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Power Balance Wristband Information - Do they work or is it a Scam?

Updated on March 7, 2011

Power Balance Wristband

Power Balance Wristband: An Overview

You may have heard of the Power Balance Wristband.  Is a Power Balance Wristband a Scam?  Are Power Balance wristbands fraud or do they have something real to offer?  What about real life Power Balance reviews?There is some controversy over whether or not these stylish rubber pieces of surgical grade silicone actually provide any sort of real benefit to the wearer.  Power Balance claims wearing their mylar hologram containing wristbands optimize your body's natural energy flow.  

I remember when the craze of rubber Lance Armstrong Livestrong wristbands.  People wore them just as much for style as they did to actually support the cause.  Many other groups jumped on board with producing this kind of bracelet in various colors.  Power Balance may just be the next style trend, but the benefits they claim have produced much debate.

Perhaps what a Power Balance Wristbands true power is really just to show us the power of our own mind.  The placebo effect has consistently been proven in scientific studies.  So even if these Power Balance bracelets are merely placebo, does that really matter?

I will explain further in the article about how I have always been skeptical about this sort of thing.  My highly educated, non-superstitious-in-any-way, far from gullible parents are now both swearing by these things.  I swear I laughed at first, but I've never in my life heard them talk about a product that sounds like such an obvious scam in this way.  I hope this article will encourage some discussion because I am curious what other people think.

Let's start off however with Shaq, a (self-appointed?) Power Balance General.

Power Balance Wristbands explained by Shaq

Power Balance Wristbands: Who's wearing them? And Why?

Power Balance Wristbands are being worn by some pretty big names in Sports, such as basketball starts Shaquille O'Neal, Derek Rose, Kevin Durant, Lamar Odom, Paul Pierce, Tyson Chandler and Soccer stars David Beckham and Christiano Ronaldo. Even if you don't quite believe they improve performance, at least you can agree that they can't hurt. There is no way professionals would compromise their performance wearing a product that actually interfered with their game. So then what's the deal? Is it all about money and sponsorships from Power Balance?

Lamar Odom of the Los Angeles Lakers (who is sponsored by Power Balance) apparently lent on of his Power Balance Wristbands to Kobe (who is NOT sponsored). The stories goes, at the end of the game Kobe wouldn't give it back.

Most Players claim when they take the Power Balance wristband off, they immediately notice a difference. The legendary Coach K (Mike Kryyzewski) said he can't see any harm. Even if it's not scientific, it makes some guys play better. If it's all just psychological based on faith, maybe it just proves how powerful a belief can be. Maybe it could make a difference for you with carpel tunnel and back pain from sitting at a desk all day - but who knows for sure.

So it helps with sports, but maybe you don't play sports. So why is Robert DeNiro wearing a Power Balance Wristband? What about Joe Jonas? What about Leonardo Di Caprio? Or P-Diddy?

Why do people who have all the money in the world want to wear a Power Balance Bracelet that costs less than $30.00.  Is it just the style or is there actually some tangible benefit?  No, these celebs are NOT being paid to wear these - I don't think Power Balance has close to that kind of money (read more below).

Celebrities Wearing Power Balance Wristband

David Beckham Power Balance
David Beckham Power Balance
Joe Jonas Power Balance
Joe Jonas Power Balance
Kobe Bryant Power Balance
Kobe Bryant Power Balance
P Diddy Power Balance
P Diddy Power Balance
Paul Pierce Power Balance
Paul Pierce Power Balance
Robert DeNiro Power Balance
Robert DeNiro Power Balance
Leonardo DiCaprio Power Balance
Leonardo DiCaprio Power Balance

Power Balance Company info.

Power Balance was founded in 2007 by two brothers, and in their first year they had only a dismal $8000.00 in sales.   While Power Balance released no actual scientific tests, their projected sales this year will be 35 million dollars.  With that kind of figure you have to imagine they're on to something. They claim wearing a Power Balance wristband will increase your flexibility, strength, and balance.  Is this claim true or just a scam with a big marketing budget?  

It's hard to believe that starting out they would be able to pay anything significant to athletes or celebrities to wear their product.  In fact, when you hear the crazy figures Nike throws at guys like Shaq or Kobe, you might be shocked to see them promoting a product for a company that has only a minuscule revenue by comparison.  Maybe they are promoting Power Balance wristbands at a discount since they might wear the Wristband anyway, endorsement deal or no.  If you believe the story above, Kobe does not even have a deal with them.  Neither does Kevin Durant - and neither do any of the celebrities shown above.  So it has to at least get you thinking a little bit.

The popularity of Power Balance wristbands must have started through word of mouth, and built up to a level where the benefits (placebo or real) started to get noticed.

Power balance claims "performance technology that uses holograms embedded with frequencies that react positively with your body's natural energy field" is what gives their wristbands the power to increase your strength, balance, and flexibility.  

