Golf Nutrition and Golfers Sports Supplements
Let’s be totally honest with ourselves, does there really seem to be enough physical activity and exertion in the game of golf to really consider and pay attention to our nutritional intake as an extra aid to improve the level of overall fitness, physical performance, mental alertness and apply to our playing style.
Well in today’s health conscious society and also our overall desire to complete all activities in our daily lives at an optimum level of performance, let’s be real about it, appearances can be very deceptive.
Considering that the average length of a Golf Course is approximately 6,800 yards and the typical golfer will cover an average walked distance of 6.6 miles to complete a round of golf and some golfers could walk as far as 7.8+ miles, depending on the accuracy of shots played, perhaps the less said about that the better we have all been there.
Further, when you consider that an elite amateur or a professional golfer can and will spend up to eight hours a day on the course and the practice ground working on improving specific skills and drills, in addition to playing practice rounds. It does suddenly become quite clear that playing the game of golf does in fact require a good level of fitness and overall body conditioning. This in turn can and is impacted greatly by a golfers overall diet, nutrition intake and overall body conditioning and this will have an impact on golfers at whatever standard they are playing the game.
Additional Body Conditioning and Training Sessions
If you are at all serious about improving and maintaining your overall golf performance it is vitally important that you consider and implement a training programme and regime that includes improving your strength, aerobic capacity and body flexibility, this will then improve your endurance capability and also minimise any potential risk of injury.
To improve and optimise your performance, you will need to ensure that you eat and drink well, so that you can ensure you prevent fatigue and also maintain higher levels of concentration during play.
Obviously, the pure nature of the game of golf means that it is of a lower intensity when compared to other more dynamic and physical sports. However, it is still the case that if you have higher levels of body fat, it can and will impair your overall level of golfing performance. This is due to the need for increased energy outputs, greater levels of heat tolerance and the need to lower the levels of injury risk. Further there is the thought that high levels of overall fitness, will assist you with higher levels of concentration during periods of both physical and mental stress, where we all know that mental stress is one very important factor you have to consider when playing the game of golf. I am sure we have all made mistakes on the golf course due to fatigue and even in a friendly game of social golf with friends this can be all too evident.
Nutrition for Golfers
As Golfers we all have that little bit of a competitive streak in us, so in order to improve and optimise your overall performance, in any activities you part-take in, especially golf, whether you are a recreational social amateur or a full blown, full time professional you will always need to eat and drink appropriately.
You need to always ensure that you have a diet and a nutritional intake that assists in the prevention of player fatigue, the maintenance of your concentration for a minimum period of 3 to 5 hours it takes to play and finish a game of golf, as well as maintaining and optimising both mental concentration and player skill levels which impacts on overall player performance.
As with all things in life and especially with food and nutritional intake, a good balanced approach should always be taken with food and diet, so that it always incorporates a variety of foods that has a mix of carbohydrates and protein as well as carefully controlled levels of fat intake.
Food types such as Beans, Multi-grain bread, pasta and porridge with low glycaemic index, could be used as nutritional options that potentially could assist in the prevention of player fatigue when training or playing in a competition.
We all like takeaways and processed food types such as cakes, crisps, fizzy drinks, pastries and pies, but these should be kept to a minimum and if at all possible excluded from a diet, but we all have the devil inside us and I know we will all succumb from time to time – but that is life!
As always your focus should be on a diet full of nutritious food types such as low fat options, with reasonable levels of food type rich in mono and polyunsaturated fats such as Avocado, plant-based oils, fish and most types of nuts.
Hydration for Golfers
It is important to keep yourself well hydrated at all time and not only for golf. Being well hydrated taking in regular fluids keeps the body in a good level of hydration and enables you to maintain a high level of concentration and with golf be primarily a game of skill and touch, concentration is key to achieving a good level of success.
This is due to the fact that hydration can and will have a number of performance affecting attributes which includes, the inability to concentrate and focus for periods of time, contribute to golfer fatigue and in hot or even warm weather can cause heat stress/stroke.
Some of the things we must all consider when thinking about hydration is the course and its environmental conditions at the time of play, your physical size and gender are all critical factors to ensuring you are adequately hydrated.
As we all know fluid requirements increase as temperature and humidity increases, so easy access to fluids out on the golf course is critical and if at all possible you should try and keep any drinks cool in your golf bag.
There are many sports drinks and sports hydration gels available on the market that also help with the replacement not only of fluids, but also carbohydrates and electrolytes.
Must of us who are social golfers or club golfers enjoy the game and also we also enjoy a drink in the bar after a game golf whether it was a social or competitive game. However, we must always remember that if we drink alcohol, it can lead or add to the affects dehydration and also the dreaded weight gain.
Alcohol has also bee shown to slowdown a persons recovery, so it is always important that you fully meet your re-hydration and nutritional needs are meet first.
As you know you are likely to be out on the golf course play a game of golf for anything up to and beyond 5 hours, it is really important that you eat a good pre-game meal which contains the right levels of carbohydrates to prevent fatigue during the game.
There are many studies that support a low GI carbohydrate meal intake as they digest more slowly and hence deliver a slower release of nutrients from the body to use over a longer period of time.
Sports drinks and hydration gels are great for that needed top up of nutrients when you are out on the golf course. You must ensure that you continually replace the lost fluids and carbohydrates on a regular basis, as it will aid n your physical and mental ability to maintain concentration and feel physically at your best.
Other potential options are sandwiches, sports energy bars, breakfast cereal bars, fresh and dried fruit are all a benefit to your replacement nutrition.
At the end of the day, most of us play the game of golf for fun and the social side, but by considering the above we can always ensure that we add to that enjoyment by playing the game to the best of our ability. So even if you take any small nugget of the above, and apply it to yourself and improve not only game of golf, but also your overall enjoyment, that will be just great and perhaps I will meet with you to enjoy that drink in the 19th hole one day.
Fayde Golf Europe