(-)-Epicatechin is a relatively new ingredient to the dietary supplement world, found primarily in dark chocolate. While most associate chocolate with junk food, and perhaps dark chocolate with being an indulgent anti-oxidant, epicatechin is a potentially a very powerful muscle builder.
Epicatechin is a natural and non-hormonal anabolic that should be able to positively influence lean muscle growth via increased levels of muscle protein synthesis.
Studies also suggest that strength/power should be increased when using this compound, making it a great option for all athletes, and in particular for bodybuilders who may be on a cutting cycle where one would traditionally suffer from strength loss.
Epicatechin is able to exert its muscle and strength enhancing capabilities through the increase of follistatin and subsequent reduction in myostatin. In the body, follistatin and myostatin are tied to one another, as when one’s follistatin levels increase, their myostatin decreases to a similar degree.
Myostatin is a protein that acts on muscle cells autocrine function, inhibiting myogenesis (creation of muscle tissue). The more Myostatin one has in their body, the harder it is to build muscle, with the inverse of less myostatin equaling more muscle growth to be true.
Epicatechin holds a lot of promise as being a true non-hormonal anabolic, safe to use for extended periods of time, and may even have additional health benefits associated with it.
Research suggests epicatechin to be dosed at around 1-2mg/kg of body weight, or about 90-180mg for a 200lbs athlete.
Anecdotal reports, however, suggest higher dosing for optimal effects, with most users opting to start at 250mg, with some dosing as high as 600mg.
Due to the extreme safety and non-hormonal action of this compound, the maximum dosing rests in how much you can afford, with higher doses providing larger results.