ECA Stack: Ephedrine, Caffeine and Aspirin
The reason why ECA stack is effective in weight loss is due to the presence of ephedrine component which acts as a beta agonist and increases the release of noradrenaline. The release of noradrebaline then increases the cAMP levels and acts on brown tissues. This is known as the thermogenic effect which raises the body temperature by around 2 degrees and also increases the metabolism of the user by 10% in conjunction with the rest of the stack.
Negative feedback from the body then starts the normalization of the metabolism through the production of phosphodiesterase inside the cells, and prostaglandins outside the cell. This lowers cAMP levels within the cells.
Caffeine inside the body stimulates the production of phosphodiesterase inside the cell which also slows the breakdown of cAMP. It binds with adenosine receptors include the brain and inhibits the release of adrenaline, this increases the cAMP levels further.
Aspirin triggers production of prostaglandin outside the cells, with caffeine it greatly delays the thermogenic effects and by maintaining increased cAMP levels it increases metabolism.
Ephedrine also has an anorectic, or appetite suppressant effect, however the exact process behind this is still not understood but it helps in weight loss that’s for sure. If the stack is not cycled these effects lasts only for two weeks as the body becomes used to ephedrine to some degree. Anorectic effect which comes with the usage of ECA stack results in around 60% - 75% of the weight loss, the remaining weight loss comes from thermogenesis.
Simple stimulant is the final component in weight loss of the ECA stack. Increased levels of adrenaline and noradrenaline result in higher aerobic exercise performance and reduced levels of fatigue.
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Mechanisms of Effect in Energy Gain
Acting as a sympathomimetic amine Ephedrine helps to increase energy. It has direct effect on the brain through the medium of noradrenaline levels and displacing it from the synapic cleft. It also partially serves as a noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor, in this way it also partially function as a dopamine reuptake inhibitor because of the shared action between the two terminals. Adenosine receptors are blocked reducing the feeling of tiredness and also increased concentration levels, focus and memory with the use of Caffeine. While the impact of caffeine on dopamine levels for a short period, the ephedrine's partial action as a dopamine reuptake inhibitor lengthens the duration.
How to build own ECA Stack: Ephedrine, Caffeine and Aspirin
It is recommended to consume the ECA stack 2 to 3 times during the day in a 1:10:10 or 1:10:15 ratio of ephedrine:caffeine:aspirin. However these ratios vary from person to person depending on the circumstances and conditions but on an average they are all effective. Generally it is recommended that not more than 25 mg of ephedrine or 200 mg of caffeine be consumed in a single dose. Since the dose contributes to insomnia it is advised that it should be taken past late afternoon.
Ephedrine and aspirin are not addictive on a physical level. However caffeine is and caffeine users generally develop a tolerance to lower adenosine levels. It caffeine use is stopped too early this leads to withdrawal symptoms from adenosine sensitivity. There is a possibility of psychological addiction to ephedrine and caffeine.
The most important risk as far as the use of ECA stack is concerned lies in the effect of ephedrine on a pre-existing heart condition. There have been cases where people with valve damage, cardiac, hypertrophy and other heart problems have died due to usage of Ephedrine. If a patient has pre existing heart condition it is not recommended that stimulants be taken. In regards to amphetamines there has been evidence of it causing heart damage on a long run whereas it’s not the similar case with the ephedrine use.
On average blood pressure is increased by around 4-7 mmHg by use of Caffeine and ephedrine. Users who already suffer from hyper tension should make sure that the usage does not increase their blood pressure to dangerous levels especially at the time of physical activity. The thickness of the blood is reduced by the presence of aspirin in the stack.
Some other types of risks due to long term use of ephedrine are as follows: