Yes, you read that correctly. For those of you that don’t operate in the sports universe like I do (I assume most of you), it is Super Bowl week. The media is concerned with many topics: brothers coaching against each other and how a double murder ten years ago affects a players legacy. But with any large sporting event, there is always a considerable amount of woo. Holographic bracelets and KT tape anyone? However, this week I am giving accolades to Sports Illustrated for busting S.W.A.T.’s company reputation on a big stage. No, not the saviors in trucks that bust up drug deals, but Sports With Alternatives To Steroids — Athletes Competing Without Cheating. Catchy huh?
Southern skeptics get your party pants on. These assholes are based in the heart of the south, Fultondale, Alabama. The owners of the company, Christopher Key and Mitch Ross, have all sorts of classy products they are pushing. Charged water, holograms, and antler spray are just a few. They play parlor tricks with cell phones and they use words like ‘radio waves’ and ‘radiation’ to convince college and professional athletes of their legit shit. Guess how many degrees in science they have between them? Zero.
Negatively charged water ehh? Here is a screen shot of their website. As a chemist (with real science degrees), I can’t pretend to parse through the vast amount of crap here. However, it doesn’t take a genius to know that water isn’t charged. It is neutral. Most people figure out that in 7th grade. This stuff is supposedly 10,000x more alkaline than bottled water. Wow that sounds great. So does that mean they are bottling sodium hydroxide (OH-, which is the what happens when you deprotonate water and make it ‘negative’) and giving it to athletes to give them a performance boost? As far as I know this negatively charged water they speak of is a caustic base. Is it this stuff in that mystery S.W.A.T.S. bottle? I doubt it, but who knows!?
In a skeptical audience, I don’t think we really need to delve too deep into the utter bullshit that is holograms. That has been covered, but some of their illustrious products include Performance Chips, Pain Management Chips, and S.W.A.T.S. for your Soles.
***Trigger Warning, this could seriously hurt children*** The sports world has been buzzing this week since President Obama commented that if he had sons, he would think twice about letting them play football due to concussions. Parents– DON’T WORRY! S.W.A.T.S. has an answer for you! Concussion Caps! Just take this do-rag like cap soaked in a ‘fluid’ and the long term effects will be limited for your kid. YAY! Doesn’t that sound great? Not wearing a helmet… nope… just put on this wet cap. At least they have a disclaimer at the bottom of the page that says in the event of serious head trauma, you still need prompt medical attention. Whew, that took a load of my conscience. What didn’t is supposedly Ross has been peddling this to children’s local football leagues.
Let’s dig into the main event now. Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is a doping agent that has been used in many sports including cycling, football, track and field, and well practically all of them for years now. HGH works by triggering production of Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1), which stimulates systematic body growth. Many sports have had both of these substances banned for ages, but S.W.A.T.S. has an answer for you! Remember, they are all about steroid alternatives?! According to Sports Illustrated, founder Christopher Key said this:
“Their antlers are the fastest-growing substance on planet Earth . . . because of the high concentration of IGF-1. We’ve been able to freeze dry that out, extract it, put it in a sublingual spray that you shake for 20 seconds and then spray three [times] under your tongue. . . . This stuff has been around for almost 1,000 years, this is stuff from the Chinese.”
The sources on this are a bit sketchy, but supposedly a few players have tested positive for IGF-1 by using antler spray. From what I can conclude though, there isn’t enough IGF-1 to have any profound impact on athletic performance.
A few years ago, athletes were endorsing their products by filming testimonials. Now the
scumbags S.W.A.T.S. owners clandestinely record and film conversations with athletes. They use this for marketing purposes now. It is not just athletes that are guilty, they also have holograph stickers they ‘prescribe’ for blood sugar regulation for diabetic ‘patients’. This is infuriating. It is one thing to dupe guys that are already in incredible shape, but messing with a diabetics is lethal.
The bottom line is there are way too many companies like this that exist due to shoddy regulations. It isn’t just these guys. These guys are getting media attention this week because (allegedly) they happened to have assisted the star of this week’s big game, Ray Lewis. recover from an injury. The point is these things happen all the time. The skeptic community needs to continue to fight the good fight here to ensure concussion caps, negative water, and blood sugar regulating holograms stay off the market.