In the past few years, sports recovery has become a big business. Elite athletes and weekend warriors alike are spending lots of time and money on things like cryotherapy, float tanks, foam rolling, and supplements in order to feel better, push themselves harder, and gain an edge over the competition. But does any of this stuff actually do anything? 

My guest today spent a year investigating the science of exercise recovery. Her name is Christie Aschwanden and she’s the author of Good to Go: What the Athlete in All of Us Can Learn From the Strange Science of Recovery. We begin our show discussing what exactly athletic “recovery” is and why the recovery business has been booming recently. Christie and I then dig into several different recovery modalities from drinking Gatorade, to taking ice baths, to foam rolling, and the science, or the lack thereof, behind their effectiveness. We end our conversation discussing what actually works best for exercise recovery (hint: you do it every night and it’s free), whether you should spend your money on things like cryospas, and whether recovery methods can still be beneficial, even if they’re largely based on the placebo effect. 

Show Highlights

  • Defining “recovery” from an athletics/exercise perspective
  • How the emphasis on recovery has changed in the last few decades 
  • Why the science of recovery is hard to study 
  • How Gatorade came to be (and does it really do anything?)
  • The truth on hydration  
  • What does the research say on the benefits of cold therapy?
  • What about heat exposure?
  • The role of stress on recovery 
  • Do float tanks really work? 
  • Why ritualizing your recovery — even if not necessarily backed by science — has benefits 
  • The risks of over-training 
  • The bottom line on all these recovery modalities 

Resources/People/Articles Mentioned in Podcast

Connect With Christie

Christie’s website 

Christie on Twitter 

Christie’s new podcast, Emerging Form

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The post Podcast #483: What Really Works for Exercise Recovery? appeared first on The Art of Manliness.

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