How to Eat (and drink) Your Way to Your Best Round
You have the clubs and the shoes; you’ve worked on your stance and your swing. You may think you’re ready to play a great round, but you could very likely be missing something. And that something has nothing to do with what’s in your bag or on your feet. It’s what you’re planning to put into your body. Nutrition. Or, what’s on the menu before, during and after those 18 holes?
Golf - no matter at what level you play- is a sporting event. And you, weekend or weekday warrior- are an athlete. How well you swing, how easily you’re able to think (and finesse) your way out of traps and hazards, depends on your competitive edge. A study that looked at the effects of dehydration on golf performance showed that golfers hit 12% shorter and 93% less accurately when mildly dehydrated. Just think about what that means if you’re not only thirsty, but hungry as well.
Golf requires endurance, focus and recovery. There is overwhelming evidence that concludes that during prolonged exercise (45-60 minutes or more) eating carbohydrates and drinking water will greatly increase performance. But it’s quality food, not junk food and empty calories that will give you what you need to do your best.
Take the advice of some of the pros like Morgan Hoffman, Jason Dufner, Jason Day and Ben Crane. Hoffman has been seen eating homemade bison steak and broccoli out of a Tupperware container on tour. Dufner made some changes in his diet and lost 20 pounds in the process. Day is so concerned with what he puts in his body that he only allows himself one or two alcoholic drinks per year. And, Crane, he actually travels with his own juicer so he can make his favorite healthy snacks.
Eating healthy for your best round of golf is honestly how you should be eating all the time. Of course, we all fall off the wagon once in a while and grab a bag of chips, a beer and order up a pizza. The bottom line is that’s ok – but not at every meal and not every day. Here’s what you need to focus on to feel better and play better.
Have a pre-round meal three to four hours before you play. The meal should be high in carbs, moderate in protein and low in fat and fiber.
whole wheat spaghetti with tomato and meat sauce.
Chicken sandwich with soup
Omelets with toast
If your round is early, and you just can’t get up three to four hours before to eat, try a snack an hour or less before you start:
Whole wheat bagel & light cream cheese
Yogurt & fruit
• Cereal with skim milk
You should also be drinking water.
During your round, eat carbohydrates – like whole-wheat crackers and fruit, or almonds and drink fluids, as much as you need to replace what is lost due to sweat.
One obvious food that fits the criteria is a sports drink. Look for one that has 5 to 8 grams of carbohydrate per 100 ml. This is the range where both fluid and carbohydrate delivery will be high.
And, then after you’re done? Eat protein and more carbs and drink water. It’s also vital to eat as soon as practical after the round is over. Your body needs to start rebuilding.
turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread
1⁄2 cup of almonds with small glass of fruit juice
The bottom line- nutrition and golf are linked together. The quality of the food you put in your body has a direct effect on the quality of your game.