IGF-1 LR3 Beginners Guide – Benefits, Side Effects, and Dosages

Are you looking to add slabs of muscle to your frame? Do you want to make more progress in four to six weeks than you have in years? IGF-1 LR3 offers you the chance to make your physique and training goals a reality.

This potent peptide delivers results, but it’s only suitable for advanced researchers. Going overboard with the use of this peptide has consequences due to its efficacy and efficiency in building large amounts of muscle quickly.

This post unpacks everything you need to know about adding IGF-1 LR3 into your diet and training. We’ll discuss the use of the peptide, as well as dosages, cycles, and side effects associated with IGF-1 LR3 use.

DISCLAIMER: The post author and publishing website are not liable or responsible for your unauthorized use of peptide products like IGF-1 LR3. These compounds are not suitable for use in humans, and the FDA doesn’t recommend them. This post is purely for informational and entertainment purposes only.

What are peptides and what are they used for?

What are Peptides?

A peptide is an organic material with molecules consisting of two or more amino acids chained together. Amino acids essentially form the building blocks of all proteins used in the body.

Proteins all have a unique sequence and structure, be they long or short, and each has specific biological responsibilities in the body.

Shorter amino acids are known as “peptides,” and they’re responsible for cell communication and maintaining homeostasis. In recent decades, scientists began formulating peptides synthetically in lab environments for testing in experiments regarding the effect of the compounds on the human body.

Peptides play key roles in bodily functions, and IGF-1 LR3 is an example of a peptide influencing normal insulin response.

Example showing five vials of IGF-1 LR3

What Is IGF-1 LR3 and what does it do?

About IGF-1 LR3

Are you looking for a miracle growth product to help you stack on the mass during your next research cycle? IGF-1 LR3 could be the secret you need to unlock massive gains.

Insulin-like-growth-factor-1 (IGF-1) also goes by the moniker Somatomedin C, and it’s one of the most-talked-about peptides on the market, with a slew of positive and negative user experiences.

IGF-1 came onto the scene in the late 1990s, with Dorian Yates, the former Mr. Olympia fueling speculation among his fans that the champ used the drug as part of his competition stack to gain his mass monster size for the show.

Back then, IGF-1 was an expensive drug and only available to pro bodybuilders that could afford it through their private sponsors. It’s important to note that IGF-1 is not in the class of Anabolic Androgenic Steroids (AAS).

IGF-1 is a polypeptide, also known as a protein hormone, with a similar chemical structure to the natural hormone insulin produced in the pancreas and liver. The body naturally produces IGF-1 in the liver, stimulated by the release of human growth hormone (HGH).

Essentially, HGH acts as a precursor hormone to the development of IGF-1. As a result, many of the anabolic effects of HGH come from a downstream effect of IGF-1 production. The polypeptide IGF-1 is around the same size molecule-wise as insulin, containing a chemical structure of 70 amino acids.

IGF-1 provides a nutrient-shuttling effect to the muscular system, and it’s one of the most anabolic hormones available in the human body, affecting muscle, bone, organ, and ligament tissue development.

IGF-1 has a considerable growth effect on the body, especially during childhood, where it’s essential for childhood development. IGF-1 attaches to two receptors in the body, namely the IR (Insulin Receptor) and IGF-1R (Insulin-like-Growth-Factor-1 Receptor).

To get technical, IGF-1R presents on the surface of cells in most tissues. When it binds to IGF-1R, the peptide initiates a process of intracellular signaling, specifically via the Akt pathway, stimulating growth. IGF-1 is one of the strongest activators of the Akt signaling pathway.

Some of the effects on our physiology involved with stimulation of the Akt pathway include the following.

  • Enhanced protein synthesis.
  • Improved cell survival.
  • Better angiogenesis.
  • An increase in glycogen synthesis.

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IGF-1 provides cells with a growth-stimulating effect, and the peptide has the capacity to regulate the process of DNA synthesis in cells. However, IGF-1 not only stimulates the growth of skeletal muscle tissue. The peptide also has an affinity for other cells in bone, cartilage, nerves, organs, as well as hematopoietic cells.

