A new report from Sports Illustrated connects Baltimore Ravens player Ray Lewis with deer antler spray, also known as deer antler velvet, one of the oddest-sounding performance enhancers we've ever heard of. (Lewis and the team, by the way, deny he did anything wrong.) So what is this stuff?
Well, it's pretty close to what it sounds like: It's a spray or pill with an active ingredient, IGF-1, extracted from deer antlers. Christopher Key, one person in the two-person company SWATS (Sports With Alternatives To Steroids), which sells the spray and pills, gave this quote in the Sports Illustrated report:
SWATS isn't the only company, either. You can even pick up a bottle on Amazon.
IGF-1, a naturally occurring chemical, can (supposedly) stimulate muscle growth in above-average quantities. It's been compared to the better-known human growth hormone, or HGH. But, as the International Business Times points out, we're not even completely sure how well, if at all, the substance works with humans, although at least one major study did find increased performance in athletes who used it.
So maybe consider the fact that it's unproven (and also consider the poor deer) before you try that out.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.