It has become common practice to cycle most beta-agonist weight loss supplements to ensure that your receptors are not desensitized to the effects of these drugs over time. This prevents you from building up a tolerance to these stimulants which can limit their effectiveness with continue use. Caffeine is one fat burner that is known to perform best when cycled and so most bodybuilders and other users have taken to cycling their ECA Stack dosages over a ten week period. Interestingly, you do not actually have to use an ECA Stack cycle since your body does not develop a tolerance to ephedrine but most people choose to do so anyways as part of their weight cutting regimen.
Beta agonists like ephedrine work by activating the beta receptors on the surface of cells throughout the body. Ephedrine is considered a sympathomimetic amine specifically because it can stimulate beta receptors just as epinephrine (adrenaline) does in times of high stress. These receptors can become desensitized if they are continuously activated. The receptors actually recede back into the cell walls so they can no longer be reached by stimulating chemicals like ephedrine. Once they are desensitized, they become harder to activate and are not able to produce the metabolism-boosting benefits that are necessary to lose weight.
But this desensitization is actually a very short-term response and within minutes the receptors regain their original sensitivity level. A 1997 study from the Journal of Biological Chemistry found that across several different stimulants, ephedrine is the least effective at causing these receptors to being desensitized. The beta2-adrenergic receptors can appear to be resensitized within 20 minutes of use after pulsing large doses of ephedrine. What exactly does this mean? Many athletes and bodybuilders suggest you take ephedrine for a few weeks and then go off it for a few weeks to let your receptors “reset”. However, this study shows that several weeks of downtime really are not necessary; your receptors will reset within as little as 20 minutes after taking this alkaloid!
However, most people do not actually take pure ephedrine HCL by itself. This fat blasting compound is very frequently combined with caffeine in an EC Stack or with caffeine and aspirin in an ECA Stack. Together, these supplements are known to be twice as effective through their complementary actions on the central nervous system. And even though ephedrine does not need to be cycled, the benefits of caffeine do start to subside after a few weeks at the same dose level.
Caffeine is known to cause “non-competitive antagonism” which means that continuous use causes your receptors to become less sensitive to the presence of this compound in your blood stream. The only way to turn back these effects is by abstaining from caffeine for a short period of time to allow your receptors to revert to their normal sensitivity level.
So if you are taking an ECA Stack or EC Stack, you have two choices: 1) you can cycle all of the components in your stack or 2) you can opt to just cycle the caffeine and keep using ephedrine on its own during the rest period. Which of these you choose is a matter of personal preference as well as your own experiences. For the best results, it is advised to check with a doctor or qualified medical professional to determine if you are healthy enough to use these supplements and to design the right dosage schedule for you. But below is a standard diet plan that many people use to cycle their ephedrine:
ECA Stack Cycle Schedule
First Week: Take 8 mg ephedrine HCL with 100 mg caffeine and 325 mg Aspirin (optional) two to three times per day
Second & Third Weeks: Take 16 mg ephedrine HCL with 200 mg caffeine and 325 mg Aspirin (optional) two to three times per day
Fourth through Ninth Weeks: Take 25 mg ephedrine HCL with 200 mg caffeine and 325 mg Aspirin (optional) two to three times per day
Tenth through Thirteenth Weeks: Take no supplements at all OR take 24 mg of ephedrine HCL two to three times per day with no caffeine.
Why are these amounts recommended? You will notice that the dose of ephedrine increases intermittently over the first four weeks of use. This practice has been clinically proven to greatly reduce the presence of negative side effects when taking this powerful supplement with caffeine. As your body builds up a tolerance to the neurological effects of the ECA Stack, you can start to safely take a larger amount up to a maximum of 24 mg. While there are studies that show that the ECA Stack can be used safely with 30 mg of ephedrine HCL, most experts recommend 25 mg as a more reliable level. The ratio between ephedrine and caffeine is also one that has been subjected to a great amount of study and it was found that a 1:8 dosage proportion gives the best results. This is a fairly typical dosing schedule that you should feel confident using in your own weight loss endeavors.
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