Dark Chocolate & Lean Muscle

We all love our guilty pleasures, don’t we? When it comes to those guilty pleasures, the one thing that stands out above the rest is chocolate. Sure, any chocolate is delicious, but we know its not exactly doing us any health favours. So what are you going to do when you need your chocolate fix? The answer lies in dark chocolate, which let’s face it, tastes pretty good too!

Almost all of the benefits of dark chocolate can be traced back to the presence of one compound – Epicatechin, which is known to be a myostatin inhibitor. Myostatin deficiencies are well known for their biggest side effect: increased muscle mass – if you want to call in that! Hindering myostatin’s actions would be able to replicate this effect, and cacao and dark chocolate are overflowing with epicatechin! Here’s 4 more benefits of what this delicious indulgence can do for you in your quest for an leaner physique:

  1. Testosterone Booster: consumption of low dose epicatechin can lead to an increase in blood testosterone levels, by stimulating the pituitary gland. This is a tiny gland in the brain that ultimately leads to the testes increasing testosterone production.
  2. Improved Blood Flow: getting nutrients to muscle cells is critical if you want to optimize your muscle building potential. Dark Chocolate is a natural vasodilator leading to more blood flow to the muscle for a better “pump” in the gym and yep you guessed, more blood to your nether regions in the bedroom.
  3. Reduced Cravings: the epicatechin found in dark chocolate can help to suppress your appetite by boosting production of a hormone named Ghrelin – this signals to the brain that you are full.
  4. Enhanced Glucose uptake by the Muscle Cells: Following frequent abuse of carbohydrate consumption, both insulin and transporter cells of muscle becomes sluggish, therefore absorbing less and less, and making more go into storage as fat. Consumption of dark chocolate acutely improves insulin sensitivity allowing muscle cell glucose uptake to increase, along with a decrease in fat storage.

If you’ve never had dark chocolate, or have only had milk and white chocolate up to now, it is time you make the change. For best results aim for 70% Cacao or above and about 100g per week.