Oct 28

7 Best Epicatechin Supplements: Myostatin Inhibitors for Muscle Growth

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.



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.

Best epicatechin supplements cacao

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:

The Science of Epicatechin: Proven Uses

Numerous studies have been made to determine and prove the benefits of epicatechin.

Study #1: Epicatechin and Muscle Growth - Myostatin Inhibitor

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.

Study #2: Epicatechin and Appetite Control

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.

Study #3: Epicatechin and Testosterone Levels

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.

Study #4: Epicatechin and Insulin

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.

Study #5: Epicatechin and Blood Flow​

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.

Best epicatechin supplements blood flow

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.

 Best epicatechin supplements cacao powder

A Quick Look at the Best Epicatechin Supplements

​Here are some of the best epicatechin supplements on the market right now.

CocoaVia®​

​This is an excellent natural epicatechin 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!

Viva Labs Organic Cacao Powder

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.

Myokem Magnitropin​

​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.

Epicenter Testosterone Supplement Epicatechin Laxogenin

​This product contains 6 ingredients that were trademarked and specially blended to produce an effective testosterone-booster and muscle-building supplement.

EPICAT Epicatechin Extract Myostatin Inhibitor

​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.

EP1C Unleashed

Gain more muscle without steroids or PCT using this EP1C supplement. It also improves fat metabolism in the body for real, lean gains.

Follidrone 2.0

​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

Check these product reviews before you buy epicatechin supplements.

Picture

Product

Brand

Ingredients

Ratings

CocoaVia Unsweetened Dark Chocolate - Best Epicatechin Supplement

CocoaVia Unsweetened Dark Chocolate

Cocoavia

  • Dark Chocolate Extract
Viva Labs - The BEST Tasting Certified Organic Cacao Powder - Best Epicatechin Supplement

Viva Labs Organic Cacao Powder

Viva Labs

  • Organic Cacao Powder
Myokem Magnitropin - Best Epicatechin Supplement

Myokem Magnitropin

Myokem

  • Paederia foetida extract
  • Cistanche deserticola extract
  • Gentiana lutea extract
  • Epicatechin
  • Black pepper extract
EPICENTER - Best Epicatechin Supplement

Epicenter Testosterone Supplement Epicatechin Laxogenin

Team Six Supplements

  • Magnesium Bisglycinate
  • Zinc
  • Epicatechin
  • Ashwagandha Extract
  • Laxosterone
  • Eurycoma longifolia (Tongkat Ali)
EPICAT 200 max - Best Epicatechin Supplement

EPICAT Epicatechin Extract Myostatin Inhibitor

Gun Show Supplements

  • Epicatechin
EP1C Unleashed by Olympus Labs - Best Epicatechin Supplement

EP1C Unleashed

Olympus Labs

  • Epicatechin (from green tea extract)
Follidrone 2.0 by Black Lion Research - Best Epicatechin Supplement

Follidrone 2.0

Black Lion Research

  • Epicatechin
  • Ecklonia Cava

CocoaVia®

Supplementing with this product will provide 375 mg of cocoa flavonols. That also gives about 80 mg of epicatechin- the highest concentrations among natural epicatechin supplements.

In the body, the epicatechin affects NO production. More NO promotes more blood to the tissues. In the muscles, more blood flow means more nutrients for the cells to use in order to grow and multiply. You get to grow more muscles naturally by giving more nutrients to the muscles. Nothing artificial is fed to the cells since its an natural cacao extract, making it safer and more effective for muscle growth rate than synthetic myostatin inhibitors.

CocoaVia Unsweetened Dark Chocolate - Best Epicatechin Supplement

Studies done on Cocoavia® showed that it improves cardiometabolic functioning. This effect is mainly from the enhancement on the production of NO in the body. It also helps improve body composition by improving fat metabolism.

Things We Liked

  • Great flavor
  • Consumer Labs certified safe from cadmium contamination
  • Better blood flow

Things We Didn't Like

  • Strong bitter taste for some, add sweetener if you need
  • May not dissolve well in cold water

Viva Labs Organic Cacao Powder

Viva Labs - The BEST Tasting Certified Organic Cacao Powder - Best Epicatechin Supplement

The cacao source of this product (Crillo cacao beans) is cultivated in the fertile, organic soils of the mountains in Peru. The plants grew in the most ideal, unspoiled environment, yielding top quality cacao powder.

