Tom Brady swears by the far infrared technology in his pajamas and sheets. The Under Armour products are designed to help muscles recover by increasing blood flow.
So when the New England Patriots quarterback mused at a Super Bowl news conference about the healing powers in his new Under Armour glove, it seemed logical to assume this was another far infrared product.
But the glove remained a mystery until sources confirmed Wednesday that, indeed, it employs the same technology as the sleepwear and bedding the quarterback says he uses most nights.
“Under Armour just made it for me. It’s a great glove,” Brady said, according to CBS Sports and other news outlets. “It’s got a lot of recovery in it.”
His right hand is still healing from an injury sustained in practice before the Patriots conference final victory against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Infrared is naturally emitted by living things. Far infared — the "far" refers to its position on the spectrum — is not harmful. Research suggests it could have therapeutic value.
Made of a soft, thin material, the Under Armour sleepwear and sheets contain bioceramic particles — tiny hexagon shapes are visible on the interior fabric — to absorb infrared waves, reflecting the far infrared energy back to the skin.
"I want to feel like I'm recovering when I'm sleeping,” Brady told The Sun last year. “You've got to take really proactive steps."
Under Armour does not currently advertise far infrared gloves, but other companies make them along with socks, knee sleeves and other far infrared products.
"I'm pretty sure there is some effect. I wouldn't call it a dramatic effect," said Michael Hamblin, principal investigator at Massachusetts General Hospital's Wellman Center for Photomedicine and an associate dermatology professor at Harvard Medical School. Hamblin helped lead a 2012 study on the biological effects of far infrared radiation.