How can you change what you eat and drink before and during your rounds to reach your true potential as a golfer.
Golf isn’t the game it was 20 years ago. Golf is now much closer to the “athlete” status, and today’s golfers realize that they have to do everything they can to get an edge. This includes not only working out, but also eating and drinking properly– especially before and during a round.
With the best food and drink for golf you can save 3-5 shots per round (at least) and this article will show you how to do it.
HAVE YOU EVER FELT EXHAUSTED DURING OR AFTER A ROUND OF GOLF? THEN YOU’RE NOT EATING AND DRINKING PROPERLY.
Golf is a unique sport in that you’re playing for 4-5 hours which is a long time to be burning calories and using your brain. Doing this in the burning heat of Southeast Asia will affect your body even more. (CHECK OUT OUR ARTICLE REGARDING HEAT AND DRINKING)
It’s not like most other sports where you play intensively for an hour or so and react to what’s going on.
Instead you need to switch your focus on and off, at least as an average to good golf player for more than 86 times per round and then perform a precise physical action which depends on how well you’ve prepared for it.
To choose the right shot, align correctly, pick the right club, read the greens etc. and then make a smooth swing, it requires mental sharpness and physical energy that you won’t have if you haven’t fueled your body properly.
Here’s all you need to know to make sure you’re using all the recourses that carry you until the last putt on the 18th green.
It is always important to focus on what you want to achieve with playing golf. If you’re playing with your buddies and use golf as a time to indulge and eat hot-dogs and drink beer then there is nothing wrong with it. But if you want to perform as best as you can, then take this advice and follow these simple ideas and experiment with them, to get a feeling on what it does to your scores.
THE BEST PRE-ROUND PREPARATION WITHOUT SWINGING A GOLF CLUB
THE NIGHT BEFORE YOUR ROUND: REST
Poor sleep affects growth hormone production and hence recovery from both physical and mental stress. You need a good quality sleep to think properly and access those mental skills you need for great performance. Here are a few tips to getting that great sleep before a big round:
Avoid alcohol: Although you get off to sleep quicker, it’s proven that you don’t reach the deeper levels of sleep to fully rest your brain and be sharp the following day.
Avoid drinking anything within 2 hours of going to bed: This way you avoid being woken up earlier than you need to go to the bathroom.
Avoid eating within 2 hours of going to bed: The increase in blood sugar inhibits sleep.
THE BEST FOOD AND DRINK FOR GOLF
HYRDRATE LIKE THE TOUR PROS
Drinking water keeps your mind and body working properly and it’s critical for optimal brain function and muscle performance. If you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated, which limits your ability to concentrate and lowers your performance on the course. Being dehydrated by just 2-3% results in 10% lower performance which in an average round of golf, could cost between 4 - 8 shots!
The Tour pros take hydration very seriously and so should you, as it could make the difference between your best score and an average round.
Drink 500 ml of water with your pre-round meal and another 250 ml 10 to 20 minutes before your round.
Make sipping water on every tee a habit (you’ll need to drink around 180 ml every 30 minutes, and even more if it’s hot) as you’ll lose more and more electrolytes through sweat as the round progresses.
Electrolytes is another term for the salts and minerals that transmit electrical impulses across the cells in your body, in order for your muscles (and brain) to work properly. When you sweat, you lose these electrolytes, so to maintain peak muscle and brain function, you need to replace them by drinking water and/or electrolyte solutions.
THE BEST PRE-ROUND MEAL: IDEAS FOR YOUR MEAL BEFORE ROUND OF GOLF
Eat your pre-round meal about 2-3 hours before you play and eat a snack an hour before you head to the first tee.
Studies show that a meal containing 200-300g of carbohydrates 2-3 hours before playing increase athletic performance.
If you have an early morning round, be sure to have a healthy breakfast at least an hour before playing. Keep also in mind, that the quality of the carbohydrate is important. Poor quality (starchy) carbohydrates like bagels, pancakes and donuts give you a surge of energy and raise insulin levels and eventually you crash and become lethargic.
Focus on those carbs you get from fruit and vegetables and if you eat bread, pasta or bagels, make sure they’re whole wheat.
You don’t need much fat or fiber but include a moderate amount of protein. Eat just enough to be neither hungry nor full.
Good examples would be:
- Vegetable omelet with fruit
- Bowl of steel-cut oatmeal with nuts
- Grilled chicken or fish with salad and vegetables (Tiger’s choice)
- Grilled chicken sandwich with soup
- Whole wheat spaghetti and pasta sauce.
- Whole wheat bagel with light cream cheese
- Yogurt and fruit
- Whole wheat toast and scrambled eggs
SNACKS TO EAT BEFORE AND DURING YOUR ROUND OF GOLF
Eat these snacks in small amounts throughout the round to maintain energy and concentration levels.
Small bites at regular intervals help your body to keep its strength, but don’t keep you hungry or full.
Ideas to take with you:
- Fruit and nuts
- Jerky beef
- Protein bars
- Electrolyte Tablets
DOUBLE BOGEY DRINKS AND MEALS/SNACKS TO AVOID BEFORE AND DURING GOLF:
- Coffee (too much caffeine)
- Fruit Juice (too much sugar)
- Soda (too much sugar)
- Energy drinks and bars (too much caffeine and sugar)
- Fried breakfast (empty calories)
- Pancakes (refined carbohydrate that will give you a burst of energy then make you crash)
- Donuts (as above)
- Most breakfast cereal (as above)
- Anything that lacks carbs like scrambled eggs with no toast
- Hot dogs (too high in sodium and saturated fat)
- Most Granola Bars (too much sugar)
- Beer: It’s a sedative and (unfortunately) will affect your coordination.
Many pros and players have started using a system of products that are organic, whole food and packed with nutrients and highly bio-available protein but also low on calories.
Not only do these systems balance out blood sugar, allowing them to maintain a consistent mental focus, but they also help to generally improve health leading to excess fat loss and lean muscle development.
This will take some time, to adapt the idea, but someday you will reach a point where your whole system requires something like the following diet plan:
1. A meal replacement shake. Great protein carbs and healthy fats. A much better alternative to the typical brands out there.
2. Energy shots (the healthy naturally caffeinated version) that doesn’t get you jittery but rather increases endurance strength and mental focus.
3. Supplemental nutrients. A daily vitamin pack that gives your body everything it needs that it isn’t getting in today’s food supply. ( Including the key athlete nutrients of resveratrol, vitamin D3 and CoQ10)
This is just an idea of what can be done as a great whole meal.
Keep posted to get more information about what you can eat and drink to benefit even more.