Everyone is looking for the newest weight loss solution. No one is looking at what has already worked for years and years. However, the solutions which provide quality results are the ones that have been proven time and time again. So the recent fad diets and crazes don’t really matter. There are already dozens of approaches to weight loss that have been around for a very long time, all of which are pretty much superior to the recent ‘discoveries’.
This is where the EC (ephedrine + caffeine) stack comes in. It has been around for a VERY long time. In the past, it was actually the ECA stack which included aspirin. This was dropped from the mix due to health concerns. The EC stack is often argued for its potential risks, but anyone who follows an EC stack loading phase will not have a problem.
What Does the EC Stack Do?
The EC stack provides the effects of ephedrine and caffeine to the body. It does this while creating a synergy between these two substances. The result of this synergy is thermogenic action within the body. This results in appetite suppression, increased metabolism, and ultimately weight loss.
There are many little effects that take place as well. The most noticeable is the increased and consistent energy. Many feel like superheroes while on the EC stack because the energy is so constant. From wake till bedtime, the EC stack keeps the body fully awake, alert, and active. This is exactly why professional athletes, including many NHL players, have stood by it for so long.
As the loading phase progresses, the thermogenic effects will increase. The body will also become used to the appetite suppression. This allows the user to lower caloric intake without any real problems. In combination with the increased energy for cardio and weight training, the user will be able to achieve weight loss and maintain muscle mass.
Are There Any Risks?
There are potential risks which may surface if an individual takes ephedrine. Most of these risks are with users who have an intolerance to ephedrine (or caffeine) in the first place. This is why the loading phase is recommended; the user can take very small doses which would have negligible adverse effects if a tolerance exists.
The main side effects include irritability, mood swings, male impotence and heart palpitations. However, heart palpitations mainly occur when an individual increases the dosage amount too quickly. This is usually done through skipping days in the loading period or by going up a whole 8mg pill instead of just half of it.
There are also risks of growing tolerant to ephedrine and caffeine. This is why it is recommended to only do the EC stack for a set amount of time. The user should begin with a tolerance reset on caffeine intake, which means the individual will spend the two weeks prior taking in no caffeine at all. The user will also need to cycle off at the end of the EC stack, which is usually around 10 weeks.
Lastly, blood pressure can go up while on the EC stack. This is why many used to use aspirin as well. It is still used by some, but mainly just in baby aspirin (81mg) dosing. Many combat the potential blood pressure issues with fish oil pills.
So the EC stack may not be a good idea for anyone that has blood pressure issues as it is. It is also not the best idea for anyone with any heart problems as it’s known to increase heart rate. If there are heart issues, but not enough to justify avoiding the EC stack, intense cardio should be minimized as it can really kick things into overdrive.
Is The EC Stack Really Recommendable?
The EC stack is not held in a very positive light by many as it is not a product that can be marketed to the masses. It is a combination of ephedrine and caffeine. Ephedrine pills can be bought at most pharmacies and so can caffeine pills. So there is no marketability behind this combination as companies cannot just combine the two and try to sell it. Nobody would be foolish enough to pay a premium for such a product.
This is a major reason for it not being as positively viewed. This is also why all the positive feedback is from people who have actually used the stack before. The negative feedback is sometimes by previous users, but often from people making assumptions.
In fact, the EC stack was once actually marketed as a product in Denmark under the name Letigen. This came as pills containing 20mg synthetic ephedrine and 200mg caffeine. This isn’t far off of today’s dosing recommendations, but this product may not have had an appropriate loading phase. It became very popular in 1999, when it was claimed to be used by 2% of Denmark’s population. It was taken off the market in 2002, but even with follow up studies it was found the previously claimed cardiovascular risks were inaccurate.
EC stack gets viewed as being a touchy subject because ephedrine can be abused. It can be used as a precursor to methamphetamine and it can be fatal in the event of an overdose. This is all understandable logic, but taking too much Hydroxycut will cause death via caffeine overdose. So the arguments behind the EC stack not being safe at all are not very well merited.
There are many studies supporting the efficacy of the EC stack. An ECA study foundnotable weight reduction in obese users with no mentioned adverse effects. While this was for ECA and not EC, the aspirin fights the blood pressure rise and doesn’t contribute towards weight loss. There was also an ECAstudy supporting the thermogenesis claims which indicates obese patients see greater effects.