Is Ephedra a Safe Muscle Building Supplement?

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There has been a great deal of controversy surrounding Ephedra in recent years as a weight loss supplement and a performance enhancer because of the serious side effects.  Ephedra is a medicinal herb used to treat a variety of respiratory illnesses but it’s stimulant properties has seen attempts to ban the use of this drug.

Ephedrine banned by the FDA in 2004

In 2004 the FDA banned the use of ephedrine as a dietary supplement in the United States and it is also illegal to use in professional sports worldwide.  Before the imposition of the ban this substance was widely used by persons in an attempt to lose weight fast due to the ability to suppress appetite and increase energy levels.  This, however, will result in the loss of lean muscle tissue if it is not backed up with physical exercise to preserve muscle tissue.

Combined With Caffeine

The ability of ephedrine to enhance physical performance was discovered when combined with caffeine.  Research has proven that taking ephedrine with caffeine will improve performance and intensity during physical activity, in addition to reducing body fat and preserving lean muscle tissue even if you do not exercise.  It is therefore understandable why some would find taking this supplement with caffeine so appealing but in light of the serious side effects this would not be a wise decision.

Side Effects

For a significant number of ephedrine users side effects range from nausea, dizziness, headaches, psychosis, vomiting and other related harmful effects.  The most worrying aspect to ephedrine has to be in relation to the negative impact on your heart by greatly increasing bloodpressure placing one at risk of heart disease, heart attacks and strokes.  Furthermore, taking it with another stimulant like caffeine increases the risk even more.  To put it plainly, it can be a very dangerous substance to take.

To Be Used Only Under Strict Medical Supervision

Ephedrine does have it’s purpose in treating specific medical illnesses under strict medical supervision but outside of that it would not be wise to take this substance.  Firstly, ephedra-containing dietary supplements are illegal and secondly you never know what adverse reaction you might have when you take it.  Other people might be just fine but it could have a deadly effect for you.  In essence, it’s like playing Russian roulette with your life.

 

 

Author Bio:

Chris Brown is a 25 year old fitness enthusiast who blogs at Gain Build Muscle. (link to http://www.gainbuildmuscle.com/). He also has a presence on twitter. (link to http://twitter.com/GainQuick)

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