Best 10 Epicatechin Supplements

Best 10 Epicatechin Supplements

Epicatechin is one of the most exciting, powerful, and anabolic antioxidants known to the bodybuilding and fitness community. This guide aims to provide you with a thorough understanding of epicatechin, the science behind it, and the best epicatechin supplements you should be looking into.

Hands down. No competition.

Epicatechin, also known as “EPICAT“, was originally developed in an effort to:

Evaluate the treatment of progressive muscle loss and impaired skeletal muscle function in Becker Muscular Dystrophy (BMD) patients.

In this article, we take a science-based approach that aims to highlight:

This article serves as the most well-rounded definitive guide to epicatechin, and the best epicatechin supplements.


What is Epicatechin?

Epicatechin is one of several bioactive compounds known as a flavonol, which has been shown to have a unique ability to improve overall health and performance.

Despite having multiple flavanols found in cocoa extract, only epicatechin has been shown to be “in a league of its own” above the rest due to its health and performance boosting properties.

Known to the scientific community as (-)- epicatechin, or “minus epicatechin“, its most predominant natural source comes from cocoa extract in the range of 1.5-2.5 mg per gram.

For you chocolate lovers out there:

You’ll find higher, and purer, concentrations of flavanols (like epicatechin) in the darker (and less processed) chocolate.

Aside from cocoa extract, which is the most common and easily obtained source, epicatechin can also be ingested through common healthy foods like:

  • Epicatechin ChocolateApples (6.1 mg/100 g)
  • Blackberries (4.7 mg/100 g)
  • Black grapes (8.7 mg/100 g)
  • Brewed green tea (2.1 mg/100 g)
  • Brewed black tea (8.3 mg/100 g)
  • Cherries (7.0 mg/100 g)
  • Fava beans (7.8 mg/100 g)
  • Pears (3.8 mg/100 g)
  • Raspberries (4.1 mg/100 g)
  • Red table wine (3.3 mg/100 g)

Just to provide some context, chocolate sources contain the following amounts of epicatechin:

  • Cocoa (26.2 mg/100 g)
  • Dark chocolate (41.5 mg/100 g)
  • Milk chocolate (6.3 mg/100 g)

*All amounts are based on 100 grams of the specified food.

When supplementing in proper dosages (see below), epicatechin has been shown to:

  • Increase muscle growth and strength
  • Improve muscle endurance
  • Inhibit myostatin
  • Increase blood flow and nitric oxide
  • Improve insulin sensitivity
  • Lower cholesterol; and
  • Improve blood pressure

Epicatechin Benefits

Epicatechin for Muscle Growth and Strength

Epicatechin SymbolMyostatin:

As described above, acts as a regulator for muscle growth.

Essentially, this prevents your muscles from growing too large, too quickly.

Follistatin:

Known as a substance that works as a myostatin inhibitor, follistatin helps to prevent myostatin levels from rising too high.

This, in essence, allows for a more controlled rate of muscle growth.

Below, is an excerpt on research highly relevant to the relationship between myostatin and follistatin, entitled, “Inhibition of Myostatin with Emphasis on Follistatin as Therapy for Muscle Disease”:

Strategies to increase muscle size and strength through inhibition of the myostatin pathway show promise for clinical application. Inhibition of the myostatin pathway represents an alternative strategy to improve functional outcomes. Preclinical data that support this approach clearly demonstrate the potential for blocking the myostatin pathway. Follistatin has emerged as a powerful antagonist of myostatin that can increase muscle mass and strength.

Epicatechin Myostatin InhibitorThis data shows that all of the hoopla surrounding the concept of myostatin inhibiting supplements to be grounded with scientific research, which we love to see.

Epicatechin Study #1

One of the more exciting pilot studies conducted on the relationship between myostatin and follistatin shows significant promise for the application of epicatechin supplementation:

The study, “Effects of (-) epicatechin on Molecular Modulators of Skeletal Muscle Growth and Differentiation” was performed in human subjects (n=6, average age 41± 5 years, and weight 77.4 ± 7.7 kg).

