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Thermodynamic Analysis of the ECA Stack
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More options Jun 14 1996, 3:00 am
Newsgroups: misc.fitness.weights, sci.med.nutrition
From: k...@pollux.usc.edu (Kenneth J. Hendrickson)
Date: 1996/06/14
Subject: Thermodynamic Analysis of the ECA Stack

Curiosity got the better of me, and I started to do some back of the
envelope scratching to find out how effective ECA is.  Thermo is not my
strong suit, so I'm posting here asking for help from the MEs and P-Chem
folks.

ECA raises my temp from about 97F to 99F, or from about 309K to 310K.

I seem to remember that the energy in any harmonic oscillator is
proportional (via the Boltzmann constant, k=1.380*10^-16 erg/K) to
absolute temperature.  I also seem to remember that the energy
radiated from a black body is proportional to absolute temperature
to the fourth power.

Calories are units of energy.

I want to do a thermodynamic analysis of how much extra fat is being
burned due to the ECA stack.

Assumption 1:   My energy requirements are 2000 Cal/day.
Assumption 2:   My temperature remains constant.
Assumption 3:   My environment remains constant, and unchanged.

Model 1:        I'm like a harmonic oscillator, and the extra energy
required to raise my temperature comes from burning
extra fat.  This extra energy is directly proportional
to the increase in my absolute temperature.

My new energy requirements are 2000 * (310/309) = 2006

Model 2:        I'm like a black body, and the extra energy I radiate
comes from burning extra fat.  This extra energy is
proportional to the increase in my absolute temperature
raised to the 4th power.

My new energy requirements are 2000 * (310/309)^4 = 2026

At 3500 Cal per pound of fat, the ECA causes me to burn only an extra
0.012 #/week or 0.052 #/week.  This seems a very small amount.

Have I totally misunderstood the thermodynamics involved, or is ECA
really this ineffective?  What of the studies that show increased fat
loss in those supplementing their diet with the ECA stack?  Can the
extra fat loss be thermodynamically explained, or are other factors such
as appetite suppression and/or placebo effect responsible?

Followups are directed to misc.fitness.weights

--
http://www-scf.usc.edu/~khendric/   k...@seas.smu.edu, k...@pollux.usc.edu
PGP Key Fingerprint    02 6A 4F DE DD 77 A1 8B   21 D9 81 EB ED C8 3A DC
We are upping our standards ... so up yours.     Ken Hendrickson N8DGN/5

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More options Jun 15 1996, 3:00 am
Newsgroups: misc.fitness.weights, sci.med.nutrition
From: tl...@nyx10.cs.du.edu (the tree by the river)
Date: 1996/06/15
Subject: Re: Thermodynamic Analysis of the ECA Stack

In article <4pr3sp\$...@pollux.usc.edu> k...@pollux.usc.edu (Kenneth J. Hendrickson) writes:

>Curiosity got the better of me, and I started to do some back of the
>envelope scratching to find out how effective ECA is.  Thermo is not my
>strong suit, so I'm posting here asking for help from the MEs and P-Chem
>folks.

>ECA raises my temp from about 97F to 99F, or from about 309K to 310K.

I always wondered about how much the ECA stack was supposed to raise
one's body temperature--when I take it my temperature tends to go
from, say, 96.7 all the way up to 96.7.  (I don't take it often and
I don't ever consume caffeine otherwise, but as long as I only use
it occasionally, it does seem to make my workouts go better even if
it doesn't have any effect on body temperature.)  (It also works
great at keeping me from having a sore throat after a long bike
ride.)

>I seem to remember that the energy in any harmonic oscillator is
>proportional (via the Boltzmann constant, k=1.380*10^-16 erg/K) to
>absolute temperature.  I also seem to remember that the energy
>radiated from a black body is proportional to absolute temperature
>to the fourth power.

Yup; however, neither of these are particularly relevant to the
situation you describe.

>Calories are units of energy.

>I want to do a thermodynamic analysis of how much extra fat is being
>burned due to the ECA stack.

>Assumption 1:       My energy requirements are 2000 Cal/day.
>Assumption 2:       My temperature remains constant.
>Assumption 3:       My environment remains constant, and unchanged.

>Model 1:    I'm like a harmonic oscillator, and the extra energy
>            required to raise my temperature comes from burning
>            extra fat.  This extra energy is directly proportional
>            to the increase in my absolute temperature.