What does that mean for the average bodybuilder using IGF-1? It means that the use of the peptide causes growth in the muscular system and the bones and organs, like the jaw and the gut. For this reason, many bodybuilders suspect IGF-1 is a player in the development of the “bubble gut” in pro bodybuilders in the 2000s.

IGF-1 also has a very similar structure and efficacy as insulin, with a potency rating of 0.1 times insulin capacity and affinity for attaching to the insulin receptors in the body. Essentially, this statement means that IGF-1 has a similar effect on the body as taking exogenous insulin, the most powerful growth hormone in the human body.

Is IGF-1 LR3 the same thing as IGF-1?

IGF-1 LR3 vs IGF-1

Well, yes, and no. IGF-1 doesn’t last long in the body. The liver metabolizes the peptide fast, meaning that very little of it ends up freely available for use within the body. The half-life of IGF-1 is somewhere around 30-minutes, and that’s not enough time to present much of an anabolic effect.

To improve the efficacy of IGF-1, pharma companies created IGF-1 LR3, extending its half-life within the body. This new derivative of IGF-1 promises the user a 20 to 30-hour half-life, extending its bioavailability in the body.

IGF-1 LR3 also prevents glucose from entering cells. Therefore, the researcher ends up with the body using fat sources for energy sources, in a ketogenic-like effect that fast-tracks fat loss in users.

What are the benefits of IGF-1 LR3?


IGF-1 LR3 is one of the most popular peptides for stacking on significant amounts of muscle mass, and with good reason. Insulin is the most powerful growth hormone in the body, and professional bodybuilders use it to stack on serious gains in the offseason.

However, IGF-1 LR3 gives you the same benefits of using insulin, with lower risk. The benefits of peptide therapy with IGF-1 LR3 include the following.

  • It boosts metabolic rate.
  • It reverses the insulin sensitivity of the pancreas.
  • Burns fat stores, reducing body fat levels in users.
  • It enhances energy levels and libido.
  • It dramatically increases muscle-building capability.
  • It improves the regenerative effect of sleep by enhancing sleep quality.
  • It helps to alleviate feelings of depression.
  • It boosts your cognitive function.

Doctors may prescribe IGF-LR3 therapy for children and young adults who experience developmental issues. It’s a recommended treatment for people dealing with the muscle-wasting effects of HIV/AIDs, helping the patient retain lean muscle mass and bone density.

Vials of the peptide IGF-1 LR3

How to cycle IGF-1 LR3 and what dosage to use

Dosage & Cycling

IGF-1 LR3 is a potent peptide, producing noticeable effects from the first dose. There’s no need to wait around for this compound to “load” in the body before you start seeing results.

It’s for this reason that most speculative information around cycle lengths and dosing suggests that users stick to smaller doses. For men, 40 to 50mcg of IGF-1 LR3 and 20mcg is the upper limit of the dose for females. Exceeding this limit results in diminishing returns and the elevation of side effects in users.

IGF-1 LR3 has a long half-life in the body or around 20 to 30-hours, meaning that researchers should not dose the drug more than once a day, or they risk the emergence of side effects on cycle.

On workout days, researchers should administer their dose around 10-minutes prior to their training or immediately post-workout. Either protocol is preferable, with users claiming impressive gains using both dosing strategies.

For those users hell-bent on trying a twice-per-day dosing strategy, consuming a split dose (20mcg per dose) pre and post-workout is the best option for a safe dosing guideline. On non-training days, users should stick to their regular dose, taken at any time of the day.

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As mentioned, IGF-1 LR3 is one of the most potent muscle-building peptides available. We also discussed how the peptide has an affinity for attaching to the surface of cells in the gut and skeletal system. For this reason, users should limit cycle lengths to a maximum of four to six weeks.

Using longer cycles sees the user start to experience severe side effects from the compound. If you run a four-week cycle, we recommend that you take at least double the cycle length in time off before starting another run with the peptide.

With extended use of IGF-1 LR3, users start to experience saturation of the IGF-1R receptors, resulting in the remaining IGF-1 circulating in the blood, attaching to bone and gastrointestinal tissues.

The saturation of receptors and continued use of the peptide could be the reason for the onset of gut growth and bone growth resulting in changes to the physical structure of the face, known as “acromegaly.”

