Recovery water healing claim sounds like snake oil

rrwNFL player makes claim regarding the healing properties of fancy, “sciencey” nano-bubble water.

Russell Wilson Says Recovery Water Healed His Head Injury from NFC Title Game 

At one point in the story, Rodrick mentions a moment where Wilson claimed Reliant Recovery Water—a sports recovery drink in which he is a personal investor—helped him recover from a head injury he suffered while playing the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game in January.

“I banged my head during the Packers game in the playoffs, and the next day I was fine,” Wilson said. “It was the water.”

Rodrick notes that Wilson’s agent, Mark Rodgers, quickly interrupted and made it clear that there were no proven medical properties to the water.

Wilson is an investor in Reliant Recovery Water. He promotes a ton of brands. Read the Rolling Stone piece here if you can stomach such blatant peddling and glorification of celebrity.

He is also extremely religious and appears to be prone to magical thinking. Bad combination for making sound decisions that should have evidence to support them.

This is dangerous stuff. Wilson is promoting a product that he says “cured” his possible concussion. His endorsement of such may lead his fans to ignore a head trauma and just drink the water instead. But it’s not a miracle and concussions are serious business. In fact, I’ve got no problem in stating that IN NO WAY does his anecdote prove that this water does anything for concussions. It’s one person’s story and it’s not backed up by solid support at all.

Reliant Recovery Water claims that it “improves your body’s natural restoration process, which means less muscle soreness and fatigue. This superior water even heightens your sense of well-being, helping you stay sharp and focused for what lies ahead.”

Any water would help your body restore itself, generally. What makes this water superior? It’s “infused with charged nano-structures”. The Revalesio Corporation developed this sports beverage with the goal to protect muscle cells “through charge-stabilized nanostructures (CSN)”.

Then, they also make this claim on the RRW site:

Proven through scientific research**, using recovery water will help reduce pain and inflammation from your active lifestyle; accelerate recovery from injury and muscle related stress; decrease fatigue for higher energy during activity; speed muscle recovery after activity; and deliver better hydration and an increased sense of well-being.

I kept the ** intact. At the very bottom of the last page, there is the key.

**Studies conducted by University of Florida and Seattle Sports Medicine found that those who integrated Recovery Water into their active lifestyle experienced less muscle damage and 20% decrease in muscle fatigue. For more information, see the articles in The American Physiological Society Journal of Applied Physiology and the Hindawi Physiology Journal. Also, check out the summary poster from Seattle Performance Medicine.

The “research” that they link to by Seattle Sports Medicine is of 25 males and is unimpressive. It’s also sponsored by the manufacturer Revalesio. Typical. And, as such, UNRELIABLE. They also link to this study about electrokinetically modified water, again, not a large study.

What does this special water do that other water does not? It’s not clear that it’s anything physical. It’s not clear it makes ANY biological sense either. Why would nano-bubbles help with anything? It sounds really cool, yes, but so what. Most hyped sports drinks are just HYPED, not scientifically supported to be superior to plain old water.

The CLAIM made above by the RRW people is quite impressive and, a drug making such a claim would need far better results than what they gave us. They risk a smack from the FDA for this.

And Wilson is being outrageously stupidly irresponsible for saying such things. Don’t get your medical advice from sports stars (or actors, or former actors, or Food Babes, or non-doctors pretending to be qualified, etc.) If you want to blow $4 on super water, that’s your decision, but it’s a foolish one and it could lead to some bad consequences for some people down the road.

Water is constantly used in various pseudoscientific set ups to be some sort of miracle elixir. It’s not far removed from holy water or the magical, mythical fountain of youth.

I still get responses from this piece I wrote years ago on BLK water, another bottle of snake oil.

If anyone has additional info on nano water, please provide that in the comments.

Tip: Joy Harris

  12 comments for “Recovery water healing claim sounds like snake oil

  1. Steve
    August 27, 2015 at 10:33 AM

    I’m rather surprised the company didn’t say it contained a secret solution of dihydrogen monoxide that “they” don’t want you to know about.

    As a football and Patriots fan, I have to say I respect Russell Wilson the football player. As a medical expert and a so called Christen, I’m not too impressed about him trying to sell overpriced water with some small bits of unknown matter, I mean charge-stabilized nanostructures, in it.

  2. Kurt
    August 27, 2015 at 11:45 AM

    Reading this, I can’t help but think of Idiocracy… Brawndo: The Thirst Mutilator.

  3. Mark Riegel
    August 27, 2015 at 7:34 PM

    If I’m going to blow four dollars on super water with nano bubbles, I’d like it to be hoppy and at least 6% APV.

  4. August 27, 2015 at 8:00 PM

    Ah yes, the esteemed Hindawi Physiology Journal.

  5. Grumpy
    August 27, 2015 at 10:37 PM

    I followed the provided link and really don’t see why anybody would be upset: everything is in plain view.

    From the start:
    “What is Recovery Water?
    It’s a whole new way to look at water.”

    A whole new way. To look. At water.
    Describes placebo quite precisely, albeit in commercial hype.

    Then, for the “Original flavor” (meaning, well, just water):
    “Original Recovery Water has no added ingredients other than minerals for enhanced electrolytes […]”
    So the stuff contains dissolved minerals. Like any tap water.

    And finally:
    “Recovery Water is infused with charged nano-structures […]”
    Yep, when you dissolve the minerals, you get ions.

  6. Phil
    August 28, 2015 at 12:57 AM

    He should have drank some before he threw that last pass in the Super bowl

  7. matthew crowley
    August 28, 2015 at 11:18 AM

    Wilson’s statement is now being criticized in the local press:

    link to seattletimes.com

  8. reason
    August 28, 2015 at 12:27 PM

    Didn’t this guy also throw the ball to the other team instead of rejecting the play called and handing it to Marshawn Lynch at the end of the last Super Bowl?

    I’m not believing a word he says.

  9. BEAN
    August 28, 2015 at 1:39 PM

    These nanobubbles are popular. have a look at a Bill Nye video (yes, that Bill Nye!)

    link to youtu.be. you can also google this contraction on amazon.com and look at the comments!

    Such woo, all the way to the bank.

  10. Tony
    August 31, 2015 at 12:19 PM

    Aside from the quackery, it’s telling that Wilson didn’t mention any pain killers and/or other medication and physical therapy he received after he “banged” his head.

    I’m giving this a rating of GN, for Naively Greedy.

  11. Tony
    August 31, 2015 at 1:10 PM

    I meant to write NG and not GN, but alas too often I am Typo-Positive.

  12. BEAN
    August 31, 2015 at 2:51 PM

    Or “time will heal”. I’m betting that most or all physicians recommendations after hitting your head is to just “take it easy” and your body will heal on its own (if it is a minor bump).

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