To gain more skeletal muscle mass and boost testosterone too, you want to try the best epicatechin supplement. Epicatechin is a natural compound found in different foods such as dark chocolate and are natural myostatin inhibitors.
Epicatechin has numerous benefits for the body, and it’s understandable that you’d want some of those, but you can’t just binge on chocolate everyday hoping that you’re getting enough of the compound. That’s why we did the leg work for you and reviewed some of the best supplements containing it.
Best Epicatechin Supplements Comparison Table
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The Link Between Chocolate and Epicatechin
Epicatechin is naturally present in some foods. Chocolate or cacao is one of the most popular sources of this amazing compound.
Chocolate, dark chocolate in particular, is rich in flavonoids. It is a great natural source of flavonoids, especially of the subtype flavonols.
The term cocoa flavanol and cocoa flavonoids are usually used interchangeably with cocoa extract. It is a rich natural source of epicatechin. It is a richer source of this active compound than any other dietary source such as green tea.
What Can Epicatechin Do for You?
Epicatechin has many uses in the body. Among them are:
- Promotes more NO (nitric oxide) production in the body. NO improves blood flow by widening the blood vessels.
- Cocoa extract has immense benefits in the body. It affects numerous organs and improves their functioning.
- It improves cellular responses to certain signaling compounds for enhanced functioning.
- It can enhance the body’s natural testosterone production.
The Science of Epicatechin: Proven Uses
Numerous studies have been made to determine and prove the benefits of epicatechin.
The effect on skeletal muscle growth is one of the main reasons for the massive interest for epicatechin in recent years. One study was able to determine that epicatechin from dark chocolates inhibits myostatin. Low levels of myostatin protein are desirable because it leads to increased ability to build skeletal muscle mass. This means building more lean muscle size without any nasty side effects.
If you want to know how to lower myostatin blocker, just remember that there is an important compound in the muscle-building process called follistatin. It regulates myostatin-signaling pathways, leading to lower action of myostatin inhibition that results in more muscle fiber building.
In short, if you want to grow muscles, you have to control myostatin and enhance follistatin.
Another study found that dark chocolate can decrease appetite. This effect is due to the actions of epicatechin and procyanidins.
In this study, daily intake of beverages containing non-alkalized cocoa mixture reduced the intake of food. This study used pizza eating as evaluation parameter.
If you want to have less appetite for fattening foods like pizza, drink non-alkalized cocoa.
One study explored the effect of epicatechin on testosterone levels. In vitro and in vivo experiments were done on Leydig cells (cells responsible for producing testosterone).
Results found that catechins were able to increase the amount of testosterone in the blood of the study subjects (in this case, mice). Low-dose catechins were also found to increase the levels of GnRH stimulated LH.
In short, daily low doses of catechins (such as epicatechins) stimulate the pituitary gland to produce hormones LH and GnRH. These hormones are necessary signals that will push the Leydig cells to produce more testosterone.
Cocoa extracts that contain epicatechin can help in promoting better blood flow and in improving the cells sensitivity to insulin.
When the body absorbs epicatechin or (-) epicatechin, the cells becomes more responsive to the presence of insulin. That means more glucose gets to enter the cells. More glucose inside the cells means more energy for various processes.
That effect alone opens up a huge range of better functions in the body. For example, more glucose in the Leydig cells will give them more energy to produce more testosterone. In the muscles, more glucose means more energy that enhances performance and muscle building.
Epicatechin in dark cocoa also affects blood flow. It enhances the production of nitric oxide. This compound widens the blood vessels, allowing greater blood flow to the tissues.
In the same sense, more blood flow to the tissues and cells mean more nutrients to power cellular function. In the Leydig cells, better nutrition means more testosterone can be produced.
In the muscle tissues, better blood flow means better blood pressure and more nutrients to the muscles which helps the ability to build more lean muscle and helps control high blood pressure. This can also result in better performance during training, with enhanced performance and faster recovery.
