If you watched the Seattle Seahawks play the Green Bay Packers in January’s NFC Championship Game, you saw Russell Wilson take a nasty hit to the head.
Now Wilson is claiming the reason he didn’t get a concussion is a new miracle sports drink called Recovery Water—a product in which he happens to be an investor.
For reference, here’s the hit:
After this incident, Wilson not only went on to play out the rest of the game, he also played the Super Bowl with no problems two weeks later.
Sports Illustrated reports that while the NFC Championship Game was happening, Seattle’s team doctors didn’t check Wilson for a concussion on the sidelines.
Wilson’s Twitter comment comes on the heels of a Rolling Stone interview he did where he tried hard to spread the gospel of Recovery Water like a true believer.
From Wilson’s Rolling Stone interview with Stephen Rodrick wrote:
“I banged my head during the Packers game in the playoffs, and the next day I was fine,” says Wilson. “It was the water.”
Rodgers [Wilson’s agent] offers a hasty interjection. “Well, we’re not saying we have real medical proof.”
But Wilson shakes his head, energized by the subject. He speaks with an evangelist’s zeal.
“I know it works.” His eyes brighten. “Soon you’re going to be able to order it straight from Amazon.”
Wilson can believe what he wants, and we get that he wants to make a profit on his $3 bottles of #Nanobubble-enhanced water. But we don’t know how many athletes are going to switch allegiance from Gatorade anytime soon without hard scientific evidence to back up those claims.
The Journal of Applied Physiology published a paper in 2013 about the effects of electrokinetically modified water (EMW) on postexercise recovery in a group of 40 athletes. The study authors found at the time that drinking EMW “significantly reduced exercise-induced muscle damage and inflammation and improved functional recovery.”
However, hard head hits that might have caused concussions weren’t one of the things tested by study participants, and the Recovery Water formula wasn’t what the study authors tested.
Maybe Wilson really believes the hype, or maybe he just got hit harder in the head than he thought.
But there’s a problem with making players believe that water can prevent concussions: According to ESPN, dozens of former NFL players suffer from a type of brain damage, a “crippling neurodegenerative disease” called CTE, that is caused by concussions and head trauma. The NFL recently settled a class-action lawsuit between the NFL and thousands of former football players, who claim that the league knew for years of the link between concussions and long-term health problems. Looks like Wilson might want to start taking those concussions more seriously, and not rely solely on Recovery Water to deal with his head trauma.