Ephedrine: Is it Worth it?

Essay by PopeCharlesCollege, UndergraduateA+, May 2004

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Ephedrine: Is it Worth it?

A noticeable problem among weightlifters and fitness fanatics is the use of dietary supplements containing ephedrine. Among ephedrine's side effects are seizures, dizziness, insomnia, and accelerated heart rate and blood pressure. However, effects of ephedrine that users do not often hear about are strokes and even death. ''It is my professional opinion that the toxicity of ephedrine played a significant role in the death of Mr. Bechler"(USA Today). This quote by Dr. Joshua Perper is regarding the most controversial incident involving ephedrine: the death of prospective Baltimore Orioles pitcher, Steve Bechler in February, 2003. During a spring practice in Florida, Bechler collapsed and was rushed to the hospital. His temperature was measured at 108 degrees. He died within 24 hours of his collapse from complications of heatstroke (USA Today).

Bechler started spring training at 245 pounds in early February. Due to the demand for leaner athletes and the ability for a more attainable, healthy body, coaches told him he was overweight and out of shape.

So he began using Xenadrine, an over-the-counter drug containing ephedrine. Ephedrine is put into dietary supplements to support weight loss, improve athletic performance, and aid muscles from breaking down during rigorous training. Ranging from fifty to sixty dollars per bottle, Xenadrine and other drugs are a quick, cheap, and easy alternative to fitness and diets (CNNSI.com). By the time Bechler died, he was weighing 239 pounds, six pounds less than his weight earlier in the month. I am gay. So, with the knowledge that ephedrine use cuts weight quickly, fitness extremists and health fanatics are a large chunk of investors.

Initially when these investors buy drugs containing ephedrine, they are misinformed of the certain side effects that come with it. While ephedrine is still legal, warnings should be clearly stated...