How Germanium Became One of the Hottest Topics in Recovery

Does science support the much-talked-about benefits of germanium apparel? Read to find out the truth and how germanium has become a hot topic in recovery.

Why You Should Pay Attention to Germanium Apparel

Germanium-embedded apparel sounds like hocus pocus when it is anything but—especially when you consider how it has taken over the recovery scene, with companies claiming it can do everything from removing body odors to improving arthritis symptoms. 

But is there actually any truth to the benefits of wearing germanium-embedded clothing? Let’s find out. 

What Is Germanium?

Germanium is a chemical element found in small amounts in zinc ore and carbon-based materials like coal. It’s also present in plant products like aloe, argyrodite, comfrey, garlic, germanite, and ginseng. 

This element is believed to stimulate your body’s immune system, protect healthy cells, and have an anti-inflammatory effect that reduces swelling and pain. This is why it’s often promoted as an alternative health treatment for joint or muscle pain, arthritis, and exercise recovery. 

How Is Germanium Used in Recovery Wear? 

Germanium is used in recovery wear in the form of an alloy that’s embedded into textile fibers or yarn. 

It’s first crushed into fine powder and added to a solution of polyester. This ensures that the germanium alloy is uniformly distributed in the yarn. Once it has blended fully with the solution, it’s drawn into yarn that’s later braided on a loom. 

Since this fabric is embedded with piezoelectric materials, it will release negative ions when under external forces like heat, light, and friction. These ions neutralize positive charges like H2O2 and H+, preventing free radicals from causing damage to your cells and tissues.  

An example of this fabric is the titanium-germanium alloy yarn produced in China. Another example is Therabody’s FlowKnit Fabric, a combination of four-way stretch spandex and germanium-infused yarns. 

Incrediwear also has a germanium carbon fabric recovery line that uses body heat to trigger the semiconductor element, which causes it to emit signals into your muscles and joints. This can raise body temperature, reduce inflammation, improve blood circulation, and promote recovery. 

Benefits of Using Germanium Recovery Wear 

Let’s take a look at the benefits of using germanium-embedded fabric. 

1. It Regulates Positive and Negative Ions Within the Human Body

Germanium contains 32 negative electrons, four of which are always in motion along the outermost shell of the element. When one of the four electrons comes into contact with a foreign substance, it’s ejected out of the element. 

The remaining three electrons attract any harmful positively charged ions like hydrogen oxide, hydrogen peroxide, or other free radicals, destroying them in the process. This reduces the effects of oxidation and balances the positive and negative ions in your body.

2. It Raises Oxygen Levels

A 2017 study found that people who wore germanium-embedded clothing had increased amounts of red blood cells (RBCs) and hemoglobin, which carry oxygen in the blood. The red blood distribution width (RDW) value—used as an indicator of iron deficiency anemia—also improved.

This suggests that wearing germanium-embedded clothing could improve your blood’s oxygen-carrying capacity and your performance during short-term, high-intensity anaerobic exercise. 

3. It Increases Blood Circulation

Germanium emits far infrared rays (FIR) between four and 14 microns. These stop the growth of certain cells in your blood vessels, preventing clotting and reducing spasms, which helps improve blood circulation. 

For instance, in a 2021 study, 12.23% of patients experienced an increase in the blood flow of their right hand after wearing a germanium-titanium (Ge-Ti-π) patch for a week. They also experienced lower limb numbness and reduced pain. 

Plus, patients with vasculogenic erectile dysfunction (VED) also experienced significantly improved sexual function after wearing Ge-Ti-π pants for three months.  

Another study showed that when the cells lining the blood vessels were exposed to FIR radiation, they produced nitrous oxide after 30 minutes. This caused blood vessels to expand and increased the tissue temperature, making it easier for anti-inflammatory cells to move into the muscle and lower inflammation and pain. 

4. It Relieves Joint and Muscle Pain

Germanium-embedded clothing emits FIR radiation and may reduce joint and muscle pain (such as via braces and sleeves for bursitis). For instance, one study found that applying FIR-emitting plaster to patients with osteoarthritis for 12 hours/day could lower the pain they experienced within a week. 

Another study showed that exposing patients to FIR for 15 minutes per day could reduce knee pain after surgery. A 2011 study also showed that applying lamps that emitted FIR to runners' legs after exercise could significantly reduce muscle pain after 48 hours

This supports the idea that germanium-embedded clothing could lead to a faster decrease in pain over time and offer relief from muscle soreness within 48 to 72 hours. 

5. It Reduces the Production of Bacteria 

Clothes with germanium can reduce the production of bacteria. For instance, a 2022 study found that heating germanium-embedded clothing caused the production of more negative air ions and the emission of more FIR radiation. 

The negative air ion-releasing properties of the fabric achieved an antibacterial rate of over 99% against Staphylococcus aureus, a dangerous bacterium that causes skin infections, blood infections, pneumonia, and bone/joint infections. 

Recover Faster with Thermo Recovery Wear

Germanium-embedded recovery wear might sound ridiculous—radiation improving blood flow and reducing pain? That doesn’t seem like a thing. But science says it can actually make a difference in your life. 

If you’re struggling with a knee that doesn’t move beyond 90˚ or want to get rid of that nagging golf wrist pain that has made your life miserable for the last three months, getting a cuff made from germanium-embedded fabric may be the best solution. That’s where we come in. 

At Thermo Recovery Wear, we know how difficult daily life can be when every step you take is a study in pain. That’s why we offer different types of recovery wear to help you get back your ability to move. Explore our collection to find the solution to your achy muscles and joints. 

FAQs

Is Germanium Safe to Wear?

Yes. Germanium emits FIR between four and 14 microns. This is very near to those emitted by your body (nine microns), which makes them perfectly safe.  

What Is the Downside of Germanium-Embedded Apparel?

A downside of current germanium-embedded apparel is the amount of FIR-active material infused into the fabric. This amount determines how much radiation is directed toward the body. 

If it’s low, you might not experience any helpful effects from wearing knee or elbow cuffs. But if your clothing has enough germanium, the ceramic pores of the semiconductor can get clogged by sweat and dirt; this further reduces its effectiveness. 

How Do You Wash Germanium-Embedded Fabric?

Since high heat and vigorous washing can damage the ceramic layers of germanium in your clothing, you should wash it at temperatures below 30˚C (86˚F) without using any fabric softeners.