Issue #30 of the Fat Bustin' eZine featured the article "Ephedrine Vindicated" (in which I introduced the the brand new study indicating ephedrine was both safe and effective when taken as directed). This article spurred a flood of e-mails from my newsletter readers...
What ephedrine-based product do I try? How much ephedrine do I, or should I take? When do I take it? How long do I take it?, and so on.
In this article, I'll answer a few of those questions. Of course, you should never take ephedrine or an ephedrine/mahuang based product (like Trimspa, Hydroxycut, Stacker 2, Xenadrine RFA-1), if you don't have a complete bill of health from your doctor. Always double check the label warnings, and don't take ephedrine if you experience ANY of the contraindicated symptoms.
i) How much ephedrine do I take?
If you're asking this question, I'm assuming you have never experimented with ephedrine before. In this case I HIGHLY recommend you start supplementing with the lowest possible dose your selected product provides (8-12 mg in most cases). To begin with, take it once and at the very most, twice a day.
A full dose of ephedrine (24 mg) packs a rather hearty kick. It can be especially eye-opening if you've never used it before (plus, most products combine ephedrine with caffeine, which dramatically increases its fat burning potential, but also its stimulating effects on the central nervous system).
Taking a low dose allows you to access your tolerance to this product (the body acclimatizes to ephedrine quickly -- its effects aren't nearly as noticeable over time), without jeopardizing your health (should you be one of the few who reacts unfavorably to this effective fat burner).
*Special Note* Some brands don't print the exact ephedrine content on the label. Instead they might put down something like this...
300mg Ma Huang standardized to 8% active ingredient.
The active ingredient in Ma Huang is ephedrine, and to determine the exact ephedrine content, simply multiply 300 by 0.08.
300 X 0.08 = 24
Therefore, one serving of this product delivers 24 mg of ephedrine. To determine the amount of ephedrine in each capsule, divide the total amount of ephedrine in a serving by the number of capsules in a single dose. So if your product delivers a single dose in 3 capsules...
24/3 = 8
Each capsule contains 8 mg of ephedrine. So you'd start by taking 1/3 of the recommended dose.
After you start to get used to ephedrine, you may wish to slowly start "upping" the dose. Although the study recently published in the International Journal of Obesity was done with subjects taking 90 mg per day, I'd be hesitant to recommend such a high dose without proper medical supervision. People over 200 lb. may be able to tolerate 3 24-mg doses daily, but for most of us, 48 mg daily divided into 2-3 servings will be enough to generate positive results.
*Comment* Initially, you may find it very difficult to sit still while on ephedrine. Personally, I like to take it prior to activity, so I know I'll be able to work off all that nervous energy. You to may wish to experiment initially with a low dose prior to activity - even a brisk 20 minute walk is fine.
ii) When do I take ephedrine?
Ephedrine is well known for its appetite-suppressing qualities, and for that reason, it is best to take it 20-30 minutes before a meal. I recommend that until you are familiar with its effects, you do not take it after 2 p.m...
Unless, of course, you like counting sheep!
iii) How long do I take ephedrine?
Personally, I recommend taking it 5 days out of 7 for no more than 6 weeks (some manufacturers recommend 12 week cycles). Your body "acclimatizes" to ephedrine rather quickly, so in order for it to remain effective you really should take 2-4 weeks off every 6 weeks or so.
Occasionally, I'll use an ephedrine based product and an ephedrine free product together at the same time (I'm currently taking Prolab's ThermaPro 1X daily in the morning (not recommended for "first timers", it delivers 24 mg ephedrine per capsule), and Xenadrine's EFX (ephedrine free) 1-2X daily, in divided doses later in the afternoon. This helps keep the jitters down when I've got to be strapped to the computer all day.
OK, the bottom line here is very simple...
Start at the lowest dosage, and use common sense. Don't take if you have ANY contraindicated symptoms. Read all the label directions thoroughly, and never take more than is recommended. All you really need to do is be fully aware of what you are taking. Ephedrine must be treated with respect. Do that, and you will be pleased with your results.
iv) What product do I try?
For beginners, I recommend a product that delivers a full dose in 3 - 4 capsules, so you can experiment with the smallest possible dose to start.
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