Is ephedrine legal in the US?
Fat loss sucks. Especially if you don’t have the right tools. Enter legal ephedrine.
The original trucker speed and weight loss miracle of the 90’s, ephedrine is a central nervous system stimulant initially developed to treat asthmatics. At some point, some savvy gym bros and lazy land whales realized this poor man’s meth can cause some serious sweating too.
Years ago, every fat burner and energy pill on the market contained legal ephedrine. Why? It simply worked.
Unfortunately, people realized you could synthesize the active ingredient to make methamphetamine. Naturally, the feds came down hard and virtually “banned” the use of the supplement in the United States.
Many people confuse ephedrine’s lack of visibility on the store shelves with its legal status. For the longest time, I thought this too.
In 2004 the FDA did ban ephedrine alkaloids for all uses outside of allergies, colds, and asthma. Furthermore, many professional sports organizations banned the supplement for its performance-enhancing effects.
Pro tip: When major sports leagues ban substances, it means they work.
But, not all fat burners and performance enhancers are created equal.
Why fat loss pills don’t work
After the FDA ban, major weight loss supplement manufacturers started coming up with variations of the ingredient to continue pushing product.
Being shredded is awesome. But the process of getting there without help is not nearly as much fun.
Marketers and supplement manufacturers know this. And take advantage of this fat-loss fact by pushing ephedra-free fat burners. In hopes, consumers don’t recognize the difference.
For some, these supplements do show some results. But for most, they’re no more potent than a cup of coffee taken in pill form.
Whether you’re trying to shed those last few pounds or just getting started, you’ll likely be tempted to still turn to over-the-counter thermogenics, or fat burners.
Here’s a literal word of advice. Don’t.
Most storebought fat loss aids are pure shit. All the good stuff has already been taken out of them.
Sure, there are some serious other fat burners you can get your hands on. However, unless you’re a seasoned bodybuilder and know exactly what you’re doing, I wouldn’t recommend messing with anything like clenbuterol or DNP.
These products are indeed the real deal with some real potential consequences. As a valued reader, I definitely don’t want you to die.
For the average Joe or weekend warrior looking to tighten up for spring or sport a year-round six-pack, ephedrine is what you’re looking for.
Want real, tried-and-true, fat loss? Stick to the real deal.
First, let’s make sure ephedrine is right for you.
Who should take ephedrine?
People who are serious about training and nutrition. And I do mean serious.
Don’t think you can slam sugary shit, sit on the sofa all day long and still achieve Abercrombie model-level leanness by simply popping a pill.
I used to be one of those lazyasses looking for a shortcut.
At the age of 17, I managed to lose 100 pounds in 9 months with some supplemental assistance. However, I still lacked the knowledge of how to eat, sleep and train. And consequently spent years battling the regain of the fat I had just lost.
It wasn’t until I started taking training seriously that I revisited this powerful pill. After additional experimentation, it now serves as a staple in my fat loss toolkit. And again, ephedrine is legal.
I cannot stress the following point enough. Only use ephedrine to supplement a regimen that’s already on point.
That’s why they’re called supplements in the first place.
Is ephedrine right for me?
Disclaimer: Ephedrine is a stimulant and can have negative side effects. I recommend you have a decent degree of health and level of fitness prior to using.
To determine if you’re a suitable candidate for legal ephedrine, ask yourself the following questions:
- Is your diet already solid?
- Have you achieved maximum fat loss the right way and plateaued?
- Are you acutely aware of how your body feels and functions?
- Are you free of any heart health issues, including high blood pressure?
- Are you over the age of 18?
This is a drug and needs to be treated as such. If you’ve answered yes to all of the above, keep reading.
This is where things get fun.
Where to buy legal ephedrine in the US
Back in the day, you could get ephedrine at just about any supplement shop, grocery store or truck stop. During my 100-pound weight loss journey, I used the original recipe Ripped Fuel (20mg ephedrine/200mg caffeine). Which I purchased from GNC.
Yes, they even sold it to a minor! Although at that time I was a good 100 pounds overweight. So they probably figured I’d eventually have a heart attack either way.
Once the nationwide “ban” went into effect, I, like others, assumed you could only get ephedra from the depths of the dark web. Or a makeshift Mexican pharmacy.
It wasn’t until I did some research on my own that I discovered I could still buy it at any friendly neighborhood drug store.
That’s right! CVS, Walgreens, Wal-Mart, wherever.
How to buy legal ephedrine in the US
Since you’ll never see it advertised or openly discussed, you’ll want to call around first to see if your pharmacy has it.
What is it?
A product that sticks to its original use of treating asthmatics. Adderall’s less attractive sister. An anti-congestant that goes by the name of Bronkaid.
Prices vary from $5 to $15 depending on the quantity. I normally grab the 60 tablet box from CVS for around $15.
