Under Armour Performance Mouthpiece

By STEPHEN REGENOLD

Ironman champion Chris McCormack wears one. So do multiple Olympians and NFL players like Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings. As a new category of sports accessory, “performance mouthpieces” — touted to increase strength and endurance, speed up reaction time, and reduce stress — are certainly catching fire.

Indeed, pro athletes and average exercisers by the thousands now slide a custom mouthpiece over their teeth before heading out to compete or play. Further benefits touted include improved flexibility, better breathing through the opening up of the airway, and quicker recovery after competition or training.

Under Armour Performance Mouthpiece photo.jpg

Under Armour Performance Mouthpiece

It gets neurological even. Bite Tech Inc., the Minneapolis company that makes Under Armour Performance Mouthpiece, cites a recent University of Minnesota study that links jaw clenching to stress hormone releases that may inhibit performance.

The theory is that clenched teeth, a natural response to elevated stress levels during activity, signal the brain to release chemicals that affect various parts of the body and hold back physical potential. Products like the Under Armour Performance Mouthpiece can help prevent that bad neurological juju, Bite Tech claims.

Too good to be true? Gear Junkie had to give it a try.

continued on next page. . .

Posted by Dave - 04/15/2010 09:57 AM

I usually chew gum on long bike rides. It has some of the same effects as the mouthpiece and cleans your teeth as well.

Posted by NES - 04/15/2010 10:57 AM

Interesting. What does the effect of McCormack being sponsored by UA have on his wearing and promoting the product though?

Posted by Stephen - 04/15/2010 01:17 PM

This is an interesting concept that has been around for decades. Back in the 70’s, while working as a PT at Jack LaLane’s Health Spas, I met a dentist who was a client of mine. He and a few other orthodontists were develpoing this concept. Unfortunately, too many narrow minded people/companies thought it to be too absurd. I had worked with them for about a year on this product because of my athletic background. How unfortunate why so many forward thinking people are stifled by non progressive thinking companies. It’s nice to see this product come around. I only hope somewhere along the line these earlier individuals will receive credit.

Posted by Chelsea - 04/15/2010 06:40 PM

It always amazes me why there are so many “get the edge” toys out there. We see lifting suits for power lifters, tape on the legs of sprinters, fish-like swim suits at the Olympics and many more. Whatever happened to good ole hard work, guts, dedication and train like a mad man/woman. I’m not impressed by these high tech devices. We might as well allow performance enhancement drugs to be legal if we want to see the super athletes!

Posted by Lori - 04/16/2010 10:13 AM

I couldn’t agree with you more Chelsea. It appears that sports have taken a turn into cyber-performance. All the ‘get the edge’ toys, as you put it, seem to be more important than the athlete’s performance.

Posted by Nick - 04/16/2010 12:05 PM

If the perceived performance increase between having it and not is very “subtle” how much difference would you notice if you used a cheap mouthguard or even a leather strap?

Posted by Marianna - 04/16/2010 04:52 PM

why not just use massage, meditation,self-hypnosis, visualization techniques which have been proven to work AND easy?

Posted by Shaan Sharma - 04/29/2010 02:10 PM

If you all don’t mind a voice from the company that developed this technology, there are just a couple points I would offer for your consideration. First off, the benefits of our products, as a result of 15 years of research and testing, tend to be dramatic, not subtle. I encourage Stephen to do an A/B test where he wears our product for a week and the goes without it for a week and compares how he performs, feels and recovers.

We’re not trying to make anyone into a superhuman cyborg or anything. We just stumbled across a glitch in our evolution, if you will, a holdover of evolution that hurts us and doesn’t help us in the modern age; the teeth clenching phenomenon and the body’s “fight or flight” response.

Only our products correct the negative health impacts associated with clenching as a result of physical or emotional stress. Our patented wedge technology, called ArmourBite, makes it so that no matter how hard you clench, it reduces pressure on your TMJ so your body realizes it’s not being attacked by a lion. Our body needs adrenaline and cortisol in small amounts, but too much and a lifestyle of constant stress can lead to very harmful effects on your health and body and reduced athletic performance. Our products correct that with the least amount of material for the most benefit and with the best fit.

There is no way a company like Under Armour would have partnered with a little Minnesota oral appliance technology company unless our science was rock solid. We’re learning more every day about how and why our technology works and what happens in our body.

Also, our wedge is an impenetrable bite plate, so you can’t bite through it, even if you take a strong blow to the jaw, which greatly reduces the chance of concussion from such a blow. But if you get hit anywhere else in the head, an oral appliance isn’t gonna do much for you!

Essentially what we’ve done is discover that we can improve a human body’s performance non-invasively, without the use of drugs, by counter-acting only the negative impacts of the body’s natural response to stress. It will just take time for people to be educated about the facts and science behind it. It’s like we created the first tennis shoe, only for the mouth…and cooler.

Posted by drbrooks - 05/21/2010 07:49 AM

I never knew mouth gaurds could influence your performance. I just think it is important to protect your teeth and for something to absorb the blow when a collision happens. I know that they can help reduce the effects of concussions, hadn’t heard about quicker reaction times.

Posted by J@YDUFF - 05/28/2010 03:20 PM

I don’t know if it is all mental or if it really works. Honestly I don’t care. I’ve noticed a positive difference, period. My biggest problem now is I forget to wear the damn thing all the time. The cost however is absurd, IMO.

Posted by GB philly - 07/20/2010 06:37 AM

you have to be on crack to drop $300 to $495 on a mouthpiece, seriously you’ll never reach the masses with a price point like that. I’ll cut apart a regular $5 mouthguard before I spend that.

Posted by Rock - 03/26/2012 03:27 PM

This is just the newest snake oil. It’s like the powerband bracelet of 2012. I fight MMA and tried the under armour mouth piece and noticed no difference between it and my standard mouthpiece (which is not a custom piece – just a $10 boil and bite deal). I didn’t recover faster or lift more. I wasn’t more flexible or quicker to react. I was… A sucker!

Don’t be a sucker like me. Save your money.

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