These side effects are irreversible, so take that information into account when planning your cycle.

How to inject IGF-1 LR3 the safe way


IGF-1 LR3 is available for intramuscular (IM) or subcutaneous (SQ) injection. Most users claim they prefer to use the SQ route over IM injection due to the scar tissue left behind by using bigger needles required for efficient IM administration.

IGF-1 LR3 comes in a lyophilized powder form, or freeze-dried powder, requiring reconstitution into a liquid by the user. Most peptides require reconstitution with bacteriostatic water. However, users recommend diluting a small amount of acetic acid into the BAC water before reconstituting the powder.

Most online suppliers offer IGF-LR3 in 1mg concentrations of the lyophilized powder. For a reconstitution example, we can take 2ml of bacteriostatic water and add it to your powder. This reconstitution gives the user 50mcg for every 10iu (or 0.10ml) of reconstitution solution.

Concentrations vary depending on the user’s preferences for dilution, as well as the concentration of the lyophilized powder provided by the supplier. However, it’s critical that all users understand their calculations when reconstituting the powder to avoid disastrous side effects from their dosing protocol.

What are the risks and side effects of using IGF-LR3?

Side Effects

As mentioned, IGF-1 LR3 is one of the most potent muscle-building peptides available. However, it has to have a downside, right?

Unfortunately, IGF-1 LR3 is also one of the most abused peptides available. When users experience the best gains they have in their life, they tend to stay on cycle for too long, or they increase the dose to levels were side effects start to present.

Taking around the 100mcg range of IGF-1 LR3 daily results in the rapid emergence of side effects in the researcher. Also, staying on-cycle for longer than 30-days also starts to influence the emergence of sides.

With a 100mcg dose, users can expect the following side effects.

  • Headaches.
  • Nausea.
  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).

While these sides are somewhat mild, doses above the 120mcg/day range start to produce some nasty effects in the researcher. Some of the supposed sides involved with higher doses of IGF-1 LR3 include the following.

  • Jawline and elbow/hand acromegaly in the user.
  • Severe blood sugar disorders leaning towards hypoglycemia and diabetes.
  • Growth in the organs in the digestive system, resulting in a “bubble gut.”

It’s important to note that there is no science pointing to IGF-1 LR3 and its ability to grow the gut or bones. However, it’s a common thread between all pros and high-level bodybuilders using high doses of this peptide.

Organ and bone growth are irreversible, and the affected individual will end up dealing with these sides for the rest of their life, long after they stop training. Being the bubble gut man around your block is not the flavor, and you’ll end up regretting those long cycles or large doses of IGF-1 LR3.

Stick between the 50mcg to 80mcg range per day, and keep cycles to four to six weeks, and you shouldn’t have any problems with side effects. If you’re using these dosages and don’t notice any effect, you’re probably dealing with a bunk product.

What are the different forms of IGF-1?


As mentioned, IGF-1 has a very short half-life in the body, and it’s not ideal for bodybuilding or strength sports if you have to dose it every hour. Fortunately, the clever guys in lab coats figured a way around this issue with derivatives of the IGF-1 peptide.

We already discussed the improvement in half-life generated by the use of the IGF-1 LR3 derivative. However, IGF-1 DES also presents a viable form of the peptide for use in performance enhancement activities.

IGF-1 DES is a shorter version of IGF-1, but it has a far higher potency, with some researchers claiming it to be up to five times more efficient at binding to receptors than IGF-1.

However, the compound also has a short half-life of 20 to 30-minutes, making IGF-1 LR3 the more popular derivative used in bodybuilding.

IGF-1 vs. HGH: Which one works better or are they the same?

IGF-1 vs. HGH

It’s important to note that IGF-1 and IGF-1 LR3 do not have the same effect on the body as human growth hormone (HGH).

HGH doesn’t have a direct muscle-building impact on the body. HGH relies on stimulating the receptors responsible for causing the release of IGF-1.

For this reason, many bodybuilders include HGH therapy alongside IGF-1 LR3 cycles to boost the muscle-building effect of the peptide.

