An ECA stack is a combination of ephedrine, caffeine and aspirin, typically used as a weight-loss aid. While dietary supplements using ECA were popular in the 1990s, sales are now restricted or illegal in North America following reports of heart attacks, strokes or death. Sales of ephedrine are still legal, but quantity limitations vary from state to state. Still, many studies, including one in the Journal of Obesity, report that ephedrine and caffeine supplements, when used as directed, can be beneficial for weight loss without increased risk of serious side-effects. Although you cannot legally buy manufactured ECA stacks, it is possible to make them at home.
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Things you need
- Caffeine tablets
- Aspirin (preferably baby aspirin)
ECA stacks consist of 25 mg ephedrine, 200 mg caffeine and 80 to 160 mg aspirin. Experts are divided on whether aspirin is necessary, or whether ephedrine and caffeine are sufficient.
Begin by taking half a dose per daily in the morning. Early side-effects might include, but are not limited to, jitters, headaches, palpitations and tremors. These signs often subside as the body becomes accustomed to the supplements. Slowly increase over time, up to one full dose daily.
After side-effects subside, gradually increase to two to three doses per day, depending on tolerance. Doses should be spread out every four to six hours.
Tips and warnings
- Appetite is typically suppressed when taking ECA stacks because of the ephedrine. Try to continue eating healthy meals in order to maintain energy levels throughout the day.
- Consult a physician prior to taking ECA stacks. People with high blood pressure, heart or thyroid problems or women who are pregnant should not take ECA stacks.
- Do not take the ECA stack late in day, as it may cause insomnia.
- Aspirin causes blood thinning.
- A prescription for ephedrine might be required, depending on the state.
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