Ultimate Performance Sport Balm
Muscle ache, fatigue and even pain is something most of us have experienced and some of us turn to various lotions and potions to ease the discomfort. Deep Heat is probably the first one that jumps to your attention but there are a wealth of other options out there.
The one we’re going to review is ‘Sport Balm’ by Ultimate Performance. A small company specialising in sports accessories and medicines, from hydration packs and touch sensitive gloves to cold spray and sport balm.
UP Sport Balm comes in two variants – regular and extra strength – and aids in fast, effective relief for muscle and joint pain. It’s packed with natural oils which produce a good heat effect, with the extra strength version warming up more quickly and for longer.
Ultimate Performance say the Sport Balm can be used both pre and post exercise as a fatigue reducer or a muscle soother. In that respect, identical to Deep Heat, which is used in the same way.
I ran a side by side test to compare the Sport Balm with a comparable product to Deep Heat (Bell’s Muscle Rub) and found that the Sport Balm was considerably quicker to provide any heat and it also lasted longer.
Three things in favour of the UP Sport Balm are the container, the smell and more importantly – the fact it doesn’t stain. Instead of the usual squeezy tube, it comes in a small, solid glass pot which means no more split, messy tubes and dirty kit bags. Fortunately the pot seems to be pretty strong – I tried a couple of drop tests to disprove the theory that it’d shatter if it was dropped onto a hard floor. No cracks or marks were visible after two drops from 4.5ft.
Unlike the potent smell of Deep Heat, Sport Balm smells more like Vic (that’ll be the menthol in it) which is much more pleasant. Deep Heat also takes a lot of soap and scrubbing to fully remove, whereas the Sport Balm came off quite easily. This leads me onto an important point – the colour.
The Muscle Rub I used and the Deep Heat I’ve tried before have both been green. When applied, it leaves a transparent coating of green gel on your skin and when you wipe it off, it’s still green which is a bad thing to combine with clothing, furniture or any other type of material you come into contact with. It’s a nightmare for staining and difficult to remove afterwards. UP Sport Balm is more of a waxy product than a gel and it’s also a creamy white which doesn’t stain (or at least show) like the green gel of other muscle rubs.
Ultimate Performance also do a Heat Rub, which appears to be more of an analgesic and looks as though it’s directly aimed as a competitor for Deep Heat. The Sport Balm however does compare well as an exercise warming rub as well as a soothing product. With a number of plus points over the better known and similarly priced Deep Heat, it has to be worth a shot. UP Sport Balm retails around £3-£5 depending where you purchase it.
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