PowerBalance was forced to announce in Australia that there’s no proof its magical wristbands work. These bands contain holograms, yes, frickin’ holograms, that are “designed to optimize your natural energy flow.” Did we really need an announcement? Apparently, because the bands are selling well and have been showing up on celebrities’ wrists. And you know they only use products when they are effective and reasonably-priced.
“We’d made claims in the start that said that our product improved strength, balance and flexibility,” CEO of Power Balance Australia, Tom O’Dowd, told ABC. “And we didn’t have the scientific peer-reviewed double blind testing or the level of proof that we needed to substantiate those claims.”
That about says it all right there.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) forced PowerBalance to remove any claims from their website and offer any unhappy customers a refund. They were also forced to run a series of ads saying that there’s no proof the bands work.
What does work is the placebo effect and the order effect. If you think the band will help you, it will. And if you do a test of your sports performance, the second time you do it you will always perform better. So if you try a vertical jump without the band, and then with the band, with the band you will jump higher. But you would also jump higher the second time if you first jumped with the band and then without the band.
Nobody better tell Shaq. Or Ronaldo. Or DeNiro.
Watch ESPN debunk these bands in their investigative video: