ECA Stack Background
Unlike certain other types of performance enhancing drugs, ECA stack is actually a combination of three relatively common compounds: ephedrine, caffeine and aspirin.
Known by abbreviating the drugs to just their initials, ECA stack is an incredibly powerful fat burner. However, the clue to its potency lies within the combination of these drugs. When taken individually, little or no effect has been identified on burning of fat, but when taken together, the metabolism reacts in a remarkable way.
An ECA stack has the potential to ramp up the metabolism by as much as 10% while simultaneously suppressing the appetite and providing an injection of energy. This combination of factors is what produces such spectacular fat burning results.
Ephedrine ramps up the rate at which fat is burned to provide energy as well as increasing the base temperature. The drug, which originates from the ephedra herb, is said to push up the metabolism rate by 5%.
The effects of the ephedrine are amplified by caffeine. Although it’s a popular stimulant found in a wide range of food and drink, when taken with ephedrine it can increase the metabolism by 10%. Interestingly, although caffeine is proven to intensify the effect that ephedrine has on the body, the reverse is not also true. Ephedrine does not appear to have any impact on the caffeine intake or its effects.
Not everyone includes aspirin in their stack, because taking the caffeine and ephedrine alone is enough to achieve a significant rise in the metabolism and burning of fat. However, the aspirin can be useful as it can offset the risk of clotting which can be a problem for those who take ephedrine. In addition, it can help to boost the effects even further by inhibiting the production of prostaglandin. This is the reason the ECA stack is considered such a useful trio.
Should ECA be taken on its own?
Because ECA is used for fat burning, it can be used on its own to great effect during a cutting cycle.
Taking it doesn’t provide a free license to slack off on either training or diet, but with the right regime, ECA stack can help to provide an extra advantage, resulting in a lean, hard physique.
Stacking info (with steroids or other supplements)
Because ECA contains powerful stimulants, some caution should be exercised when combining it with other compounds.
However, SARMS don’t contain any stimulants so this type of stack can provide excellent results without increasing the side effects or risks any further.
How is it administered
ECA is taken orally, typically via a divided dose up to three times per day.
It’s important not to go in too hard with ECA when you first start particularly if you don’t know you’ll respond to strong stimulants.
Every dose should contain ephedrine 24-30mg, caffeine 200mg and aspirin 75mg. The ration between the three should sit approximately at E:C:A=1:10:3. Begin with just one dose per day and slowly increase to three doses every day. ECA should not be taken for longer than 6-8 weeks with at least a 4-week gap between cycles.
If possible, each dose should be taken with a meal, earlier in the day rather than later. The final dose should be taken at least 8 hours before you plan on going to sleep because the stimulant effect can cause insomnia.
Half life info
The half life of ephedrine (the main ingredient in the fat loss stack) is three to six hours but it can be detected in the body for much longer.
Anyone planning on entering a competition should leave at least 72 hours after the last dose. The use of ephedrine is on the list of banned substances in concentrations in excess of 10 micrograms per milliliter of urine.
ECA tablets have proven fat burning qualities when taken as a stack, with an increase in the metabolic rate of up to 10%. This weight loss stack is extremely potent, much more so than when the separate components are taken on their own.
Ephedrine has a thermogenic effect which allows stores of fat to be accessed and released more easily. Once released it can then be used as a primary source of energy, burning off far more fat than would normally be the case.
Caffeine works away in the background, helping the body to continuously burn a greater amount of fat throughout the day while simultaneously raising the metabolism.
The aspirin enhances the effects of both the ephedrine and the caffeine and also helps to stabilize the core temperature of the body, allowing the two other compounds to last much longer.
However, boosting the metabolism is only half of the benefits that ECA pills provide. It also helps to suppress the appetite while simultaneously providing an injection of energy. This helps users stick to a tough cutting diet without the hunger pangs, and also still work out properly.
