GAIN MUSCLE

Epicatechin: The Most Anabolic Compound?

by Nader Qudimat
Updated June 13, 2023

There's a new kid on the block that's making waves...

Enter Epicatechin.

In simple terms, Epicatechin has the power to put the brakes on the enzyme that stops our muscles from becoming too bulky.

Whether you're all-natural or not, Epicatechin is a game-changer.

Studies reveal that Epicatechin can put a leash on Myostatin, the enzyme that sets the limit on muscle growth.

By keeping Myostatin in check, Epicatechin opens the door to greater muscle growth, strength, and blood flow than you'd normally achieve.

But here's the catch - not all Epicatechin supplements are created equal.

We've done the legwork and compiled a list of the best Epicatechin supplements right here.

And to make things even easier, we've taken the science and distilled it into easy-to-understand benefits below...

PURE EPICATECHIN
Epitech by Huge Nutrition

Containing a full 250mg dose of epicatechin, Huge Nutrition has one of the highest quality epicatechin supplements. 

It also has 2 patented bioavailability enhancers to maximize absorption. 

Highlights:
  • Improves pumps
  • Enhances muscle growth
  • Well rounded benefits
Ingredients: 250mg Epicatechin, 50mg Astragin, 20mg Bioperine
Discount code: FITFREK
CHECK IT OUT
FitFrek earns a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
COMBINATION
EPYTURK by DNM Nutra

Epyturk is the only supplement we've seen that combines these 3 ingredients and epicatechin is in its patented form of Epicatelean.

Highlights:
  • Combines highly anabolic compounds
  • Great pump
  • Increases muscle protein synthesis
Ingredients: 500mg Turkesterone, 500mg Ecdysterone, 300mg Epicatechin
Discount code: FITFREK
CHECK IT OUT ALTERNATIVE STORE
FitFrek earns a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
AFFORDABLE
CHEMICAL TE™ (TURKESTERONE EPICATECHIN) and Chaos and Pain

Chemical TE contains a mix of turkesterone and epicatechin. Epicatechin is one of the best pump ingredients, so expect unreal pumps and great gains from this.

Highlights:
  • Contains 1g turkesterone
  • Affordable
  • Combined with epicatechin
Ingredients: 1g Turkesterone, 100mg Epicatechin, 5mg Bioperine
Discount code: FITFREK
CHECK IT OUT
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Hold on a second...

Ever heard of Epicatechin?

It's a natural flavanol compound that's hiding in plain sight in everyday foods like green tea and dark chocolate.

Similar to Turkesterone and Ecdysterone, it's been hyped up as the next best thing.

But here's the catch - not all food sources are created equal when it comes to this plant-based powerhouse.

Dark chocolate takes the crown, boasting 1-3mg of Epicatechin per gram, although this can vary depending on the brand.

Among the multiple flavanols found in the cocoa extract, Epicatechin stands out as the MVP for performance benefits.

In the science world, it's known as (-)- epicatechin, or minus epicatechin.

Sure, other foods contain Epicatechin, but typically not enough to reap the full benefits.

Here's a quick rundown of the Epicatechin content per 100g of some common foods:

  • Apples? 6.1mg.
  • Blackberries? 4.7mg.
  • Black grapes? 8.7mg.
  • Brewed green tea? 2.1mg.
  • Brewed black tea? 8.3mg.
  • Cherries? 7mg.
  • Fava beans? 7.8mg.
  • Pears? 3.8mg.
  • Raspberries? 4.1mg.
  • Red table wine? 3.3mg.

But when it comes to chocolate, Epicatechin is in a league of its own:

  • Cocoa? 26.mg.
  • Dark chocolate? 41.5mg.
  • Milk chocolate? 6.3mg.

So, why all the fuss about Epicatechin?

Well, research has shown it has a host of benefits, including:

Packing on muscle size and strength? You bet.

Boosting muscle endurance? Absolutely.

