Nutrition Plan for Golfers
What changes will you make to ensure your body is ready to perform? Some small changes like reducing sugar, alcohol, caffeine and hotdogs can make a big difference.
Golf works all parts of the body and requires cardiovascular, strength and flexibility. A typical golf game, including walking and carrying clubs, can burn 330 calories on average per hour. Nutrition is an important aspect of your golf game, as it supports your body’s needs while playing the sport, but outside of your game or practice it’s important to maintain a balanced diet. Proper hydration, and a variety of nutritious foods can help you perform well on the course.
Water is essential to the human body, as it support cells in transporting nutrients, eliminating waste and regulating and maintaining body temperature. If you feel thirsty, you body is already heading toward dehydration, so it is important to drink water before you ever sense thirst. During practice or in a round of golf, the American College of Sports Medicine recommends drinking 3 to 8 fluid ounces of water every 15 to 20 minutes.
Eating Before you Play
The Sports, Cardiovascular and Wellness Nutrition group recommends fueling your body before you start a game or practice. This includes a carbohydrate-rich snack or meal to fill up muscle stores. Protein is also important to build and repair muscle while helping reduce post-exercise soreness. A pregame meal or snack could include a meat sandwich on whole-grain bread, an apple with peanut butter or cottage cheese with grapes. Don’t choose foods in your meal or snack that are hard to digest such as high-fibre or fatty foods.
Fueling During Play
During your golf game or practice, you need to replenish the fluids and energy you have used. Take advantage of a breaks to re-hydrate and eat a snack. Eating replenishes your carbohydrate stores to help you maintain concentration and the accuracy of your shots. Try easy-to-digest carbohydrate foods such as a piece of fruit, a sports or cereal bar or a sports beverage that provides quick sugar and fluids.
Recovering From Golf
Recovery nutrition helps your body restore fluids, electrolytes and muscle glycogen and also repairs and stimulates muscle growth. For your body to recover it is recommended by the Sports, Cardiovascular and Wellness Nutrition group to have a snack or a meal that includes fluids, protein and carbohydrates within 15 to 30 minutes after your round of golf or practice. Easy carbohydrate and protein snacks include chocolate milk, dairy-based fruit smoothies or a balanced meal with lean meat, whole-grains, and fruits or vegetables.
Source: Lindsay Stern is a registered dietitian and licensed nutritionist who has been working in community and clinical nutrition since 2006. Currently she specializes in wellness and prevention and has been a certified Health and Wellness Coach since 2012. Stern holds Master of Public Health nutrition from the University of Minnesota.