Why is Deer Antler Velvet used for Bodybuilding?

Nowadays, deer antler velvet and deer antler spray are all the rage in bodybuilding.

Deer antler velvet is a dietary supplement made from growing deer antlers. When made into an extract, it is known as deer antler spray. In the growth stage, deer antlers are full of nutrients including amino acids and growth factors. In clinical studies, these ingredients have been found to be beneficial to those intending to build muscle size and strength. That is why bodybuilders and other athletes use deer antler spray – to help them get bigger and  stronger.

 Deer Antler Velvet and Deer Antler Spray IGF-1

The key to deer antler velvet’s potency is the growth factor content. There are 13 growth factors contained in deer antler velvet, including insulin growth-like factor 1, also called IGF-1. High quality deer antler sprays have a high concentration of potent, natural IGF-1.

IGF-1 is an important hormone that plays a vital role in the growth and development of a child. In adults, IGF-1 has an anabolic effect, meaning it stimulates the growth of muscles. It is produced naturally by the liver in response to Human Growth Hormone (HGH), which is produced by the pituitary gland.


IGF-1 works by transporting glucose and amino acids into muscle cells, which aids muscular function and muscular recovery. However, as we age, our HGH levels decrease and correspondingly, so do our IGF-1 levels. The effect of this on our bodies is that it reduces our ability to recover, repair and heal itself. In other words, we begin showing signs of aging.


The main benefits of IGF-1 supplementation are increases in muscle growth, athletic performance and recovery. For younger people, the use of IGF-1 encourages muscular growth and development. While for older people, IGF-1 use assists with muscle preservation and maintenance. For bodybuilders, IGF-1 translates to increased performance and quicker recovery from hard training or from injury. It is a highly effective supplement to their training regimens.

IGF-1 Benefits

Below are the major benefits that are possible with IGF-1 use:

  • Increase Muscle Mass and Strength: One of IGF-1’s primary functions is to build tissue. Clearly, this is of great interest to bodybuilders, whose focus is to increase muscle.
  • Speed Muscle Recovery: IGF-1’s other primary function is to repair tissue. It speeds muscle recovery, so that bodybuilders can lift weights more often, thus increasing muscle mass faster. IGF-1 also helps with injuries such as muscle tears.
  •  Help Joint Function: IGF-1 has an anti-inflammatory effect. It improves joint flexibility and fluidity, which in turn reduces joint pain. It is important for bodybuilders to have proper joint function so that movements can be done with full range of motion.
  • Improve Heart Conditions: IGF-1 can lower blood pressure, increase blood supply and circulation.  This not only reduces the risk for a heart attack but also improves the overall health of the heart.
  •  Boost Sexual Function: IGF-1 levels are significantly correlated to sexual function. Boosting IGF-1 in the body increases libido and treats sexual problems such as erectile dysfunction and infertility.


IGF-1 has been shown to increase the rate of muscle growth from training.  Muscle fibers are also repaired more quickly after injury.  Hypertrophy and hyperplasia both occur. Hyperplasia occurs when muscle fibers split, creating even more muscle fibers. Hypertrophy occurs when the existing muscle fibers increase in the size. Together, hypertrophy and hyperplasia make muscles bigger and stronger.

Lee Sweeney, Ph.D., Professor and Chairman of Physiology at the University of Pennsylvania, is a recognized expert on the subject of the genetic enhancement of skeletal muscle. Dr. Sweeney spoke to the World Anti-Doping Association (WADA) with regard to the muscle building and regenerating properties of IGF-1.

Dr. Sweeney reported, “Rats that were given IGF-1 and did nothing were bigger and stronger than rats that weren’t given IGF-1 but exercised. And I’ll bet you guessed that rats that were given IGF-1 and exercised were the biggest, strongest rats in the house. The positive effects of IGF-1 on the rats continued for months after the rats stopped getting the supplemental hormone, whereas the exercising rats immediately lost size and strength as soon as they stopped exercising.”

In another study the muscle fibers of 27-month old rats – old age for rats – that were given IGF-1 during middle age, exhibited no deterioration of muscle fibers that indicate the classic and inevitable signs of aging. These rats did not lose any fast twitch muscle fibers – the fibers responsible for power and speed – and had the same speed and power output that they had when they were six months of age.


“So we were able to conclude that IGF-1 could prevent all of the hallmarks of age-related atrophy and loss of skeletal muscle function in mammalian aging,” Dr. Sweeney continued. 

He reported that rodents given IGF-1 before birth and at four weeks of age experienced a 35% increase in strength in targeted muscles, did not lose any size and strength as they aged and did not lose any of these gains when they stopped training.

Dr. Sweeney believes that IGF-1 could be used as an instant muscle builder for members of the general population. IGF-1 provides almost permanent muscle-creating, muscle-repairing, and anti-aging benefits and is totally undetectable.

Bodybuilders are using IGF-1 and so are athletes at the highest level of sport.  It is reported that 50% of all major league baseball and football players use IGF-1 in the form of deer antler spray. Professional golfers, olympic athletes, collegiate athletes have all admitted to using deer antler spray.


Side Effects of IGF-1

There are synthetic and natural sources of IGF-1.

Synthetic IGF-1, available in the form of IGF-1 injections (pictured below) has some bad side effects, such as jaw pain, swelling, headaches, and an irregular heartbeat. Taking too much IGF-1 can be counterproductive. Too much IGF-1 has been identified as the culprit for causing bloating in the abdominal region, which explains why you see some bodybuilders with a potbelly.

Taking synthetic IGF-1 could potentially be dangerous. It stays in the body longer, and is designed to treat growth and developmental delays in children, not to be taken for its anabolic properties by bodybuilders and power lifters.


Fortunately, there is a source of natural IGF-1. Deer antler spray (pictured below) contains natural IGF-1 that is similar to human IGF-1 and is usable by the human body. It appears to be safe and effective. Thus far, only mild side effects including headaches and upset stomachs have been identified.  For long term use, deer antler spray is the better, healthier option.


Where to Buy Natural IGF-1

When evaluating deer antler velvet and deer antler spray, quality and purity is paramount. One must analyze:

  • Extract ratio – how much deer antler velvet was used to create the extract
  • Deer antler velvet extract content – how much extract is in the bottle
  • IGF-1 content – how much IGF-1 is contained in the bottle

With these three pieces of information, one can get a sense of the quality and potency of a product. If these pieces of information are lacking, it is intentionally omitted by the company to hide the quality, or lack thereof, of their product.

It is very important that deer antler velvet comes from healthy deer and is processed in a manner that preserves and increases the IGF-1 content. There are hundreds of deer antler velvet products on the marketplace. However, a majority of them come from questionable sources and are produced with destructive methods.

Antler Farms
For more information on deer antler velvet and bodybuilding, visit Antler Farms

Antler Farms deer antler extract is the best deer antler velvet product available today. Antler Farms is a USA based company that manufactures the highest quality, purest deer antler velvet products.

Antler Farms sells a product with a 75:1 extract ratio (very high). There is 42 mg of deer antler velvet extract per serving, and there is 417 ng of IGF-1 per serving. The cost is $199 for a 2 oz. bottle (60 servings).

To buy, visit Antler Farms.