T Nation

ECA Stack, Without The E

I’ve never really done much in the way of pre-workout stimulants other than Power Drive but I was recently reading through the T-Mag archives and found an old article on ECA, it looked sorta interesting and since in speedskating it helps to be real amped before a race or time trial, I figured I’d see if theres anything I can learn. So earlier this morning I had a time trial, beforehand I decided to experiment a little: I had a double shot of espresso and one regular strength Aspirin. I didn’t want to go overboard on the Aspirin and since I don’t have any ephedra available or money to buy ephedra, I went without it. Basically, during the TT, I skated a personal record and beat my previous mark by over a second (not too easy to do).

Heres my question for those who have experimented with this “stack” before: if you’re not really looking for fat burning, does the ephedra really matter that much? Does it increase the “high” you get from the stack or does it just add the fat-burning aspect?

Ephedra would stimulate you even more, but in a kinda jittery way. Coffee is fine, since during speedskating you definitely don’t wanna feel jittery. I doubt the aspirin does much, other than giving you a stomach ulcer, since I believe it’s mostly the ephedra it interacts with.

Studies have found that large doses of caffeine (600mg) do help performance, which is why many athletic committes ban such high amounts. Just experiment with varying doses (although I wouldn’t go higher than 600mg, and even that’s a shitload) and see how you do. Just don’t do it too often, or your body gets used to it. Use caffeine pills (200mg): they’re cheap and easier to take than 6 cups of coffee (unless you’re trying to throw up, that is).


i use to use the good 'ole ephedrine (Mini-thins) and caffiene (Vivarin) stack back in the day, and i know it jacked me up. however, i don’t know how much the ephedrine did compared to the caffeine. i know there’s a ton of literature that proves that caffiene has ergogenic benefits, but honestly i don’t think aspirin helps much. the only problem is-caffiene is a banned susbstance in certain organizations, and ephedrine is pretty much illegal now.

First, aspirin does NOTHING as far as fat loss but can cause stomach ulcers if used excessively. Second, caffeine is a known enhancer of attention and performance. Ephedrine amplifies this affect. In other words, leave the aspirin out of it, use caffeine if it suits you and understand that ephedrine has a stimulatory effect that athletes used up until it was banned from most sports.

The main reason I included the aspirin instead of doing just caffeine is because in the article (it was either by Chris Shugart or Brock Strasser) they sorta hinted that the aspirin delays the “buzz” for longer than if you just took caffeine or caffeine with ephedrine. Since I had an hour and a half-long practice after my TT, I figured I’d add the aspirin so I wouldn’t crash 20 minutes into practice.