Whether looking to lose weight to look your best during the summer months or trying to cut for your next bodybuilding competition, burning fat can be difficult. Many athletes have turned to fat burners to help them get rid of those last few pounds or say goodbye to that stubborn layer of fat covering the results of all their hard work.
Fat burners often contain caffeine, green tea extract, and other vitamins and ingredients that stimulate your metabolism and help you lose weight faster. One of the most potent fat-burning ingredients is ephedra, a commonly misunderstood compound. We are here to explain what ephedra is and how this ingredient can help you lose weight.
What is Ephedra?
Ephedra, otherwise known as Ma Huang, is a plant native to Asia that has been used in China and India for many years to treat colds, fevers, headaches, and more. The stem of the ephedra plant contains ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, phenylpropanolamine (norephedrine), and cathine (norpseudoephedrine).
Throughout the 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s, researchers conducted substantial research and studies on ephedra use for weight loss. The results of the weight loss studies were impressive and showed a moderate impact on weight loss. While there was little evidence in any single trial of serious health implications, potential safety concerns led to a ban on ephedra for dietary use in 2004 by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Today, fat burners that use ephedra extract do not include the ephedrine alkaloids that were found to be the major contributor to these side effects and are thus legal and carry a lesser risk of side effects.
How Does Ephedra Work?
In a 2004 study by the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, researchers found that a combination of ephedra and caffeine increased the resting metabolic rate of participants, which led to greater weight loss over six months than in the placebo group.
Other studies have pointed to ephedra’s ability as a beta-antagonist to stimulate thermogenesis, which is the body’s process of converting fat into energy. Ephedra is often used and researched in conjunction with caffeine because they work synergistically together and lead to greater weight loss when combined than either ingredient can accomplish alone.
Side Effects of Ephedra
Like any supplement, there is a chance for side effects that users should be aware of. In early ephedra research, the most common side effects recorded were nausea, vomiting, heart palpitations, headaches, and psychiatric episodes. According to one study, the likelihood of experiencing these side effects was approximately 2-3 times greater for those who took the ephedra and caffeine treatment than those in the placebo group.
However, because ephedrine, the most potent alkaloid in ephedra, is no longer included as an ingredient in fat burners, the risk of side effects is significantly reduced. Now, side effects are more common in those who abuse ephedra products or take more than the recommended daily amount.
To reduce the likelihood of experiencing any adverse reactions, adhere to all directions on the bottle. You may wish to start with the smallest recommended daily amount to see how your body reacts.
Be sure to research the ingredients in any supplement before adding them to your routine, ensuring that you are not allergic and avoiding interactions with your existing medications or supplements. If you have any questions, consult a healthcare professional.
Fat Burners with Ephedra
Because of the effectiveness of ephedra in burning fat, particularly when used in conjunction with caffeine, it is a prominent ingredient in some of the leading fat burners on the market.
Our mission at Black Diamond Supplements is to make it as simple and cost-effective as possible to find supplements that help you meet your health and fitness goals. Our catalog includes fat burners that contain ephedra extract. Some of our favorite fat-burning products are Lipodrene with Ephedra by Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals, HellFire EPH 150 by Innovative Labs, and Yellow Bullet Xtreme by Hard Rock Supplements. Each of these products uses high-quality ingredients from a trusted supplement manufacturer and has 4.5 stars or more out of dozens of customer reviews.
Because these products contain ephedra and caffeine, they are meant for athletes looking to achieve noticeable weight loss. If you are interested in adding a fat burner to your supplement routine to help achieve your fitness goals, reach out to our team of experts or browse our list of fat burner supplements with ephedra (EPH) to learn which product is best for you.