Reducing myostatin? Check.

Increasing blood flow and nitric oxide? Yes, indeed.

Enhancing insulin sensitivity? You got it.

Lowering cholesterol? Sure thing.

Improving blood pressure? That too.

But remember, while these benefits are exciting, it's always best to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen.

How Does Epicatechin Work?

Epicatechin is gaining popularity for its potential to enhance muscle growth, among other benefits.

But how does it do this?

Let's dive into the science behind it.

The Science Behind Epicatechin

Understanding Epicatechin requires a bit of a biology lesson.

But don't worry, I'll keep it simple and interesting.

How Does Epicatechin Work?

Epicatechin works by interacting with proteins in our muscles.

Specifically, it increases the levels of a protein called follistatin.

The Epicatechin-Myostatin Connection

Follistatin is interesting because it binds to and inhibits myostatin.

Myostatin is another protein that limits muscle growth.

So, more follistatin means less myostatin, which can lead to more muscle mass.

It also has benefits for strength, as one study showed that consuming epicatechin increased hand strength by 7% after just 7 days.

The Role of Follistatin

Follistatin's role in muscle growth is significant.

By inhibiting myostatin, it essentially removes the brakes on muscle growth.

This is why Epicatechin is being hailed as a game-changer in the fitness industry.

A Deeper Understanding of How It Works

Epicatechin, as we've mentioned, is a type of flavanol, a plant-based compound.

But what sets it apart is its interaction with certain proteins in our body.

Specifically, it increases the levels of a protein called follistatin.

Now, you might be wondering, "What's so special about follistatin?"

Well, follistatin has a unique ability - it binds to and inhibits myostatin.

Myostatin is another protein that plays a crucial role in our bodies.

Its job is to limit muscle growth.

Think of it as the body's natural way of preventing our muscles from growing too large.

So, when Epicatechin increases follistatin levels, it indirectly reduces the amount of myostatin.

And with less myostatin putting the brakes on, muscle growth can potentially be enhanced.

In other words, Epicatechin could help you build muscle more effectively.

But that's not all.

Epicatechin also boosts nitric oxide production.

Nitric oxide is a molecule that improves blood flow.

Better blood flow means more oxygen and nutrients can reach your muscles, which can lead to better performance and faster recovery.

So, whether you're looking to pack on muscle, boost your performance, or speed up recovery, Epicatechin could be a game-changer.

But remember, while the science is promising, more research is needed to fully understand the effects of Epicatechin.

Epicatechin Increases Muscle Size

This one of the most popular benefits of Epicatechin as it can increase follistatin. 

Follistatin is an antagonist of myostatin as it can bind to it, allowing the effects of myostatin to be inhibited. 

Since myostatin can limit muscle growth, follistatin can reduce the negative effects of myostatin.

Because it's responsible for regulating levels of myostatin, follistatin can directly prevent myostatin from controlling and reducing muscle growth.

By increasing follistatin, you can build more muscle and allowing you to gain at a much faster rate. 

Using the study of the "Effects of (-) epicatechin on Molecular Modulators of Skeletal Muscle Growth and Differentiation", they found within just 7 days at 1mg per kilo per day, had 49.2% increase in follistatin levels, with 16.6% decrease in myostatin levels.

They also found the subjects had a 7% increase in hand strength. However, they didn't have a placebo group to compare the results to. 

Another study used 17 healthy subjects that had dosages that ranged from 50 to 200mg.

On day 5, the average follistatin levels were 2.5 times higher than the first day of the study, and also that subjects reported zero side effects. 

This proves that epicatechin can increase muscle building and is one of the most effective natural anabolics we've seen so far. 

And since epicatechin is a natural flavanol, it also has a multitude of benefits, which you'll find below...

Epicatechin Increases Nitric Oxide 

For pumps, epicatechin can have great benefits. 

One study conducted by a group of scientists at the University of California found a wide range of cardiovascular benefits from epicatechin. 