The goal was to assess the effects of epicatechin treatment on muscle strength and plasma levels of myostatin and follistatin. The 6 human subjects were treated for 7 days with a dosage of 1mg/kg/day.

The results were nothing short of exciting:

Within 7 days, follistatin levels increased by 49.2%, while myostatin levels decreased by 16.6%. Additionally, the subjects experienced a 7% increase in grip strength.

Unfortunately, there were no control (placebo) groups during the study, so the scientific community takes this research with a grain of salt.

It’s a shame this original study wasn’t executed with all the necessary variables, but we’re pleased to see a 2nd study as well.

Epicatechin Study #2

According to research from the “Pharmacokinetic, Partial Pharmacodynamic and Initial Safety Analysis of (-)- epicatechin in Health Volunteers” study:

Epicatechin was safe to use, with no observed adverse effects, and our findings suggest that increases in NO [nitric oxide] metabolites, mitochondrial enzyme function and plasma follistatin levels may underlie some of the beneficial effects of cocoa products or (-)- epicatechin as reported in other studies.

This study targeted an initial safety analysis in 17 healthy humans. The dosages ranged from 50 to 200mg per day (either taken in 1 large dose, or in 2 equal dosages).

Clearly, the fact that there were zero documented epicatechin side effects is great, but what’s also worth noting is that:

The average follistatin levels on day 5 of the study were 2.5 times higher than on day 1 of the study.

This is great news for the epicatechin supplement debate, as it serves as further research and data that supports the application for epicatechin as a premier muscle-building supplement.

For those of you who wish to maintain an all-natural approach to bodybuilding, epicatechin is one of the most exciting physique-enhancing agents we’ve seen in quite some time.

Epicatechin for Muscle Endurance

Aside from the ability to increase muscle strength and size, epicatechin has also been shown to improve muscular endurance.

Epicatechin Study #3

The Journal of Physiology found that:

Epicatechin enhances fatigue resistance and oxidative capacity in mouse muscle.

Specifically, it found that:

The combination of epicatechin and exercise resulted in further increases in oxidative phosphorylation-complex proteins, mitofilin, porin and capillarity than epicatechin alone.

Additionally…

These findings indicate that epicatechin alone or in combination with exercise induces an integrated response that includes structural and metabolic changes in skeletal and cardiac muscles resulting in greater endurance capacity.

It concludes by saying…

These results, therefore, warrant the further evaluation of the underlying mechanism of action of epicatechin and its potential clinical application as an exercise mimetic.

Epicatechin Study #4

A 4th stud, and the 2nd related to epicatechin’s ability to improve muscular endurance states:

Our data suggest that epicatechin may be a suitable compound to maintain exercise-induced improved capillarity and mitochondrial capacity, even when exercise regimens are discontinued.

These studies suggest that epicatechin is highly effective at not only improving muscular endurance but maintaining those levels of endurance even after epicatechin supplementation discontinues.

Essentially:

Epicatechin has been proven to help you pump out more reps, workout longer, and maintain your gains even when you’re on a break from training.

Woah!

At this point, we’re optimistically cautious, as some of these studies were performed on mice, instead of humans.

However, the results and real user reviews are a testament to epicatechin’s effectiveness.

Epicatechin for Blood Glucose Regulation

Insulin, as you may know, is one of the single most crucial muscle-building and fat-burning hormones in your body.

In the body, insulin is responsible for transporting glucose from our bloodstream to our muscle cells.

Once insulin hits the muscle cells, it helps to promote protein synthesis, which is the process that allows our muscles to grow.

On the other hand, too much insulin can be detrimental to your body, as well as your physique.

When insulin levels are too high (often attributed to excess carbohydrate intake), muscle cells become desensitized, or tolerant, and no longer transport glucose from the bloodstream into the muscle cells.

Excess insulin can result in high blood sugar, which then contributes to the accumulation of harmful and unwanted fat. This can then promote the development of type II diabetes, and a number of other cardiovascular health conditions.

Epicatechin Study #5

According to a study conducted by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, they found that:

Ingesting 100 grams of dark chocolate “resulted in a decrease in  blood pressure and improved insulin sensitivity in healthy persons.”