You’ll need to show your ID to verify age make sure you’re not some muscled-up meth mule. As long as you don’t try to buy more than one box every month or so, you shouldn’t raise any red flags.
The whole ordeal will take less than 5 minutes and set you back less than $20.
What ingredients are in Bronkaid?
A single Bronkaid tablet contains 25mg ephedrine sulfate (the stimulant you’re looking for) and 400mg guaifenesin (an expectorant that thins mucus). One tab is one dose.
Since I’ve suffered seasonal allergies since I was a kid and springtime is when I’m dialing into single-digit body fat, the product actually works damn well for its intended purpose too. Also, the pharmacist has never batted an eye when I walk in asking for a decongestant with snot running down my face.
I do recommend you have plenty of water on hand. Not only does ephedrine dehydrate you, as does any amphetamine. But, the guaifenesin will dry up your mucous membranes too. So, it’s safe to say your mouth might get a bit sticky.
How to use legal ephedrine for Fat Loss
So you’ve scored some pharmaceutical fat burners in the form of legal ephedrine that doubles as a precursor to meth.
There’s no doubt that the shit works. That’s why it was banned in the first place.
Looking to get cut but don’t know how? Here you are with a box of Bronkaid and those last few pounds clinging on for dear life.
First, I’d like to commend you for being smart and actually some research before throwing new drugs into your body.
I’ll also reiterate that I am not a medical expert when it comes to the use of this or any other fat loss supplement. The article merely showcases my experience with ephedrine.
Any use or misuse of any medication is on you pal.
Since you’re a responsible reader, I assume you’re only going to use this for the purpose of fat loss once you’ve already achieved all you can on your own. I also expect you to be acutely aware of your body and state of health.
I’m sure you get the point. So let’s dive into dosing.
Recommended ephedrine dosing
There are many ways you can run it, but I stick to the standard ECA (ephedrine, caffeine, aspirin) or EC-only stack. This is what the old school bodybuilders ran and what many modern gym bros still swear by.
My life philosophy is to keep things simple, do what works, and cut the bullshit. This is no different when it comes to my supplements.
For a true ECA stack, I combine a single Bronkaid tablet with a cup of strong coffee, or 200mg caffeine equivalent if you prefer caffeine tablets. I also throw in an 81mg tab of baby aspirin with my first dose to thin out the blood a bit.
- 9am – 25mg ephedrine (1 Bronkaid tablet), 81mg Aspirin (1 tablet of baby Aspirin), 1 cup of strong coffee (or 200mg tablet of caffeine)
- 12pm – 25mg ephedrine (1 Bronkaid tablet), 1 cup of strong coffee (or 200mg tablet of caffeine)
- 3pm – 25mg ephedrine (1 Bronkaid tablet), 1 cup of strong coffee (or 200mg tablet of caffeine)
This schedule works extremely well for me. Especially on a one-meal-a-day (OMAD) fast. I like to lift after work, so usually, I still have some of the hyperfocus effect leftover from my last dose of the day.
I also don’t mind the slight rise in body temperature and extra perspiration during my workouts as I kick on the ephedrine-fueled fat loss afterburners.
Worried about ephedrine peaks and crashes? Try slowly sipping your black coffee in between doses (about every 3 hours or so) rather than slamming it back all at once.
Of course, feel free to experiment with what works best for you, your schedule, and your goals. Then adjust again and again. Until you get it just right.
Ephedrine and aspirin
There is some debate as to whether the aspirin is needed or not. Proponents say the effect is stronger with aspirin. Opponents say it messes up your stomach and doesn’t really do anything.
Although I’m not prone to high blood pressure, I don’t mind mitigating any potential risks. Plus, I tend to lean towards the camp of ephedrine users who swear that adding aspirin adds to its potency.
When it comes to fat loss, I’ve seen results both ways. If you’re not sure, give it a try with and without. Be sure to listen to your body and do what works and feels best.
As previously mentioned, I find a single dose of 81mg baby Aspirin with my first 25mg dose of ephedrine to work best. But that’s me.
Ephedrine and sleep
If stimulants amp you up, I’d also recommend not taking the last dose too late in the afternoon. Otherwise, sleeping may become a problem.
Since I usually fast during the day, the stimulatory effect of ephedrine combined with the hyperfocus experienced with intermittent fasting (IF) leaves me with a slight Adderall-type feeling.
Stimulates usually make me feel a bit drowsy anyways. So sleeplessness is almost never an issue. In fact, the only time problems do occur is when I’m trying to fall asleep as the drug is wearing off.
For many, this legal stimulant might keep you wide awake at night. So for starters, it’s best to take your last dose (along with caffeine) no later than 3pm. Until you figure out how ephedrine affects your sleep.
Taking ephedrine for the first time
As with any new supplement, I don’t recommend going balls to the wall until you have an idea of how you react. Even after running numerous cycles, I’ll still stick to a single dose for the first few days.