This product contains non-alkalized cacao powder. The powder is pure ground cacao nibs, which means that it has the highest concentration of antioxidants among cacao powders. Each serving contains:

  • 4 grams of fiber
  • 92 milligrams of magnesium

Things We Liked

  • Bold cacao flavor
  • Gluten-free
  • QAI certified organic
  • Natural source of magnesium

Things We Didn't Like

  • Does not dissolve well in cold water
  • Caffeine content may interfere with sleep in sensitive individuals

Myokem Magnitropin

Magnitropin boosts testosterone in the body. Testosterone affects skeletal muscle cell and stimulates more muscle size, which means it’s worth taking a look at if your goal is to build lean muscle and muscle strength.

Magnitropins reduce myostatin levels, giving more opportunity for the muscle building process to happen. This also improves muscle growth, performance and recovery from resistance training.

Myokem Magnitropin - Best Epicatechin Supplement

It boosts testosterone, thanks to the addition of a rare herbal extract. The herb is called Paederia foetida. The concentration is at a 20: ratio for optimum results.

Things We Liked

  • Potent herbal ratio for testosterone boost and muscle gain
  • Results in better muscle performance and recovery
  • Increases hunger for faster weight gain (muscle)

Things We Didn't Like

  • May cause intestinal problems for sensitive users

Epicenter Testosterone Supplement Epicatechin Laxogenin

EPICENTER - Best Epicatechin Supplement

If your goal is to gain more muscle naturally, this one works well. Epicenter’s testosterone supplement supports testosterone production. Its most notable testosterone-supporting ingredient is patent KSM-66 extract of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera). This extract has been tested in numerous studies to be an effective natural testosterone booster, stress reducer, and muscle and strength gainer.

Epicenter is also abundant in epicatechin (150 mg) that supports the muscle building process in the body. It also comes with trademarked ingredients- Laxogenin (30 mg), Longjack (Tongkat Ali, 100 mg), and the KSM-66 Ashwagandha (300 mg)- for ultimate muscle gains. Overall a very well balanced product that covers all the bases!

Things We Liked

  • Promotes muscle building without water-retention
  • Comes in vegan capsules
  • No PCT needed

Things We Didn't Like

  • A bit expensive than most other similar products

EPICAT Epicatechin Extract Myostatin Inhibitor

EPICAT contains epicatechin derived from natural sources. Each capsule delivers 200 mg of 90% epicatechin extract.

The main action of this supplement is controlling myostatin. It promotes dry gains i.e. building up without retaining water. It also increases muscle tone, strength, pumps and endurance. Combine with a good protein powder to fuel those gains.

EPICAT 200 max - Best Epicatechin Supplement

Things We Liked

  • Can be used by both men and women looking to build muscles
  • Price worth the many benefits
  • Consistent results

Things We Didn't Like

  • May cause some discomforts such as headaches in sensitive individuals
  • May cause rash in sensitive individuals

EP1C Unleashed

EP1C Unleashed by Olympus Labs - Best Epicatechin Supplement

EP1C Unleashed contains high quality epicatechin, backed by lab analysis from a 3rd party tester.

This product increases vascularity and fat oxidation which contributes to enhanced muscle strength and endurance.

Things We Liked

  • No PCT required
  • Improves workout performance

Things We Didn't Like

  • Results seen after a few weeks of continued use and training
  • More expensive reformulated product

Follidrone 2.0

This product is manufactured by Black Lion Research which is know for creating unique and well formulated products.

Follidrone contains Ecklonia Cava (EC) which is a form of seaweed (we discussed some other potential benefits from seaweeds in a previous article). This ingredient helps in increasing the levels of follistatin and keeping myostatin levels low. This will create the ideal condition for your body to build muscles naturally. It also contains a potent dose of Epicatechin for maximum benefits.

Follidrone 2.0 by Black Lion Research - Best Epicatechin Supplement

Things We Liked

  • Great pre-workout pill
  • Improves stamina during workouts
  • Safe and effective, no side effects for most users

Things We Didn't Like

  • Still need to be taken on non-workout days for continued effects

What to Look for in Epicatechin Supplements

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.

Best epicatechin supplements epicatechin structure

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 epicatechin 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 epicatechin supplement 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.


Conclusion

We have 3 recommendations for various circumstances. Myokem Magnitropin and EPICENTER are our recommendation for those who wish to gain weight or build muscle using epicatechin supplements.

Myokem Magnitropin - Best Epicatechin Supplement
EPICENTER - Best Epicatechin Supplement

Our favorite epicatechin supplement for overall health and longevity is CocoaVia®. It has the highest amount of natural epicatechin compared to other supplements and also contains many more beneficial compounds. Actually, CocoaVia® belongs in our top 5 must have supplements!

CocoaVia Unsweetened Dark Chocolate - Best Epicatechin Supplement

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 benefits such as improved cardiometabolic functions.

CocoaVia® is most 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®.


Product image credits: Amazon.com