This research shows us that epicatechin provides our muscle cells with a more efficient means of processing glucose.

This allows you to recover at a faster rate, build muscle quicker and more efficiently, and limit unwanted body fat following intense workouts.

It’s important to note that epicatechin, as an active ingredient, hasn’t been proven for some of these benefits, specifically, but parallel research shows us that the results are real.

Epicatechin for Brain and Heart Health

Beyond the anabolic muscle-building benefits, epicatechin supplementation has also been associated with a number of brain and heart health benefits.

Namely, for its ability to increase blood flow and stimulate nitric oxide production.

Epicatechin Study #6

According to another epicatechin study, results found that participants who ingested 100 grams of dark chocolate (with 88 mg flavanols) for a two week period experienced:

Dark chocolate decreased blood pressure and serum LCL cholesterol, improved flow-mediated dilation, and ameliorated insulin sensitivity in hypertensives. These results suggest that, while balancing total calorie intake, flavanols from cocoa products may provide some cardiovascular benefit if included as part of a health diet…”

Epicatechin Study #7

According to a group of scientists at The University of California, Davis, who conducted a multifaceted study involving the Kuna Indians of Panama, who are notorious for their cardiovascular health:

  • Individuals who drank flavanol-rich cocoa had higher levels of nitric oxide in the blood than those who drank low-flavanol cocoa beverage.
  • Higher levels of epicatechin were accompanied by improved blood flow

The study concludes by saying:

Considered together, these findings point to epicatechin as one of the compounds found in cocoa that has beneficial impacts on cardiovascular health.

Epicatechin Study #8

A study by the Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology found that:

A pilot study evaluated the relationship between cerebral blood flow and a single acute dose (450 mg flavanols) of flavanol-rich cocoa and shows that flavanol-rich cocoa can increase the cerebral blood flow to gray matter, suggesting the potential of cocoa flavanols for treatment of vascular impairment, including dementia and strokes, and thus for maintaining cardiovascular health.

Despite only being a “pilot” study, there are definite benefits for brain health, as it related to epicatechin supplementation.

With a number of studies done on the efficacy of cocoa and flavanol-derived foods, the majority of which consist of epicatechin, the results are pretty astounding.


Epicatechin Supplement Dosage

For general health purposes, based on the studies above, the recommended epicatechin dosage is:

  • 30-40 grams of dark chocolate

It’s important to note that dark chocolate that has not been processed with alkali and is at least 85% cocoa is the best for general epicatechin dark chocolate consumption. 

For muscle-building and physique-enhancing purposes, based on the studies above, the recommended epicatechin dosage is:

  • ~200 mg of epicatechin, daily

At this dosage, epicatechin can be taken all at once, or divided into 2 servings.

With this high of a dosage of epicatechin, for the sake of muscle-building benefits, you would need to consume a lot of dark chocolate.

Lucky for you, we’ve done the research, and compiled a list of the best epicatechin supplements that we’ve found on the market.


Best Epicatechin Supplements – What To Look For

Epicatechin, being new to the bodybuilding industry, often creates a sense of apprehension for first-time buyers.

This section of our definitive guide will help to guide you through your research and buying process, in order to help you to identify the best epicatechin supplements.

Formula Transparency

For years, the muscle-building supplement category (testosterone, prohormones, SARMs), and most others have been notorious for their proprietary blends.

Here at Supplement Demand, we are major proponents of 100% formula transparency.

You, as the consumer, deserve to know how much of each ingredient you’re putting into your body.

Formula transparency is our highest concern.

Purity

It’s public knowledge that a large number of common active ingredients have various purity levels.

It’s important to know the purity levels of the epicatechin you’re getting with your products, as it plays a vital role in its effectiveness, and ability to help you reach the results it’s intended to provide.

If the epicatechin purity isn’t listed by the company, it’s worth it to send them an email to inquire about it!

Dosage

With varying purity levels, it’s most important to note the exact dosage of epicatechin that you’re taking, per serving.

This could result in a difference of 200mg of 50% epicatechin, versus 150mg of 98% epicatechin.

