In the 1990s, supplements made up of ephedrine, caffeine, and aspirin became popular with people looking to lose weight. These supplements were marketed as a super-drug that would increase energy and help users burn fat more quickly. A variant included the simple EC stack, which left out aspirin for users who may not have been able to tolerate it.
Though ephedra has short term benefits of losing weight but today it is illegal and the ECA is no longer a recommended way to lose weight. However, we want to discuss below to give you an idea of how it was used.
ECA stacks contain a simple one-to-ten ratio of ephedrine to caffeine, along with a negotiable aspirin dosage. The usual formula is 20 mg ephedrine, 200 mg caffeine, and 80 mg aspirin (although this is the equivalent of a baby aspirin, and some stacks contain much more).
It is possible to take the stack in one of two ways: either by personally taking the separate recommended amounts of each component, or by taking a pre-made mixture. Because ephedra is illegal in the US, several website sell the drug to unsuspecting consumers. Please be careful to not purchase drugs online, especially these ones.
Taken in excess, ephedrine can lead to extreme health complications. Even recommended doses were reported to cause gastrointestinal, psychiatric, and autonomic side effects via a RAND study in 2003.
Caffeine may have adverse effects, based on the individual user. In some individuals, too much caffeine can cause jitters or, more seriously, heart arrhythmia. And as previously mentioned, some people may have negative reactions to aspirin.
It is not really possible to substitute easily-available substances for the ECA components. Cold medicines containing psuedoephedra are not effective for the weight loss purpose. Pain relieving medicines other than aspirin will not work as substitutes, as the aspirin component’s main job is to thin the blood. Some of the pre-made tablets use herbs that contain high concentration replacements of the ephedrine and caffeine, and these work just as well as other ECA tablets.
Even though the ECA stack had its heydays in the 1990s, people still consume it today. Please do not consume ephedra or ephedrine substances.