That sounds suspiciously Pseudo-scientific but let's have a look at what their testing demonstrates.  Next, we'll take a look at what some independent studies have found.

Power Balance Wristbands Test

Power Balance Independent Review

While Power Balance itself has not released any scientific studies, University of Wisconsin LaCrosse did perform a scientific study.

They tested 12 men and 9 women to see if the Power Balance Wristband had any significant benefits over a $0.30 plastic bracelet. They conducted similar tests to those shown in the video above. The catch was, both the person administering the test, and the person taking the test, had no idea whether the bracelet they were wearing was a true Power Balance or the cheap substitute.

It turns out, according to the study, that there was no statistical difference between the performance of those wearing the real Power Balance versus those wearing the imitation. Still - the performance after putting on either bracelet was improved. This could be due to the order effect, where in tests like this often your body is more warmed up and ready, so it performs at a higher level on the second and third tests. It also could be due to the placebo effect.

If you read more about the placebo effect, you will find that our brain has HUGE untapped resources at it's disposal. What we believe, can have real physical effects. Discounting this significance may not be wise. Perhaps you could argue, you don't need the Power Balance Wristband then to get the benefits. However, humans are social creatures. We feed off society as a whole. If many people start buzzing/believing in something, it can have an effect on the whole group.

Even so, I was still not convinced - not by a long shot. Even though the bracelets look cool, and are cheap, I still didn't want to be taken in by a Power Balance Scam. Even if they are only a few dollars, if you get scammed a few dollars here, and a few dollars there, you'll end up feeling like a broke idiot.

That's when I talked to my parents - recent Power Balance converts - WHAT?!

Real life Parents review of Power Balance Wristbands

My Dad has a black Neoprene Power Balance Wristband and my mom has a the silicone version in clear with white letters. When they told me this I couldn't believe it. Both are college educated, both run their own successful business, and (although I'm biased) both are VERY intelligent people. Oh yeah, and both are well aware of the concept of a Placebo so it shouldn't work for them right? I asked them how they could fall for a scam like that?

My Dad frequently golfs and sometimes has pain in his forearms. Since his friends told him about these Power Balance wristbands he decided to get one (I mean it's not such a huge investment right?). He said for the last month he has had no pain. Weird right?

So my Mom on the other hand has some arthritis in her thumbs which flares up especially when sitting typing on a computer all day. She often has trouble using a knife and cooking or even writing with a pen due to the pain. She has tried acupuncture, prescription drugs, physical therapy, all with only minor success. She swore after wearing the bracelet for a day she felt almost completely better.

I questioned them and teased them, but I couldn't argue if they FELT better. Even if it's not scientifically provable, you can't argue with real world results. If it's placebo or not, who cares? If you feel better, you're better. It's not about proving everybody wrong, and saying you're an idiot for buying one because there's no science to back up the Power Balance claims. It's about feeling better, performing sports at a higher level, and removing the aches and pains of life. By the way, Power Balance has a 60 day money back gaurentee.  So if you disagree with their claims, don't be lazy - just send it back.  That being said, why not just decide for yourself. I mean, if you're religious you believe many things based on faith, not science. No one calls out all the religious people in the world for believing in something you can't scientifically prove. It's just a feeling. If it works for you, I say go for it.  If not, no big deal.

A Power Balance wristband is not the end all solution to life's problems. But whatever, they look cool and if they help kick-start the placebo effect lying dormant somewhere in your mind, that's good enough for me. By the way, while I'm writing this mine is in the mail - for a few dollars I decided I want to see for my self what this Power Balance hype is all about.

Please COMMENT!! I really want to know what people think about this! Vote in the poll, etc. etc. Thanks for reading!

Power Balance Wristband

Have you tried a Power Balance Wristband?

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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I'm doing a science project on theese bracelets for school to see if they improve your balance or not. Thank you for the information you've given, and i cant wait to see the results. Do you have anymore history on the bracelets? what the names of the brothers were? what they are really made out of? If you could answer theese questions I'd be very thankful. :)

      Your intrigued fan,

      Hudson ;)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      My back was killing me as I was walking through an outdoor mall. A guy was selling these power bands. I thought it was the Lance Armstrong thing or something and said will it make my back feel better. The guy said no it was more for flexibility. I said what the heck give me one. At the end of the day I was surprised that my back didn't hurt, thought it was a coincidence. Next day it didn't hurt again. I don't know if it's the band or not but I kind of suspect there might be something to it and making a back stop hurting isn't even a claim as far as I know.

    • Eiconnectlink profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Los Angeles

      Hi Tony, interesting comment...i wonder if you'll continue to see the benefits as time goes on. It seems like these power balance wristbands might do something...

    • profile image

      tony smith 

      7 years ago

      I bought a band at the Arnold classic. when I worked out Tuesday, I had crazy gains. I wasn't even thinking power balance band, my mind set was the exact same as it always had been. As a matter of fact I didn't know it would help my strength. I really cant wait until my next workout.

      Sincerely, Tony Smith


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