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How Chocolate Can Help You Build Muscle [Infographic]…

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I think that something we can all agree on is that everybody loves chocolate.

Some love it more than others, others don’t really care, while some cannot live without their daily chocolate fix.

Even if you are very healthy and you try your best to stay away from anything sugary and sweet, it’s often hard to do away with all the yummy goodness.

chocolate_protein_muscle_growthI sure as hell know that nothing can beat the taste of my chocolate flavored protein powder – shoutout to MyProtein for their amazing Chocolate Smooth flavor (definitely one of the best out there).

The bad news however is that chocolate is not really one of the healthiest products on the markets as it’s usually high in sugar and packed with fats (most of which are saturated).

 

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Most chocolate goods are even bundled with trans fats that are extremely bad for not just your waist line but also for your health in general.

Contrary to popular belief however chocolate (dark chocolate that is) is actually a very healthy food packed with dietary fiber, protein and good fats as well as many other health boosting micronutrients such as iron, magnesium, copper, zinc, potassium, and selenium.

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Chocolate is also packed with organic compounds that function as antioxidants. And even more interestingly dark chocolate has been shown to be one of the most powerful antioxidants that disarm harmful free particles. Chocolate proved to be a much stronger antioxidant than blueberries and Acai berries, which are literally infamous for their antioxidant properties (read more about it here).

Chocolate is also known to act as a really good pre-workout food as it contains Theobromine – an alkaloid that has similar properties as caffeine, but less effective.

It’s also good for your cardiovascular (hearth) health, improves brain function, relieves stress, and helps fights cancer cells.

All of these sound amazing and honestly they make chocolate seem less of a bad and unhealthy food that you eat when you’re feeling down, and more as a super food that can help you prevent a number of illnesses, improve your general health and even potentially help you lose some body fat along the way.

What if I told you that chocolate can also help you gain more muscle mass?

Yeah you heard me right – chocolate can facilitate muscle growth and development.

I completely understand why this might be hard for you to accept. My reaction when I first heard this was quite similar to yours – solid denial.

Stay with me, it will start making sense as you continue reading…

epicatechinChocolate is believed to help build muscle because it contains the flavanol – Epicatechin. It has been hypothesizes by many that Epicatechin can invoke two major muscle building properties: decreasing myostatin and increasing follistatin.

A study carried out in 2014 seeking potential methods to diminish the effects of sarcopenia (where we lose muscle mass as we age) showed that with roughly 150mg of Epicatechin supplementation every day the middle-aged subjects had a 16.6% decrease in myostatin and a 49.2% follistatin increase.

Ok, that’s great and all, but what does this actually mean?

Myostatin is a regulating protein that controls the rate of muscle growth in your body, making sure that it doesn’t get outta hand. It is also known to create a so-called “genetic sealing” – the more myostatin present in your body, the lower the amount of muscle mass that you can build.

myocowAs seen in some animals, the lack of myostatin can cause unnatural and INSANE amounts of muscle growth. It is also believed that, genetically speaking, the lower levels of myostatin concentration in some bodybuilders and fitness models is the primary reason why they can grow muscle quicker or in larger quantities than others – i.e. they are genetically gifted.

ASAPScience even made a video about it:

 

 

 

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