Monday, December 21, 2009

'Superman' Mouthpieces Enhance Athletic Performance

(New York Times Summary)

Feeling down after a rough night, or just lacking the stamina to complete your workout? Maybe you should give a performance-enhancing mouthpiece a go and you might just surprise yourself - and your friends.

That's what one cyclist found when he tried a new flexible mouth guard by a Canadian company called Makkar. He not only outperformed his competition, but did so after a night filled with several beers and not enough sleep. The mouthpieces are light, flexible pieces of molded plastic that fit over the teeth and claim to reduce stress, open up the airways, prevent teeth-clenching and align the jaw.

Unlike regular mouth guards, which you can purchase straight off the shelf and at a low price, performance-enhancing mouthpieces cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars and must be custom-fitted by a dentist. The Makkar Pure Power Mouthguard (or PPM, as the company calls it), introduced in 2006, costs between $595 and $2,250, not counting the dentist’s fee. Under Armour’s line of Performance Mouthwear was introduced in September with a low, low price of only $495.

Find out more about these new performance-enhancing tools in the article "A Device to De-Stress Your Workout" From the New York Times (Dec. 16, 2009).