What Can This NASCAR Driver Teach You About Optimal Hydration?
After 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.
“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.”