What keeps you going throughout a golf course with the least strokes- your favorite clubs or healthy snacks and fluids? Depending on who you ask, you will get mixed answers to this question.
Golfers nowadays are obsessed with golf technology. Everyone wants to have the latest golf technology in their bags: from clubs that maximize accuracy and distance to balls that travel further and land softly.
Even touring pros nowadays need some tutoring on how to use golf technology. Computers provide useful stats to help amateurs swing like pros. But technology has brought with it a confusion that even touring pros need tutoring to understand.
But is the technology the way to success?
Research has shown that having the latest technology in your bag on the golf course is not enough to swing like a pro. Golf nutrition guidelines 2012 by Golf Canada suggests good nutrition is important for golfers.
It is noted that golfers of average skills give more attention to their clubs than to nutrition. Ignoring what you eat or how you eat it can have a negative impact on your golfing career.
Golf Nutrition Tips
Below are tips to help you eat healthily:
An average golf round lasts 227 minutes. As a player, you will cover at least 9,000 meters.
Most of your time is spent on exercise (84 minutes average). During this period, your heart rate is between 50% to 74%. The gap between maximal and average heart rate is wide, a signal that your body has physical demands. The demands are considerably temporal in nature.
Playing a round will see you lose 1.2 kilograms (or 2.5 pounds). Research by RCGA shows that a player burns 2000-2500 calories per round.
Nutritional Importance of What You Eat
Regardless of being a seasoned golfer or a recreational player, research suggests that what you eat and your eating routine can have a positive impact.
To enhance your sports performance, consumption of carbohydrates and water is essential. Players who have prolonged exercises that last past 45 minutes should take plenty of water and carbohydrates.
Pre-exercise time is generally described as three or four hours prior to the exercise. This period is perfect for digestion of meals (especially large meals).
You should have your meal three to four hours before heading to the golf course for play or practice. Make it a habit of consuming snacks an hour to time to boost your energy levels.
Your nutrition should be monitored throughout the round because you need enough energy levels at the end of the game.
How Does a Good Pre-Game Meal Look Like?
-High carbohydrates to refill glycogen stores.
-Low fiber and fat for minimal gastrointestinal distress
-Medium in protein
-Familiar and tolerable
3 to 4 hrs Before Practice, Training or Play
According to research studies, eating meals having carbohydrates of between 140-330 grams should enhance your athletic performance. Meals should be eaten 3-4 hours before practice, training or play to allow digestion. The smaller the meal, the quicker the digestion.
There is no measure for the right amount of food per person since our bodies differ when it comes to tolerance. You can have a balanced meal with carbohydrates, protein, and fats to avoid getting hungry during the game. Experimenting with different food is allowed to see what gives you more energy on the course.
The more likely formula for improved performance is maintaining levels of blood glucose. This can be achieved through increased liver glycogen and muscle.
Examples of a Nutritious Meal
-Wheat spaghetti with meat sauce and tomato
-Toast with Omelets
-Chicken sandwich and soup
1 Hour To Play
It had once been speculated that eating one hour or less to play could affect your game. Research has shown there is no link between the two. It isn’t necessary to have a meal an hour to play, but neither is it harmful to do so.
If you decide to have a meal an hour to play, ensure that it is a light carbohydrates snack that is easy to digest. You can decide to experiment with different snacks to see which one works for you.
Good Snacks 1 Hour to Play
-Nuts & fresh fruits
-Fruits and yogurt
-Cereal having skim milk
Do not begin your practices early without eating. Having low blood sugar leads to fatigue.
Hydration Before and During Play
Keeping your body hydrated is important when you are a golf player. Remember that you will have to spend the day under the hot sun which can drain your energy.
Hydration Before Play
Take 500Ml of fluid 2 hours before practice or play. Another 250Ml 30mins to time, and a further 250Ml 15mins to play.
Hydration During Play
Athletes should stay hydrated throughout play time on the course. Not staying hydrated has repercussions on your performance. Losing 1% of your body weight during play strains your heart’s ability to pump blood. 3% weight loss will badly affect your play. Further losses beyond 3% will result in health complications.
You should consume at least 100Ml at 10-minute intervals of play.
Importance of Carbohydrates
Your body’s carbohydrate reserves are normally low than required in most athletic events. As a golfer, you have to warm up to an event, spend almost five hours on the course, walk close to 7KM per round, and practice between rounds. If you are competing in a tournament, this routine can last days. If you don’t have enough carbohydrate reserve, you will lose a lot of energy.
Consume enough carbohydrates to have enough energy. One research suggests that eating a combination of proteins and carbohydrates immediately before play increases levels of amino acids received by your muscles.
Do’s During Play
-Eat carbohydrates- 30-35gms per hour ( crackers, whole wheat, fruits).
-Drink fluids- Take as much as you can to recover fluid lost through sweating.
-Sports drink- drinks with 4-8grams per 100ml carbohydrates are perfect for golf athletes. The drink should include sodium as an ingredient.
After a game of golf, your body is exhausted and in need of nutrients. Here is what to eat:
-Proteins (quarter of daily your needs)
Technology plays a crucial part in golfing. But to utilize technology, you must have your body in good shape. Combining technology, gym exercise, field exercise and healthy eating will give you optimal performance. The right meals will stock your energy stores and practice and tools will help improve your playing skills.
It takes eating healthy and enough exercise to make a good athlete.