The HydroMax system consists of a replaceable fluid reservoir that attaches to the player’s shoulder pads and connects to a feeding tube that reaches the player’s mouth.

Houston-based inventors Chris Spencer, Sammy Davis, and Carl Henderson took home top prize in USA Network’s Made in the USA (www.usanetwork.com/series/ madeintheusa/) reality television series for a rather interesting fluid handling system designed to keep football players hydrated on the playing field.

The system, called HydroMax (www.hydromaxsystem.com), allows players to stay hydrated during a game without having to run to the sideline. For winning first prize, the inventors were awarded a one-year contract with TV shopping network HSN.

“One of our biggest challenges in designing the system was ensuring its functionality,” says Chris Spencer, who along with Davis and Henderson runs the product design company, WN Custom Design, LLC. “Colder Products Company (www.colder.com) helped us develop custom-designed coupling devices that allow the system’s components to be easily connected and the hydration pack refilled without any worry of leakage.”

The HydroMax system consists of a replaceable fluid reservoir that attaches to the player’s shoulder pads and connects to a feeding tube that reaches the player’s mouth. The reservoir is a durable plastic bag that sits inside a pouch with a protective shell to prevent it from puncturing or breaking during impact. It holds 16 ounces of water.

Two plastic tubes are connected to the plastic bag. One tube is used for drinking and the other is used as a filling element. A Colder coupling connects the filling element to the hydration pack.

Since the HydroMax is being used in a contact sport where equipment comfort is as important as durability, the hard plastic coupling had to be lightweight and efficient, yet strong enough to withstand the rough conditions of a football game. Colder worked closely with WN Custom Design to find a solution.

From thousands of applicants, six teams of two were selected to compete weekly in the Made in the USA competition. Over the course of the series, the teams developed their product from prototype to marketplace-ready. The HydroMax team was one of three that competed on October 14 for the final prize. Following final presentations, viewers voted by telephone and selected the HydroMax system.

“As an athlete, I know first-hand the importance of staying hydrated on the field, especially during the hot summer months, says Sammy Davis,” who plays football for the NFL’s San Diego Chargers and has field-tested the invention. “We believe we have created a system that helps tackle this problem. It is also easy to use and access during practices and games. A number of professional, college, and youth players are already using the HydroMax system.”

— Flow Control Staff