown to support modest weight loss.
Before taking any stimulant diet pill, research the potential risks and consult with a doctor about the safety of the product. Not everyone can use thermogenic stimulant safely to promote weight loss.
Even if you do get you hands on a legal ephedrine alternative that works, you should be prepared to make diet and lifestyle changes to maintain weight loss results over a long period of time.