deer antlers

Deer Antler Velvet for Bodybuilding: Does It Work?

Posted by Chris Manus on

Are you looking for a new way to take your fitness to the next level and gain bigger muscles, faster? Deer antler velvet has recently become popular among bodybuilders and athletes alike, as it is said to be an excellent natural supplement that can help enhance muscle growth. But does deer antler velvet really work? In this blog post, we'll explore what it is, its benefits for bodybuilding, how it works on a cellular level, and if it is indeed effective. So buckle up and get ready to learn about the potential of deer antler velvet for taking your bodybuilding routine to the next level.

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What is Deer Antler Velvet?

It refers to the soft, downy coat that covers the bone and cartilage of deer and elk antlers before they harden. The antlers of these majestic creatures are the fastest-growing bones of any animal, and they shed and regrow them annually. This is why deer antler velvet supplements have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years. Its cult-like following is warranted, as deer antler velvet is believed to possess a range of health benefits.

Making Antler Velvet Supplements 

The velvety exterior of the antlers is removed after the animals are put to sleep using anesthesia, and then dried and ground into a fine powder. This powder is then processed into capsules or bulk powder form. For those who prefer a different method of taking their supplements, deer antler extracts and sprays are also available. These are created by combining the powder with an extract solution. Knowing how supplements are made can help consumers make more informed decisions about the products they choose to incorporate into their lifestyles.

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Traditional vs. Modern Applications of Deer Antler Velvet


photo of a deer

Historically, deer antler velvet has been used to fortify bones, boost the immune system, and treat ailments such as toothaches and tissue damage. Today, it is commonly used to enhance strength, stamina, athletic performance, and the healing of injured muscles and tissues. The supplement is also said to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels, promote youth, and enhance fertility, among other purported benefits. Sadly, many of these purported advantages are not supported by sufficient evidence.


The velvet of deer antlers contains nutrients that, in theory, could have health benefits.

A sample of velvet antlers from the Taiwan native Formosan sambar deer was discovered to contain multiple enzymes with antioxidant properties. These enzymes consisted of superoxide dismutase, catalase, and glutathione peroxidase.

In addition, a study concluded that deer antlers may possess medicinal properties due to their amino acid and peptide content. Proteins are composed of amino acids, while peptides are chains of amino acids linked together. Recent research has also attributed the health benefits of it to its high protein content. Recent test-tube studies support the idea that protein peptides from it may have immune-regulating, anti-inflammatory, and heart-health-promoting properties.

It has molecules known as nucleosides, fundamental components of DNA. These may be responsible for the anti-fatigue effects attributed to antler velvet.

Potential Advantages

Although velvet from deer antlers may contain beneficial nutrients and bioactive compounds, few studies have investigated their specific health benefits for humans.

The possible benefits being investigated by researchers include:

  • Bone and cartilage development: Studies indicate that velvet from antlers could treat bone diseases and cartilage damage. In addition, another study conducted on animals revealed that it increased bone enzyme levels and femoral bone length.
  • Strengthening and anti-fatigue properties: Researchers have tried supplementing mice with antler velvet. The more nucleosides the supplements contain, the faster the mice swim, the researchers discovered. This demonstrates increased strength and decreased fatigue.
  • Osteoarthritis treatment. Velvet from deer antlers contains chondroitins, a component of cartilage that may alleviate osteoarthritis-related pain. In addition, additional compounds in antler velvet may strengthen bones.
  • Anti-cancer properties: Multiple studies on mice have shown that antler velvet supplements have anti-cancer and anti-tumor properties.
  • Growth of hair and skin health: Several studies on mice, humans, and using test tubes indicate that deer antler velvet supplements may stimulate skin and hair cells. Consequently, they could enhance hair growth and skin health.

Despite these encouraging results, there are insufficient high-quality human studies to support specific uses of it on humans.

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Is Deer Antler Velvet Beneficial for Bodybuilding?


large deer with antlers

One of the most frequently cited claims regarding deer antler velvet is that it can increase strength and endurance. Men who took it while participating in a strength training program had a greater increase in knee strength and endurance than those who took a placebo. Even the original researchers acknowledged that additional testing was required to confirm their findings. To date, no other studies have replicated the finding in humans, though a handful of animal studies have found comparable effects on endurance. Experts are in agreement that there is insufficient evidence to support claims that deer antler velvet supplements enhance athletic performance or weightlifting abilities.

Adverse Effects?

It is important to note that these supplements are not heavily regulated, which means that there is potential for contamination or mixing with other substances is a real concern. While there have not been any reported adverse side effects from taking deer antler velvet, caution should still be exercised. To ensure the safest possible experience, it's best to thoroughly research the source of the supplement and consult with a healthcare provider.

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Using Deer Antler Velvet

Deer antler velvet can potentially help bodybuilders increase their strength and provide other health benefits. It'll still remain an open debate until further studies are conducted that extend beyond animal-based models. If you’re still not sure whether or not deer antler velvet will help with your workouts, please always consult a doctor first. Lastly, if you're looking for an all-natural product to get more out of your workouts & enhance overall energy and performance, check out our website to see how our gummies can help!

Related Link: 6 Best Exercises for Back Fat: Lose It Quick

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