In this article, I will review each of the ingredients in the stack and their effectiveness on their own and when mixed with the other ingredients. I will use the bodybuilding.com message boards as well as my own experience and that of my brother.
This is the main ingredient in the stack for both fat burning and energy enhancing. It is still very effective on its own but it is extra effective when mixed with caffeine. Often referred to as Ma Huang (its Chinese name), ephedra is the herbal equivalent of ephedrine. Pure ephedrine is extracted from the ephedra plant but that's not important. What you want to know is how effective it is. Well, it is extremely effective when used properly. It can speed up the fat burning process extremely effectively and you can expect to get cut a lot quicker than normally. However, there are a few things that you should consider before you rush out and buy some. One thing you must bear in mind is that, along with fat burning, the ephedrine will attempt to burn off your hard earned muscle as well (I lost a whole inch off my legs the first time I used it). I've found that the most effective way of combating this fat loss is to supplement with protein throughout the day - not just once or twice a day as you might usually.
When using ephedra as an energy enhancer, you also have to be careful with the dosage that you use. I have found that if I take a full 20mg dose of ephedrine, my heart rate goes up too much, I feel jittery and I cannot complete an effective weight lifting workout. However, some people (see the bodybuilding.com message boards) find that it gives them just the boost they need to lift heavier weights and grow!
Something you need to consider whether you are using the stack to burn fat or increase energy, is the amount of ephedrine you take. My brother hates this supplement because he gets headaches, feels jittery and he sweats even without doing anything - and that's when he's built up to the minimum dose. He reckons he's just very sensitive to the stuff, but still does not recommend any taking it. I find that if I build up to the minimum fat-burning dose, I can quite easily burn fat and not notice any other side effects except increased concentration and very slight "jitteryness".
Apparently, there was a death from taking an ephedrine supplement, but the woman who died was taking massive amounts of the stuff and not eating.
Because of this, and other things such as the fact that some people have decided to put huge amounts of the stuff in pills and sell them as fake ecstasy tablets, ephedrine is illegal for resale in the UK (class C penalties apply) but it is perfectly legal to posses it. I also understand that it is perfectly legal almost everywhere in the US. In Australia, most supplements are illegal; including this (at least that's as far as I know.)
On its own, you will not notice much from caffeine, but in this stack, along with ephedrine, you have the most effective and cheapest fat burning stack that I, for one, have ever seen.
It's hard to say much else about this ingredient, except that it is perfectly legal everywhere (that I have heard of) and you have to take massive quantities of it before it becomes dangerous.
As far as I can gather, the idea of adding aspirin to the stack is that it thins the blood and so more fat cells can be carried away (I'm no expert). I also understand that it makes next to no difference to the effectiveness of the stack and is more in the mind than anywhere else. Also, there have been doubts raised about the safety of aspirin in the stack. I do not think they will hurt you unless you are taking the stack all year round for years, but why take the extra risk for tiny effects? It's your call.
I don't think you will have a problem with this stack - not as long as you take it sensibly. I also recommend that, if you can, you find a supplement without aspirin or white willow bark because of the dangers which may be associated with them.
Best results from this stack, as a fat burner, are probably achieved by cycling it for 6 weeks at a time and then taking 2 weeks away from it.
To use it for energy enhancing, you only need take it on workout days. There is no need to "load" this supplement, as you would with Creatine and if you decide to stop taking it at any time, you will encounter no health problems.
One thing to bear in mind, however, is that if you do stop taking it, you will have to be extra, extra, extra careful with your dieting and eat less calories because your metabolism will slow down - it may even slow down slower than it was when you started!
Please be careful and, as my bro always says, do your research first! Don't rely on this article and visit the message boards! If in ANY doubt at all, ask a doctor.
I hope this is useful!