A set of his time, legendary and recommended by almost everyone, also used by most. Ephedra and caffeine because of them (sometimes in a package called ECA also enriched with aspirin – acetylsalicylic acid, which, as it was later claimed, was more helpful than harmed, due to its ulcerogenic tendencies). People using the ECA (or EC) set have often discussed on discussion forums (it was not yet an era of discussion groups on social networks) about thrilling effects, incredible thermogenic action, stimulation, motivation etc etc.
Today I would like to treat this subject from the scientific side. It is true that WADA does not necessarily allow the use of ephedrine, but it is often used in amateur environments, and discussions about it still do not disappear from the adepts of figure sports. Well – what does science say about the EC matrix?
The research that I would like to present to you was randomized (that is, participants were randomly assigned to one of the groups), double-blind (neither the researchers nor the subjects knew whether they were taking test substances or placebo) and placebo-controlled (one of the groups was taking the substance, at least hypothetically, intended reactions) while the other placebo – not causing any) – lasted for a long time because 6 months and included 167 obese people (BMI 31.8 + -4.1 kg / m2). The safety and efficacy of using ephedrine alkaloids were assessed (as Ma Huang herb – Ephedra with the content of alkaloids at the level of 90 mg) and caffeine (in the form of cola nuts, which are often presented as a coffee substitute) – 192mg.
The main cut-off points in this clinical trial were changes in blood pressure, myocardial function and changes in body weight.
It was noted that during the experiment period, the group receiving active substances lost significantly more body weight (5.3 + -5kg vs. 2.6 + -3.2kg) and adipose tissue (4.5 + -3.3kg vs. 2.7 -2,8kg +). Significantly higher reduction of LDL cholesterol fraction (-8 + -20mg / dl vs. 0 + -17mg / dl) and HDL fraction increase was also observed (2.7 + -5,7 mg / dl vs. 0.3 + -6 , 7mg / dl). Changes in blood pressure have been found to be insignificant (3 + -5 mm Hg), as did the heart rate (4 + -9 vs. 3 + -9), and the arrhythmia episode did not change. From the subjective reports of respondents, it was noted that people receiving EC significantly more often affected mouth dryness, sleep problems and heartburn. According to the above, the researchers (age publication somewhat from 2002) considered such a protocol to be well tolerated, without significant adverse effects and supporting the loss of unwanted kilograms.
Despite the above-quoted results, remember what I mentioned at the beginning – WADA recognizes ephedrine as a prohibited measure, and other experiences record a lot of unpleasant situations related to its use. Despite the fact that it seems relatively safe – people suffering from cardiovascular disease and those at high cardiac risk must be on guard, and preferably avoid this substance!