Ephedrine Fat Burners: The REAL Story Behind the Ban
Ephedrine fat burners have been banned for over a decade but remains the most sought-after stimulant by bodybuilders and athletes.
Ephedrine puts your body into a fat-burning state by increasing metabolism, suppressing the appetite and promoting greater oxygenation of the blood.
Research studies show that it boosts lipolysis and glycolysis – the processes by which your body converts calories and fat into fuel. Ephedrine is more effective when combined with caffeine in an ECA stack.
While there is no doubt about its ability to enhance fat loss results, it was made illegal due to concerns of serious side effects. When taken responsibly, adverse effects could be minimized and controlled.
However, when used in high dosages and combined with other stimulants in high-potency fat burners, this drug could cause dangerous reactions like heart attacks and strokes. What is the best way to get weight loss results like those possible with ephedrine diet pills without putting your health at risk? Click here to buy ephedra supplements online legally without a prescription.
Ephedrine Fat Burners
Since 2004, dietary supplements products containing ephedrine have been banned in the United States and in other countries around the world. The ban was prompted primarily due to the side effects associated with its use in weight loss products.
Prior to 2004, ephedrine was one of the top-selling ingredients in fat burners like Lipodrene, Hydroxycut, Metabolife 356, Ripped Fuel, Stacker 2 and Xenadrine RFA-1.
It would commonly be taken in pre-workout energy pills and used as a cutting cycle aid among bodybuilders. Ephedrine would typically be stacked with other stimulants including caffeine and yohimbine.
This product was promoted as a near-miraculous diet pill, able to enhance metabolic rate and promote weight loss even without changes in diet or activity level. By stimulating the nervous system in the same way at the body’s own hormone adrenaline, it could increase energy and boost calorie expenditure.
Many obese individuals suffer from a low resting metabolic rate (RMR), which means they do not burn as many calories passively throughout the day. Ephedrine was shown to increase metabolism by 4-10% in some studies.
This thermogenic supplement caused your body to burn brown adipose tissue (fat) to generate heat. It also curbed appetite signaling and slowed gastric emptying, making users feel less of a need to eat.
One study found that women who took a pure ephedrine HCL 20mg fat burner three times per day lost an additional one pound of fat per week. Participants were instructed not to change their diet but began to unconsciously eat less.
Thus, ephedrine worked for weight loss by optimizing both sides of the energy balance equation. It cause you to consume fewer calories through your diet and burn more through metabolic function, resulting in a caloric deficit. Over time, this could contribute to significant eight loss and body recompositioning.
Where Does Ephedrine Come From?
Ephedrine was first isolated as the primary active alkaloid in the ephedra plant species. This plant has been used in traditional medicine in China and India for thousands of years.
In herbal medicine, Ayurvedic healing and folklore practices around the world it has been used to treat lung conditions or breathing issues such as asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis and bronchitis.
It was commonly taken to relieve fever for its ability to release heat from the body. It has a diaphoretic effect, which means it can induce perspiration.
Historically, this herb was not prescribed to promote weight loss. Some sources describe its use in combating fatigue and enhancing libido. However, its effects as a physical performance enhancer and diet pill were not recognized until the late 1970’s.
Ephedrine is not the only alkaloid found in the ephedra plant, but it is the most prominent and the most thoroughly researched. Other alkaloids such as pseudoephedrine and norephedrine also exhibit medicinal effects. Pseudoephedrine is the active ingredient in the nasal decongestant, Sudafed.
There are dozens of ephedra species that grow around the world and not all of them contain ephedrine. The American species E. Viridis and E. Nevadensis have low total alkaloid levels.
Alkaloid content also depends on the portion of the plant used, its geographical origin, and the time of year the plant is harvested.
Before they were banned, analyses showed that ephedrine fat burners often had wide variations in the dosage of active ephedrine provided per serving. Some products would contain less of this alkaloid than advertised while others contain several times more than the stated dosage.
This variation likely contributed to some of the adverse effects of this supplement. Medications that legally contain ephedrine today use synthetic version of this alkaloid, made in a lab and not extracted from a plant. For example, ephedrine HCl and ephedrine sulfate are synthetically manufactured.
Fat-Burning Effects and Benefits
Ephedrine increases energy expenditures and causes your body to burn more fat. It does this by stimulating a process known as thermogenesis.
