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.
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.
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