They found higher levels of epicatechin usually went hand in hand with enhances blood flow. 

They also found subjects who had flavanol rich cocoa had elevated levels of nitric oxide in the blood, compared to those who had low flavanol cocoa beverage. 

Another study assessed the relationship between cerebral blood flow and a single 450mg dose of flavanols from flavanol rich cocoa. 

They found flavanol rich cocoa increased cerebral blood flow, which suggested the potential of cocoa flavanols for treatment in diseases like vascular impairment, such as dementia, strokes and more. 

This research, although it was only a pilot study, it proved that there are a wide range of benefits from epicatechin in cardiovascular and brain health. 

Epicatechin Increases Endurance

Epicatechin is popularly known for it's muscle building benefits, but what most may not know is that it can increase muscular endurance. 

This study found that Epicatechin benefiting endurance by increasing resistance to fatigue.

The researchers stated that combining epicatechin with exercise increased oxidative phosphorylation complex proteins, mitofilin, porin and capillarity, than epicatechin alone. 

And also another study have also had similar findings as they found data that suggested that epicatechin to be suitable to help maintain mitochondrial capacity as well as exercise induced improved capillarity, even when exercise is discontinued. 

This means you'll be able to grind out more volume and maintain gains even when you're taking time off from training. 

Epicatechin Improves Glucose

For bodybuilders, insulin is one of the most important anabolic hormones in your body, and it can also regulate thermogenesis. 

Insulin functions as transportation for glucose from our blood to our muscles. 

When insulin is delivered to our muscle cells, it can increase protein synthesis, allowing for muscle growth. 

And there's also the possibility of having too much insulin. 

Too high of insulin can negatively impact muscle building as it will reduce the glucose transported from the bloodstream to the muscles. 

This can occur from having too much carbohydrates, which can also increase the risk of type 2 diabetes as well as other cardiovascular related health diseases. 

Epicatechin can has been theorized to help with insulin levels as one study performed by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating 100 grams of dark chocolate decreased blood pressure and enhanced insulin sensitivity in healthy individuals. 

While epicatechin wasn't directly used for this study, it is likely that it can be possible that it can have similar benefits. 

Another study found that consuming 88mg epicatechin from 100 grams of dark chocolate in just two weeks had lowered blood pressure, cholesterol, improved insulin sensitivity and more. 

How To Dose Epicatechin 

Research suggests that a daily dose of approximately 170mg of Epicatechin can provide significant benefits.

However, the exact dosage may vary depending on your body weight and fitness goals.

If you just want epicatechin for its health benefits, then anywhere from 30-50mg of dark chocolate is generally a decent amount. 

But dark chocolate should not be processed with alkali and should have minimum 85% cocoa. 

You're probably interested in epicatechin in it's anabolic effects. 

For it's anabolic properties, you'll want to take anywhere from 200mg-250mg daily is a widely accepted dose.

Getting this much from food would be difficult so I would recommend supplementation. 

A supplement like Epitech can help you as it has 250mg per 2 capsules.  

And we recommend Huge Supplements, as you'll see they have plenty of anabolic but natural supplements to help maximize muscle growth. 

How Long Does It Take To Work?

As you've seen from the research above, it generally takes around 7 days to see benefits, but benefits can continue with prolonged use. 

Since there are no known side effects, it's safe to use it for 8 weeks. 

Anecdotally, users have been taking this compound for months without side effects. 

But since there hasn't been long term studies, it's hard to say if it's safe for long term usage. 

In our opinion and experience, it's best when used for at least 8 weeks. 

Epicatechin in Research

Epicatechin has been the subject of numerous scientific studies due to its potential health benefits. Here are some key findings from recent research:

  1. A study published in Advances in physiological functions and mechanisms of (-)-epicatechin found that Epicatechin exhibits prominent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities, enhances muscle performance, and protects human health.

