BY BRIAN FRANK
After receiving several phone calls from concerned customers wanting to know if any of the E-CAPS products contained ephedra or other stimulants, I knew it was time to deal with this issue. Although the phone calls were prompted by recent TV propaganda about ephedra-based "herbal ecstasy" products causing a number of deaths, it did serve as a good reminder for me that many endurance athletes use stimulants such as caffeine regularly and still more are considering it. According to the T.V. and news stories in the New York Times and others, as many as 15 deaths are linked to ephedra use. Most if not all of these deaths have resulted from taking large quantities of "herbal ecstasy" products by people who frequent the after-hours club scene. Nevertheless, the danger should not be ignored by others who might be tempted to use ephedra or other potent stimulants in an attempt to improve athletic performance.
Unfortunately potent stimulants such as ephedra, AKA “mahuang”, and its components ephedrine and pseudoephedrine and synthetic versions. as well as stimulants in the caffeine family, are finding their way into more and more products directed at athletes. What surprises me, even more, is that there seems to be little if any, skepticism of using stimulants by many athletes. In addition, there is little information being offered by industry experts concerning the drawbacks and potential dangers of using stimulants such as ephedra and others to increase athletic performance.
To answer the question for the benefit of all of you who did not call. E-CAPS products do not contain any stimulants, especially ephedra. They never have, and they never will. We are generally opposed to the use of stimulants as a means for improving athletic performance. The next several paragraphs will explain why.
First of all, what is a stimulant? According to Webster's New World Dictionary, a stimulant is defined as "any drug, etc. that temporarily increases the activity of some vital process (in the body) or of some organ". Expanding on that definition, stimulants are foreign substances that, when ingested, cause the body to react by trying to flush it out of your system. To do this, it excites the central nervous system, which in turn accelerates metabolism, respiratory and cardiac function as well as all of the other physiologic functions in the body. You certainly get a perception of increased energy, but in the process, you are also stressing your body (nutrient depletion, tissue breakdown, etc.) to an even greater extent than you would under normal training conditions.
The problem with using stimulants to enhance training is that they do absolutely nothing to improve recovery. I am sure that I don't need to remind you how important recovery is in the training process. I could even argue that it is THE most important factor. It is not difficult to follow a scenario where you train harder and harder using a stimulant to enhance your workouts and for a few weeks, you think things are going great. Then, before you know it you've dug yourself into a hole and you're overtrained, sick, injured, or worse. Using stimulants only on race days is not much better because it is very difficult to train at one level and expect to jump up to another level on race day. It is a bit and misses proposition at best and you still risk illness, injury, or coming up short and hilling the wall before the finish.
Another area of concern when using stimulants in training or racing is their diuretic effects. A diuretic increases fluid loss through increased urination and to a lesser extent increased perspiration in hot weather conditions. You probably know how important proper hydration is to your performance and how difficult it is to avoid dehydration in hot weather. Taking caffeine and other stimulants in hot and/or humid weather may exacerbate the problem of dehydration and electrolyte depletion, both of which can put you in the medical tent with an I.V. in your arm. If you're lucky, a couple of bags of IV solution and a mean headache will be the extent of the repercussions from such an incident.
Then there are the new and existing stimulant-based products being marketed to athletes with names like Buzz Gum, TurboCharge, and RacePace that promise to energize your workouts and propel you to new " highs". These products feature the most powerful stimulants such as ma huang, guarana, caffeine from cola nuts, and several others in the stimulant family. With products like these and their misleading advertisements, it is no wonder that stimulant use is rising instead of decreasing.
Certain people might disagree that the use of powerful, competition-banned, stimulants such as ephedra (ma huang) brings with it a degree of danger for the athlete. But when you combine these types of stimulants, with various factors including the amount used, the level of stress, and the health condition of the athlete, there is a potential for harmful, if not fatal, results.
if you are considering or are already using stimulants to enhance your performance. you need to give much thought to the question of whether the temporary (some would argue negligibly) benefits are worth the extra stress on your body and the potential health problems that can result from stimulant use. I hope you will decide to choose other, safer, and healthier methods to enhance your athletic performance.
A little product called Fully Charged
After hearing the calls for another way to have Fully Charged, we listened and are happy to announce we now have Fully Charged Capsules for easy dosing and to simply the intake process for before & during intense events.
The secret to the powerful results is that Fully Charged supplies are based in the healthy, pure ingredients I chose to use. Instead of resorting to stimulants or sugar, or loading it up with obscene amounts of caffeine, myself and my 2 person R&D team decided to create this custom blend made with healthy, natural options. Beneficial ingredients include taurine, green tea, beet juice powder, and tart cherry extract.
We can talk all day about how great Fully Charged is. So can our customers! Check out three examples of positive feedback from real athletes like yourself below and read all 240+ of them on our product page. Hammer on!
"I bought my first jar of Fully Charged earlier this winter and used it a few times while training (indoor cycling) and I noticed that I was able to hold a higher average heart rate and wattage at a lower perceived effort level. However, what really "sold" me on the effectiveness of Fully Charged was an XC ski race that I participated in recently. I had one serving of Fully Charged about 30 minutes before the start of the race and was able to hold a much higher (than typical, for me) average heart rate throughout the entire 28km race!" -Rick B
It works. It just works. "I've been using Fully Charged for a couple of months now prior to each workout and long run. My endurance has improved noticeably. I'm 56, been running and racing for 5 years, and really thought I had hit a wall limiting how much I was able to improve on my Half and Full times, but with Fully Charged I've had some definite improvements and PRs." -Jeff W
Increased energy and performance. "I highly recommend the new Fully Charged pre-workout. I have experienced increased energy and improved workouts. My son who has used other pre-workouts told me that he likes it much better than the previously used products. It does not make him feel anxious or jittery. He has seen an improvement in energy and performance as well." -V Grammar