Yohimbine HCL Review and Dosing Instructions

Yohimbine HCL and Stubborn Fat

I believe most of the so-called “fat burner” supplements being sold right now are completely worthless.  Yohimbine HCL is one of the few exceptions, but it only helps if the proper dosage and timing are implemented.

This supplement has been around for a while, and I remember using  herbal version of it back in the 90’s (Yohimbe).  Years later I realized I wasn’t even taking it the correct way.

Let me clarify something before I go any further:  I believe Yohimbine HCL is only of value once you’ve already become fairly lean and just need help with some of those last “stubborn” fat deposits. One of the best studies, for example, was done on professional soccer players–a group we’d expect to have relatively low body fat levels.1

How does this supplement work?  Stubborn fat areas (usually “love handles” and the lower abdomen for men; hips and thighs for women) have a much higher number of alpha-2-receptor sites when compared with “non-stubborn” areas.  The sites essentially cause the fat cells to be more resistant to releasing their stores.  Yohimbine is an alpha-2-receptor antagonist, meaning it temporarily disables these receptor sites and makes it easier to oxidize/mobilize the triglycerides  within these cells.

Circulation is another issue that comes into play with stubborn fat areas.  Antagonism of alpha-2-receptors likely increases blood flow to these cells.

To summarize, this supplement can temporarily cause “stubborn” fat cells to act like less problematic areas.  But this affect only lasts for about 30 minutes, so timing is important.

Dosage

The proper dosage for yohimbine hcl is .2mg/kg (example: 20mg for a 220lb person (0.09 mg/lb of body weight).  This requires taking several capsules since it is only available in 2.5 mg tablets (I once asked Primaforce why their capsules were only 2.5 mg and they told me it was the highest dosage per capsule allowed by law).

You could take it with caffeine, which has it’s own lipolytic (fat-burning) properties.  I usually just take it with a cup of coffee.

I would not recommend yohimbe (the herbal form).  Herbal forms are just less reliable and you won’t get the desired precision in dosing.  I would also not recommend topical solutions–I sincerely doubt these are effective.

More on Timing:

Yohimbine’s effects kick in about an hour after you take it, so you’d want to use this to your advantage in terms of timing it with your training.

Here’s something else to keep in mind: insulin competes for the same before-mentioned receptor sites.  It is necessary, therefore, to take Yohimbine in a state where blood sugar is low–otherwise you are wasting the dose.  You could take it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach (a fasted state is the best option), several hours after your last meal, or while practicing lowcarb/ketogenic dieting.2

Another option would be to take it at the start of a weight training session (assuming you are not taking in some kind of glucose or amino acids while you train–either one would likely cause enough insulin release to interfere with Yohimbine).  You could take it this way then follow up your lifting with some steady state cardio (to burn the fat you have oxidized).

I usually take this supplement before fasted training, then I wait an hour or so after training to eat.  The idea is to allow the mobilized fatty acids to be used instead of being redistributed back to the fat cells.  Check out the the book I recommend at the end of this article to learn the most effective way to train for targeting stubborn fat.

Yohimbine and Ephedrine

I would not recommend taking yohimbine hcl at the same time you take the eca stack The eca stack stimulates beta-receptor sites, while  yohimbine suppresses alpha-2-receptor sites.  The problem is your heart also has both of these types of receptor sites, so taking supplements at the same time could negatively affect your heart rate and blood pressure. This is the main reason I don’t recommend using supplements that contain both ephedra and yohimbe.

For those wanting to use both in the same day I’d recommend waiting four hours after using yohimbine before taking your first dose of the eca stack.

More recommendations:

You may want to try half the before-mentioned dosage first to see how well you tolerate this supplement.

I’ve been asked about water retention when using this supplement.  It seems many users experience this, which may temporarily masks the fat loss.  Just keep in mind the water retention is temporary and should go away within a few stays of discontinuing the supplement.

Here’s a final reminder: fat loss only happens when there is a negative calorie balance.  Using this supplement is a waste of time unless you are implementing a well-designed diet and exercise program–otherwise the mobilized fatty acids will simply be re-deposited (possibly right back into the problem areas).

StubbornFatSolutionReviewI’d highly recommend you check out Lyle McDonald’s Stubborn Fat Solution if you want a more thorough explanation of what I’ve written about here.  His book goes into a lot more detail and includes an exercise protocol to “attack” stubborn fat.

You can by Yohimbine HCl 90ct (Primaforce) by clicking here.