First timer? Start slow. Otherwise, you’ll probably end up finger tapping like Marty McFly. Until you get the hang of it.
And no worries, eventually you will get used to it.
Once I’m aware of the effects and have gotten used to them, I’ll up the dose to twice a day.
Again, feel it out.
Only when you’re ready, should you try taking it up to three times daily max.
I’ve never taken more than three a day since I’m not one to completely tax my central nervous system continuously.
Many agree that anything over three 25mg doses of ephedrine daily might actually start to deliver diminishing returns. Which you definitely don’t want.
Taking ephedrine while fasting
I’ve played around with meal timing my last few cuts and prefer to take the stack fasted. Plus, the primary purpose of ECA is for increased fat loss.
I’m already kicking my metabolism into overdrive with fasting. I might as well ensure I’m burning maximum fat while I’m at it.
Since I am taking a stimulant, I want to make it count instead of merely offsetting the calories I consume during the day. Although fasting, I do include a scoop of BCAAs and glutamine prior to my cardio-only session to prevent catabolism.
Feel free to eat if you’re not ready to try ephedrine while fasting. If you do take it fed, your blood pressure will likely already be elevated from the subsequent insulin spike. So you may want to consider upping the Aspirin.
Ephedrine and cardio
Since my weight routines are already intense, heart-pounding endeavors that are taxing on my central nervous system, I’ll only stack ECA on cardio-only days.
At this point in your fat loss journey, you really shouldn’t be focusing on creating more muscle. Since you’re on ephedrine for fat loss, you should also be in a caloric deficit.
First time doing cardio on ephedrine?
Do some light cardio and see how you react. You’ll be surprised at how quickly your heart races the first few times. In fact, I still find my heart rate hits the target zone with little to no effort.
As you start nearing low body fat percentages, you want to preserve as much lean muscle mass as possible. Pick one goal and stick with it.
Now, that’s not to say I haven’t lifted while taking ephedrine. But, I find I’m much weaker, my chest pounds uncomfortably hard and my mind-muscle connection is non-existent from the drowsy effect.
For this reason, I don’t mind skipping the weights for a few days to speed the fat loss along.
Once I do pick up the weights, I’m never disappointed at the increased definition and vascularity. Plus, some extra recovery for your muscles never hurts when you’re blasting your system with stimulants.
How long and often to take ephedrine
Under no circumstance would I recommend prolonged use of an ECA stack.
There are different philosophies here as to how frequent and how long you should dose. Some advocate one week on, one week off. Others for up to 3-4 weeks continued use. Some even go every other day, 2 days on 2 days off, etc.
Since I only stack ECA on cardio days, I’ve tried all sorts of variations.
At the moment I’m finishing a 10-day stretch of no weights, low-intensity cardio only with three doses a day.
I routinely use all of the dosing protocols depending on my goals. Again, try it out and stick with what works for you.
Regardless of which regimen you use, you’ll notice one common factor. You must come off eventually.
Like any drug, you will become dependent and it will start to lose its effect. Plus, you don’t want to risk over-stressing your system and burning lean muscle mass. The skinny-fat look isn’t flattering on anyone’s physique.
When to stop taking ephedrine
I’m not going to lie. During the first few days, the effects are awesome. Akin to some very weak cocaine, it’s a feeling I never want to end.
After a while, I get tired of elevated cortisol (stress hormone) combined with calorie and carb restriction. I also lift primarily to calm my anxiety and release my aggression. Adding a stimulant into the mix certainly doesn’t help there.
When I start ephedrine, I’m usually already in the tail end of a slow and steady cut. At this point in the diet, muscle building is no longer the focus.
Plus, I love both weightlifting and eating. So I usually can’t wait to drop the ephedrine to pick up the fork and the weights.
Eventually, I’ll start to go nuts not being able to bang out those balls-to-the-wall, full-body blasts. It sucks, but will be worth it in the end.
When I’m on my final descent to Shredtown, I’ll usually go 3 days weights (no ECA) and 3 days cardio only. Until I finally stick the low body fat percentage landing.
As a rule of thumb, stop once you hit your target goal. Or, if you simply can’t stand it.
Is legal ephedrine right for you?
By no means is this guide all-inclusive or present a fail-proof plan. Like any routine, you’ll need to tweak it according to how you react.
Feel like a sack of shit or not seeing any results? Drop the ephedrine completely. That’s ok.
Maybe it’s not the fat loss aid for you.
Not all supplements, training regimens, meal timing, and macro partitioning are going to have the same effect on the same people
Getting to the goal is a process. You will likely go through quite a bit of trial and error until you dial in what works for you.
Hopefully, this guide outlining my experience buying and using legal ephedrine for fat loss will help you set off on the right foot.