Tim McGraw Has 10 Years Of Sobriety Under His Belt Thanks To Exercise

By Kelly Burch 03/15/18

“I felt like I had to change my life. And it wasn’t like I was out doing crazy things, it was just that I was drinking too much."

Tim McGraw

For many years, starting before he was a country music superstar, singer Tim McGraw would drink before getting on stage in order to calm his nerves. However, 10 years after giving up alcohol, McGraw has a new, healthier way of curing the pre-show butterflies. 

“The ritual now is to run,” he told People. “Me and a few of the guys in the band—I do my meet and greet and right after the meet and greet—we take off and run for 4 or 5 miles. It is literally timed so I run straight into the dressing room, get ready and hit the stage.”

The run keeps him from indulging before the show, or after.

“For so many years, I would go do the show and right before you finish the show, you would feel like you were just getting warmed up and you were just getting in gear and you wanted to go and do it another hour,” he said. “And I ran into a lot of problems after a show where you wanted to keep drinking and keep the party going after a show for a while.”

Running and twice-daily workouts tire the musician out enough so that drinking doesn’t seem appealing. 

“By the end of it, you are done,” he said. “You are exhausted. We work out in the morning, have a whole day, then we run and do the show. Our show is pretty high energy. Now at the end of the show, I have worn myself out.”

Giving up alcohol and embracing fitness made McGraw lose weight, and he says he feels better on stage. 

“It wasn’t like I was trying to lose 40 pounds, I was just wanting to get healthy,” he said. “For me, it is more about feeling good and being where I want to be physically and on stage. When I am on stage in 98 degrees out there, you want to feel good. And my show isn’t stand out there and not move around.”

Before he gave up alcohol, McGraw said that he was depending too much on drinking, so today he embraces his healthier routine. 

“I felt like I had to change it. I felt like I had to change my life,” he said. “And it wasn’t like I was out doing crazy things, it was just that I was drinking too much. You know, some people might look at it and say—hey, I drank twice as much as that. But for me, it adversely affected my life and it was time to change it.”

More recently, McGraw appears to have gone a little too hard on his exercise routine. According to ABC News, during a performance in Ireland last Sunday, the singer fell to his knees on stage after singing "Humble and Kind." The show was cut short and McGraw received medical attention.

According to The Blast, the singer said the incident was due to "lots of flying and dehydration" and that he planned to cut his workouts short.

His rep released the following statement: "Tim McGraw was suffering from dehydration in Dublin this evening at the C2C show. He was attended to by local medical staff on site and will be fine. He and [his wife Faith Hill] thank everyone for their love and support and look forward to seeing their Irish fans again soon."

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Kelly Burch writes about addiction and mental health issues, particularly as they affect families. Follow her on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn.