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Almost every triathlete knows that training doesn’t end when the clock stops—triathlon is 24/7 effort, from the nutritious smoothie you guzzle post-workout to the compression socks you wear under your suit on the way to the office. And, of course, there’s the sleep—good sleep equals good performance.
Under Armour, known for clothing and shoes to be worn during exercise, has jumped into the loungewear market with a set of pajamas designed to boost the restorative benefits of sleep with high-tech fabric. Under Armour unveiled the sleepwear, along with a new sleep-tracking app, at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The fact that the brand is touting the pajamas as “Tom Brady’s secret to recovery” has caused them to receive media attention from everyone from The Boston Globe to GQ. Putting the marketing hype aside, will these pajamas actually help you recover better?
The special sauce of these pajamas is a beehive pattern printed with bioceramics on the interior fabric of the garment. The Under Armour website claims this material “absorbs the body’s natural heat and reflects Far Infrared back onto the skin,” leading to better sleep quality, recovery from inflammation and a regulated cell metabolism. Far Infrared, or FIR, has been used in therapeutic settings before, but in the form of lamps and saunas—at the moment, FIR technology in clothing is a fairly new concept, especially for athletic recovery.
So does it work? Under Armour says it does. In their explanation of FIR clothing, Under Armour cites a 2012 NIH paper by Harvard researchers—impressive evidence, until you wade through the technical muck and realize studies on FIR clothing have mostly been conducted on amphibians, mice and rabbits. Their conclusion: “If it can be proved that…FIR has real and significant biological effects, then the possible future applications are wide ranging.”
But it still hasn’t been proven. We haven’t tried the pajamas yet, but the lack of hard evidence leaves us feeling skeptical about shelling out $160 to $200 for a set of pajamas.
For those who want to give it a shot, the Under Armour recovery pajamas are available for pre-order now at Underarmour.com, starting at $79 for a short-sleeve shirt or short ($99 if you want the full length). They will ship to consumers Feb. 24.
For the rest of us, there’s always chamomile tea and an 8 p.m. bedtime.