This Sports Dietitian handles all those college athletes and still finds time to compete in Triathlons and Marathons

John TanguayMassachusetts native Jonathan Tanguay was in Colorado, waiting tables, hiking, and trying to figure out what to do with his undergraduate degree in zoology from Connecticut College, when he took a biochemistry course that bonded his various interests. He graduated from the master’s program in nutritional science at the University of New Hampshire, moved to Texas for a dietetic internship at the University of Houston, and found his dream during a month-long rotation at Texas A&M.

“I loved it,” Tanguay says. “That was what I wanted to do. That was the application of all the sports nutrition I had and the love of sport I had and getting involved in something with structure. Every day is unique.”

Tanguay, who was named Texas A&M’s Director of Performance Nutrition in 2010, has a full-time assistant who focuses on Olympic sports while he hands mostly football, baseball and basketball.

“My office is our football weight room,” he says. Four days a week, he works with football players in training, taking their weight, talking to them about fueling and nutrition, and making sure they get recovery smoothies after their workouts. In the afternoons, he works with baseball and basketball players before practice across campus, then returns for football practice and dinner in the new R.C. Slocum Nutrition Center, a dining hall for athletes.

Focus on Sports Nutrition in College

The NCAA’s recent announcement that it is lifting limits on food that schools can provide to athletes, effective Aug. 1, will accelerate a focus on sports nutrition that has swept through leading colleges in recent years, including most members of the Southeastern Conference, the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Big 12, Big 10 and others, Tanguay says.

“In the long run, it’s going to be something that’s really great for the student-athlete,” he says. “They’re bigger, they’re stronger, they’re burning a lot more calories, they’re working out and practicing – that requires more fuel. We were only allowed to feed the team as a team one meal a day outside of competition.”

The old rules left students using a scholarship stipend to buy campus meal plans, off-campus meals, or food to prepare in their apartments – with less-than-optimal attention to nutrition.

“This will allow us to provide them the food that will meet their unique nutritional needs, to help them develop as healthy athletes, and be good for their overall health,” Tanguay says, adding that the students come from a wide spectrum of food experience in their backgrounds.

“It’s definitely challenging,” he says. “You get kids from all walks of life. We’ve got Sports Dietitians here that can really help to be hands-on with the student-athletes and work to educate them about making better choices.” The education includes cooking demonstrations at the Nutrition Education Center and trips to the grocery to learn how to select, store, prepare, and cook food. “Some don’t get it at first, but for someone who’s trying to gain weight or lose weight or reduce their risk for injury, they start coming to me and taking advantage of these resources,” Tanguay says.

Not every approach works with every athlete, but The Right Stuff is a great tool we have from a hydration standpoint.

The Right Stuff is one of the resources. “We use it as part of our hydration protocol” he says. “It’s another tool we have in our belts. There’s a number of sports nutrition products on the market and a number of different approaches. Not every approach works with every athlete, but The Right Stuff is a great tool we have from a hydration standpoint. We use it with a number of different sports.”

Tanguay participates in Iron Mans, half-Iron Mans, and marathons – he set a personal record (PR) at this year’s Boston Marathon – and includes The Right Stuff in his personal regimen. “I start to build my carbohydrate and electrolyte intake a week before the race,” he says. “I’ve got a pre-race routine. For me, it’s been trial and error. I’ve come up with something that works for me. The Right Stuff is part of that.

“I’ve never really had an issue with cramping or GI issues during a race. I like The Right Stuff because it gives you everything you need in one package. Before it came out, we had been looking for something that fit the criteria, and it wasn’t on the market. It’s the volume of electrolytes in a small volume of fluid. This is a small, convenient way to get everything you need that we’ve found works.”

What Can This NASCAR Driver Teach You About Optimal Hydration?

Michael Mcdowell - The Right StuffAfter racecar driver Michael McDowell switched to NASCAR from sports cars and Indy cars in 2007, he suffered extreme dehydration on a track in Virginia and went looking for a solution.

“I was doing a lot of research and trying to find out how to stay hydrated,” says McDowell, a Phoenix-area native who moved to Charlotte in 2004. “At the time, I was losing anywhere from 8 to 10 pounds per race of water during the race itself. I was trying to figure out a way to stay hydrated. You’re in the car four or five hours. It’s 110 to 130 degrees inside the car. Obviously, in our sport, hydration is key.”

