Sports Nutrition for Kart Racing

Swoosh ORANGE w/ SILVER StripeFor all athletes, including kart racers, nutrition is key to optimal performance. It is important to stay hydrated and full of the correct nutrients in order to avoid tiredness from travel, stress and nerves. Kart racers go all out with energy for a twenty minute race just to sit around for an hour or more until it is their turn again. This up and down of nervousness and adrenaline can really put a toll on a kart driver’s body. Not to mention the amount of G force you may be pulling at any given time straining muscles in the neck and back.

Kart racers, and even the mechanics at the track, of all ages need to keep nutrition and staying hydrated a top priority. The adrenaline, nerves and often extreme weather conditions do not pinpoint just one demographic, they affect everyone at the track. These things can severely affect your performance in your races and how you feel all day.

The easiest thing you can do to boost your energy and balance out everything in your body is to drink a lot of water. Ditch the caffeine, sodas and even sports drinks and replace it all with water. Many people don’t realize that the sugars found in these drinks can actually dehydrate you, unlike what we assume while consuming them. Almost all over the country a 24 pack of water bottles is only a few bucks, so this not only boosts your performance but also saves you money in the long run.

With nutrition and good health comes watching what you eat. You need to stay at a comfortably full level when you are at the track so you do not get distracted or stressed from being hungry. It can be difficult to watch what you eat when all the snack bar serves is junk food snacks, burgers or pizza. However, by packing some healthy options you can balance out your diet throughout the day.

Things like granola bars, fruits and sandwiches or wraps are great options to bring with you to the race track. It is important to consume vitamins from fruits and vegetables, protein from meats and snack bars and complex carbs from whole grain breads and wraps. Try to ditch as much processed foods as possible and remember the smaller the list of ingredients is, the better off you are eating it.

By just keeping these few things in mind throughout the day you can improve your energy and performance at the track. You will notice a difference in your kart racing and how you feel every day. So keep the water nearby, the snacks healthy and enjoy the races.


Basics of Tire Pressure

In go kart racing there are many tweaks and updates drivers can use to take their karts to the next level. Tire pressure is easy to adjust and once you understand how it works and affects your kart, it can make quite the difference in your speed and cornering.
Finding the perfect tire pressure is best done using a trial and error method. (There is no magic number.) It is suggested that you pick a number to set your tires to, say 16 psi, and then run a few laps around the track watching your speed, time and how the kart is handling at that tire pressure. Then, adjust the pressure 1-3 psi at a time until you find the tire pressure that works best for you and your kart.
Many things will affect your tire pressure when you’re at the track. You can expect your tire pressure to rise 1-3 psi during a race depending on how hot it is. Therefore, it is always good to check and adjust your tire pressure before every race.
A general rule of thumb to remember is as temperature rises, lower your tire pressure and as the temperature falls, raise your tire pressure. During the summer, the track will have more rubber residue from the tires due to increased tire temperature. This can cause resistance when driving and it is suggested that you lower your tire pressure to reduce heat generation by the tire.
If you notice that you are having understeering issues with your kart try raising the rear tire pressure about 3 psi to correct the issue. Lowering the rear tire pressure by 3 psi can also help with over steering issues.
It is important to never over fill or under fill your tire with air. A tire that is overinflated will tend to “crown,” this means the center of the tire will wear out more than it should and your tire will not ride flat on the ground. The opposite happens to underinflated tires, the edges will wear out versus the center.

Getting Started in Karting

If you enjoy motorsports, karting may be a great hobby for you. Karting is open to all ages, from children to adults, and is more affordable than other motorsports. So how do you get started?
Go to the races. This will help you understand the types of races and karts, the rules and regulations of your local track and if karting is something you want to pursue. Whether you decide to start your own racing team or not, going to the races is still a family friendly outing.
The type of racing you decide to participate in will affect the type of kart you need. You can choose between oval racing, sprint racing or road racing. All require different types of karts and come with different regulations. Once you decide on the type of racing you want to participate in you can get started in racing.
Choose your kart. The first decision is if you want to buy a new or used kart. Although used karts can be initially more cost-friendly, they can also come with a lot of needed repairs. It is suggested that you only buy a used kart if you have a trusted advisor to guide you.
Get your gear. Some other items you may need when kart racing are a helmet, racing suit or jacket, spare parts, fuel and a kart cover to hide your kart from the competition.
Practice makes perfect. Find out your local track’s practice times so you can work on your driving skills and make sure your kart is ready for your first race. It is always important to be safe and comfortable in your kart so practicing and being aware of all race rules will prepare you for your first and every race.