>            My new energy requirements are 2000 * (310/309) = 2006

This model is really only considering the energy cost of raising your
temperature from one value to another, not maintaining it; a better
way of calculating this effect would be to figure out how many
kilocalories (food calories) are required to raise the temperature of
an equal mass of water by the same amount (and, for these purposes, it
is reasonable to approximate a human body as a similarly sized quantity
of water).  So, if you weighed 70Kg and your temperature were to rise
by 1 degree celsius, that alone would consume 70 kilocal--ignoring, of
course, any effects that the ECA stack might have on the processes that
remove heat from your body (does ECA affect sweating, for example, during
the time your temperature is increasing?).

>Model 2:    I'm like a black body, and the extra energy I radiate
>            comes from burning extra fat.  This extra energy is
>            proportional to the increase in my absolute temperature
>            raised to the 4th power.

>            My new energy requirements are 2000 * (310/309)^4 = 2026

Again, this is likely to be a negligible factor unless you happen to
be floating in vacuum.  Black-body radiation is normally a remarkably
tiny portion of cooling unless 1) you happen to be in vacuum (which
could pose some health problems of its own) or 2) you're astoundingly
hot (ditto).  This is the reason that heat disposal can be very
difficult in space.

>Have I totally misunderstood the thermodynamics involved, or is ECA
>really this ineffective?  What of the studies that show increased fat
>loss in those supplementing their diet with the ECA stack?  Can the
>extra fat loss be thermodynamically explained, or are other factors such
>as appetite suppression and/or placebo effect responsible?

Well, you've neglected the main mechanisms of cooling (conduction,
convection, and evaporation (sweating)), all of which are many orders
of magnitude more significant than radiation; conduction (and, to
some extent, convection, but that's really quite a bit more complex)
is proportional to the temperature difference between you and your
surroundings, so going from 97 to 99 with an ambient temperature of
70 is about a 7.4% increase, and you don't have to worry about
absolute temperatures unless your room happens to be at absolute
zero (I should, once again, caution that this can have health
risks of its own).

My guess is that the extra calories burned at higher body temperatures
result primarily from 1) the increased reaction rate experienced by the
various chemical processes in your body at the higher temperature,
2) the energy cost of sweating (which does take some energy to do), and
3) the higher activity levels (which may just include fidgeting)
generally exhibited by people under the influence of stimulants.

As far as actual weight lost, more than anything, this may result from
1) the appetite-suppressing effects of ephedrine and caffeine and
2) the diuretic effects of ephedrine and caffeine (which is just water
weight).  Your milage may vary, of course, but I think it likely that
these two effects contribute more to weight loss than the increased
energy expenditure.
--
Trygve Lode | 6529 Lakeside Circle, Littleton CO  80125 | (303) 470-1011
Want a copy of the soc.singles FAQ?   Send mail to tl...@nyx10.cs.du.edu
"Always remember:  day follows day, but night precedes night, and your
hands are just microscopes for pencils to look through." -- Bill Knott

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More options Jun 17 1996, 3:00 am
Newsgroups: misc.fitness.weights, sci.med.nutrition
Followup-To: misc.fitness.weights, sci.med.nutrition
From: by...@news.epix.net ()
Date: 1996/06/17
Subject: Re: Thermodynamic Analysis of the ECA Stack

Kenneth J. Hendrickson (k...@pollux.usc.edu) wrote:
: Curiosity got the better of me, and I started to do some back of the
: envelope scratching to find out how effective ECA is.  Thermo is not my
: strong suit, so I'm posting here asking for help from the MEs and P-Chem
: folks.

: ECA raises my temp from about 97F to 99F, or from about 309K to 310K.

: I seem to remember that the energy in any harmonic oscillator is
: proportional (via the Boltzmann constant, k=1.380*10^-16 erg/K) to
: absolute temperature.  I also seem to remember that the energy
: radiated from a black body is proportional to absolute temperature
: to the fourth power.

: Calories are units of energy.

: I want to do a thermodynamic analysis of how much extra fat is being
: burned due to the ECA stack.

: Assumption 1: My energy requirements are 2000 Cal/day.
: Assumption 2: My temperature remains constant.
: Assumption 3: My environment remains constant, and unchanged.

: Model 1:      I'm like a harmonic oscillator, and the extra energy
:               required to raise my temperature comes from burning
:               extra fat.  This extra energy is directly proportional
:               to the increase in my absolute temperature.

:               My new energy requirements are 2000 * (310/309) = 2006

: Model 2:      I'm like a black body, and the extra energy I radiate
:               comes from burning extra fat.  This extra energy is
:               proportional to the increase in my absolute temperature
:               raised to the 4th power.

:               My new energy requirements are 2000 * (310/309)^4 = 2026

: At 3500 Cal per pound of fat, the ECA causes me to burn only an extra
: 0.012 #/week or 0.052 #/week.  This seems a very small amount.