A Quick Look at the Best on the Market
Here are some of the best on the market right now.
This is an excellent natural supplement in the form of a highly concentrated dark chocolate extract. It has the highest natural dosage of this compound that is safe and effective in promoting higher testosterone levels and more muscle building. It also tastes great mixed as a drink!
Natural source of epicatechin in the form of high quality Crillo cacao beans, certified organic. This is a good cheaper choice if you want to reap the benefits of epicatechin without spending too much money.
This supplement targets myostatin and contains additional herbs to increase anabolic effects, especially well suited for bodybuilding. Also one of the best testosterone boosters on the market.
This product contains 6 ingredients that were trademarked and specially blended to produce an effective testosterone-booster and muscle-building supplement.
This pure epicatechin extract is at 90% concentration, derived from natural sources such as green tea catechin. This product is formulated for both men and women.
Gain more muscle without steroids or PCT using this EP1C supplement. It also improves fat metabolism in the body for real, lean gains.
This one targets follistatin levels in the body to reduce myostatin actions. In addition to epicatechin it also contains a seaweed extract from Ecklonia cava. This one comes highly recommended as an potent muscle builder.
The Best Epicatechin Supplement Reviews
What to Look for Concerning Epicatechin
Amazing results from numerous research studies created a huge interest in epicatechin. It can indeed promote greater muscle gains, better blood flow and higher testosterone levels.
With the increased interest comes a surge of epicatechin containing supplements. A lot of these give larger-than-life promises and claims. Some are effective to some extent while some are just plain bust.
Spending money on supplements that don't work will not only cost you money, it may also cost you your health. Some low-quality products may contain dangerous extracts or ingredients that will cause allergic reactions and other untoward side effects. Be very careful and read labels well.
When you choose your supplement, you must consider these factors:
- Quality of Epicatechin Source
Not all epicatechin are highly effective. It still depends on the quality of the source of this amazing compound. Choose natural sources such as green tea and flavanol-rich cocoa. These sources must also be grown, harvested and prepared in safe, non-toxic conditions to avoid any untoward reactions. We like the idea of getting your epicatechin from a natural cacao extract which also contains other beneficial compounds.
- Amount of Epicatechin
Now, please take care when checking the dosages. The dosage must be within scientifically proven amounts to be effective. We aim for at least 100mg per serving. But less mg in natural form is also ok since natural product are often more potent because of the co-nutrients.
- Added Ingredients
Some supplements come with added herbal extracts such as Ashwagandha. This can be a benefit depending on your goals.
Epicatechin is a naturally occurring compound and has a positive impact on the body. You can get epicatechin naturally from foods such as dark cocoa or from more concentrated supplements. When it comes to cacao, you have to choose those using cacao nibs or an extract for highest potency. Expect better results if you choose any of the products we have reviewed in this article.
We have 2 recommendations for various circumstances.
EP1LOGUE is our favorite for those who wish to gain weight or build muscle using epicatechin, because of it's very high potency (600mg per serving) along with other beneficial ingredients for this purpose.
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Our favorite epicatechin supplement for overall health and longevity is CocoaVia®. It has the highest amount of cocoa derived natural epicatechin compared to other supplements and also contains many more beneficial compounds from cocoa such as cocoa flavanols and theobromine.
CocoaVia® uses the patented Cocoapro® process that preserves majority of the phytonutrients in cocoa beans. A lot of research and studies were made on this product. The results proved that CocoaVia® promotes many health benefits such as improved cardiometabolic function.
CocoaVia® is recommended for long-term use. It will help in strengthening the tissues and improving overall health.
If looking for a budget-friendly choice, choose the regular cacao powder product. However, you would have to use A LOT more than the recommended serving in order to achieve the same level of benefits as CocoaVia®. This would also count towards a much higher calorie intake since regular cacao powder is higher in calories.
Product image credits: Amazon.com