"A useful introduction to how scientific research works—and why, in sports science, it often doesn’t. Such insights make
Good to Go appealing to more than just gym rats and weekend warriors. It’s for anyone who wonders how scientific studies happen, and how they influence the claims on products found in grocery stores and athletic stores alike."
ScienceNews - Bethany Brookshire
"An amusing and exhaustive takedown of the recovery products and trends that fitness enthusiasts have transformed into a multibillion-dollar industry."
Scientific American - Andrea Gawrylewski
"When a work like this is written by one of the best science writers in the world, there is much to learn not only from the way [Christie Aschwanden] combines narrative with a clear synthesis of what the scientific evidence actually supports, but also about how the world of sports recovery can teach us something more fundamental about human nature."
Psychology Today - Jonathan Wai
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. (Feb.)
"Recovery is the great athletic obsession of our time. But how much do we really understand about it? Christie Aschwanden cuts through the hype to explore the topic with nuance, humor, and—most important—scientific rigor. The result is a much-needed reappraisal of how we should think about recovery, making
Good to Go the most important book about training you’ll read this year."
"Deeply researched and artfully written…A must-read for all athletes, from the professional to the weekend warrior."
Wall Street Journal - Michael Shermer
"Christie Aschwanden is simply one of the best science writers in the world.
Good to Go is the definitive tour through a bewildering jungle of scientific (and pseudoscientific) claims that comprise a multibillion-dollar recovery industry."
"Christie Aschwanden is the real deal, an engaging and inspiring champion of good science. What makes
Good to Go so delightful and unique is how much fun it is to read her equally persuasive debunking of pseudoscience. A rollicking read."
Good to Go by relentlessly delving into the science behind the most touted treatment regimes…[Her] persuasive science and snappy writing helped me relinquish some recovery beliefs I’d been holding for years."
"This authoritative, delightful, and much-needed book slices through the hype around athletic recovery, and will surely cement Christie Aschwanden’s status as one of the world’s top science writers. I laughed a lot, and learned even more."
"As buzzy as recovery is among athletes right now, the question of how to best adapt to and benefit from training is still fraught with confusion…Christie Aschwanden offers much-needed clarity on the subject in
Good to Go."
Runner's World - Becky Wade
"An intelligent and entertaining tour of fitness research for anyone who exercises, with clear advice on what actually works to aid recovery."
"Absorbing…Aschwanden separates the facts from the hype in the realm of athletic recovery, dispensing welcome doses of common sense."
Seattle Times - David Takami
"This book is fascinating! Christie Aschwanden makes the mind-boggling world of sports recovery a hilarious adventure, and she mixes science with stories that everyone can relate to. Recreational athletes, professionals, and coaches alike will find
Good to Go entertaining and informative in answering the ever-changing question: How do I feel better, faster?"
Aschwanden, a lead science writer at FiveThirtyEight and
Washington Post health columnist, has been a cross-country runner since high school. With this debut, the author uses a conversational style to explore the many techniques and products that supposedly aid postworkout muscle recovery, such as compression garments, roller devices, and ice bath regimens. Included are interviews with sports science experts that investigate the claims and validity of specific recovery techniques. More than 20 pages of references offer further opportunity for research and insight into the scientific journals and popular magazines mentioned throughout. VERDICT An accessible resource for general readers without an extensive scientific or medical background. Recommended for public libraries. —John Napp, Univ. of Toledo
An in-depth exploration of recovery, "something that athletes—pros and weekend warriors alike—do with almost as much gusto and drive as their training."
Everybody knows that strenuous activity takes it out of a person; it's why we drink Gatorade between tennis sets and suck down chocolate milk after a marathon. However, as with everything else, science and big bucks alike have entered the picture. In Colorado, where
Washington Post health columnist and FiveThirtyEight lead science writer Aschwanden lives, she is able to use a facility packed with massage tables, saunas, Bio-mats, infrared therapy machines, and other gadgets. Her initial diagnosis after a 5K run: "soft tissue work, electrical stimulation, compression, and vibration." That's just the beginning, and though Colorado is known as a New Age-y place, there's good science behind the whole enterprise. The author takes a leisurely tour through the available modalities, though with a knowing wink from start to finish. As she writes of the recovery business, "we've somehow managed to make every aspect of it—nutrition, relaxation, and sleep—vastly more complicated, expensive, and time-consuming than it was before." Still, who doesn't like a nice spa? Or a cold brew—for, as Aschwanden learned, there is reason to believe that alcohol and pasta may be good as recovery tools for some runners, if, strangely, better for women than for men. The author is refreshingly skeptical throughout, and she turns in some observations along the way that go against received wisdom and practice but, again, have science behind them—e.g., the revised schedule for drinking water while engaging in strenuous activities or in arid environments. "After examining the science," she writes, reiterating a theme, "I can't help thinking we've made hydration unduly complicated." But so it is throughout this spry narrative, which makes a good guide for those contemplating adding recovery to their routines.
Sleep in and have a beer: There's a winning regimen. A smart, engaging book.