Potential side effects
Although the drugs included in the ECA stack may not sound too “heavy” they come with a surprisingly long list of potential side effects. These are:
- Raised blood pressure
- Drop in appetite
- Irregular heartbeat
- Nausea and vomiting (especially when taken in higher doses)
- Urinary retention (following prolonged use)
- Muscular weakness
- Raised core temperature
- Acid reflux
- Stomach ulcers
- Dry mouth
- Gastrointestinal bleeding
The majority of the side effects (but not all) result from the ephedrine and the caffeine, and some of these problems can be eased by the dosage and the time of day the drugs are taken.
However, the potential severity of the side effects should not be under-estimated as users have died as a direct result from taking these drugs. These deaths have mainly been due to either a heart attack or a stroke, and often arose when either the dosage was not adhered to or there were contraindications (see below).
There is no evidence that ECA stacks are particularly toxic to the liver.
ECA does cause problems with the cardiovascular system, especially if taken in doses which are too high or which are increased too quickly. An irregular heartbeat and palpitations are just two of the problems which are associated with the stimulatory effects of the caffeine and ephedrine.
No individual should take ECA while simultaneously taking another supplement called Yohimbine.
This is because Yohimbine works by suppressing alpha receptor sites while ephedrine works by suppressing beta receptor sites. Blocking both of these receptors at the same time can be dangerous, especially when you consider the heart has both of these types of receptor.
In addition, ephedrine should never be taken when an individual is going to be in really hot conditions, such as working outdoors during the summer months. This is because the deaths which have been linked to ephedrine were heat-related, and because the drug has a thermogenic effect, adding more heat can be lethal.
Any individual with a history of cardiovascular problems such as heart valve damage, irregular heartbeat, hypertrophy and raised blood pressure should never take a stimulant. This means ECA is ruled out for use in these individuals.
Best suited to cutting, bulking or both
ECA is widely recognized as one of the best weight loss stacks on the market, which makes it ideal for a cutting cycle.
Shredding and getting ripped takes a lot of discipline, and sticking to a cutting diet can be a tough task. The appetite suppressants within the EC fat burners make this much easier to achieve, while at the same time helping to increase the metabolic rate.
Eph fat burners are used by some as a pre-workout supplement, particularly for the energy boost that the stimulant provides. However, this isn’t recommended because the risk/reward ratio isn’t great, and the side effects at the dose required far outweigh the potential benefits. This is particularly so because there’s other compounds which would achieve the same effect far more easily.
Safe to use for women?
Unlike anabolic steroids, the bodily response from both men and women is exactly the same for ECA stack.
The only slight difference is the generally smaller body mass of females means the compound will be effective at a lower dose. However, users tend to change the dose to suit their own response, so this is no different to how a male would modify the compound. Whether male or female, it’s important not to exceed the recommended dosage per day because the risk of side effects sharply increases.
Two of the components in the stack, caffeine and aspirin can be purchased anywhere without a prescription so there’s little problem with availability.
However, the FDA stance on purchasing ephedrine makes it a little bit more difficult to buy ECA in its entirety.
For most individuals, the easiest way to buy ECA stack is online. You can expect to pay around $22 for 50 tablets (30mg strength).
Use in sports
The fat burning qualities of ECA stack, together with the benefits of a stimulant, mean that this is one of the most sought after drugs.
As well as widespread use within bodybuilding, athletics and other field sports have been heavily linked to the use of eph stack.
Legality of purchase and its usage in the US
In the US, the sale of pure ephedrine has been banned over the counter because of what the FDA classifies as an unacceptable level of risk.
But despite the fact that it cannot be widely sold on its own, ephedrine is a common ingredient in a number of products, particularly those used for easing respiratory and nasal congestion. Each state has different protocols in place, with a limit placed on how much may be purchased each day. In some states individuals may be asked to provide their name and address in order to buy ephedrine.
Other countries around the world adopt a similarly cautious approach to the purchase of ephedrine. In the UK for example, it is tightly regulated with a maximum cap on the sale but it isn’t classified as a controlled substance.