ECA (ephedrine, caffeine, aspirin) – are the ingredients of popular tablets widely used in the 1990s, both in sports and in weight loss. The FDA has banned the use of ephedrine alkaloids as an ingredient in dietary supplements since 2004. Fall under the ban products with ma huang and other herbs with plant derived ephedra. The related drug, pseudoephedrine, is now also regulated by law in most countries.
What parts ECA consist of?
Ephedrine comes from Ephedra plant. It has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries and is also referred to as “ma huang”. This extract stimulates the central nervous system by releasing a compound called norepinephrine. Norepinephrine is used to make the body ready for actions. Ephedra also increases heart rate, and can cause constriction of blood vessels, resulting in increased blood pressure.
Caffeine is also a stimulant, both the central nervous system and the cardiovascular system. It is usually found in coffee, tea and soft drinks. Caffeine consumption can increase the sense of alertness, effectively reduce fatigue. But if taken in large doses, it can also cause: insomnia; increased heart rate; increased blood pressure; tremor; anxiety.
Aspirin is a pain reliever. When taken as part of an ECA, aspirin prevents a decrease in norepinephrine levels. In other words, it helps to maintain stimulation effects that caffeine and ephedrine create. Long-term use of aspirin, even in small doses, is associated with an increased risk of bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract.
The mechanism of action of ECA
ECA drug combines ephedrine, caffeine and aspirin in a given ratio. When consumed, the pills cause your body to target specific fat cells to be burned for energy, while boosting your overall metabolic rate and suppressing your appetite. Therefore, it is considered that the effectiveness of ECA for weight loss is quite high.
Each ingredient in ECA works in conjunction with each other. Ephedrine works as a beta-agonist and stimulates the production of norepinephrine, and also spreads it through the adipose tissue by increasing the level of cAMP (cyclic adenosine monophosphate).
Caffeine and aspirin inhibit the body’s natural response to stopping the production of cAMP, thereby prolonging the action. Stimulation of the CNS increases your metabolism, causing an increase in the number of calories during exercise.
As described in “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition”, caffeine intake increases fat oxidation during exercise.
How to take and dose ECA?
Consume doses of ephedrine, caffeine and aspirin up to three times a day at regular intervals. Slowly increase the dose as tolerance increases. Start with one dose each day and add the next dose every two to four days until you reach the required dose. Take the first dose immediately after waking. Do not consume ECA before going to bed, as it can cause insomnia.
The ideal dosage of ECA looks something like this: ephedrine 25 mg + caffeine 250 mg + aspirin 250 mg.
ECA is designed to be used in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise. To lose fat, you need to provide a calorie deficit every day. Consume plenty of water throughout the day as ephedrine and caffeine are powerful diuretics and you will dehydrate at a much faster rate. Daily exercise will increase fat loss. Low intensity aerobics or strength training will be ideal. Because the intense training increases too much heart rate, which can be dangerous.
The person who takes pills 3 to 4 times a day will begin to notice visible results after 4 weeks. The intensity of the result may increase as you continue to take your pills. Within 8 weeks you need to take a break to increase the effect even more.
Side effects of ECA
While ECA may seem attractive to many physical problems, there are also reasons to worry about its adverse side effects. Excessive stimulation of the central nervous system using ephedrine and caffeine can lead to mood swings, nervousness and intermittent sleep.
In cases of prolonged use, the body will develop a tolerance, forcing you to take higher doses to maintain the effect. Consult your doctor before using ephedrine and monitor your blood pressure and heart rate regularly.