Under Armor is selling a products made from a new fabric called Rush.

During performance, the body emits heat. The responsive UA RUSH fabric absorbs that heat and converts it into infrared energy that is re-emitted back into the body. This recycled energy increases temporary localized circulation, promoting improved performance, energy and recovery. When worn, UA RUSH stimulates increased endurance and strength.

I fail to see how giving back infrared energy (assuming it even does) would have any physiological benefit.

Does this product work, as claimed?

  • The real question is not whether this special fabric that keeps you warm can enhance performance. The question is whether it does a better job of enhancing performance than any other fabric that keeps you warm (like, say, a cheap cotton sweatshirt). – plasticinsect Apr 21 '19 at 20:13
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    " The responsive UA RUSH fabric absorbs that heat and converts it into infrared energy that is re-emitted back into the body" -> This is basically what everything made to make you feel warm does. – T. Sar Apr 23 '19 at 11:06
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    I also find it amusing they made an effort to avoid the word "infrared radiation", which would be the proper scientific term for the effect at play. This alone makes my slap a "technobullshit" sticker to that site. – T. Sar Apr 23 '19 at 11:08
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    @JimmyM. - I guess that way they feel they can use carrots instead of cats. – Daniel R Hicks Apr 23 '19 at 23:23
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    @T.Sar I like how they lead with it too, so anyone who knows the basics of blackbody radiation can immediately dismiss it as a pointless product. This is like the worst advertising blurb ever. "Our fabric reacts approximately the same way as every other fabric when exposed to heat". Plus, they are totally wasting a step if they actually want to specifically use IR radiation. Why bother to absorb and re-emit it when you could just line the fabric with something IR reflective and have it "recycle" back to your body without any conversion required! – JMac Apr 24 '19 at 14:19

I started with search engines looking for supporting evidence. However, I found none, so I decided to contact Under Armour directly. (Ping me in chat and add a comment for the full transcript. I have saved a copy.)

Here are excerpts from the customer service representative (emphasis added):

There is [sic] scientific studies proving this technology is affective [sic] and proven although this has not been posted for the public yet.

The only information currently posted are [sic] from news articles. [the one linked in the question]

I do apologize I do not have a release date for this information at this time.

We do currently have internal documents and test [sic] on this product.

What this means is that (in Under Armour's own words), internal confidential scientific testing showed the product was effective and operated as advertised. The public does not have access to such scientific testing and, thus, cannot verify Under Armour's claim. A release date for Under Armour's internal scientific documents has not been planned.

Does this product work, as claimed?

With publicly available information, the claims cannot be verified.

Disclaimer: I am not (and never was) affiliated with Under Armour. There is no conflict of interest.

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    I immediately requested a supervisor, who was unavailable. This conversation alone took 30 minutes (20 minutes of queueing and 13 min and 28 seconds of talking). I am posting this answer to save other people time and effort in tracking down an answer. – Barry Harrison Apr 22 '19 at 23:33
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    Also, couldn't find studies relating "infrared" and "circulation." – Barry Harrison Apr 22 '19 at 23:43
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    FYI, the only part of their statement that really requires questioning is the relationship between infrared heating and "temporary localized circulation", and that the circulation promotes "improved performance, energy and recovery". The part about converting the heat to infrared itself isn't special at all, and technically every fabric does this to some extent, and they claim no values for how effectively it does so. (It's the basics of black-body radiation ) – JMac Apr 24 '19 at 14:23
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    @JMac maybe they are trying to low-pass filter your body heat, so that you keep cooking even while resting at a bench after your workout. – John Dvorak Apr 24 '19 at 18:40
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    @BarryHarrison The linked article said that "not even wrong" refers to whether a claim is falsifiable in the sense Popper used the term. Claims that can invalidated by possible experiments are falsifiable in the sense Popper used the term regardles of whether or not people actually ran experiments or whether documents about those experiments are published. – Christian Apr 24 '19 at 20:05

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