Ephedrine belongs to the group of sympathomimetics. Although it is not a hormone compound, we would still like to describe it briefly since it offers the athlete three interesting effects.
First, Ephedrine has clear fat burning characteristics. On the one hand, this occurs since Ephedrine produces heat in the body (thermogenesis). Simplified, Ephedrine slightly increases the body temperature so that the body burns more calories than usual. On the other hand, Ephedrine stimulates the thyroid gland to transform the weaker LT-4 (L-thyroxine) into the stronger LT-3 (liothyronine), thus accelerating the metabolism. The fat burning effect, with the additional intake of both methylzanthine caffeine and aspirin, can almost be doubled. Scientific research has shown that the combination of 25 mg Ephedrine, 200 mg caffeine, and 300 mg aspirin is ideal to produce a synergetic effect. Those who apply this combination three times daily, approximately 30 minutes prior to a meal, will significantly burn fat. Competing bodybuilders have appreciated this for quite some time. Second, Ephedrine has anti catabolic characteristics. Thus it is especially useful for maintaining the muscle system while dieting.
Finally, athletes often use Ephedrine as a "training booster." Since it has a mild amphetamine-like effect on the central nervous system (CNS) it improves the concentration, vigilance, and the interplay of nerves and muscles. For this purpose, 25-50 mg Ephedrine are taken approximately one hour before a workout. The athlete feels an immediate boost in energy which during workout can manifest itself in a 5-10% increase in strength. Again, also in this case, the effect can be improved by taking caffeine and aspirin (s.a.). It is important to note that Ephedrine, administered for this purpose, is not to be taken more than three times a week; otherwise, the body gets accustomed to it and the "boost effect" decreases, and much higher dosages are needed.
Side effects can manifest themselves in the form of more rapid heart beat, insomnia, tremors (light trembling of the fingers), headaches, dizziness, high blood pressure, and lack of appetite. The last characteristic, however, is much appreciated by athletes on a diet. Ephedrine must not be taken when high blood pressure, a severe hyperfunction of the thyroid gland, irregular heart rhythm, or a recent myocardiac infarction are present. In Europe Ephedrine is a prescription drug which is mostly available in combination with other substances. Such a combination compound, for example, is the German drug Perspiran N, which contain an additional 25 mg Ephedrine hydrochioride and 125 mg theophylline per tablet. Theophylline increases the effect of Ephedrine. The Spanish Efedrina Level of Laboratorio Level S.A. Company can be found on the black market. A 50 mg tablet usually costs $10. The tablets are indented, with "EFEDRINA" stamped on the back. Twenty-four tablets are packaged in a small white plastic box with a pull-off label. The substance Ephedrine hydrochioride is not a prescription drug and is freely available while other stimulants and medicines used in sports are either unavailable or available only at high risk on the black market. In special magazines for bodybuilders one can always find adds freely offering Ephedrine. Until the time that this condition changes, Ephedrine is of no importance on the black market.