The First 20 Minutes, New York Times “Phys Ed” columnist Gretchen Reynold’s new book, is like a Myth Busters episode devoted to exercise science.
And we predict that it changes the way more people move than 50 Shades of Grey.
In it, Reynolds uses recent, quality research to address oft-debated exercise questions and to strike down common misconceptions—like how much should we exercise (20 minutes at a time, hence the book name, is enough to reap health benefits.) What’s the best way to get rid of muscle cramps? (Drinking pickle juice. Yes, really.) And many, many more.
The book is so full of fitness findings that floored us that we selected five of the most jarring research conclusions Reynolds comes to.
Warning: These big five may change the way you think about your exercise regimen and, just as urgently, your beach reading. Find out what they are now…
By Lisa Elaine Held
1. You don’t have to stay ahead of your thirst. Hydration is important, but researchers in the book call the age-old eight-glasses-a-day recommendation “nonsense.” Recent studies cited have shown that thirst is “actually a reliable physiological marker of your fluid needs. If you’re thirsty, drink. If you’re not, you probably are sufficiently hydrated.”
2. Post-exercise massages don’t get rid of lactic acid. Athletes generally get post-match massages in order to break up the build-up of lactic acid, which is thought to cause muscle soreness. But research studies found that it’s not effective for this purpose and can in fact impair the removal of lactic acid from exercised muscle. (We await a spa industry rebuttal.)