Close your eyes and imagine a professional athlete.
Now, what are the odds that you imagined a race car driver? Zero, isn’t it?
Why not? All they had to do is steer a state-of-art racing car to the finish line in a suave outfit.
But we are all wrong this time. The lack of awareness about the mechanics of the sport has given us all a wrong impression.
Now that the Indian Racing League 2022 is happening in our own Hyderabad we had a look at the fitness and nutrition of the race car drivers. And we are surprised to the core.
Race car drivers, particularly F-1 racers are the fittest people in sports competing in the one of hardest sports in the world.
In this blog we explain why and then go through their diet that powers them. Read on:
Racing cars are poles apart when compare to luxury sports cars. They are precision-built for incredible handling and immense speed which demands peak physical and mental fitness from the drivers that handle them. Everything is so tightly packed the driver has to operate in a 50-60 degree environment for more than an hour but that is only the starting part.
Tough G-forces demand tremendous strength: A force of 1G acts on us when we stand on earth; 2Gs feels like carrying twice our body weight and so on. One cannot breathe freely after 3G and race car drivers have to experience up to 6G during braking and cornering. To put this into perspective astronauts experience 3Gs of force during a rocket launch.
Higher G-forces make increase the heart rate and make it harder to breathe. These massive g-forces put an abnormal amount of strain on the entire body and this demands remarkable full-body strength.
A stronger heart is mandatory: The heart must work extra hard to make circulation possible at such break-neck speeds. The heart rate can hover between 17-200 beats per minute – which is almost 3 beats per second. The race is an endurance event that does not offer any break and some races can stretch for 2 hours. Most racers are training enough to have a resting heart rate of 45-50, which is almost in the league of marathon runners.
Excruciating mental demands: The brain has to run faster than the race car they drive to process and make decisions in 1/100 of a second. All this while being constantly busy behind the wheel and communicating with race engineers.
For that to happen, a racer has to begin his race in a near-meditative state and maintain some level of equanimity throughout the stress and strain the race puts on him. This is why racers also consistently train their memory, attention and focus to ace their mental game.
So to ace one, it demands remarkable physical, mental and emotional strength. And nutrition plays a key role in enabling them.
What powers the remarkable fitness of race car drivers?
The strength and cardio demands of these athletes will need obviously need well-balanced nutrition. However, the diet that fuels this athlete is surprisingly simple. Here are the key pointers:
- High protein intake
- Complex carbohydrates
- Focused hydration
- Healthy fats
Two aspects where their diet differs from a regular athlete’s is their focus on micronutrients and hydration. Given an average race, an athlete loses at least 4L of water to sweating, hydration becomes a key and is tackled with mineral water that is loaded with highly bioavailable micronutrients.
An F-1 racer will need a fitness of a strength athlete, the heart of a marathon runner and the clear attentive mind of a yoga practitioner to even complete an F-1 race.
A well-balanced diet is all it needs to thrive:
To our surprise, a well-balanced diet is enough to power the tough workloads of these athletes. Now imagine how easy our everyday chores and physical activities can turn out to be if we prioritise exercise and supplement with the right nutrition.
In short: A strong body, healthy heart add clear mind is possible with consistent exercise and nutrition.
And the first step also the easy step is nutrition.
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We are no race car athletes but we can all train like one with the right nutrition to ace our own race.
Ridomaxx wishes all the best the participants of the Indian Racing League 2022. And also our best wishes for every fitness enthusiast who wish to start their fitness journey.