A New York Times Sports and Fitness Bestseller
“The definitive tour through a bewildering jungle of…claims that compose a multibillion-dollar recovery industry.” —David Epstein, best-selling author of The Sports Gene
Acclaimed science journalist Christie Aschwanden takes readers on an entertaining and enlightening tour through the latest science on sports and fitness recovery. She investigates claims about sports drinks, chocolate milk, and “recovery” beer; examines the latest recovery trends; and even tests some for herself, including cryotherapy, foam rolling, and Tom Brady–endorsed infrared pajamas. Good to Go seeks an answer to the question: Do any of these things actually help the body recover and achieve peak performance?
Science writer Aschwanden, a runner, cycler, and cross-country skier, delves into the topic of recovery in this inquisitive and informative text. Positing this field as "an active extension of training," she explores a number of different products and techniques, aiming to separate the bogus from the truly restorative and effective. Aschwanden not only conducted over 200 interviews and reviewed hundreds of research papers, she recounts sampling different techniques personally: she immersed herself in a "float tank," tried on compression tights (harder to get off than on), chilled in an infrared sauna, and wore a headband that measures brain activity during meditation. She talks to scientists, psychologists, and athletes, and digs into the science and marketing of sports drinks, nutrition bars, and protein powders. In the process, Aschwanden clarifies simple truths often neglected by a fitness culture of "go hard or go home," such as the significance of sleep as the single most potent method for recovery. Despite the many products and techniques appraised, Aschwanden leaves athletes with a simple message that, at least for some, less can be more when it comes to the vital step of recovery.
After dealing with some setbacks in training (for XC mountain bike racing) early this spring, I learned the consequences of “over training” or as the book refers to “under recovery”. Since that experience and the negative physiological and psychological consequences that came with it, I have been seeking information on the topic of overtraining, how much is too much, and how do you recover? This book was very helpful in filtering out the array of recovery tools and information down to what is useful and what is pseudoscience. I feel like I have a better understanding of what is truly effective and what the body truly needs for a foundation of health, performance, and better recovery.