LAS VEGAS, NV (BRAIN)—Athletes can forget about eating something chewy or having one of those sticky drink mixes to boost performance. They can even ditch their rigorous training schedule, if they slip on a pair of $100 Skins tights or a jersey. Skins USA is at Interbike this week showing its garments, which the company claims can boost performance up to 30 percent.
Skins’ garments are designed to enhance a body’s natural circulation through engineered compression panels that change depending on which muscle group is covered. Increasing circulation boosts the amount of oxygen in the wearer’s blood in turn increasing muscle strength and power.
“Increasing circulation keeps you cooler and flushes lactic acid out of the muscle, increasing endurance and speeding recovery,” said Patricia Babka, Skins USA’s general manager. “Skins are huge in Australia where the products were developed, and while we don’t make any cycling-specific clothing, the response to our tights and other clothes has been huge,” she added.
Skins does no athletic sponsorship, yet Pro Tour teams like T-Mobile and others are sold on the recovery aspects of Skins’ Travel and Recovery tights and its other clothes. They report less soreness and quicker recovery in their legs, Babka said.
“Calf muscles are the major leg pump to get blood circulating in the legs. Our tights, by tightly compressing the calves and with less compression as you move up the leg, really aid blood flow even when you are sitting down,” Babka said.
Developed by leading sports physicians through years of independent scientific and medical research, Skins compression wear is unlike Power Lycra or Under Armour.
DuPont’s Power Lycra works by stabilizing muscles so they work more efficiently, something promised by most compression garments. Skins uses different compression rates for various muscle groups to promote better blood circulation.
Babka said in Australia the clothing’s benefits are so well established in the scientific community that they can be prescribed for injury recovery. —Matt Wiebe