The Truth About Ephedra Supplements
Once one of the most controversial supplements in the sports and fitness world, ephedra was once the king of thermogenic formulas. Despite its proven benefits, ephedra was banned in 2004 due to irresponsible usage and unregulated dosages. Although it was still used in the medical community for respiratory issues, ephedra was virtually unheard of in the legal supplement market for years. Until now.
Ephedra is now back in the positive spotlight as one of the most efficient and effective ways to achieve weight loss, enhanced performance, and stage-ready definition. Let’s take a look at what ephedra is and how the king of fat loss products made its triumphant return to the supplement industry.
Ephedra comes from a plant
Ephedra is a plant-based herb that was originally used for curative purposes in Chinese medicine. Due to its stimulant properties, ephedra became a very popular fitness supplement promoting extreme levels of energy, fat reduction, and athletic performance. Ephedra received a tarnished reputation back in 2004 when ephedrine alkaloids were banned by the FDA. This was due to many users ignoring the recommended dosages, exceeding the limit, and experiencing serious side effects. Did ephedra deserve to be banned? Many researchers agree that the benefits of ephedra outweigh the potential negatives. Most importantly, negative side effects were predominantly from irresponsible user behavior and company regulations. As you can see in this study from the International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders, ephedra, when taken responsibly, can be an important tool for ideal body composition and fitness goals.
Ephedra Vs Ephedrine Alkaloids
Although one is the byproduct of the other and they share several similarities, there is a very important distinction between ephedra and ephedrine alkaloids.
This plant-based ingredient is now found on the market as an extract of its most common form: ephedra sinica. Before the ban, one of the primary issues with Ephedra, as you’ll see below, was the lack of regulation and control. Uncontrolled dosages quickly led to many cases of severe side effects. For those supplement brands that did make the effort with a controlled dosage, many consumers were taking far more than the recommended allowance.
Although ephedra was banned in 2004, supplement companies were still allowed to produce and sell ephedra extract by removing the ephedra alkaloids. This complicated process allows them to use the ephedra plant. Supplement companies, eager to bring back one of the most popular supplements in history, agreed to clean up their act by strictly regulating the dosage of the extract.
Commonly referred to as ephedrine, the alkaloids of ephedra are the byproduct of ingestion and assimilation. When ephedra was taking the fitness and sports supplementation world by storm, these alkaloids were very rarely being regulated. Since there was no universal guideline for regulation, some companies were placing up to 75 mg of alkaloids in one serving! While that may not seem like much when compared to other thermogenic formulas, consider that research has shown that the human body can efficiently tolerate 25 mg of ephedrine alkaloids. So just imagine what would happen if you tripled the dosage! Due to the abuse of ephedra and the number of side effects reported, the FDA banned ephedrine alkaloids. As mentioned above, the extract is still widely available.
Just like its extract counterpart, the ephedra alkaloid, ephedrine, has been making a huge comeback. Although the natural alkaloids of ephedrine are still considered a banned substance, synthetic ephedrine is not. Supplement researchers have found a way to create a synthetic version of ephedrine that is extremely efficient, stable, and regulated. The most common and popular form of synthetic ephedrine is ephedrine HCL due to its high bioavailability.
The benefits of the extract and alkaloid are very similar and include the following:
- Increase in metabolic processes including increased body temperature
- Improvement in blood flow and circulation
- Enhancement in cognitive ability including focus and memory
- Suppression of appetite
- Amplified overall fat burning
Is it ok to take ephedra?
If you are over the age of 18 and would like to increase your performance in the gym, support your weight loss, or ensure you have enough energy to push you through the day, then ephedra may be just what you need. It is recommended to go with trusted supplement brands such as you will find Ephedra Warehouse. We thoroughly research each brand that we promote, making sure that each company strives for the highest quality supplements and the strictest level of dosage regulation.
If you believe you may have a respiratory issue and would like to consider ephedra to alleviate your symptoms, please contact your doctor directly.
Although ephedrine HCL may be considered legal in your country and may provide a number of benefits for your fitness goals, there are still organizations and countries that do not condone the use of these supplements. If you plan on pursuing professional sports including bodybuilding, you should be aware that these ephedrine supplements are currently listed as banned substances by both the International Olympic Committee and the World Anti-Doping Agency.
The Return of Ephedra
Although ephedra has had a rocky road from superstar to illegal performance enhancer, proper regulations have allowed for this powerful thermogenic to make its return to the mainstream supplement industry. When you use ephedra responsibly, you may enjoy the benefits of weight loss, performance enhancement, and endless energy. As mentioned above, if you’re not sure where to start to look for a quality ephedra supplement, let us help you! We’ve done the research so you don’t have to. Browse our extensive list of trust-worthy and efficient brands until you find the product that meets your needs.