: Have I totally misunderstood the thermodynamics involved, or is ECA
: really this ineffective?  What of the studies that show increased fat
: loss in those supplementing their diet with the ECA stack?  Can the
: extra fat loss be thermodynamically explained, or are other factors such
: as appetite suppression and/or placebo effect responsible?

: Followups are directed to misc.fitness.weights

: --
: http://www-scf.usc.edu/~khendric/   k...@seas.smu.edu, k...@pollux.usc.edu
: PGP Key Fingerprint    02 6A 4F DE DD 77 A1 8B   21 D9 81 EB ED C8 3A DC
: We are upping our standards ... so up yours.     Ken Hendrickson N8DGN/5

To post a message you must first join this group.
You do not have the permission required to post.
More options Jun 17 1996, 3:00 am
Newsgroups: misc.fitness.weights
From: wiley...@expert.cc.purdue.edu (Timothy Housel)
Date: 1996/06/17
Subject: Re: Thermodynamic Analysis of the ECA Stack

by...@news.epix.net wrote:

: Kenneth J. Hendrickson (k...@pollux.usc.edu) wrote:
: : Curiosity got the better of me, and I started to do some back of the
: : envelope scratching to find out how effective ECA is.  Thermo is not my
: : strong suit, so I'm posting here asking for help from the MEs and P-Chem
: : folks.

: : ECA raises my temp from about 97F to 99F, or from about 309K to 310K.

<other stuff deleted>
It seems (and I'm certainly no expert) that a stimulant would not mainly affect
body temperature - that is if I do amphetamines or something then the increase
in energy my not evidence it self best throught body temp. changes. I think
that this is at least one flaw in your "experiment." An interesting idea, though
--
Tim Housel
wiley...@expert.cc.purdue.edu

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More options Jun 20 1996, 3:00 am
Newsgroups: misc.fitness.weights, sci.med.nutrition
From: l...@fphcare.mhs.compuserve.com (William Lau)
Date: 1996/06/20
Subject: Re: Thermodynamic Analysis of the ECA Stack

In article <4q4ije\$...@star.epix.net>, by...@news.epix.net () says:

>Kenneth J. Hendrickson (k...@pollux.usc.edu) wrote:
>: Curiosity got the better of me, and I started to do some back of the
>: envelope scratching to find out how effective ECA is.  Thermo is not my
>: strong suit, so I'm posting here asking for help from the MEs and P-Chem
>: folks.

>: ECA raises my temp from about 97F to 99F, or from about 309K to 310K.

<snip>

<snip>

Kenneth,

from a Mech Engineering point of view the increase in heat loss is
proportional to the increase in difference between a higher body temp
and AMBIENT TEMP. Not absolute zero.

Other effects such as thermal resistance between you and the air
(eg. clothes, wind temp, humidity) and evaporative cooling (sweat) will
effect the heat loss too.

I have a feeling there are many other biological factor that come in to it,
but I'm no expert.

Cheers

Will.

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More options Jun 20 1996, 3:00 am
Newsgroups: misc.fitness.weights
From: ga...@mda.ca (Garry Holmen)
Date: 1996/06/20
Subject: Re: Thermodynamic Analysis of the ECA Stack

Timothy Housel (wiley...@expert.cc.purdue.edu) wrote:

: It seems (and I'm certainly no expert) that a stimulant would not mainly affect
: body temperature - that is if I do amphetamines or something then the increase
: in energy my not evidence it self best throught body temp. changes. I think
: that this is at least one flaw in your "experiment." An interesting idea, though

The ECA stack does have some thermometric properties since ephedrine does
stimulate some of the brown adipose tissue.

Of course if you do want the low down on the ECA stack check out the
training and nutrition home page where Paul Moses has done a good
job in setting up links to an article by Jeffery Krabbe. It's a must see.

Garry

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More options Jun 21 1996, 3:00 am
Newsgroups: misc.fitness.weights
From: Charles Herbert Crookston <ch...@orion.sfsu.edu>
Date: 1996/06/21
Subject: Re: Thermodynamic Analysis of the ECA Stack

ga...@mda.ca (Garry Holmen) wrote:
>... check out the
>training and nutrition home page where Paul Moses has done a good
>job in setting up links to an article by Jeffery Krabbe. It's a must see.

>Garry

Thanks Garry for the tip. This has got to be one of best, if not the best,
web pages I have encountered for bodybuilding: Everything one wanted to
know but were afraid to,ask on m.f.w. :-)

I second your recommendation for everyone to CHECK-IT-OUT!