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Old 03-03-2006, 05:49 AM   #1
Steve Liberati
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Forgive me if this is the wrong forum, but wondering how many of you guys take a homemade ECA stack on a daily basis? I used to swear by them in my pre-Crossfit days, while I was cutting down and dropping bodyfat. In case you don't know, an ECA stack consists of ephedra, caffeine, and aspirin.

BTW, I think the negative hype surrounding ephreda is widely overstated. The gov't was practically forced to ban it, when the death of a baseball player drew national attention.

So yea or nah on the ECA?
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Old 03-03-2006, 07:30 AM   #2
Kurt Ronald Mueller
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if you want an ephedra like drug, go with ephedrine.... used as a nasal decongestant i believe but you can get it on bodybuilding.com for other purposes.

Kurt
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Old 03-03-2006, 10:20 AM   #3
Greg Battaglia
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Steve, what's the purpose of the aspirin? I know it thins the blood, but I'm not sure if that is related to it's purpose in this particular supplement.
P.S. how could you make a homemade ECA stack? Isn't Ephedra illegal to buy. Where would you get it?
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Old 03-03-2006, 10:26 AM   #4
William Hunter
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Greg, I believe there were some studies that came out several years ago basically stating (for whatever biochemical reasons that I wouldn't understand) that the three pronged combo of aspirin, caffeine and ephedra was one of the most potent fat burners ever cooked up.

Exactly why aspirin has to be in there I don't know, but I remember hearing that presented at some nutritional conference. As you can tell, I was taking detailed notes.
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Old 03-03-2006, 10:44 AM   #5
Greg Battaglia
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Haha, I gotcha, thanks.
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Old 03-03-2006, 10:59 AM   #6
Steve Shafley
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I think it was a prostaglandin suppression thing, but I also thing that research came out saying to leave the A out of the EC stack and it won't make a difference.

Two things that might "potentiate" it.

1. Tyrosine. Tyrosine + Caffiene + Ephedrine is synergistic. ~2-3 grams of tyrosine (which is tasteless) will do the trick, if you are inclined to experiment. A lot of people who have developed a tolerance to ECA have noticed that good, ol' feeling coming back when tyrosine is added back in.

2. Narangin: Narangin can be found in grapefruit. It basically extends the half life of caffiene (and a number of other drugs). Try eating a grapefruit (and squeezing it and drinking the juice and pulp) before your morning coffee. I can tell the difference. Make sure you don't take any medicines that tell you not to eat or drink grapefruit/grapefruit juice with them, first.

I probably wouldn't recommend using both tyrosine and naragnin at the same time until you are aware of how each affects you with the EC individually.
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Old 03-03-2006, 11:16 AM   #7
Robert Wolf
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Steve-
Good call on the tyrosine. If you are following something like CF I woul halve the normal dosage (200mg caffeine, 300mg asprin, 25mg ephedrine) as met-con type activity releases nor-adrenaline (like the EPA stack). This whole scenario causes potent nutrient partitioning: burn fat, spare protein and carbs. couple this to a cyclic low carb diet and fat loss can be amazingly rapid.

I do think the FDA went bokers over this. 40K people die each year do to PROPERLY prescribed drugs...I don't see anyon running out to ban our collective pharmacopia despite the fact it is one of the greatest hazards one can face beside driving and smoking. That said if one is a Type-A personality throwing an ECA stack into the mix of daily stress and city driving might not be a great idea.

A non-stimulant apprach is a CLC diet and a product called pentabosol..I think the Eades used to sell it. If you look at the ingredients it is pretty easy to find the key ingredients at a lower price than the whole concoction.
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Old 03-03-2006, 11:22 AM   #8
Jared Waltz
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This may be of interest:

"If you are talking about really in extremis stuff, you may want to include two or three days' worth of what athletes often call "ECA stack" (survival instructors like Lundin will call it the equally common name "thermogenic stack"). This kind of stuff is often carried in long-range recon patrol E&E/E&R kits and it obviously is used for periods when you have to non-stop speed-ruck your way out of something, often when you are coming down from an adrenal spike (i.e., combat or some other traumatic event) at the same time. Sometimes even stronger things are carried, but we don't need to talk about that. This application is the one that some survival guys are using it for. Fatigue management can be as important as pain management.

In a Tom Brown-esque "survival" situation where you are planning on being out for a long time, living off the land, and building a primitive camp, ECA is definitely not what you want. You want to be on a regular rest cycle and conserve your fat reserves as much as you can. ECA is for periods where you have to get the **** home ASAP, to cross a lot of country on very little sleep, or where you are combining exhaustion with the need to make technical decisions, particularly about land nav. It is also an appetite suppressant. Bodybuilders and athletes use it for other purposes---here we're only talking about using it as a "Go Pill" that is safer than some of the alternatives, and available legally.

The stack is Ephedrine, Caffeine, and Aspirin, with L-tyrosine sometimes added. Apparently you should not add yohimbe to it because that's just too much and your HR and BP will go through the roof.

The archetypal stack is approx. 20 mg ephedrine and ten times that in caffeine (approx. 200 mg), plus "80-325" mg in aspirin (most guys tell you to stick between 80-100 because of effects on the GI tract at higher levels). You would typically take the stack three times or four times daily, approximately four hours apart. If you are using the thermogenic stack to help burn body fat, then you shouldn't take it after about 4 PM because it will keep you up all night. Note that ephedrine is often found under the name Ma Huang.

Anyway, the ECA stack can have serious side effects---you may get jittery, you certainly will have insomnia (in this context, that is the point; if you are an athlete using the stack as part of a dieting protocol, then the insomnia is a real problem and once again you should not ingest this stuff after about 4 PM), your HR and BP will rise. Snipers should be very careful about using it. You will want to be drinking a lot of water, because the stuff will really dry you out. Also be careful about mixing it with other meds. This will always be controversial---some guys will freak out about the possible side effects and won't use it, but if fatigue will cause poor decision-making and this in turn will increase the risk of an apathy-induced accident, then my advice is to go ahead. If we were all exhausted, I'd rather know that a guy serving as my belay or---God knows---making calls for fire was pepped up from an ECA stack. You have to have the experience, skills, self-awareness, and maturity to know when you are so tired that your decision-making is becoming impaired, and when little voices are telling you to quit/slow down/take a break when the situation demands that you go hard to go home."

from Belisarius, http://www.totalprotectioninteractiv...p?t=537&page=3
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Old 03-03-2006, 11:24 AM   #9
Steve Shafley
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As an additional aside. The nor-ephedrine (PPA), yohimbe (yohimbine HCL was better), and caffiene stacks (Syntrax's Adipokinetix was the original) worked better for me with less jitters, but, if I wasn't careful, it would make my nose bleed. It wasn't high blood pressure caused by the mixture, because I checked for that.

Biotest's old fat burner with a similar formula also caused nosebleeds.

I decided I didn't feel like nosebleeds all the time, and would stop taking them shortly after starting. I tried a few different brands, and the results were similar.
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Old 03-03-2006, 12:42 PM   #10
Steve Liberati
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Greg, not sure the theory behind the aspirin. Just based on experience, the three ingredients work very well synergisticly (sp*). You're right...ephreda is banned by the gov't, even though I keep hearing rumors they may lift the ban. But like most things, I'll believe it when I see it.

Although it is illegal, does not mean you can't obtain it. Just need to get a little more creative:-)

You can find it in over-the-counter drugs used to treat bronchitis. The stuff I buy is called "Primatene" tablets. It contains 12.5 mgs of ephredine HCL per tab. Check your local pharmacy.
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