Your Body Guards (Part 1)

Not all protective sports gear lives up to its promise, says Cynthia Bir, Ph.D., lead scientist for FSN’s Sport Science. Navigate hype and conflicting claims with this primer.


Mouth Guard

Claim: It protects your teeth. Some mouth guards have shock absorbers and additional impact protection.

Reality: Custom-fit top and bottom guards outperform boil-and-bites by 50 percent, says Bir. The more snug the guard fits against your teeth, the better, she says. Visit your dentist for a custom grille.


Bicep Bands

Claim: They keep your arms dry and make them look better.

Reality: They won’t hinder you, but expect nothing else from them. “Unless you have a serious sweat problem, biceps bands are purely cosmetic,” says Douglas B. McKeag, M.D., M.S., director of the Indiana University Center for Sports Medicine.


Neoprene Knee Sleeves

Claim: Wrapped around an injury-prone joint, neoprene aids stability while remaining flexible.

Reality: Bir hasn’t found much purpose for these, but Belgian researchers have: A neoprene sleeve applies pressure and reminds your brain to “sense” your joint’s positioning, which could prevent injury as your muscles fatigue.



Image from Stockxchange


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