ECA stack is a combination of drugs usually used as a stimulant for weight loss. ECA stands for ephedrine, caffeine, and aspirin. In the 1990s it was popular to find dietary supplements that included ECA and some supplements were even based on it, but presently the marketing of any ephedrine or ephedra stimulant for bodybuilding or weight loss is considered illegal and restricted in many countries around the world. The reason for this is that these supplements have been associated with strokes, heart attacks, and even death.
When it was legally marketed in supplement form, eca stacks usually claimed to induce fat loss and improve the performance of athletes by increasing their energy. ECA stack originated from the studies that showed that ephedrine and caffeine combined proved to be effective to help moderate weight loss while avoiding serious side effects. Although ECA stack has also been marketed to increase performance during athletics, studies have shown that it does not display a positive effect in regards to athletic performance.
Because of the large amount of deaths linked to taking ECA, several countries have created regulations to control any products that contain ECA. In the US it is against the law to sell products that contain ephedrine as a dietary supplement. Ephedra is also banned because it is a botanical source for ephedrine and has also been linked to a number of serious health problems. Ephedrine as a drug is not illegal in the US but it must be properly prescribed in order to take it. The exact quantity requirements vary depending on the state you are in. In Canada, the health administration issued a recall of all products that held more than 8 mg of ephedrine per dose. At the moment all Ephedrine supplements are considered to be illegal in the EU, although it was very popular in Denmark until it was discontinued in 2002.
The biggest risk of taking ECA is that ephedrines can serious affect the heart. It is especially dangerous to people who suffer any heart problems, heart diseases, or valve damage. Even if people do not have heart problems they may still be vulnerable to strokes, heart attacks, and death. Young adults who were previously completely healthy have been linked to these symptoms after taking ECA. Although there have been many cases reported, all reports were related to uncontrolled use by individual users. When the drug has been properly prescribed, no heart risks have been reported.