The Definitive Guide to Using an ECA Stack: How to Safely Stimulate Fat Loss
The ECA (Ephedrine, Caffeine, Aspirin) stack is probably one of the most misunderstood and controversial supplements in the fitness world. We hear contradictory statements on the ECA stack all the time, whether it is from the bros at the gym or from our friends. Some have said it is the best stimulant for fat loss. While others claimed it will cause heart attack, stroke and in serious cases, death.
A classic case of the blind leading the blind. As with other supplements, the best way to find out is to first study the research. In this article, we will look at the scientific evidence behind the ECA stack and by the end of this article, you will know more about how to use the ECA stack safely than your gym bros and how to use them effectively for fat loss.
Let’s jump right in.
How It Works
As the ECA stack comprises of ephedrine, caffeine, and aspirin, we will look at each of them in detail below:
Ephedrine is the main component of the ECA stack. It will stimulate your nervous system and helps your body to burn fat by increasing metabolism. Ephedrine also helps to suppress appetite. With lesser food cravings during the day, it is easier to be in a caloric deficit. And when you are in a caloric deficit, you will lose weight. In terms of the health risk of ephedrine, research has shown that ephedrine is safe to use as long as your current state is healthy. (no existing heart problems, high blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid problems)
Caffeine is commonly used to boost alertness and keep us awake. Studies have shown that caffeine will reduce fatigue and improve performances in aerobic and anaerobic sports. By consuming caffeine, you will push harder in the gym and subsequently lose fats more effectively. Every rep counts in the long run. Research has shown that when ephedrine and caffeine are combined, it produces a significant reduction in fat and is an effective weight loss agent. Due to its synergistic benefits, Ephedrine+Caffeine a proven case of 1+1=3 provided you take the recommended dosage. We will discuss more on the dosage later in this article.
The third component of the ECA stack is Aspirin, which interestingly was only added in 11 years ago. Aspirin supports the thermogenic (creation of heat) process of ephedrine and caffeine and keeps the body’s temperature stable. This way, it will allow ephedrine and caffeine to last longer in the body.
Despite its usage, I would recommend you to replace aspirin with a healthier option in fish oil. The reason being is taking aspirin has could put you at risk of gastrointestinal problems (stomach bleeding) and headache. While studies have proven that the combination of ephedrine and caffeine will aid fat loss, the jury is still out there on the effectiveness of the combination of ephedrine, caffeine, and aspirin for fat loss and optimal health.
Personally, I would play it safe and go for fish oil instead. Studies have shown that fish oil will help in fat loss and lowers blood pressure. Also, if you have joint pains due to training, research has proven that fish oil can help to reduce inflammation and joint pain. The benefits of fish oil far outweigh the health risk of taking aspirin. As fish oil helps in fat loss and will not cause gastrointestinal bleeding, it is a much viable and better option.
To summarize, go with the EC stack and replace Aspirin with Fish Oil to safely stimulate fat loss.
Dosage- How to Use the ECA stack Safely
Ideally, the recommended dosage for the EC stack is 20-25mg of ephedrine and 200mg of caffeine, taken 2-3 times per day at equal intervals (every 3-4 hours). To prevent insomnia, take your final dose at least 6 hours before sleeping. If you would like to include aspirin, take 81mg (https://examine.com/supplements/eca/) of aspirin 2-3 times a per day.
For first time users, I recommend you to start slow by only taking half the recommended dosage, which is 10mg of ephedrine, 100mg of caffeine and 40mg of aspirin. If you would like to replace aspirin with fish oil, take 1-2 grams of omega-3 fatty acids per day. Assess how your body react to the stack as the tolerance level varies for each individual. If you are feeling the side effects, cut down on the dosage or stop immediately.
Also, do not take ma huang, yohimbine, coffee, tea or a pre-workout supplement together with the ECA stack to prevent adverse side effects. You can get your Starbucks coffee during the cycle phase, but not while you are using the ECA or EC stack.
To prevent and reduce the risk of side effects, cycle the stack by taking 1-2 weeks break after every 8 weeks
Research shows that the combination of ephedrine and caffeine has minor side effects on the body and no serious withdrawal symptoms have been found.
While studies have proven the EC stack to be effective, research has not been fully conclusive on the ECA stack with the addition of aspirin. This is the main reason why I would recommend you play it safe by taking the EC stack with fish oil instead.
Ultimately, the side effects of the ECA stack vary for each individual. Some reported side effects include blood pressure, nausea, insomnia, hypertension, headache. Reduce the dosage and frequency if you come across these effects. However, if you are taking the recommended dosage and you are in good health, you should not feel any serious side effects.
The Verdict: Should You Take the ECA Stack?
It depends. What are your fitness goals? If your goal is to bulk up, you will need to eat more and be in a caloric surplus. ephedrine will suppress your appetite and you will find it harder to bulk. However, if your goal is to cut and lose fats, taking the EC stack with fish oil will definitely help you in achieving your goal.
Wait! Before you jump off your chair and purchase the EC stack and fish oil, do a body check-up first and then consult your doctor. As you recall earlier, research has shown that ephedrine is safe to use as long as you are in good health. Having a body check-up and consulting your doctor is the best way to know your current health and fitness situation.Health is something that you want to be extra cautious with. Besides, when was the last time you did a body check-up?
The ECA stack is not a magic pill that will help you to lose weight instantly. However, it will accelerate your weight loss if you are also putting in 100% effort in training and diet. In terms of your body transformation, using the ECA/EC stack will probably account for only 5-10% of the whole equation, 90% of your success will come from training and diet. Get off the “get ripped quick” mentality. To wrap things up, for best results in losing fats, take the EC stack with fish oil at the recommended dosage, train hard in the gym and be in a caloric deficit. Fat loss will then come naturally.