Unfortunately, a majority of the brands participating in the epicatechin industry do not offer formula transparency, making it incredibly hard to know the remaining 2 variables that we look for.

There is one, however, who follows all 3 of our epicatechin “best practices”.


Best 10 Epicatechin Supplements

Here are the 10 best Epicatechin (EPICAT) supplements based on our staff’s personal experience.


10. Epi-Pure Epicatechin by Outlier Nation

Made by Outlier Nation, Epi-Pure is among our most favorites due to its versatility. Unlike every other supplement on our ranking, Epi-Pure is the only one to only have 125 mg of Epicatechin.

While not clinically effective, we believe Epi-Pure is intended to be taken at a double dose. So, while each bottle would normally provide a two month’s supply of x60, 125 mg servings, it would instead provide x30 250 mg servings. This would guarantee clinical effectivity is met.

What’s more, Epi-Pure also contains one other ingredient: Black Pepper Extract (5 mg). Black pepper extract, or BPE, is derived from black pepper fruit and is known to enhance absorption. This helps increase how much Epicatechin your body actually ingests and thus improves value.

However, although it contains BPE- even at a doubled serving size we’re still on the fence with its price point. To us, you can get more for less, but if it’s on sale, you might want to consider it.

ON Epi-Pure Epicatechin Overview:Outlier Nutrition Epi-Pure Epicatechin

  • 1 capsule per serving
  • 60 servings a bottle
  • 125 mg of Epicatechin
  • 5 mg of Black pepper extract (to improve absorption)
  • 7.8 grams of total powder
  • Aids exercise performance

9. Gun Show Supplement’s Epicat 200 Max

At this point you’re likely thinking the same thing we are- for $40, this test booster better be pretty good. Thankfully, it is- and it’s also one of the purest supplements to make the ranking.

As noted above, ingredient dosage and purity are very important factors for picking the best supplement. Gun Show Supplements is aware of this and formulated Epicat 200 accordingly.

More specifically, Epicat 200 Max boasts a two-month supply (60 servings) of moderately dosed pure, 90% epicatechin. Each 1 capsule serving contains 300 mg of the test-boosting powder. When added up, you’ll receive 12 grams of total epicatechin from GSS Epicat 200 max.

GSS 200 Max Epicatechin Overview:Gun Show Supplements EPICAT 200 Max

  • 1 capsule per serving
  • 60 capsules per bottle
  • 200 mg of 90% Epicatechin
  • 12 grams of total powder
  • Helps inhibit myostatin
  • Supports muscle growth

8. Fundamental Nutrition’s Epicatechin

Fundamental Nutrition’s Epicatechin is (at this time) tied with #7 on our ranking due to sharing factors like price, serving size, purity, dosage, and ingredients- or rather the lack thereof. In short, there’s no real way to distinguish which one is currently better because they’re the same in every discernible way. When it comes to supplements, this is somewhat uncommon to find.

That being said, choosing between the two will come down to brand preference when they aren’t running a discount. This is a good thing as it means choosing which bottle design you like more. We know, that’s as silly as it really sounds- but hey, when life gives you lemons right?

Anyway, let’s find out what it has to offer exactly.

It’s actually really simple. We found each bottle has 30 full-strength 300mg servings made up of 2 capsules each. And, because it’s only pure epicatechin, there are no other added ingredients. All-in-all you’ll receive about 9-grams of pure epicatechin per bottle which isn’t too shabby.

FN Epicatechin Highlights:Fundamental Nutrition Epicatechin

  • 2 capsules per serving
  • 30 servings a container
  • 300 mg of Epicatechin
  • 9 grams of total powder
  • Just one active ingredient
  • Supports protein synthesis

7. Epicatechin by Body Essentials

Body Essentials is like Nutraceutical Solutions (#5) in the sense that they both only have one highly-potent ingredient. Where they differ, however, is serving size, price, and thus value.

That’s because each bottle of Body Essential’s Epicatechin has 30 full servings full (2 capsules per) of epicatechin for a cheaper price point. Keep in mind, each serving provides 300 mg of it.