Thermogenesis is the mechanism by which fat is burned to create body heat. It converts stored fat deposits into an increase in core body temperature. By slightly raising your core temperature, ephedrine increases your basal metabolic rate (BMR), making it easier to lose weight.
Ephedrine is a sympathomimetic amine, which means that it stimulates sympathetic functions of the central nervous system. These functions regulate:
- Heart rate
- Respiratory rate
- Digestive processes
- Brain processes
When you consume Ephedrine tablets, it produces an effect similar in nature to adrenaline. This cause increased heart rate and respiratory rate, as well as providing the body with a surge of energy associated with the fight or flight response.
This compound also stimulates the release of norepinephrine, which can influence a number of receptors throughout the body. Ephedrine triggers vasoconstriction and bronchodilation, which can enhance circulation and oxygenation of muscle tissue.
This is why ephedrine is used in pre-workout formulas to boost stamina, exercise intensity and to preserve lean muscle mass while cutting fat. This fat burner also has other benefits that can contribute to weight loss, such as curbing hunger cravings and enhancing focus and motivation.
This stimulant can make it easier to achieve a calorie deficit. Users should be aware that results from ephedrine diet pills will depend on body composition, activity level, diet, hormone balance and a number of other factors.
Results for Weight Loss
Ephedrine is one of the most widely studied fat-burning compounds with multiple clinical trials and research reviews published on its results. In research studies, it was shown to reliably increase weight loss results over a placebo.
One double-blind study examined the effects on 67 overweight subjects who took either a placebo or an EC stack for eight weeks. Subjects in the treatment group received 72mg ephedrine (from Ma Huang extract) and 240mg caffeine (from Guarana extract) per day.
Over the eight weeks, participants in the treatment group lost on average 4 kg in bodyweight, compared to 0.8 kg for those on the placebo. The study did note some side effects, including headache, dry mouth and insomnia. 23% of those taking the ephedrine supplement had to withdraw from the study due to side effects.
Other studies have shown that ephedrine can promote short-term weight loss. In combination with caffeine, it produces 2.2 lb of body weight reduction more per month compared to a placebo. While there is a potential for side effects, many users are able to tolerate the stimulating effects of the drug.
User ratings and reviews on the efficacy of fat burners with ephedrine are varied. Many people experienced significant weight loss and found the adverse effects to be manageable. However, some users say that the benefits for fat loss were not worth the side effects.
Note that research studies on the use of ephedrine as a fat-burning agent are typically short-term and none have lasted longer than six months. This supplement should only be used over short durations to avoid the risk of harmful side effects.
Few of the studies involved use of ephedrine by itself. In most circumstances, it was combined with forms of caffeine and other stimulants to accelerate results. For optimal results and to maintain long-term weight loss, the supplement should be taken with appropriate diet and exercise.
Can you Buy Ephedra Fat Burners Online?
In the 1980s and 1990s, ephedrine fat burner products were among the most popular dietary supplements sold on store shelves. Millions of people in countries around the world used those products.
After the ban of ephedra alkaloids in the US in 2004, products containing ephedrine were pulled from store shelves. However, only certain forms of ephedra extract were made illegal.
You can still buy ephedra fat burners so long as they have the ephedrine alkaloids removed. For example, the reformulated Lipodrene supplement contains ephedra extract with other ingredients substituted to replace the ephedrine.
In some cases, these supplements will use species of the ephedra plant that do not naturally contain alkaloids like Mormon Tea or Ephedra Nevadensis. Other manufacturers claim to use real Ephedra Sinica, but the extract has been processed in a way to remove the alkaloids.
Some popular brand names of fat burners with ephedra include:
- Black Mamba Hyperrush
- Green Stinger
- ECA Elite
- ECA Xtreme
- Black Mamba Hyperrush
- Red Volt
- Black Spider 25
- Ripped Powder
- Lipodrene Harcdore
- Ultimate Burn
- Hellfire EPH 150
These products are not typically sold by major retailers. Even though they are legal to buy, stores like GNC, Walgreens, Walmart and Amazon have decided not to carry these supplements. Some of the vendors that sell these fat burners online include:
- Ephedra Outlet
- Ephedra Warehouse
Ephedra extract without the ephedrine alkaloid is not very effective on its own for bodybuilding or weight loss. These products will often contain other ingredients that promote similar effects to ephedrine.
Caution is recommended when buying any thermogenic diet pill. Study the ingredients closely to understand how they work and potential side effects. Combining multiple stimulants together may increase fat burning activity in the body, but it may also cause negative reactions.