  2. Research in Dietary epicatechin intake and 25-y risk of cardiovascular mortality suggested that Epicatechin intake could be linked to lower cardiovascular disease mortality.

  3. A study in Epicatechin Supplementation Inhibits Aerobic Adaptations to Cycling explored the effects of Epicatechin supplementation on training adaptations.

  4. Research in The neuroprotective effects of cocoa flavanol and its influence on cognitive performance found that Epicatechin could have neuroprotective effects and influence cognitive performance.

  5. A study in Low-Flavanol Diet Drives Age-Related Memory Loss, Large Study Finds found that Epicatechin could improve memory by enhancing the growth of neurons and blood vessels in the hippocampus.

  6. Evaluation of (−)-epicatechin metabolites as recovery ... - Nature: This study evaluated the metabolites of Epicatechin and their potential role in recovery.

  7. Epicatechin - an overview | ScienceDirect Topics: This overview discusses Epicatechin's potential effects on diabetes and obesity, including its ability to reduce insulin resistance caused by obesity.

  8. Epicatechin Supplementation Inhibits Aerobic Adaptations to Cycling ...: This study investigated whether Epicatechin supplementation combined with cycling exercise could enhance training adaptations.

These studies further highlight the potential benefits of Epicatechin and its role in muscle building.

However, as always, more research is needed, and it's important to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement.

These studies prove that Epicatechin isn't just another fleeting health trend.

It's a compound that's been placed under the scientific lens, quite literally, in a multitude of scientific explorations.

Scientists from every corner of the globe are captivated by its potential perks, from amplifying muscle growth to bolstering cardiovascular health.

But what's the real scoop on the science? Let's get into them...

The Scientific Landscape of Epicatechin

When it comes to Epicatechin, the science is as rich and intricate as a slab of premium dark chocolate. We've sifted through the research to bring you the most pertinent and thrilling discoveries.

Muscle Growth and Strength:

A study unfurled in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry discovered that Epicatechin fosters muscle growth and strength. The study, conducted on mice, found that those supplemented with Epicatechin exhibited enhanced grip strength and muscle stamina.

Cardiovascular Health:

Epicatechin has been spotlighted for its positive impact on cardiovascular health. A study unfolded in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that indulging in dark chocolate, a treasure trove of Epicatechin, amplified blood flow and heart health.

Blood Sugar Regulation: Epicatechin might also have a role to play in regulating blood sugar levels. A study in the Journal of Diabetes Investigation found that Epicatechin can aid in reducing blood sugar levels and enhancing insulin sensitivity.

Brain Health:

The boons of Epicatechin extend to the realm of brain health as well. A study in the Journal of Neurology found that Epicatechin can shield against cognitive decline and boost brain function.

Anti-Inflammatory Properties:

Epicatechin also boasts anti-inflammatory properties. A study in the Journal of Inflammation found that Epicatechin can aid in reducing inflammation and oxidative stress.

Just look at the studies below:

  1. Epicatechin and Cardiovascular Health: This study shows that consuming epicatechin-rich cocoa can improve cardiovascular health by enhancing blood flow and reducing platelet clumping.

  2. Epicatechin and Blood Pressure: This research suggests that consuming epicatechin can help lower blood pressure, which is beneficial for heart health.

  3. Epicatechin and Brain Health: This study indicates that epicatechin, when combined with exercise, can enhance brain health and cognition.

  4. Epicatechin and Diabetes: This research suggests that epicatechin can help improve insulin sensitivity, which is beneficial for people with diabetes.

  5. Epicatechin and Muscle Growth: This study shows that epicatechin can promote muscle growth and strength.

  6. Epicatechin and Aging: This research suggests that epicatechin can help combat age-related declines in mitochondrial function.

  7. Epicatechin and Fatigue Resistance: This study shows that epicatechin can enhance fatigue resistance and oxidative capacity in mouse muscle.

