When Jake at Bio Skin contacted me asking if I had ever heard of Bio Skin products, I was hesitant, to be honest. With thousands of products promising to produce increased performance or quicker recovery, the whole gear-buying process can become mind-boggling to the consumer.
And I actually hadn’t heard much of Bio Skin, just a few random mentions from some professionals. Knowing that I’m a hockey and golf guy, Jake wanted to fit me with some calf sleeves. However, I had my sights set on the compression shorts.
What Makes Bio Skin Different?
These aren’t your average neoprene or spandex compression shorts. The Bio Skin compression shorts are made from a blend of Lycra and a proprietary SmartsSkin membrane that keeps the pants from slipping, and all in a 1.05mm thin package. This combination makes the shorts stronger and lighter than neoprene. It’s also great that Bio Skin products are made in the United States.
According to the Bio Skin website, the compression shorts can:
- Reduce injuries
- Control muscle movements to improve recovery time after injury
- Increase proprioception
- Isolates compression for the groin and hamstrings with the optional groin wrap
Is Compression Just a Buzzword?
Admittedly, compression has become a buzzword in sports. Everything has some sort of compression product now. The difference that the Bio Skin compression shorts provide over regular compression shorts by Nike, Reebok, or Under Armour, is that they provide an ultra-high level of compression. These things are tight!
Note: If you do decide to purchase a pair, be sure that you measure your waist accurately and size accordingly. I highly suggest against sizing down or up.
From a functional standpoint, that tightness is actually exactly what you need. The idea of compression is to isolate muscle movement in injured tissue. By isolating movement, you enable the muscle to heal without immediate recurrence of injury.
Additionally, if you are not injured, the Bio Skin compression shorts can still be of assistance. Strength training is essential, but there’s a drawback. The byproduct of energizing your body via the anaerobic lactic system is a build up of lactic acid (LA) in the muscles. LA is what causes muscle soreness and prolonged fatigue. It keeps you from returning to the ice, gym, or course as quickly as you may like. The purpose of wearing Bio Skin’s compression shorts is to necessitate the removal of LA from the muscles through vasoconstriction – basically forcing the LA out of the muscle.
There is a bit of a catch 22 here, though, because you’re also stopping blood flow from getting into the muscles when you wear compression shorts. So what happens to the residual LA still in the muscles?
For starters, contrast baths are great. A contrast bath is a mix of hot and cold dipping on the body or extremities. An easier and less shocking method is to not wear the compression shorts 24 hours a day. You then allow normal blood flow to remove the LA from the muscles, so when you slide the shorts of again, they will be working to push remaining LA out of the muscles. However, you must ensure that you’re properly hydrated as well, as that will assist in keeping muscles in a state for optimal recovery.
My Experience With Bio Skin
Overall, I think Bio Skin nailed it with these compression shorts. I’d certainly have to agree with the success of their claims. When the shorts arrived, I had just experienced a minor groin strain. I figured this was a great time to test these shorts.
I wore them for the majority of two days and slept two nights wearing them. I also utilized the groin support strap, which provided additional locking support. I have not tried any of my training sessions wearing the shorts.
My initial impression is that they may be a little too restrictive for workout purposes. But if you are training legs, I would suggest that you toss them in your bag and wear them immediately following your cool-down phase. It’s likely that you will prevent lactic acid accumulation in the legs by doing so.
While no compression short is a miracle maker, I think Bio Skin’s version helped me to recover more quickly compared to rest alone. I noticed by day two of wearing the shorts that the strained groin muscle was no longer inhibited in amplitude. The soreness was considerably lessened, as well. I was fortunate enough to have avoided major groin injury, but inevitably injuries will happen. Anything that can help to speed up recovery is always a welcomed assistant.
Even if these shorts hastened my recovery by a single day, this would be a benefit to athletes across all sports. Granted, the shorts are a bit pricey, but I’m not sure you can put a price on quicker recovery.
Bio Skin compression shorts are available for $94.95 at BioSkin.com.
If you have knee issues, check out our review of Bio Skin’s Hinged Knee Skin.