 

References:

1. Res Sports Med. 2006 Oct-Dec;14(4):289-99. Yohimbine: the effects on body composition and exercise performance in soccer players.

2. Med Hypotheses. 2002 Jun;58(6):491-5. Pre-exercise administration of yohimbine may enhance the efficacy of exercise training as a fat loss strategy by boosting lipolysis.

 

ECA Stack: Ephedrine, Caffeine and Aspirin

This is an updated form of an article I first wrote years ago.  I think you’ll find it informative, but please keep this in mind: I am not a doctor, pharmacist or medical expert.  I am not qualified to give medical advice in any shape or form.  The ECA stack is a potent stimulant that can be dangerous if abused, taken by someone who cannot tolerate it, or taken under the wrong circumstances.   

Background

The first time I ever heard about the ECA stack was back in my college years–the early 90’s.  A new bodybuilding magazine called MuscleMedia 2000 came out.  The writers (and the people they interviewed) actually discussed steroids in a straightforward and honest way.  I had never seen that before and found it quite refreshing–someone was finally talking about the proverbial elephant in the living room.

One article mentioned a “dirt cheap” fat burner called the the ECA stack.  I went out to a GNC and asked to buy ephedrine tablets.  The lady behind the counter explained I could buy those at any nearby gas station (imagine that–buying “supplements” at your local convenience store).   I bought everything I needed within a few quick trips around town.  I tried it and I was immediately impressed.  It gave me a nice energy boost and, more importantly, annihilated my appetite.

This was around 1993, and most of the over-the-counter “fat burners” from health food stores were fairly worthless (just like today).  But it didn’t take long for the supplement companies to jump on the bandwagon.  Most of the major supplement brands produced some kind of supplement with ephedra (also called ma huang, the herbal form of ephedrine).  But I always preferred the “home made” version because it seemed to be more potent and reliable.

Then there were a few highly publicized heat stroke deaths that were related to the use of these before-mentioned ephedra supplements.  The FDA banned all of them, even though the research didn’t really back up their actions (caffeine and ephedrine seem to be well tolerated when used properly).1

The 90’s ban didn’t affect ephedrine pills that I had always used for the stack.  But other legal issues have come into play more recently (more on that a little later).

Let me give you a few simple facts about how this supplement works.

The way ECA works:

Ephedrine and caffeine are both central nervous system stimulants.  Combining the two has a synergistic effect.  In other words, the two chemicals work together to produce a greater effect than either one would by itself.2   The results are:

*A decrease in appetite.

*The sparing of muscle tissue.

*Thermogenesis (the creation of heat, which burns additional calories).

The Dosage for the ECA Stack:

The dosage for the stack is 200 mg of caffeine+20 mg of ephedrine. Most ephedrine tablets are 25 mg, so that’s what I’ve always used.

Aspirin is supposed to weaken the body’s natural resistance to the stimulant effects.  But I’ve never noticed much difference with or without aspirin, and people I’ve interacted with on forums say the same thing.  Most of the research done with aspirin was with extremely obese subjects and probably doesn’t apply to those with less fat to lose.  My advice would be to leave it out or to use “baby aspirin” if you insist on taking it (three full-dose aspirins a day are likely to cause gastrointestinal problems).

One other helpful ingredient I should mention is L-Tyrosine.  Adding somewhere between 1-3 grams with each dose may help enhance the appetite suppression of the stack (especially if taken in a fasted state).

This dosage is taken 2-3 times a day (3x max).   The dosages are spread out over 4-6 hours.  I would not advise taking it too late (after 3-4 p.m.) as this is likely to give you insomnia.

Where You Can Get/Buy the Components:

It’s all their fault.

As I mentioned, ephedrine used to be very easy to get. But it has gotten more expensive and more difficult to obtain–long gone are the days of grabbing a bottle or two a local convenience store.  A few years back you could buy them online, but I’m not sure if that is possible now.

The cost of ephedrine has skyrocketed worldwide (I’m guessing it has something to do with the meth epidemic, since ephedrine or pseudoephedrine is a key ingredient).  Here in the USA it seems each state has its own laws: some have no restrictions while buying/selling is completely banned in others (also related to the meth problem).

Anyway, here are the current options I’m aware of:

*You may want to look for Ephedrine HCL tablets at your local drug store. Primatene is one of the brand names I hear.

*Another option is Bronkaid.  Bronkaid is Ephedrine Sulfate (not HCL), but most people seem to get comparable results from it.

Your local laws will determine whether or not you can buy either of these (or any other brand).

