by Ben Osborne

SLAM has been lucky enough to be one of the first media outlets to experience the Bite Tech technology that Under Armour is using in its efforts to help athletes breathe, and ultimately, perform, better.

I was able to sample the Performance Mouthwear more than a year ago, while our blogger Kevin Owens dedicated two separateposts to his experience with it last fall.

Then, a few weeks ago a couple of us attended Under Armour’s launch event for its new Charged Cotton line of workout clothes, after which there was a station set up to learn more about UA’s Performance Mouthwear. The biggest news is that while the product Kevin and I sampled requires a custom fitting from a dentist and costs more than $400 to buy, there is a new version out that can be shaped by consumers in their homes and retails for $59.99.

See the official press release below:

Baltimore, MD (March 2, 2011) – Under Armour (NYSE:UA), the Baltimore, MD-based leader in sports performance apparel, footwear and accessories, once again cracks the code on a centuries-old phenomenon to make athletes stronger, faster and better. Featuring patented Bite Tech technology, a new line of self-fitting Under Armour Performance Mouthwear™ products, called ArmourBite® mouthwear, will be available for purchase at underarmour.com and at sporting goods retail locations starting in March.

When under stress or strain, athletes clench their teeth, triggering an excess production of performance-sapping hormones like cortisol, the stress hormone, and restrict the airway. Studies have shown that by putting a scientifically measured space between the teeth, athletes can limit the production of these hormones and open the airway, which aids in oxygen exchange and the reduction of lactic acid.

Until now, Under Armour Performance Mouthwear was designed specifically to be custom fit and required a prescription from an authorized dental provider. The new “boil-and-bite” version of ArmourBite mouthwear allows athletes of all levels, to take advantage of the many benefits ArmourBite products provide.

Under Armour’s new self-fitting performance mouthwear line includes: · ArmourBite Mouthguard – worn on the upper teeth for contact sports, such as football, hockey and lacrosse. · ArmourBite Mouthpiece – worn on the lower teeth for non-contact activities like baseball, running or yoga.

Both the ArmourBite mouthguard and mouthpiece will retail for $59.99. A special performance pack featuring both ArmourBite mouthwear products is available for $89.99 and a new boil-and-bite version of the protective Under Armour Mouthguard without ArmourBite technology will retail for $29.99. The new “boil-and-bite” versions of UA Performance Mouthwear will be sold at major sporting goods stores in the U.S, including Dicks Sporting Goods, Sports Authority and Foot Locker. Consumers can also purchase it at UnderArmour.com and at authorized dental offices.

“Athletes are always looking for that extra edge to raise their level of performance while training or in competition and ArmourBite products do just that,” said Edward Giard, Under Armour Vice President, Licensing and Accessories. “Some of the best athletes in the world use this technology and now athletes of all ages and skill levels have an opportunity to experience the individual benefits of the product.”

ArmourBite, the patented technology in Under Armour Performance Mouthwear, was created by Under Armour’s licensee Bite Tech, Inc., a Minneapolis-based company that has spent over 15 years conducting research and science on developing products that improve athletic performance. More than 1,000 professional, college and elite athletes use ArmourBite mouthwear products including Milwaukee Bucks guard Brandon Jennings, Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Miles Austin, Olympic medalist Lindsey Vonn and PGA golfer Hunter Mahan.

For more information, please visit underarmour.com and bitetech.com, respectively.