Ephedrine for Fat Loss: Does It Really Work? [Research Analysis]
Is using ephedrine for fat loss effective or are the results mostly hype?
Ephedrine is an alkaloid isolated from the Ephedra Sinica plant. It used to be a common component of diet and weight loss supplements until it was banned in 2004 by the FDA.
There are still some legal products available with ephedrine for sale today, although these are formulated for the treatment of breathing disorders and not intended for use in fat loss stacks.
However, given the volume of evidence showing that ephedrine and ephedra are effective for promoting weight loss, many dieters and bodybuilders make the choice to use these products off-label.
While there is significant research showing that ephedrine HCL and ephedra extract can support weight loss, both of these products carry a high risk for side effects. Anyone interested in using these pills to lose weight should be aware of how they work and how to minimize potential adverse effects. Click here to buy ephedra supplements online legally without a prescription.
Ephedrine for Fat Loss
Ephedrine is the primary active alkaloid in the ephedra plant, which is found growing around the world.
Historically, the plant was used by many cultures to treat breathing conditions such as asthma or bronchitis.
Ephedrine and the related alkaloid pseudoephedrine are found in cold and flu remedies, asthma medications, nasal decongestant, allergy drugs and other medicinal products.
Dieters, athletes, bodybuilders and weight-conscious individuals use this product to help decrease their body fat ratio. The same mechanism that makes it effective for treating these conditions may help users lose weight. How does ephedrine work for weight loss?
This plant chemical is a central nervous system stimulant that causes your body to burn more calories. Some of the direct and indirect effects of this plant alkaloid include:
- Constrict arteries, increasing blood pressure
- Prompt the heart to beat faster and harder
- Increase oxygenation to the lungs through the dilation of airways
All of these changes can result in greater metabolic activity, higher energy levels and increased thermogenesis. Thermogenesis refers to the production of heat within the body.
In other words, this product promotes your body to expend more energy throughout the day. It increases the rate at which you passively burn calories, which can contribute to moderate fat loss.
Ephedrine also prompts a number of behavioral changes that can further support weight loss. For example, it has an anoretic effect, meaning that it causes a loss of appetite. Users often report that they do not feel as hungry when they take this diet pill and become satiated faster when eating a meal.
By reducing calorie intake, ephedrine may make it easier to adhere to a healthy diet and to reduce portion sizes. This can drive considerable weight loss results.
This stimulant also increases motivation to work out as well as exercise intensity. Users often report feeling a need to move and be active when using ephedra supplements.
This product is commonly used in bodybuilder pre-workout stacks to enhance stamina and power output. By increasing activity levels, it may further result in fat burning.
How Much Weight Can You Lose on Ephedrine?
What is the total amount of fat loss that you can expect when taking an ephedrine cutting cycle? Results will depend on a person’s health status, physique, weight, diet, activity level and lifestyle habits.
There have been hundreds of studies examining the effects of herbal and synthetic ephedrine pills for obesity and body fat reduction. Research shows that it does work, but the results might not be as significant as most of us would like to believe.
Studies have shown that ephedrine, especially when combined with other stimulants like caffeine, can promote some weight loss, typically averaging one to two pounds per month.
In a RAND analysis prepared for the National Institutes of Health, it was shown that use of ephedrine could promote a statistically significant weight loss result of 1.3 pounds/month more than what was achieved with a placebo for up to 4 months.
The same analysis examined the effects of an ephedrine plus caffeine combination that was studied in 12 different trials. This EC stack combination was associated with a 2.2 pounds/month greater weight loss results compared to the use of a placebo.
Another study found that obese mice given ephedrine along with dietary restriction and treadmill exercise for one week did lose body weight (specifically brown brown tissue) .
Another study examined the effects of ephedrine and caffeine in combination with a synthetic leptin product known as Myalept. Leptin is a hormone that is involved in regulating energy balance and appetite.
This 2013 study found that a 200 mg caffeine/20 mg ephedrine stack with the synthetic synthetic leptin A product could reduce total body fat mass by promoting visceral fat loss. 
In research studies, there have been documented cases of people losing significantly more weight with this diet pill ingredient. One individual was reported to have lost over 60 kg of body weight with the help of this supplement and diet and lifestyle changes.
Yes, ephedrine is effective for fat loss. However, it does not come without a significant risk of side effects including increased blood pressure and greater strain on the heart muscle. Combining multiple stimulants together may be particularly dangerous and may lead to serious adverse reactions.
Reported Side Effects
Before turning to ephedrine for fat loss, be aware of the potential for side effects. Some are minor and temporary, such as:
- Upset stomach or nausea
- Nervousness or jitters
- Blurred vision
- Increased agitation and/or anxiety
- Heart palpitations
These symptoms are linked to overstimulation of the central nervous system. While short-term use of stimulant drugs may not cause long-term side effects, as the dosages and duration of use are increased, the potential for dangerous effects also increases.
Harmful negative side effects have been reported even at low doses. Some of the more serious adverse effects can include:
- Tachycardia – racing heart. Can be dangerous if if persists for a long period of time or occurs frequently..
- Arrhythmias – irregular heartbeat. Confusion in signaling mechanisms caused by overstimulation in the brain and central nervous system can place a great deal of strain on the heart and its normal rhythms.
- Potential for brain seizures or strokes caused by constriction of blood vessels
- High blood pressure, which can decrease oxygen flow to vital organs, including the brain.
Use of ephedrine pills to promote weight loss can be dangerous. Potential benefits must be weighed against the risk of side effects.
Do not take this product without first consulting with a doctor to learn about alternatives, drug interactions and contraindications. Best results may be achieved by combining with appropriate diet, decreasing caloric intake, and appropriate levels of exercise.
- Liu AG, Smith SR, Fujioka K, Greenway FL. The effect of leptin, caffeint/ephedrine, and their combination upon visceral fat mass and weight loss. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2013 Oct;21(10):1991-6. doi: 10.1002/oby.20416. Epub 2013 Jun 11.
- Slocum N. et al. Responses of brown adipose tissue to diet-induced obesity, exercise, dietary restriction and ephedrine treatment. Exp Toxicol Pathol. 2013 Jul;65(5):549-57. doi: 10.1016/j.etp.2012.04.001. Epub 2012 Apr 28.