The worlds of sports and medicine seemingly changed forever Wednesday when it became known that Russell Wilson had discovered a cure for concussions.
The revelation, as detailed in a feature story by Stephen Rodrick of Rolling Stone, involved the Seattle Seahawks quarterback claiming that Reliant Recovery Water—a brand of recovery drink with "nanobubbles" for which he is a personal investor—quickly healed a head injury he sustained in January's NFC title game against the Green Bay Packers.
It was a...bold thing to claim, and Wilson's agent was quick to clarify that the drink has no proven medical connections to concussion treatment.
Nonetheless, the idea of a magical elixir that could prevent or cure brain-bruising was out there, but now it appears athletes have been endorsing brain-protection drinks for some time now.
In the aftermath of Wednesday's Wilson-Water Extravaganza, Vice Sports' Jack Moore tweeted out images of an ad for a sports drink supplement called "NeuroSafe" once endorsed by Tom Brady.
The ad trumpets the drink as a "seat belt for your brain" with "essential minerals for recovery." It also attributes the following quote to Brady:
NeuroSafe makes me feel comfortable that if I get a concusion [sic] I can recover faster and more fully. There is no other solution on the market today that can do what NeuroSafe does. It's that extra level of protection that gives me comfort when I'm out on the field.
Perhaps foreshadowed by its poetic misspelling of "concussion," 6 Degree Nutrition—the company behind NeuroSafe—appears to have gone out of business.
As ProFootballTalk's Michael David Smith noted, the company's website no longer exists, and its Facebook page hasn't been touched since 2011.
All that's left of 6 Degree Nutrition is a shell of ad copy hosted on Knoji.com—a "community-powered social shopping" site.
So while Wilson's claims came off as over-the-top praise of a product in which he has a personal financial interest, at least he didn't stamp his name on some kind of glorified Noni juice claiming to be Kevlar for your cerebellum.
Sports drinks don't prevent concussions, guys. Not now. Not ever.
They are liquids you put in your body and pee out. They do not amass around your central nervous system like molded steel, and they cannot protect you from Clay Matthews' earholing you.
But hey, if you want to believe in concussion-preventing tonics, I got a glass of water on my bedside table you may be interested in.
Sure, it tastes like room-circulated dust, but look at the bubbles.
Dan is on Twitter. NeuroSafe waterbeds: Sleep with confidence.