Beyond the price difference of $2 and half the serving size, Body Essentials is best suited for those with an absolute max price of $35. But, for $2 more you can get double the size with #5.

BE Epicatechin Overview:Body Essentials Epicatechin

  • 2 capsules per serving
  • 30 servings per bottle
  • 300 mg of Epicatechin
  • Only has one ingredient
  • 9 grams of total powder
  • High strength dosage

6. Chaos and Pain’s LEGENDARY Supplement

Chaos and Pain (C&P) Legendary has legendary testosterone-boosting ingredients at a not so legendary price tag. At its current price of $43 on Amazon we’d normally recommend another supplement, but if you can find it on sale, go for it.

Make no mistake though, we still like this supplement and its ingredients. Legendary contains 60 servings or 60 individual capsules a bottle and supplies a total 13.5 grams of 3 ingredients. Per serving, they are 150 mg of epicatechin, 50 mg of Capsorb, and 25 mg of Laxogenin.

We believe these dosages are half of what they should be, so we suggest taking double the recommended serving size and turning it into a 1-month supplement to achieve proper results. At that rate of dosage and consumption, it seems much more fitting for its price point.

C&P Legendary Mass Builder Overview:Chaos and Pain LEGENDARY

  • 1 capsule per serving
  • 60 servings a bottle
  • 150 mg of Epicatechin
  • 50 mg of Capsorb
  • 25 mg of Laxogenin
  • Helps boost testosterone

5. Nutraceutical Solution’s Epicatechin

Nutraceutical Solution is among the best in class for two core reasons: value and effectivity. Unlike some of the brands on this ranking, Nutraceutical Solutions (NS) epicatechin contains one single ingredient, epicatechin, at a high-potency dosage of 300 mg.

Aside from its great dosage, it also stands out with regards to serving size and price. Each bottle is designed to last 2 months of daily use by consisting of 60 servings, or 60 capsules. But in all likelihood, it’ll probably last longer. While not necessarily ‘cheap’ at $37, we’ve come to appreciate this level of value when compared to its competitors.

Moreover, because it only has one ingredient, you won’t need to deal with any unnecessary artificial fluff or added fillers. Essentially, it only has good dosages of Epicatechin- so it’s best suited towards those just looking for Epicatechin and nothing more.

NS Epicatechin Highlights:Nutraceutical Solutions Epicatechin

  • 1 capsule per serving
  • 60 servings per bottle
  • 300 mg of Epicatechin
  • Only has one ingredient
  • Helps inhibit myostatin
  • Excellent value EPICA

4. EP1LOGUE by Olympus Labs

Olympus Labs’ EP1LOGUE is one of the more ingredient dense supplements to make our ranking. Coming in at 30 servings a bottle, each serving provides over 1 gram of powder. This dosage is rare when it comes to Epicatechin supplements especially, but it’s easy to see why.

That’s because it has more to offer than just epicatechin. 

See, EP1LOGUE isn’t your run of the mill Epicat capsule that contains 300 mg or less. In fact, it’s ingredient formula is comprised of three different (effective) proprietary ingredient complexes.

These ingredients include a combined 600 mg of Green Tea Extract (GTE) and Epicatechin, 300 mg of VASO6 Oligomers to increase nitric oxide synthesis (pump), and 150 mg of UroBolin Punica Granatum. UroBolin is made up of l-arginine, AAKG, l-glutamine, creatine, and HMB to help enhance muscular recovery and encourage proper growth. The only downside is cost- $48.

Olympus Labs EP1LOGUE Overview:Olympus Labs EP1LOGUE

  • 2 capsules per serving
  • 30 servings per container
  • 600 mg of GTE & EPICAT
  • 300 mg of Vaso6 Oligomers
  • 150 mg of UroBolin Punica Granatum
  • Several highly effective ingredient forms

3. Epi-Plex by Competitive Edge Labs

Competitive Edge Labs (CEL) Epi-Plex is undoubtedly at the forefront in epicatechin nutrition. If you’re looking for a cost-friendly solution at clinically effective dosages with no hidden blends, you’ll like Epi-Plex. Oh, and it just so happens to be the cheapest on our ranking- so take note.

