With help from Under Armour, we recently tackled this question: can a mouthpiece improve performance? In partnership with Bite Tech, UA created its Under Armour Performance Mouthpiece with ArmourBite technology, which actually is designed to improve performance. UA's studies show that the Performance Mouthpiece increases strength (by up to 20 percent), endurance and reaction time, while also reducing stress and impact.
The folks at Under Armour were kind enough to provide us with a Performance Mouthpiece for testing
If you ever had a dental mold taken, you've experienced the mouthpiece fitting process. Upper, lower and bite molds are taken with a clay-like gel, a process that takes approximately 15 minutes. The molds are then shipped off to UA so they can custom manufacture the mouthpiece. Turnaround time was less than two weeks.
The custom mold process yields a mouthpiece that fits perfectly. Its low profile erased any memories of cumbersome mouthpieces, which most athletes have experienced at some point in their careers. When inserted, the mouthpiece is also difficult to see; it's noticeable only when the mouth is wide open.
In the weight room, the Performance Mouthpiece did not obstruct speech, breathing or fluid intake—all common complaints by athletes about mouthpieces. It was difficult to perceive any immediate differences in strength, endurance or reaction time in the short period we used it; however, these abilities vary each day. The only way to properly test the mouthpiece's effectiveness is through a scientific study with multiple subjects.
Beyond increasing performance, there's an added benefit for people who grind their teeth or clench their jaw during sleep, since the Performance Mouthpiece can be worn at night to relieve stress on the jaw. After wearing it for several nights, we noticed that our sleep quality improved noticeably—and a better night's sleep stimulates muscles growth and increases strength, energy, mood, alertness and overall performance. (Learn more about the benefits of sleep here.)
For more information, visit underarmour.com.
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