Support the Marine Corps Community

OO-RAH Articles

ell, the holidays are over and weíve just finished stuffing ourselves with turkey, ham, yams, pies, cakes and the rest of the lovehandle building entourage. Now itís time to get in shape. Some of the resources people use to get in shape, are supplements. The problem is we donít know which ones to buy. There are so many of them and they claim to do so many things. Some claim to put on muscle. Some to burn fat. Some tone, etc, etc, etc. Then the question arises about safety. Will this supplement be safe for me?

I recently got an e-mail from a parent whose son was taking creatine monohydrate. She was worried about the safety of the product. She made me think about this for a minute and I decided that quite a few people might be having this same concern. This prompted me to do the next couple of articles on supplements. As there are so many, we will concentrate on only a few. Since there may have been a few added pounds due to the holidays, we will start off with a diet and weight loss supplement. The supplement of the day will be EPHEDRINE. You may have heard of ephedrine being called by several different names. Ma Huang or ephedra are among a couple of itís more popular herbal names.

What is ephedrine? Ephedrine is the principal extract from Ma Huang. Ephedrine is a beta-adrenergic agonist, which means it tends to increase the heart rate and overall thermic (heat producing) effect of almost all tissues in the body, including muscle and fat tissue. It was originally used to relieve asthma symptoms, achieving its effect by dilating the bronchioles that supply the lungs with oxygen. Ma Huang supplements work by releasing the neurotransmitter in the brain called noradrenaline, which exerts a stimulating effect. The body dumps adrenalin from the adrenal glands into the blood and the brain releases noradrenaline; this causes the body temperature to rise and promotes the breakdown of fat cells so that fuel can be obtained to fight, run or perform extreme amounts of physical work.

Some studies show that 25 mg of ephedrine or the herbal equivalent can increase the metabolic rate by 10%. When used alone, it appears to be a very good fat burning supplement. Studies, however, show that when combined with caffeine or aspirin or both, the fat burning effects are increased significantly. The daily dosage of ephedrine should be between 25-50 mg per day. This is equivalent to about 335-670 mg of Ma Huang per day. If you are mixing ephedrine with aspirin and caffeine, each dose will include as follows: ephedrine (20 mg), caffeine (200 mg), aspirin (300 mg). When you use this supplement or the supplement stack, use it for only 4-5 weeks, then quit for a week or two. The body easily adjusts to this supplement, so you must take breaks in the cycle.

ATTENTION! Because ephedra/ephedrine tends to increase blood pressure and stimulate cardiac muscle, if you have trouble with your heart, are diabetic, have a thyroid dysfunction, or suffer from high blood pressure, you shouldnít use this supplement. Also, the highly stressed or easily excited should avoid this supplement. Furthermore, never exceed the recommended dosage. Insomnia, anxiety or panic attacks may result from excessive dosages. Another good idea would be not to take this supplement after 6:00pm or 7:00pm, as you might have a hard time sleeping. This is probably one of the best diet supplements you can buy without a prescription.

There are several products on the market that contain all three of the supplements in the stack. You can go to your local health foods store and ask for a list of the supplements with these products in them. Well, good luck on your journey to the health foods store. Once again, stay motivated, stay pumped, Semper Fidelis and OO-RAH!

Semper Fitness Archive

Neither the United States Marine Corps nor any other component of the Department of Defense has approved, endorsed, or authorized this Web site. is now an editorial site to share military stories. If you are looking for informaiton regarding custom t-shirts, please click here.