Deer antler velvet is used in the USA primarily as a means of increasing muscle strength and size.
IGF-1 is the main ingredient in the deer velvet that assists the increased rate and extent of muscle repair, muscle growth, and the increase in muscle fibers. Muscle Fiber Hyperplasia, is the splitting of muscle fibers that increases the amount of muscle fibers overall in the body. An increase of muscle fibers increases the potential overall size gained because of training, and helps you achieve a size that would not have been possible without the extra assistance provided by IGF-1.
IGF-1 aids growth and stops cell death in normal ranges. The hormone stimulates growth in most cells of the body, including skeletal muscle, cartilage, bone, nerves and skin. It increases the number and size of cells.
Athletes have reportedly been taking the velvet in the professional sporting world as it has the some of the same performance enhancing effects that anabolic steroids have on the body. Several athletes have come under fire for attempting to increase their physical strength using the substance, such as Ray Lewis, retired NFL linebacker, Vijay Singh, a professional golfer, and multiple members of the University of Alabama football team.
Tests confirm deer antler velvet’s effects on muscle strength. In a randomized, double blind, placebo controlled experiment, 18 males entered a 10 week strength training program. Those who took deer antler velvet showed an increase in strength in the bench press and leg squat, and decrease in body fat relative to the placebo group.
In another experiment, 38 males, all of whom were experienced weightlifters, entered a 10 week strength training program. Those who took deer antler velvet experienced an increase in peak torque and average power relative to the placebo group. They also experienced unexpected improvements in aerobic performance.