chapter  4
Ephedra for fun, performance and losing weight
WithCas Barendregt, Brigitte Boon
Pages 12

Substances that contain ephedra are known to aid weight loss and enhance athletic performance. ‘Losing weight’ and ‘dancing’ were the most frequently reported reasons, but these are also the two reasons that differed significantly between men and women. The reasons for using ephedra reflect the stimulant characteristics of the substance, and the same applies to its perceived effects. The information that emerged from these interviews provided some insight into the general features of the ephedra market and the impact of the ban on ephedra use. This information was used to develop an online questionnaire. In the free-text boxes and during the face-to-face interviews the study participants reported that between the announcement of the ban and the actual start of the ban they stocked up on ephedra. To consider this further, it is necessary to make a distinction between use of ephedra for pleasure and for weight-loss purposes.