If there’s one thing you must know about me it’s that I love pizza. My gut, on the other hand, does not. Case in point: I usually get a stomach ache and continue to feel bloated even the next day when I have a slice or two. While I haven’t always struggled with bloating, it’s become more common as I’ve gotten older and something I’m self-conscious about. So when I came across Emma Lou The Label, an athleisure brand with “bloat-reducing” leggings, I had to give them a try.
As a personal trainer and CEO & founder of Emma Lou The Label, Emma Vollrath heard so many of her clients struggle with lower belly bloat and wanted to create a product that wasn’t a pill or an uncomfortable waist trainer to help them. Enter the Glow Band. The Glow Band is an extra layer of thermoplastic fabric added to the waistband of the leggings that Vollrath created to help target water weight, reduce bloat, and draw out toxins. How is this possible, you ask? Read on to learn about their reasoning behind the Glow Band leggings, my experience trying them out, and whether or not they really work.
How it works
Remember those plastic-looking sweatsuits that were popular in the ’80s? Or that scene in Silver Linings Playbook where Bradley Cooper is wearing a trash bag while he runs? Well, the Glow Band itself is kind of the same idea. The recycled thermoplastic is made of a heat-trapping fabric that can aid in bloat reduction. Think of it like your own personal sauna for just your lower stomach. “When you heat trap a certain area—in this case, the lower stomach—you slowly and safely increase your body temperature, which helps reduce water weight and bloating due to increased sweat and regulation,” Vollrath explained. The Glow Band works by targeting water retention, as well as assisting the body in drawing out toxins (by creating sweat).
After looking through the variety of options on the site, I selected the Toby Set (because your girl loves neutrals), and eagerly awaited its arrival. Once I had the pieces in hand, I was immediately impressed by the quality of the fabric and the stitching. I wasn’t sure what to expect from a smaller brand, but the pieces are on par with—if not better than—some of my other high-end workout clothes.
I first wore the bike shorts while working from home. I was curious if I would notice any effects from the Glow Band if I wasn’t working out, and I was shocked when I realized my lower stomach felt much warmer than the rest of my body just sitting at my desk. The next time I wore the bike shorts was during a morning HIIT workout. I don’t usually sweat, but that wasn’t the case while I sported the Toby Sculpt & Sweat Shorts. After I finished my workout, I felt much hotter than usual and my lower stomach underneath the Glow Band was dripping in sweat, so they definitely work to get heat moving in the area.
As for whether or not they help beat bloat? Since I usually work out in the morning (which is when I’m the least bloated), it’s hard to say if the Glow Band actually helped or not, but I did experience more long-term effects of feeling tighter in my waist and helped me sweat more (can be beneficial in supporting the lymphatic system to help to detoxify the body).
The final verdict
These leggings are obviously not the answer to my dairy and gluten intolerance (and they’re not claiming to be), but I do think they’re a great option for helping reduce water retention. Of course, they are not a magical cure for digestive issues (there are many potential causes of bloat), but the Glow Band does work in making you sweat. In other words, your body sweating is what is providing the benefits of reduction in water retention and getting rid of toxins. These leggings can assist in creating sweat in your stomach area, but you can also reap the benefits of getting sweaty from a hot yoga class, sauna, steam shower, etc. I like having this option as a little added bonus for any type of workout or even while doing chores.
These have also become my go-to leggings during my period when I’m feeling a little puffy or after a night out and I’ve had one too many glasses of Sauv Blanc (no scientific data to back this up, but I’ve noticed they help me feel less puffy and uncomfortably bloated when I typically would). Bloat-reducing benefits aside, these leggings are also comfortable and make me feel good, so you can find me opting for them from my next grocery store run to lounging at home. IMO, they’re not magical leggings that are going to completely get rid of all bloat forever, and you can reap the benefits they claim by working up any kind of sweat in other ways. But if you love feeling like you’re adding a little extra support to your body in an effortless way like I do, they’re very much worth a try.