Ephedrine and its effects in bodybuilding
Earlier in our blog, we already reviewed the popular ephedrine-based fat burner – ECA. You can find out more about this fat burner from this article. In today’s article, we’ll look at the effects of the main ingredient in this mixture, ephedrine. We will also learn more about its effect on the bodybuilder’s body, side effects and contraindications.
What is ephedrine?
Ephedrine is a stimulant, sympathomimetic drug that athletes use in bodybuilding to suppress appetite and many others who want to know how to lose belly fat fast. The substance in question belongs to the group of alkaloids, it is in various types of ephedra plant. Based on ephedrine, special preparations with a stimulating effect are created that can be used to activate fat cells and reduce appetite during intense training.
The structure of this drug is very similar to that of methamphetamines and amphetamines. As noted earlier, chemically, the substance belongs to the class of alkaloids. The substance is in large quantities in plants that belong to the genus Ephedra. To impart special properties to an alkaloid-based drug, ephedrine hydrochloride and ephedrine sulphate are produced.
Many substances can improve the effect of training. At the same time, they not only increase their effectiveness but also improve the athlete’s well-being after exhausting exercises. This drug is one of these substances, which has a number of its own characteristics.
The effects of this drug on the body
When considering any drug, you should convert special attention to how it works on the body. Ephedrine belongs to the class of sympathomimetics, which determines the following features of its effect on the body. It is an alpha and beta-adrenergic agonist (while clenbuterol is a beta-2 selective agonist). In addition, ephedrine increases the endogenous production of endogenous norepinephrine, a potent alpha agonist.
By its type, ephedrine belongs to the class of thermogenetic fat burners. Its effect on the body occurs by increasing the synthesis of adrenaline and norepinephrine. The main effect is the activation of the sympathetic nervous system. Ephedrine itself does not affect the nervous system, since the substance cannot break through the blood-brain barrier due to its nature of origin.
The main effects of ephedrine on the body
The above action of ephedrine in the body leads to catabolic effects. Many sportsmen include this drug when considering their tips on how to lose weight. Here are just the main ones. The first effect that the athlete notices is the stimulation of the nervous system. The athlete may notice this after the first dose of ephedrine. The pre-workout motivation increases and the athlete feels they can do more sets throughout the workout. Also, athletes often increase their working weight in training when using ephedrine. Fatigue after strength training is also reduced. But all these positive effects last for a short time – up to 4-5 hours after taking the drug.
The second effect is a decrease in appetite. Thus, ephedrine has not only fat-burning properties but also suppresses appetite. This is also due to the action of the drug on the central nervous system.
Ephedrine also directly affects lipolysis, that is, the breakdown of fats. This is due to the action of neurotransmitters such as epinephrine and norepinephrine on fat cells. There is also an increase in metabolism, that is, a catabolic effect occurs. By the synergy of these effects, athletes get the knowledge of how to lose weight fast in 2 weeks, for example, before the competitions.
Side effects of ephedrine
Despite such an impressive list of positive effects, like many other substances used in sports nutrition, ephedrine has side effects. Among them: hand tremors, increased sweating, increased heart rate, dizziness, feelings of excitement. As you get used to the drug, or when you reduce the dose, the side effects also decrease. Loss of appetite is also possible, which is necessary for those who are on a strict diet. Ephedrine is a popular ingredient in appetite suppressants. With regular use of ephedrine, the user may notice headaches and increased blood pressure. Those who already suffer from these ailments, as well as thyroid dysfunction, it is better to refrain from taking it.
Ephedrine also has a different effect on different people. A minority feels a long-term burst of energy, even after hard training, while the body can be in an agitated state for more than a day. At the opposite end – people, after taking the drug, feeling the strongest depletion of the nervous system, apathy and fatigue. Most report a temporary surge of energy, usually lasting up to 12 hours, and a little more fatigued than usual after stopping the drug.
The use of this drug in bodybuilding
This drug is also a component of fat-burning sports nutrition. However, it is rather difficult to meet it in its pure form. In bodybuilding, athletes use ephedrine when it is necessary to dry or significantly increase performance during training.
One of the effects is to increase the strength of skeletal muscle contractions. For this reason, ephedrine is commonly used by powerlifters before and during the competition to enhance performance. It is also used in preparation before powerlifting competitions, in the pre-competition period, at a dose of 25-50 mg before training. The athlete feels able to work with more weight, work harder. In any case, the reception should be short-lived so that there is no addiction to the drug. In most cases, athletes use it on a separate training day – for example, on the day of the maximum press.
The most important goal when taking ephedrine is still fat burning. When dieting, some athletes consume it in a dose of 25-50mg. Also widely known is the combination of this drug (25-50mg), caffeine (200mg) and aspirin (300mg). Ephedrine and caffeine act as active fat-burning drugs and aspirin helps to inhibit lipogenesis, blocks the formation of triglycerides from fatty acids. Usually, the athlete feels the effect of an increase in body temperature by 1-2 degrees.