  8. Epicatechin Metabolism by Intestinal Bacteria: This research explores how intestinal bacteria metabolize epicatechin and its related compounds.

  9. Epicatechin Metabolites as Antioxidants: This study shows that the metabolites of epicatechin also possess strong antioxidant properties.

  10. Epicatechin Metabolism in Humans: This research provides insights into how epicatechin is metabolized in the human body.

  11. Epicatechin and Cell Death: This study shows that epicatechin can protect human fibroblasts from oxidative-stress-induced cell death.

  12. Epicatechin and Nitric Oxide Synthesis: This research suggests that epicatechin can stimulate the synthesis of nitric oxide, a molecule that plays a crucial role in cardiovascular health.

  13. Epicatechin Glucosyltransferase in Medicago truncatula: This study identifies a specific enzyme that modifies epicatechin in the plant Medicago truncatula.

  14. Epicatechin and Cardiometabolic Health: This research suggests that epicatechin can improve cardiometabolic health by improving insulin resistance.

  15. Epicatechin and Vascular Function: This study shows that epicatechincan enhance vascular function, which is beneficial for cardiovascular health.

  16. Epicatechin and Oxidative Stress: This research suggests that epicatechin can help combat oxidative stress, a key factor in aging and many chronic diseases.

  17. Epicatechin and Muscle Fatigue: This study shows that epicatechin can help delay the onset of muscle fatigue, potentially enhancing exercise performance.

  18. Epicatechin and Bacterial Metabolism: This research explores how certain bacteria can metabolize epicatechin, potentially influencing its effects in the body.

  19. Epicatechin Metabolites and Antioxidant Activity: This study shows that the metabolites of epicatechin, formed in the body, also have strong antioxidant activities.

  20. Epicatechin and Nitric Oxide Production: This research suggests that epicatechin can stimulate the production of nitric oxide, a molecule that plays a crucial role in cardiovascular health.

Common Themes in Epicatechin Research

The studies on epicatechin, a type of flavonoid found in foods like cocoa and tea, share several common themes:

  1. Cardiovascular Health: Many studies highlight the potential benefits of epicatechin for cardiovascular health. This includes improving blood flow, reducing blood pressure, and stimulating the production of nitric oxide, a molecule that plays a crucial role in maintaining heart health.

  2. Insulin Sensitivity: Some research suggests that epicatechin can improve insulin sensitivity, which could be beneficial for people with diabetes or those at risk.

  3. Oxidative Stress: Epicatechin, like many flavonoids, has antioxidant properties. Several studies suggest that it can help combat oxidative stress, a key factor in aging and many chronic diseases.

  4. Muscle Health: Some research indicates that epicatechin can promote muscle growth and strength, as well as enhance fatigue resistance in muscles.

  5. Metabolism by Gut Bacteria: A few studies have explored how gut bacteria metabolize epicatechin, which could influence its effects in the body.

Other Potential Benefits of Epicatechin

Beyond the common themes, research has also hinted at other potential benefits of epicatechin:

  1. Brain Health: One study found that when combined with exercise, epicatechin could enhance brain health and cognition.

  2. Cell Protection: Some research suggests that epicatechin can protect cells from damage, including protecting human fibroblasts from oxidative-stress-induced cell death.

  3. Plant Research: In the plant Medicago truncatula, a specific enzyme that modifies epicatechin has been identified, which could have implications for plant breeding or genetic engineering.

  4. Antioxidant Activity of Metabolites: Some studies have found that the metabolites of epicatechin, formed in the body, also have strong antioxidant activities.

Remember, while these studies provide valuable insights, more research is needed to fully understand the effects of epicatechin in humans.

Most Anabolic Epicatechin Stack

Because epicatechin has such a strong muscle building profile, it's amazing when it's combined with laxogenin

Laxogenin works by increasing muscle protein synthesis, inhibit cortisol levels and reduce bodyfat. 

Combined with epicatechin it can result in some really nice gains. 