Final thoughts about using IGF-1 LR3

Wrapping Up

IGF-1 LR3 is a potent muscle-building peptide. However, due to the compound’s potential risk for side effects, it only suits advanced users that have plenty of experience working with these compounds. Adding IGF-1 LR3 to your first newbie stack is a mistake.

Getting the dosages wrong or extending your cycle is playing with fire when using this peptide. Therefore, make sure you have your cycle plan mapped out before your start, and be careful with your reconstitution of the lyophilized powder.

Getting your reconstitution wrong could end up with disaster instead of an enjoyable experience with the peptide. The last thing you need on cycle is to slip into a diabetic coma before or after your workout.

Where can I buy IGF-1 LR3 online?

Buy IGF-1 LR3

There are hundreds of online sources selling IGF-1 LR3 and its derivatives. However, finding a trusted vendor amongst the dozens of sites offering peptides for sale is challenging.

Unfortunately, the reality is that many peptide sites sell bunk. The products are either not what they claim they are, or they don’t deliver the expected results for the researcher.

Fortunately, at SARMs.io, we did the hard work of separating the scammers from the legit sources. Check out our SARMs.io verified sources program for information on peptide suppliers that deserve your order.

We only list sites we feel meet our stringent third-party testing criteria. Purchasing from our recommended sources ensures you get high-quality peptides and a good experience from your next cycle.

Sources Cited:

Assefa, Biruhalem, et al. “Insulin-like growth factor (IGF) binding protein-2, independently of IGF-1, induces GLUT-4 translocation and glucose uptake in 3T3-L1 adipocytes.” Oxidative medicine and cellular longevity 2017 (2017). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5750484/

Sundgren, Nathan C., et al. “Extracellular signal-regulated kinase and phosphoinositol-3 kinase mediate IGF-1 induced proliferation of fetal sheep cardiomyocytes.” American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology 285.6 (2003): R1481-R1489. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12947030/

Patel, V. A., et al. “Defect in insulin-like growth factor-1 survival mechanism in atherosclerotic plaque–derived vascular smooth muscle cells is mediated by reduced surface binding and signaling.” Circulation research 88.9 (2001): 895-902. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11348998/

Chris Jackson
Chris Jackson

Chris Jackson, co-founder of Sarms.io, is a renowned fitness blogger, physique model, and evolutionary bioscience researcher specializing in SARMs (Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators). His extensive work, characterized by cutting-edge research and practical training advice, has made Sarms.io a leading source for accurate, credible information on performance enhancers. With a dedication to improving the understanding and application of SARMs in optimizing human performance, his contributions have not only expanded public awareness but also shaped the conversation around these substances. Chris's pursuit of knowledge and commitment to sharing it continue to inspire many in their fitness journeys.

  1. Any opinion on SAF? Legit or scam?

  2. Any information on amino asylum?

  3. Anyone tried Nootropicsource.com?
    Scam, fake or reliable?

  4. Does anyone know whether or not it can be stored up to 30 days after dilution and, if so, at what condition (temperature in C°)?

    • Totally fine for 30+ days if refrigerated. Literature suggests it will begin to lose potency in 14 to 20 days when mixed and stored in room temperature

      • How much bac water should you use to dilute

      • The pubmed clinical study I read had effective results using 50mcg on an EOD schedule due to the 20-30hr life. This avoids overlap spike and allowing the body to maintain natural secretion in the gap. Any thoughts on this approach?

        • Seems like a reasonable approach, just depends on your goals at the end of the day. If the results of the study align with yours then I’d say give it a shot.

      • Thanks for the info Chris.
        I’ll try to refrigerate at 2C° after diluted. See what happens.
        Regarding the list of trusted sources for this peptide, I found it incomplete and unreliable for anyone buying from within the EU.
        Any thouths on Nootropicsource.com?
        If not, would you have the name of a reliable website, that is still online and active though, that can be trusted?

  5. Very informative article, answers many questions that I have, thank you! I started with CJC/IPA but am now on the off cycle. Recently, I started using IGF-1 LR3, but I still need clarification about when to use it. Currently, I’m injecting only on the days that I work out lifting heavy weights. Otherwise, I abstain from using on my rest days. Is this method just as effective, do I need to inject daily or only on the days I plan to workout? Thank you.

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