Supplements in Sports: Deer Antler Velvet
Controversy broke out this week when a Sport's Illustrated story reported Baltimore Ravens' future Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Lewis may have used a banned substance during his miraculous recovery from a torn triceps. The supposed culprit? Deer antler velvet.
The normal recovery time for such an injury is at the bare minimum three months to heal and a week or so to get back into game shape. Lewis, who tore his triceps during an October game versus the Dallas Cowboys, managed a comeback in a blistering two months, suiting up for the Ravens' first-round game against the Indianapolis Colts. With the Super Bowl mere days away, Lewis denied claims he had used the supplement.
Later, stories began to circulate that the company who supplied Lewis with the supplement (S.W.A.T.S) had also been in contact with players from the University of Alabama Crimson Tide before their 2012 National Championship game versus Louisiana State University.
It is also being reported that former three time Major winner Vijay Singh also has connections to S.W.A.T.S founders Christopher Key and Mitch Ross. Singh reportedly endorsed deer antler velvet even after it was banned by the PGA.
These stories certainly raised plenty of questions about deer antler velvet. Here's what you need to know:
What is deer antler velvet?
Deer antler velvet is the pre-calcified cartilage on the newly forming antlers of male deer which helps strengthen and grow the rack. Before the antlers are fully calcified, they're extracted in a safe manner and ground into a powder to be manufactured into supplements.
Deer antler velvet can be found in pill form but is most commonly found as a spray. A user will spray the formula under his tongue two times per day for as long as needed. It's believed that the spray is more effective then the pill because it's absorbed quickly into the bloodstream and sent throughout the body.
What is it used for?
Traditionally, deer antler velvet has been used to restore, balance and strengthen the body, support joint function and cultivate an overall feeling of well-being. Recent studies have shown deer antler velvet can stimulate maximum protein synthesis and growth in human muscle tissue.
Why is it banned?
Deer antler velvet contains IGF -1 (Insulin-Like Growth Factor-1), a hormone naturally produced by your body from human growth hormone (HGH). Most of the products using deer antler velvet boost the levels of HGH in the body to increase muscle recovery rate. Making the muscles able to rebound more quickly after intense training it turn makes it easier to build lean muscle mass. The use of HGH is seen as a competitive advantage and so it's banned by most of the major sports organizations.
If you're an athlete, either amateur or professional, it's important to check your organization's guidelines before using this supplement.
Is deer antler velvet safe?
A study conducted by University of New Brunswick in 2003 showed there are no known side effects associated with deer antler velvet. However, as with all supplements, it's crucial to speak with a physician before adding a new one to your routine, especially if you're being treated for a diagnosed medical condition, are pregnant or nursing.
Visit eVitamins to learn more about this supplement.
Products you may like:
Now Foods IGF-1 Plus Liposomal Spray
Why you may like this product? IGF-1 is the main booster of HGH in deer antler velvet. It can be used to speed muscle recovery and increase muscle mass. Every serving contains 27.5 ng of IGF -1.
Planetary Herbals Full Spectrum Antler Velvet 250 mg
Why you may like this product? This product is regenerated every year and harvested with great care in a humane manner by specially trained farmers or veterinarians who conform to the National Velvet Standards Body (NVSB) of New Zealand. Every serving contains 500 mg of antler velvet.
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