There's already a pre made stack called Insanity Stack by Huge Nutrition which we recommend as it's the strongest epicatechin stack by far. 

Best Epicatechin Supplements

Not all supplements are created equally. 

Some have higher quality formulas, while others are questionable with proprietary blends and undisclosed dosages. 

Both men and women can take advantage of epicatechin, as it won't interfere with hormone levels.

Epicatechin has multiple benefits, from increased nitric oxide levels to more gains. 

BEST

Epitech by Huge Nutrition

PURE EPICATECHIN
Epitech by Huge Nutrition

Containing a full 250mg dose of epicatechin, Huge Nutrition has one of the highest quality epicatechin supplements. 

It also has 2 patented bioavailability enhancers to maximize absorption. 

Highlights:
  • Improves pumps
  • Enhances muscle growth
  • Well rounded benefits
Ingredients: 250mg Epicatechin, 50mg Astragin, 20mg Bioperine
Discount code: FITFREK
CHECK IT OUT
FitFrek earns a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
Contains absorption enhancing ingredients
Synergizes with other anabolic
Anabolic, increases muscle protein synthesis
None

Huge Nutrition is known for making the strongest natural anabolics. 

They have lived up to their anabolic line up with Epitech, which is their epicatechin supplement. 

Epitech is the best option for epicatechin right now. 

Because it contains Astragin and Bioperine, you'll be maximizing the absorption of epicatechin in here. 

Each capsule has 125mg of Epicatechin, meaning you have a full months supply here as there's 60 capsules here. 

You'll be getting the maximum 250mg dose here. 

CHECK IT OUT

FAQ

What is the best time to take Epicatechin?

There's no specific best time to take Epicatechin. It can be taken at any time of the day, but some people prefer to take it before workouts.

Can women use Epicatechin?

Yes, Epicatechin is safe for both men and women.

How long does it take to see results from Epicatechin?

The time it takes to see results from Epicatechin can vary depending on your body and fitness goals. However, some studies have shown increased follistatin levels after just 5 days of use.

Can I get enough Epicatechin from food alone?

While foods like dark chocolate and green tea do contain Epicatechin, supplements can provide a more concentrated dose.

Are there any interactions between Epicatechin and other supplements or medications?

There are currently no known interactions between Epicatechin and other supplements or medications. However, it's always best to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen.

Can Epicatechin help with weight loss?

Epicatechin itself doesn't directly cause weight loss. However, its potential to enhance muscle growth and improve insulin sensitivity could indirectly support weight management when combined with a balanced diet and regular exercise.

Does Epicatechin have any anti-aging benefits?

Some research suggests that Epicatechin, like other flavonoids, may have antioxidant properties that could help combat oxidative stress, a key factor in aging. However, more research is needed to confirm these potential anti-aging benefits.

Can I take Epicatechin with other supplements?

There are currently no known interactions between Epicatechin and other supplements. However, it's always best to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen.

Is Epicatechin safe for long-term use?

Epicatechin is generally considered safe for long-term use. However, as with any supplement, it's recommended to consult with a healthcare provider for personalized advice.

Final Words

Epicatechin is by far the best natural anabolic we've seen so far. 

Since it doesn't effect or change hormone levels, there are no side effects or even toxicity on the organs. 

And there isn't a need to cycle it either. 

Although it's not a magic pill, taking it for at least 4-8 weeks will have you noticing more improvements in your physique and strength. 

Aim to take at least 200mg on a regular basis on a empty stomach, before training or in the morning. 

by Nader Qudimat

Forged by iron and cold steel, I'm Nader, a mid-30s natural bodybuilder. Once a 100lb skinny guy, I've transformed into a 200lb muscular athlete with over 15 years of lifting experience. Today, I leverage my transformation and extensive experience to guide countless individuals on their fitness journeys.

Click here to check out my 12 year transformation: Natural 12 Year Transformation

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