Ephedrine Fat Burners and Ephedrine-Free Products

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ephedrine fat burners
There has been much in the media in recent years about the dangers associated with ephedrine products, which have been banned by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Since the IOC ban on ephedrine substances, many ephedrine-free alternatives have been created and used by athletes to mimic the effect of the herbal supplement.

Ephedrine Fat Burners - Ephedra Usage and Side-Effects

Fat burners or thermogenic products usually consist mainly of the Chinese herb ma huang, which is more commonly known as ephedrine or ephedra. However, as ephedra is recognised to be an addictive substance it is not recommended unless under a doctor's supervision. The main usage of ephedrine fat burners is to help promote weight loss, although small amounts are typically found within over the counter cold remedies, where the ingredient is listed as 'pseudo-ephedrine.' There are few benefits to taking fat burners, thermogenics or other diet pills containing ephedrine, but plenty of unpleasant and even potentially fatal side-effects.

In Sports Supplements, Bean (2007) highlights that supplements containing ephedrine have significant health risks, including the following:
  • Increased/irregular heartbeat
  • Rise in blood pressure
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Nausea
  • Irritability
  • Dizziness
  • Feeling 'hyper'
There have also been cases recorded where high doses of ephedra or ephedrine based supplements have eventually caused heart attack, stroke and even death. The reason why diet pills containing ephedrine are potentially so dangerous, is due to the way they produce a 'speed-like' effect. Rather than risking one's life taking ephedrine-based products, there are two main alternatives; use ephedrine-free herbal supplements or simply exercise more and eat a healthy diet.

Ephedrine-Free Fat Burners

Alternatives to ephedrine-based fat burners, include weight loss supplements which contain the ingredients citrus aurantium, green tea extract or Coleus forskohlii extract. However, there are still side-effects attached to using citrus aurantium or bitter orange extract, such as increased blood pressure. As identified by Bean (2007), citrus aurantium is identified to reduce appetite, increase metabolic rate and promote fat burning, while green tea extract may increase calorie expenditure and promote weight loss.

In contrast to green tea extract and citrus aurantium, there are currently no published research trials to show that Coleus forskohlii is effective in terms of helping people to lose weight. Aside from drinking copious amounts of green tea each day, there is insufficient evidence that the amounts of extracts used in other diet pills or supplements are genuinely helpful in terms of maintaining weight loss.

As highlighted above, despite the potentially horrendous, even fatal, consequences associated with taking ephedra or ephedrine fat burners, athletes may use such supplements to help increase work-out intensity, as well as lose weight. Alternatives to ephedrine fat-burners or ephedra diet pills, include green tea extract and citrus aurantium. However, the best way to lose weight healthily is to increase exercise levels and eat a nutritious yet low-calorie diet.

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