When driving around the track at over 150 mph, reaction time is critical. Proper hydration is essential to maintain that continuous, nearly instantaneous response timing.

He first learned about The Right Stuff® when he was at an event with former NASA Space Shuttle Pilot Bill Gregory who uses it for his endurance training. Bill is an enthusiastic user of The Right Stuff who even joined the Board of Wellness Brands, makers of The Right Stuff. Since McDowell found The Right Stuff three years ago, he has cut his water consumption during races by half, from 64 to 32 ounces.

The Advantage

“I feel like it gives me an advantage,” he says. “During the race weekends, I will take it within an hour leading up to the race. Then, in the middle of the race I’ll take one as well. I just mix it in the water and have it in the car with me. It works well. One of the main reasons I continue to use it is because I simply don’t lose as much water throughout the event, so I don’t have to rehydrate as much. I’m not losing as much, which is ideal for me.”

One of the main reasons I continue to use it is because I simply don’t lose as much water throughout the event, so I don’t have to rehydrate as much

McDowell also turns to The Right Stuff when he’s involved in other sweaty sports, such as when he competes in triathlons.

“For me, I take it when I know I’m going to do something that’s going to be extreme and long-lasting,” he says. “I use it for all of those extreme conditions.”

Don’t forget to Hydrate in the Winter months too! The Right Stuff®

With the colder months now here and winter fast approaching, its equally critical to remember the importance of remaining hydrated during this season’s high performance activities.

The human body needs to maintain its hydration levels to perform normal functions. The body loses fluids mostly by means of urination, sweat during high performance activities and breathing. Dehydration interferes with the body’s ability to maintain core temperature and can impact both the mental and physical aspects of performance.

While you may not be as sensitive to noticing it, the winter months can cause just as much of an impact on hydration as the summer months. Factors such as dry air, winds chill, sweating and even shivering contribute to a loss of fluids in the body, which need to be replaced.

As little as 2% decline in your hydration levels can lead to a significant (up to 10%) decrease in your athletic performance. The hydration additive developed by NASA replaces vital fluids in the body quicker than any other tested formula to maintain peak performance both during the season and during the training season.

Remember, as the holidays approach that such beverages as tea, coffee or soda, which contain caffeine, can act as a diuretic thus flushing vital fluid from the system and contributing to dehydration. Alcoholic beverages, so prevalent during the holiday system, can not only contribute to dehydration but also increase chances of hypothermia during training in the winter temperatures.

This winter season, make sure that you train to your peak efficiency, including remaining hydrated with The Right Stuff®, in order to remain the high performance athlete that you are.

For all of you who competed in your big, season ending race, congratulations on finishing strong!  The Right Stuff® was in Kona at the Ironman World Championships in October and we had the opportunity to see many inspiring performances. It was very hot and humid and the competitors made sure to properly dial in their nutrition requirements that included frequent hydration before, throughout and following the race.

Drew Cole – Motocross – The Right Stuff Athlete Advocate

I have had the opportunity to evaluate the free samples, received through Hookit…and was very happy with the results. My evaluation consisted of 4 days of 4-6 hours of single track and motocross riding in 94-96 degree heat (Durhamtown, GA), in full motocross racing gear. Needless to say, heavy sweating, dehydration and overheating is the norm. On day one, I drank pure coconut water in my hydration pack and suffered from dehydration towards the end of my ride (primarily fatigue & overheating with minor chills). Over the next 2 days, I mixed two pouches of the citrus blend with 3-4, 16 oz bottles of water in my hydration pack. After the exact same rides in nearly identical conditions, I experienced a significant decrease in symptoms. My endurance was sustainable and core temps seemed manageable.

Drew Cole - MotoCross Athlete Advocate
Drew Cole – MotoCross Athlete Advocate

The Right Stuff – USA

So this is David Belaga talking to you from Kansas City at the CSCCA Convention about The Right Stuff which is a NASA hydration formula. It was developed because the astronauts suffered severe dehydration when they come back into the gravity of earth and as NASA likes to do they spent over a decade conducting dozens of clinical studies to refine and optimize the formula and the resulting formula, The Right Stuff, significantly outperformed every other product tested in three critical ways:
1. It does a much better job fighting the symptoms of dehydration via cramps, headaches, muscle fatigue, ect.
2. It was also shown to improve core thermo-regulation. So it protects the body from overheating both in times of high exertion and in high heat settings.
3. And then it was also shown to imcrease athletic endurance by over 20% more than any other product tested by NASA so you aren’t talking small increments, you’re talking significant improvments.
For more information, go to

5 Tips To Maximize Your Training

With the arrival of spring, you can see them all over. In brightly-colored clothes in suburban areas, weaving in and out of pedestrians under the watchful gaze of skyscrapers or on solitary bike trails early in the morning. Spring heralds the time of year when endurance athletes comes out of the winter months to begin training for the long-awaited races.

