A golf conditioning program should always be accompanied by a solid golf nutrition plan. In essence, what you eat determines how you play. So, which foods produce champions and which foods hinder play? Let me give you a few hints.
It goes without saying that proper nutrition is important for all of us. But, if you are serious about shaving valuable strokes off your scorecard, you need to make some tough decisions on seeing your diet through. If you travel for golf, or play in frequent tournaments, it is important not to fall into the trap of ‘settling’ for fast food or a quick bag of chips or chocolate bar. Make a commitment to use some or all of the following tips and your energy will reach new heights in your next round.
• Avoid caffeine and alcohol. Both of these are diuretics and cause fluid loss. They also both affect performance. Coffee can over stimulate your mind or your muscles, making your performance uncontrolled. Excessive consumption of alcohol severely affects your coordination.
• Avoid large amounts of food in the two hours leading up to tee time. Food in your digestive system diverts blood away from your brain and muscles, affecting concentration and physical performance. A meal two to three hours before play is preferred.
• Don’t skip meals. Golfers need that slow and steady release of energy to see them through difficult or long hours of play. Smaller meals are better to help increase metabolism.
• Eat 5 to 6 small meals throughout the day. This gives your body the nutrition it needs to last.
• Drink lots of water. Think in terms of 8 to 10 glasses each day. Continue throughout your round to stay hydrated especially during the summer months.
• Combine carbohydrates, proteins and fats at each meal. This aides in overall digestion and ensures you are getting the proper nutrients.
• Bring a snack or bag lunch. Beverage carts are not known for healthy choices, so don’t put yourself in a position to feel forced to rely on them.
• Avoid high processed foods or sugar based foods. They tend to raise blood sugar levels quickly and, then, drop rapidly causing fatigue.
• Stick with the basics. Don’t try new foods just before you play. Stick with what you know your body responds well to.
• Keep it simple. There is no need to make elaborate meals or go to great extent in preparation. A piece of fruit and bag of nuts will go a long way in replenishing energy when you need it.
As a golfer, especially if you are of a championship caliber, it is essential to have a wide variety of complex carbohydrates to maintain your energy through an 18-hole match or a 72-hole tournament.
Mentally your brain needs to stay conditioned to tell your body what to do, not to mention calculating distances, swing strength and maintaining focus. Follow these 10 tips and watch your scorecard drop to new lows.