What Is Deer Antler Velvet?
If you’re into fitness, you must’ve heard about the popularity of deer antler velvet. In that case, you must be equally curious whether it’s good for bodybuilding or can be used by the military. If so, keep reading to find answers to all your questions!
This traditional Chinese medicinal ingredient has been used for thousands of years to help improve several health problems. It was most commonly used to boost immune function, improve kidney health, relieve joint pain, and strengthen muscles.
Today, deer antler velvet has gained worldwide popularity and is making headlines for its potential benefits. Since it’s believed to enhance muscular development and strength, its supplement is increasingly common among bodybuilders for improving athletic performance.
Likewise, researchers are also exploring this potent ingredient to learn more about its potential benefits.
So, does it work like magic? Let’s find out!
Deer Antler Velvet
Like its name, deer antler velvet or antler velvet is the soft, velvety hair that protects the bone and cartilage of immature male deer antlers.
This fuzzy layer plays a crucial role during its growing stage by providing the cartilage with essential nutrients like protein and minerals until the antler bone is fully grown.
To let you know an interesting fact: deer antlers grow up to 1 cm daily and take around 90 to 120 days to develop fully. So, finally, when the antlers grow and reach their maximum size, the protective layer sheds.
So, what makes the famous deer antler velvet is the antler bone of young male deer removed during its growing stage.
Since antler velvet is rich in vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, it’s commonly used to boost the immune system and treat symptoms like joint pain, injury, inflammation, liver damage, erectile dysfunction, anemia, and other health issues.
You’ll find antler velvet in several forms, such as supplements, sprays, and powders.
However, some people are concerned about how deer antlers are cut off, so if you’re one of them, don’t worry!
Each state follows strict rules, and removing antlers from live deer is illegal. For instance, taking off deer antlers in the UK is banned unless the animal is damaged or until the velvety layer sheds.
Only skilled professionals like vet surgeons or certified individuals perform the removal of deer antlers under anesthesia, ensuring the animal is not harmed during the process.
Likewise, anyone involved in the illegal or unethical removal of deer antlers could face prosecution.
Is Deer Antler Velvet Good For Bodybuilding?
Now, we’ll answer the question that you’ve been waiting for!
Is deer antler velvet good for bodybuilding?
Deer antler velvet supplement is highly popular among bodybuilders and athletes as it contains proteins, minerals, and antioxidants, which are beneficial in building strength, boosting test levels, and providing quick post-workout recovery.
So, it is no wonder antler velvet is gaining the spotlight in the health and fitness industry for its impressive benefits.
One main reason for its popularity is that it contains IGF-1 (Insulin-like Growth Factor) that may have anabolic-like effects, which play a vital role in enhancing muscle mass, shedding excess fat, and speeding up cell repair after a workout.
Besides, deer antler velvet also contains collagen, glucosamine, chondroitin, and estrone, which are beneficial in energy production, support joints, and help in muscle soreness (1).
Likewise, if you’re considering antler velvet supplements for bodybuilding, it can be beneficial in several ways. Such as:
- The presence of IGF-1 in antler velvet can help build muscle mass and bone growth, enhance performance, and act as a natural healing agent for cell repair and recovery.
- It contains glucosamine sulfate, which can help bodybuilders get relief from joint pain or injury.
- It can help quicken muscle recovery after an intense workout.
- It can help the body to fight infections and strengthen the immune system.
- It may help lower blood pressure.
- It can help lose excess fat by boosting metabolism.
However, there’s mixed opinion about whether antler velvet benefits bodybuilding. Some have highly praised its effectiveness in improving workout performance, but experts don’t entirely agree as there’s a lack of study and evidence to support these claims.
Moreover, many sports leagues and associations ban the use of IGF-1 as it can cause adverse side effects such as hormonal imbalance, digestive issues, and allergies.
Plus, the FDA doesn’t recommend using antler velvet products as they’re not backed by scientific research and aren’t sure if they’re safe.
So, if you’re a professional athlete or bodybuilder, consult a healthcare professional before taking antler velvet supplements to avoid trouble.
In addition, deer antler velvet supplements are pretty expensive. If you come across cheap products, it’s best to stay away as they may be contaminated and can cause adverse side effects.
Why Is Antler Deer Velvet Banned?
Deer antler velvet is not banned and can be sold, produced, and purchased legally anywhere.
However, it contains IGF-1, which is banned in many sports organizations such as the NFL (National Football League), MLB (Major League Baseball), and USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency).
Hence, if you’re a professional athlete or bodybuilder, ensure that you’re aware of the rules and regulations of your organization before taking any supplement.
Also, the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) doesn’t entirely prohibit the use of antler velvet but advises athletes to be careful and take these supplements at their own risk as they may show positive test results.
Can The Military Take Deer Antler Velvet?
Antler velvet contains essential minerals and vitamins that may be beneficial for military personnel in reducing inflammation, helping in muscle recovery after intense physical activity, and improving their overall well-being.
However, military personnel are strictly prohibited from using any supplement banned by the FDA, and currently, the FDA does recognize the therapeutic effects of antler velvet.
In addition, the military strictly bans the use of IGF-1, which is present in antler velvet. So, if you’re in the military, firstly, check the DoD’s list of prohibited supplement ingredients before taking any dietary supplements to ensure you follow the military rules and regulations.