The Country Music Marathon, The Badwater Ultramarathon, The Race Across America and your local 10K or half-marathon race for charity in your neck of the woods all mean one thing to the endurance athlete – training.
Whether for the fun of it or the competition, maximizing your experience in event training is of utmost importance. Proper training will benefit the endurance athlete to help avoid physical injury either before, during or after the competition.

Here are a some well-recognized tips to consider when training:

1. Do not overtrain – although this may seem like a good idea, overtraining can actually damage your body faster. Oftentimes, endurance athletes feel as though their training regimen is not effective enough and so they train harder. This can be the root of overtraining. Although training or exercise is the root to strong competition. It is the proper rest after the exercise that makes an endurance athlete fit. A great aid for balanced training is to keep a log. Your log should show elevated training periods over a long period of time as your body begins to strengthen and adjust to your regimen.

2.  Pay attention to Injuries, especially seemingly minor injuries – nearly every athlete will injure themselves to some degree, either during training or during the competition. The relative impact of how that injury effects you during competition is determined by your responding quickly. This requires that you understand how your body responds to certain stimuli. Know your gait, your stride, your breathing patterns. Understanding your body on this level will allow you to catch injuries as early as possible and can help protect you from exacerbating the injury.

3. Cross Train – Although many athletes believe that total focus on their single sport (e.g., running) may be the best course of action, The American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine encourages cross training as the ‘total body tune-up, something that can not be achieved if an athlete concentrates on just one type of activity.’ And it is notable that it goes on to say that cross training may help the athlete “experience fewer overuse injuries”.

4.  Train Carefully and Thoughtfully – An athletes training for an endurance race, be it cycling, a marathon or a triathlon – needs to begin months in advance. This will begin to prepare your body for the task it will undertake. This training is not only a physical effort but, as importantly, a mental one. Endurance competition begins before the proverbial rubber ever meets the road. It begins in the mind. Set goals for yourself and fully develop the mental aspect of how you will, and did, accomplish that goal.   As you train, listen to your body to determine what works best for you. Keep a log of how long you trained, which types of exercise you did, what you ate and don’t forget to also log your fluid intake.

5.  Nutrition and Hydration – If you speak with the most every elite athlete, they will quickly let you know that it is not only critical to train your body through exercise but it is equally important to take care of yourself on the inside too.  The foods you eat (macro-nutrients; carbs, protein and fat) are essential to a successful training program.  Be sure to eat a healthy and varied diet (cross-train your digestion system too)!  And, especially as we head into the warmer months, be sure to hydrate.  But remember, water alone may not be enough.  When you train in excess of an hour your body can excrete grams of electrolytes (e.g. sodium and chloride) through your sweat.  You need to replenish those too.  Doing so will provide you the best recipe for success for your body.

The Right Stuff – NASA Tested, Athlete Approved

In 2009, when the NASA-developed hydration drink additive, The Right Stuff® was first introduced for endurance athletes; there were sceptics who did not foresee market success.  For example, according to the editors from Popular Science magazine, “Coming out with a product whose only market is already dominated by Gatorade® does not sound like the beginnings of a successful business venture.”  But the market has proven otherwise as The Right Stuff® continues to grow rapidly year after year.
We are pleased to continually demonstrate the success of The Right Stuff as a hydration additive for performance athletes. The Right Stuff will soon begin its 5th year on the market and is the exclusive provider for hydration needs of high performance athletes such as

Athletes such as these and many others have found The Right Stuff makes a noticeable, positive impact on their performance. “Companies always claim they sell the best product, but after training here on our local trails, we realized how big of an impact The Right Stuff has on our bodies.” – Texas A&M International (TAMIU) Cycling Club

