This classic fat loss stack has been used for years by people in all kinds of sports - bodybuilding, endurance sports, or athletic sports. What’s more, don’t forget the “regular Joe” who is just looking to lean out a bit. Nonetheless, few people ask themselves the most crucial questions: Is the ECA stack safe? Is it effective? Are there any alternatives? Therefore, in this article we will go in detail to examine the ECA stack and its uses.
Table of Contents
What is the ECA Stack?
The ECA stack is made up of three ingredients – ephedrine, caffeine, and aspirin. On their own, ephedrine and caffeine can have some benefits when it comes to fat loss. However, when you combine the three compounds, they have a synergistic effect that can speed metabolism up by 10%. This will result in greater fat burning effects and results. For instance, ephedrine has been shown to increase heat production in the body (thermogenesis), which causes the release of stored fat. Upon this release, the fat is used as the body’s first source of energy. Meanwhile, caffeine will make the body continually burn fat throughout the day, and it will also increase metabolism. Finally, aspirin works to keep the body’s temperature stable, allowing the ephedrine and caffeine to work longer.
Why is ECA use so widespread?
Interestingly, the ECA stack is very popular because it is relatively inexpensive. For instance, a bottle with 200 tabs of caffeine (dosed either 100mg or 200mg per tab) will only cost around $10 USD. Furthermore, caffeine and aspirin can be purchased at any drug store or grocery store. The only problematic part of the ECA stack is ephedrine, which is a bit more tricky to obtain. In some countries (such as Canada) ephedrine is still legal to purchase at any supplement store. However, in the US you would have to ask the pharmacist for a product like Bronkaid, which is an asthma medication, since it can be purchased without a prescription. The product contains 25 milligrams (mg) Ephedrine Sulfate, but it also contains Guaifenesin which has its own set of side effects.
Uses and Dosages
The ECA stack has two main mechanisms of action that will lead to the ultimate goal of fat loss – increased metabolism and appetite suppression.
A typical dose of ECA is 24mg of ephedrine, 200mg of caffeine, and 80mg of aspirin taken three times per day. This would be the maximum daily dosage recommended. Nevertheless, the best way to run the ECA stack would be to start slow with 3 doses of 8mg ephedrine, 100mg caffeine, and 80mg aspirin per day. From there on, one can slowly increase the dosages until reaching the recommended dose.
Is aspirin really needed in this stack?
Including aspirin in the stack has been widely debated. Some swear by it, and some say that it adds no additional benefits to the stack. The dose of aspirin that would significantly increase the effectiveness of the stack would be around 325mg three times per day. However, such a high dose would put the user at significant risk of such gastrointestinal issues as bleeding. To solve this problem some people suggest supplementing an extra serving of fish oil each day instead of aspirin, since it has been shown to aid in fat loss as well.
In spite of being very effective, the ECA stack comes with many possible side effects. Some of them include increased blood pressure, insomnia, irritability, anxiety, and adrenal fatigue. For these reasons, it is important that this stack is run no longer than six weeks before taking a minimum break of two weeks. Luckily, the side effect of insomnia can be lessened by taking your last dose at least five hours before bed, or eliminating the last dose all together.
Another side effect is potential catabolism. ECA does not distinguish between fat and muscle. Therefore, together with weight loss and increased metabolism, ECA will naturally lead to some muscle loss as well. This would definitely be considered a negative side effect in bodybuilding because a lot of effort is put into gaining additional muscle mass, and nobody wants to lose it that easily.
Alternatives to ECA
A great alternative to the ECA stack would be the combination of Cardarine (GW-501516) and N2Slin. Cardarine is a PPAR modulator that enhances glucose uptake in skeletal muscle tissue and stimulates fatty acid oxidation. Additionally, it will also increase your V02 Max, which will give increased endurance when performing exercises. This will allow the user to perform exercises, such as cardiovascular workouts, for longer periods of time at a higher pace, and with less effort.
N2Slin is a product that is designed for insulin modulation and nutrient partitioning. This product will basically shuttle food into your muscle cells and keep it from being stored as fat. Both of these products are non-stimulants and non-hormonal, so the usual side effects seen with steroids and stimulants will not take place.
The ECA stack is safe if taken at recommended doses and very effective for weight loss. Nevertheless, the user must take into account the side effects and do a risk-reward analysis to determine if this is a proper stack for them.
Want to read about ECA on our forums? check out these threads:
Do you have ECA questions? Register on Evo Forums and Post your question, over 100,000 members ready to help.