Ephedra supplements are hard to find in stores because of the dangers linked to them, but they are still legal and available to anyone determined to take them.
I see them now and then in gas station markets or 7-11s, usually sold at the counter in colorful little packets labeled something ridiculous like ‘Super Boost’ or ‘Ultimate Energy Pills’. If you’re thinking about taking some of these, just be careful not to over do it, and to avoid other stimulants.
Even ephedra by itself boosts your chances of having heart attacks, especially in people who already have heart trouble or blood pressure issues. The irony is that most people that would want to take ephedra supplements to lose weight are the exact same people who are at the most risk by taking them.
Ephedra supplements used to be a very popular way to promote weight lose in the obese. Like most stimulants, ephedra supplements significantly boost metabolism and lower appetite, so they make an effective and tempting alternative to diet and exercise.
Because of the risks associated with it, ephedra supplements have waned in popularity as diet pills. They’ve been replaced by a host of other ‘natural’ and ‘herbal’ supplements that are every bit as dangerous but just haven’t gotten a bad reputation yet.
Don’t be fooled by the term ‘natural’ or ‘herbal’; these two words are by no means synonymous with ‘healthy’ or ‘safe’. After all, ephedra comes from a 100 percent natural herb, and so do hemlock and nicotine.
Most of the ephedra supplement overdose cases I hear about these days have been in college aged kids taking ‘herbal ecstasy’ concoctions. Herbal ecstasy is basically a combination of epehdra, caffeine, and pseudephedrine, all of which together act synergistically to really put your heart into overdrive.
For many the result is just a lot of sweating and teeth clenching as they go dancing from club to club, but every now and then the cocktail proves too much and causes heart failure.
Ephedra supplements are definitely a risky and unhealthy way to lose weight. While not an especially dangerous drug in itself, mixed with caffeine or other stimulants ephedra can become a serious risk to your health.
Every year there are some reported cases of people who unknowingly overdosed by taking some kind of ephedra supplement and then going on to have coffee, Sudafed, or some combination of other stimulants that put them over the top.