Since its introduction to the public, The Right Stuff has continued to work to improve the product’s flavors for the athletes who depend on The Right Stuff for their hydration needs. The Right Stuff® recently introduced a new Orange Tangerine flavor that is especially well-liked among the power athletes (e.g., Baseball, Football, Soccer, Hockey etc.)
We invite you to visit us at to learn more.   Or, contact us at or call 720-684-6584

Hydration For Winter Athletes

Is it necessary to hydrate in the wintertime? When most people think of hydration, summertime is usually the first thing that comes to mind. Those hot, sweaty months filled with ice tea and lemonade. For a high performance athlete, summertime can mean training under a hot sun and the constant advice from coaches and health blogs to stay hydrated.

But it is equally important to stay hyrated during the cold months for two very good reasons. Staying hydrated, especially for a high performance athlete, is important as the body is pushed to the next level of performance. Dehydration can cause cramps, loss of coordination and exhaustion which can have a huge impact on performance. Cold weather can cause blood vessels to constrict in the cold to conserve heat and maintain body temperature which can increase blood pressure. The body’s response is to create more urine to alieve the pressure which means greater loss of fluid and greater risk of dehydration.

As well, when performing at a high level in the cold weather, athletes are required to wear additional layers of clothing. This raises our body temperatures and causes our bodies to sweat even more to cool the body down. High performance winter sports such as downhill skiing, snowboarding and cross country skiing requires additional hydration.

The Right Stuff hydration additive is a great source for remaining hydrated in the wintertime. To learn more, visit us at

2009 World Snowboard Champion Megan Whiteside on The Right Stuff

2009 World Snowboard Champion Megan Whiteside on The Right Stuff

The Right Stuff hydration additive is used by high performance athletes of many different athletic forums. From ultra running to baseball to football, The Right Stuff has assisted high performance athletes in maintaining their peak performance in order to rise above dehydration.

The Right Stuff is proud to add Megan Whiteside, 2009 World Snowboard Champion, as our latest Athlete Advocate.

2009 World Snowboard Champion
Megan Whiteside
– on The Right Stuff

-The Right Stuff is an innovative new approach to fighting dehydration while I’m on the hill, and helps me to keep performing at my best-

2009 World Snowboard Champion – Telus World Ski & Snowboard Festival Big Air Competition.  Competes in various international big air contests including the Dew Tour and the Burton Global Open Series, with multiple podium finishes.

Charles Rosenthal – Bike America Racing on The Right Stuff

Athletes from many different have a great experience with The Right Stuff hydration additive. We love hearing of their experiences and sharing them with you.

Charlie here from Bike America Racing in S.Fla.
A short view on the right stuff product for people who are coming on board to the product.
Yes, our team has and is benefiting from the product in a few of ways.
  • For starters we do not have to purchase other products that cannot do the job of this one.
  • This product works immediately.
  • Thirdly, i always try to help someone if i see they cramp when they are riding. I end up giving them a few vials of my own so they can see for themselves the results.

There are between 7 to 9 of our teammates using the product at various times. Myself, i have been using The Right Stuff for apprx 3 years now. Tremendous difference in my long distance performance along with multi-stage races. Im not professional but do enough training and racing to see the difference in my personal performance. Depending on the ride or race ill use different qualities of the vials. If it is a ride of 50 to 70 miles I’ll use one vial between two bottles and just bring another vial with me just in case I may want to use another one. in a race, if it is a road race I’ll use one vial per bottle and some times use three to five bottles if under 70 miles. If it is a stage race i will also use one vial the night before and one vial after the race. The reason I do this is because I used to cramp a lot because I would dehydrate faster then the average person. it made a huge difference when i raced in Santo Domingo, 3 day race called the triple 100. I won the overall in this race in Nov 2010.I can assure you that the right stuff played a major roll in that year. I had raced there four years prior but would manage to cramp which we all know what that means in a race. I hope this will give someone who cramps to give it a try. I gave a box to my teammate Molli Serrano who will be doing the Ironman competition in October 2012. She was thrilled with her performance over the next few days of her training. When I hear the response from my teammates even they cannot believe how good the product is. I guess I can keep going but I said I would keep it short.

So good luck everyone.
WOW. What a great testimonial of a great product. We, here at The Right Stuff are glad to have helped you.
If you would like more information on The Right Stuff, please, contact us at We look forward to fulfilling your hydration needs.