One word of caution: I’ve noticed that some of the old brands I used to buy have completely removed ephedrine from their formulas while keeping the brand name.  The new formula is usually just caffeine with some “proprietary blend.”  Read the labels carefully before you buy something online–some companies are using what I consider deceptive marketing practices.

Other Ingredients:

Needless, to say, generic caffeine tablets and aspirin are available anywhere (kind of ironic, considering how much more dangerous aspirin is).

More Information

Will I get lean and ripped just from taking this supplement?

Of course not!  Most of this drug’s effectiveness comes from the fact that it destroys your appetite.  It does help you metabolically, but this is not a “magic bullet.”  If you eat more calories than you use, you won’t lose weight.  All fat loss is ultimately based on a negative calorie balance.

Dangers of the Stack:

Once again I need to remind you of something:  I’m not a doctor, pharmacist or medical profession.  Please talk to your doctor before trying any kind of stimulant.

Needless to say, those with heart problems, thyroid problems, high blood pressure, or those who are pregnant definitely need to stay away from the ECA stack unless your doctor tells you otherwise.  There may be other medical conditions which make it unsafe–I’m just naming a few that come to mind.

I would also advice you not to take the EC stack if you are outside all the time during summer months or in hot environments.  Remember–this is a thermogenic supplement.  I believe the deaths in the 90’s were caused by people taking it and overheating without realizing it.  I would not advise you to take any form of ephedra if you are doing some kind of summer training camp, for example.

Recovering addicts should stay away from the stack as it will reactivate their addiction.

If you want to try this I’d recommend you start off with a half dose (100 mg of caffeine and 10 mg of ephedrine) to see how well you tolerate it.  Individual tolerance to stimulants varies greatly from person to person, so be careful.

Caution:

Do NOT take ephedrine or ephedra and yohimbine at the same time.  Do not take any supplement that contains both products.  The problem is ephedra/ephedrine works by stimulating beta-receptor sites, and yohimbine works by suppressing alpha-receptor sites.  Your heart has both types of receptor sites, so taking both compounds at the same time could be very dangerous (increasing blood pressure, etc).   This is one reason I can’t recommend any of the ephedra diet pills I see online–most of them add yohimbine into the mix.

Yohimbine is effective, but you have to know how and when to take it (see: Yohimbine HCL).

IMPORTANT REMINDER/RECOMMENDATION:

No fat loss supplement will “work” unless your diet and exercise plan is in order.  Here are a few guides I can recommend if you want to lose fat.

The 3 Week Diet would be good for those who want to do a “crash diet”: those who want to drop weight as quickly as possible.

I think women should consider the Venus Factor program if they are looking for a complete body transformation system.

Men who want to lose fat should probably consider the Adonis Golden Ratio program

 

References:

1. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 1993 Feb;17 Suppl 1:S69-72. Safety and efficacy of long-term treatment with ephedrine, caffeine and an ephedrine/caffeine mixture.

2. Metabolism. 1991 Mar;40(3):323-9. Thermogenic synergism between ephedrine and caffeine in healthy volunteers: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study.

Fat Loss Tips

I’ll follow up my muscle building tips post with a few fat loss tips.  I’ll tackled the two major factors–diet and exercise.

1. Diet

Remember that at least 90% of your fat loss results are a direct result of how well you have complied with your diet.  While training methods do matter, the diet is going to be the most important factor in whether or not you lose fat.

*A good diet keeps you in a negative calorie balance for most of the time, meaning you are burning more calories than you are consuming.

*Most will find that manipulating your carbohydrate intake leads to much better results.  I’m referring to low carb approaches, etc.

*Intermittent fasting is a simple and effective way to achieve a negative calorie balance.

*It’s good to have a cheat day/meal in order to give yourself a break and boost your metabolism.

2. Exercise

Exercise serves the purpose of burning some extra calories and (in the case

of resistance training) preserving (or building) lean muscle mass.

*Traditional steady-state cardio (like walking or riding a stationary bike at the same speed) has

the advantage of being relatively easy to do.  It can be done by those who are unable to train intensely (or done by those who are fatigued from resistance training).

*Resistance training (weight lifting) has the advantage of preserving or building lean muscle mass.  Any decent fat loss program should have a resistance training component.  Body weight training also falls in this category for those who don’t have access to weights.

*High intensity interval training (HIIT) has several advantages, such as burning a high number calories in a relatively short amount of time.  It also seems to have some hormonal advantages, such as temporarily blunting appetite.

I’d recommend you read Renegade Diet Review if you’d like to invest in a high quality fat loss diet.