Caffeine and Ephedrine has long been paired together as one of the best fat-burning supplements to ever hit the market. Unfortunately ephedrine is a popular ingredient used in many illegal drugs, so laws in the United States have made is hard to get in recent years.
The EC Stack Basics
When paired together, caffeine and ephedrine has a synergy type of effect. The most popular effects are:
- Increased Metabolism – Body becomes more efficient at burning fat.
- Appetite Suppression – Much easier to avoid those binge meals and occasional snacks that can add up to hundreds, if not thousands of extra calories.
- Preserve Lean Mass – Studies show that EC helps the body burn fat stores as energy rather than muscle, which is greatly needed on a cut diet to achieve that lean look.
EC is mostly harmless for most, those that think popping extra dosages will speed up fat loss are the ones in danger. While it isn’t likely to happen–especially under the recommended dosages–some people have experienced side-effects such as heart palpitations, sky-rocketing blood pressure, and extreme dizziness/nauseating spells. These usually occur when you first start dosing it and should subside as the body becomes used to it (2-5 days on average). These side-effects, plus much worse, also happen to those that are irresponsible with the dosages and eat the EC pills like tic-tacs. Follow the dosing guidelines and you’re more than likely to be fine.
Testing: (skip this and go to ‘Starting Dosages’ if you’ve done EC with success in the past.)
The first day or two will be test days to see how you react. Take one 200mg caffeine pill and one 8mg ephedrine pill a upon waking up (some brands have 12.5mg ephedrine instead, this is fine to substitute). Not recommending to workout or do cardio for the next 3-5 hours during testing, so plan ahead of time or test on an offday.
After you get past the initial side-effects, the first week is going to be a little light just to ease into. For seven days straight, your dosages should be:
- Upon waking – 100mg caffeine/8mg ephedrine
- 4-5 hours later – 100mg caffeine/8mg ephedrine
That’s it for the first week. Dose this everyday to ease into a tolerance for it.
After getting a week of the starting dosage, I start my normal dosing cycle. This can run anywhere from 2-3 months at a time before slowly winding it down and stopping. I’ve never went more than 3 months straight on EC, but most studies I’ve read said that it isn’t necessary to cycle off of, but then again I’ve read a few testimonies that claim side-effects started to come up down the road (6+ months). Honestly, I would think something that alters your heart rate for extended periods of time isn’t the best great idea to keep taking without breaks, so be cautious when taking for long periods of time.
- Upon waking – 200mg caffeine/16mg ephedrine (if you have 12.5mg tablets, I’d stay at that. Experiment with doubling up and going to 25mg if you want, take caution though)
- 4-5 hours later – 200 caffeine/16mg ephedrine
- Optional 3rd dose 4 hours later – 100mg caffeine/8mg ephedrine
I hardly ever take the third dose, maybe once or twice a week, simply because if I take a dose within 4-5 hours of bedtime then it affects my sleep badly even at a smaller dosage. If I get up early enough and it works out to where I can squeeze one in, then I’ll take it.
Coming Off The EC Stack
If you’re been on the EC stack for 2-3 months, chances are your body has built a dependency on it and quitting cold turkey isn’t a smart idea unless you like headaches and a severe drop in energy levels.
To lessen the effects of coming off, I stop the ephedrine completely on day 1 while tapering down the caffeine doses. I usually dose it something like this for the first 3-5 days:
- Upon waking – 0mg ephedrine/200mg caffeine
- 4 hours later – 0mg ephedrine/100mg caffeine
- Optional dose (if you’ve been taking it) – 0mg ephedrine/100mg caffeine
Then after than, I start lowering the first waking dose to 100mg caffeine to match the other one (or other two if you been opting to take the third dose) for the next 3-5 days. Then from there it’s lowering the total amount of dosages by one every 3-5 days until you are completely off the caffeine.
EC is pretty safe with all things considered and can be a lot of help for those wanting that extra edge on cutting the fat, but it isn’t fool-proof and you need to pay attention to the doses you’re taking and not slip up and take something wrong on accident. For those that have their diet and workout in check, this will definitely be a ton of help; for those that don’t have either, don’t bother supplementing EC unless you like wasting money.