Ingredients and Supplements Review
Ephedra fat burners can vary considerably in their ingredients, benefits and safety. Many products contain ephedra extract, but do not mention which species of the plant the extract comes from.
A number of products use “proprietary blends” which means they have to disclose the ingredients used, but do not have to disclose the dosages. This can make it difficult to evaluate efficacy and health risks.
Some of the supplements used in fat burner products include:
- Citrus aurantium (Bitter Orange) – This fruit contains p-synephrine which has a similar effect on the body as ephedrine and adrenaline.
- Caffeine anhydrous – a dry, powdered form of caffeine. Other use caffeine from sources like Kola nut or Guarana extract.
- Cayenne (Chili pepper extract) – This pepper contains capsaicin which enhance thermogenesis or heat production and suppresses the appetite.
Note that most fat burners and diet pills will contain high levels of caffeine together with other stimulants. When mixed together, these components can increase the risk of adverse side effects and reactions.
Individuals who are sensitive to caffeine should start with low dosages to minimize potential negative effects. If you frequently experience stimulant-like side effects when drinking tea or coffee, these products may not be appropriate for you.
Carefully consider user reviews for any ephedra fat burner you decide to buy. Some of these products are more popular than others and have a longer history of use.
Look for review websites that provide testimonials from verified purchasers. Some manufacturers may only list positive reviews on their websites, making it difficult to gage the frequency and severity of adverse reactions.
Users have reported being able to lose between one to two pounds per week while taking ephedra extract. Users also describe the following benefits:
- Greater energy levels
- Increased concentration, mental focus and motivation
- Increased desire to be active
- Reduced cravings for unhealthy foods
- Feeling full after eating small portions
- Improved intensity and power output at the gym
- Increased sexual desire
Not all of the reviews are positive. Some complain of feeling jittery, nauseous, sick or feverish when taking these products. Several recommend consuming the product with lots of water or with a meal
Some complained about headaches when starting or stopping the product, depending on the levels of caffeine. Users also recommend not taking these fat burners late in the day to prevent sleep pattern disruptions.
Are Ephedra Fat Burners Dangerous?
One of the reasons that the US FDA and other government organizations banned ephedrine in dietary supplements was due to safety considerations.
Many health regulators around the world continue to allow the sale of ephedrine in asthma, cold and flu, or cough medications. When sold in 8mg to 25mg oral dosages, this product is viewed as safe for short-term relief of lung or breathing issues.
Ephedrine and pseudoephedrine are found in common brand name products like Sudafed, Bronkaid, and Primatene. These products can still be purchased over-the-counter in many states in the USA.
However, it was ruled that taking ephedrine as a fat burner was subject to misuse and abuse, posing a higher risk of side effects. Many disagree with this policy and argue that it could be used safely as a weight loss supplement if taken by responsible adults.
Some of the mild side effects associated with ephedrine can include but are not limited to:
- Nausea or upset stomach
- Racing heart/heart palpitations
- Increased sense of anxiety
- Jitteriness, trembling or shakiness of the hands
- Dry mouth or excessive thirst
- Increased urination
- Obsessive-compulsive thoughts
- Higher blood pressure
Over-use of this product can negatively impact cardiovascular function and cause changes in heart rate or an irregular heartbeat. In severe cases, there is an increase risk of heart attack or stroke.
Ephedrine can cause vasoconstriction of arteries supplying the heart and the brain. It can reduce blood flow to the brain, contributing to feelings of dizziness or lightheadedness.
Rules and regulations differ by country. In the United States, even though ephedrine is illegal in nutritional supplements, ephedra extract is legal. You will find a number of energy pills and diet aids sold with this ingredient.
Ephedra fat burners typically contain other herbal stimulants. Consumers often assume that anything natural is safe, but even herbal ingredients can cause serious side effects when used inappropriately.
It is recommended to start using any such product at the lowest dosage possible. Allow your body time to adjust to the stimulating effects before increasing the dose.
Consult with a doctor before taking any dietary supplement for weight loss or energy. This product may be contraindicated for you depending on your health status and whether you are currently using other medications.
While the original ephedrine diet pills are now banned, there are many fat burners that claim to be legal alternatives. These products may be effective for short-term weight loss results, but for long-term weight management, changes to eating habits and exercise should be incorporated.