I have had the GO2 device lightly on my radar for a couple of years now. I know there was some discussion here back in 2019 when this device first hit the market, but the white paper and claims were pretty tenuous at the time. In the last 12 months, they have beefed up their research increasing their n value from 8 to 32, and maintained some statistical significance in their findings.
The device is somewhat intriguing for a few reasons:
- It turns the typical approach to breathing devices on its head by focusing on expiratory pressure and theoretically forcing oxygen across the lung barrier.
- There is a solid physiological rationale behind PEEP albeit not historically explored in sport
- The cost is not so prohibitive (<$50) that it would generate a placebo effect due to cost attachment and if it was a complete paperweight, it is a drop in the bucket compared to other devices cyclists spend money on with minimal to no advantage. Basically performing the personal experiment is cheap.
- If there is not a benefit coming from PEEP, could there be a benefit due to the conscious and percussive feedback from the device to practice controlled breathing during high intensity efforts in training that can generate performance gains and increased oxygen uptake? Something not outlined in the research but I would think not negligible.
The company makes some pretty bold claims of potential improvements of ~4% increase in VO2 Max and ~6% increase in endurance. Of course, as with all claims, this would certainly be the high-end applicable to those who have not achieved their genetic potential / elite level athletes.
From what I can find there are currently clinical trials being conducted on this device through December 2021 and the last research was accepted and published in September 2020. Here is a link to the paper (No paywall to download full PDF): Wearable positive end-expiratory pressure valve improves exercise performance - ScienceDirect
Ideally, there would be more independent research on this, but you have to start somewhere. Any thoughts?
*No need for snarky responses like “garbage” or “snake oil” there’s no value in those responses. I have some thoughts on the science here and would like to hear the thoughtful responses and interpretations of other folks in this forum around the science to generate a more concrete position.