That said, let’s see what makes it so effective.

Each bottle of Epi-Plex supplies a solid 60 servings comprised of 60 total capsules. Inside each serving is a simple yet highly potent complex of 300 mg Epicatechin and 20 mg of piperine.

Piperine is an ingredient derived from black pepper that helps increase ingredient absorption. By including Piperine, your body utilizes more of the Epicatechin than you would without it, thus getting you even more for your buck on an already wallet-friendly epicat supplement. Bonus!

For only $32 with free shipping on Amazon, you can rest assured knowing Epi-Plex is awesome.

CEL Epi-Plex Highlights:Competitive Edge Labs Epi-Plex

  • 1 capsule per serving
  • 60 capsules per bottle
  • 300 mg of Epicatechin
  • 20 mg of Piperine (95%)
  • No hidden ingredients
  • Proudly made in the USA

View CEL EPI-Plex Here


2. Team 6 Supplements Alpha Muscle XT

Formulated by Team 6 Supplements (T6), Alpha Muscle XT is the brand’s flagship multi-purpose premium testosterone booster. Designed with effectivity in mind, each tub provides 30 servings in a 2:1 ratio of plant-based caps made up of a variety of beneficial ingredients and nutrients.

Among these are the essential minerals Zinc and Magnesium.

Although they have a plethora of uses in the body, they’re best known for their influence on testosterone production. Low levels of either can contribute to low levels of testosterone.

What interests us the most is the addition of 300 mg of organic ashwagandha to reduce stress, 30 mg of laxogenin to enhance stamina, and lastly 300 mg of epicatechin to build strength. It also features other ingredients like 3,3′-Diindolylmethane and Longjack root to add to the gains.

T6 Supplements Alpha Muscle XT Overview:Team 6 Supplements Alpha Muscle XT

  • 2 caps per serving, 30 servings per tub
  • Includes essential Magnesium and Zinc
  • 300 mg of organic KSM-66 Ashwagandha
  • 150 mg of Epicatechin leaf extract
  • 150 mg of 3,3′-Diindolylmethane
  • 100 mg of 100:1 Longjack root extract
  • 30 mg of laxogenin as laxosterone

View T6 Alpha Muscle Here


1. Element Nutraceuticals Epicatechin – Our top pick

Element Nutraceuticals (EN) Epicatechin is currently our most favorite, and with good reason. For starters, you’ll find every bottle provides 60 servings or 60 individual capsules. Contained inside each capsule is a high-efficacy dose of Epicatechin at 300 mg per, highlighting it’s value.

EN Epicatechin also has 200 mg of Green Tea Extract (50% EGCG) and 100 mg of Beetroot extract. Together, these two ingredients combine to help round up and increase the formula’s overall effectivity as well as deliver clean energy and laser-like focus to its user.

What’s more, you won’t find any ‘fluff’ or otherwise unnecessary ingredients, either. This paired with its price evaluation currently at $37 (via Amazon) and we simply couldn’t be happier.

Element Nutraceuticals EPICAT Overview:Element Nutraceuticals Epicatechin Supplement

  • 1 capsule per serving
  • 60 servings per bottle
  • 300 mg of epicatechin
  • 200 mg of green tea extract
  • 100 mg of beetroot extract
  • 30 grams of total ingredients

View Element EPICAT Here


Best Epicatechin Supplements Round-Up

All things considered, we suggest Element Neutraceutical’s Epicatechin the most. We believe it’s the overall best combination of a variety of factors, including price, reviews, and formula to name a few, although it should be noted each of these products can help you achieve results.

That said, there’s a lot of natural ways to boost testosterone, and epicatechin can certainly help. So, regardless of which brand you choose, you can be confident you’re making the right choice no matter what.

Enjoyed the guide or have a question? Leave us a comment below!

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 1
  • Brad 1 year

    You guys should really have Follidrone 2.0 on this list. Ive used 2 of the products listed and Follidrone and for sure Follidrone is better. PLus it has more than epicatechin in it. You can really see a difference in overall endurance and strength. Going on bottle 7 of it. Give it a shot youll see.